In October, I participated in Concur's Fusion Exchange event based in London. Whilst I went there to get an overview of the latest innovations and products, my main focus was on the new SAP and Concur Native integration. Before September 2016, it was only available to early adopters. However, now on general release, I’m going to take a look at what the final offering is to customers.
In a nutshell
This is an SAP/Concur developed solution that, once installed on your ECC system, provides the integration functionality required to get Concur and SAP talking to each other. It covers the main integration objects:
- SAP to Concur:
- Employees, cost objects (i.e. WBS elements, internal orders, etc..), FI Posting statuses.
- Concur to SAP:
- FI Postings (known in Concur as the Standard Accounting Extract).
The benefits of this SAP and Concur integration
- A solution owned and developed by SAP ensures that you have SAP support available to you to fix any issues, reducing your support costs.
- SAP constantly adds innovations to this development which one can take advantage off via the usual methods i.e. OSS note, support pack etc.
- There is no longer any need for your own custom solution, reducing development and maintenance costs and providing you with a simplified system landscape.
- Superior integration paradigm utilising web services instead of flat files.
- Transparency through the whole process via monitors and reports, providing the claimant with near real time feedback on the status of their claim.
- Rapid implementation for even complex environments, based on a configuration based approach, when engaging with a Concur partner.
- Extensible via BADIs where required.
This truly is a step in the right direction and customers are now reaping the benefits of the acquisition of Concur by SAP.
Key facts on SAP and Concur native integration
- It's been on general release since late September 2016.
- The installation of SAP Addons to SAP ECC (free with the correct SAP licences) is required.
- There is a one-time purchase of Concur’s Financial Integration webservices needed, which then involves activation on the Concur site. (At the time of writing it is free for a limited period as part of a Native Integration promotion package).
- It leverages the use of Concur's webservice API infrastructure.
- This has been developed as a direct connection solution between SAP and Concur but ‘pass through’ scenarios via middleware such as SAP PI and SAP HCI are supported.
- If an error occurs during posting, rather than previously having the expense report locked making root cause analysis and remediation cumbersome, you will now be able to correct the expense report in Concur or make the fix in SAP and then repost.
- Tokenisation of credit cards is supported making the solution PCI compliant. BADIs are supplied in SAP to allow the detokenization where required i.e. in the payment run.
Is this just for new implementations of Concur?
No. However, there are some additional considerations and actions that need to be done upfront if you have an existing Concur implementation. It would be advisable to arrange a Concur site review to check whether the design of your site supports the SAP native integration. For example, the way your cost object hierarchy is defined, something which is a linchpin to a lot of Concur functionality, has a bearing on this.
With a new Concur implementation, we would work in conjunction with the Concur site implementation team to ensure the design supports SAP native integration.
What systems are supported?
- Concur Expense Professional and Premium only.
- Supported for SAP ECC 6 irrespective of enhancement pack.
- Runs on SAP S/4HANA 1610 and 1511 (at the time of writing).
- Support for Concur Standard.
- Integration with Success Factors Employee Central currently scheduled for November 2016.
- Support for SAP Payroll currently scheduled for Q2 2017.
- Release for S/4 HANA Cloud currently scheduled for Q1 2017.
- Release for SAP By Design currently scheduled for November 2016.
- Release for SAP Business One currently scheduled for December 2016.
- Support for additional cost objects such as Funds and Grants as used in Public Sector currently scheduled for Q1 2017.
On hand to help
Bluefin’s extensive knowledge of SAP ERP systems, combined with the in-depth training that the Concur Customer Success Partner programme provides, ensures that we have all the expert advice on hand to make your Concur integration a success.