SAP has about 425,000 customers in 180 countries, including 92% of the Forbes Global 2000, making it one of the most popular enterprise digital ecosystems. Many of these customers will build, on top of the powerful SAP software, processes involving not only SAP
There are many ways to get data into SAP, so how are enterprises best able to not only optimize SAP data entry but also the operational processes that support them? WorkFusion provides a transformational solution — not just because it is the only leading Intelligent Automation software vendor with a SAP certification, but also because it is able to solve business problems associated with processes using SAP.
We discussed this at length in our recent webinar: How WorkFusion’s SAP Certification Enhances Intelligent Automation for Order Management.
In a process such as Order Management, SAP may be the core system of record, but it typically is touched multiple times by a team of people, while they work with other systems.
Making the process more efficient is not just about getting data into SAP but having an automated approach to the specific use cases — such as Sales Order Updates, Order Block Removal, and Reimbursements, to list only a few examples.
Throughout the webinar, we had very engaged attendees who wanted even more information. For the benefit of the broader community, we’re sharing some of their Q&A here. We would definitely love to follow-up on any additional questions and comments other attendees or readers might have.
What is the difference between RPA and Intelligent Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a rules-based technology that handles repeatable, structured activities in support of the execution of a business process, typically geared towards leveraging the user interface to get or input data. Intelligent Automation includes RPA as a core capability, but also includes additional capabilities, including native machine learning and workflow, to solve larger business problems.
Applied to a use case like Sales Order Updates, RPA is used to enter data into SAP, but Intelligent Automation also solves the sourcing of emails, classification of the type of sales order received, and extraction of relevant data from the email, in addition to the entry of the data into SAP at the end.
SAP has purchased Contextor to provide its own RPA tool – how is your software different?
There are many options for customers to enter data into SAP. WorkFusion realizes this, which is why we achieved the SAP certification, but our focus is actually more on full use cases – such as Sales Order Updates, Order Block Removals, etc. – not just the ability to automate the entry of data into enterprise applications like SAP.
Can WorkFusion support automation of emails?
Absolutely! Many processes built to run on the WorkFusion Intelligent Automation Cloud start with automating the receipt of emails, including reading inboxes, managing automatic replies, and working with attachments. This includes processes like those we discussed in the webinar, like Sales Order Updates and Reimbursements, but goes outside the scope of SAP processes for things like Customer Inquiries in Banking and Appeals Intake in Healthcare.
Would you recommend Outlook automation through Recorder or Web Harvest?
Either approach can work. Typically, developers will approach the problem by building code first, but business users may start with Recorder. Often, a coding approach will more easily incorporate further robustness and error handling, but business users can add actions to account for these scenarios as well.
On a related note, in many scenarios, the question is asked whether automation should source data via API or the user interface (UI) – in this case, emails via Outlook. If the team already doing the work has built considerable rules and filters into Outlook, then it may make more sense to not reconfigure this logic and just connect via Outlook. However, if the approach for the automation is simply to ingest all emails and route from within the automation, then maybe connecting via SMTP is the better method.
Can WorkFusion connect to other enterprise applications?
WorkFusion Intelligent Automation Cloud can connect to a full portfolio of enterprise applications, including mainframe applications, web applications, Excel tools, command line prompts, etc. to automate end-to-end processes across multiple systems.
Do you have plans to automate Ariba, SuccessFactors and other SAP applications?
We already provide the capabilities to automate with any web application, inclusive of SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle. If there is a customer need for further certification of our software with SAP applications, we are happy to consider it.
What SAP automation processes are available out-of-the-box in WorkFusion?
Any process using SAP can be automated easily by a business user using WorkFusion’s out-of-the-box SAP integration capability. Additionally, WorkFusion is in the process of building out additional pre-packaged use cases to handle key organizational processes, such as those within Order Management.
We find that in most cases, each organization has customization in their deployment, so while
Besides Order to Cash, what other SAP processes are available today?
The WorkFusion Intelligent Automation Cloud enables any SAP process to be automated through our platform by business and technology users. This means the capability can immediately start transforming any manual work that is executed in your SAP applications to date.
Does WorkFusion use a proprietary OCR tool and what is the extraction accuracy?
When the text is in images, a third-party software is utilized to first convert it from image-to-text. Then, yes, WorkFusion provides a proprietary platform for customers to perform common text processing actions like data extraction and classification, typically powered by our AutoML capabilities.
That means solutions with our software typically leverage Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for its classic abilities to convert images to text, but then use newer methods (our AutoML capabilities) for structuring that text into meaningful data. Extraction accuracy, then, is typically much higher than the average person is able to do on their own, but still dependent on the quality of source data (DPI of documents) and the quality of the training set used for machine learning.
Does the SAP certification impact RPA Express*? Is this a good entry point?
Yes, Intelligent Automation Cloud Express* has supported SAP automation since version 2.3.
Is there a trial version we can use for PoC?
WorkFusion Intelligent Automation Cloud Express*
Does this SAP certification also apply to SAP Business 1?
WorkFusion’s certification is specifically for Netweaver and S/4 HANA, However, since Business 1 is based on HANA, integration is possible, although it may be without the fully certified connectivity.
How to call an Excel macro in WorkFusion?
There is an Excel automation class for Bot tasks, both for code and codeless automation. Also third-party libraries can be used to operate Excel files, such as Apache POI.
What happens when GUI element’s name in SAP changes? Do we need to manually change the workflow?
WorkFusion’s Inspector can find objects in most enterprise applications. SAP NetWeaver and Oracle ERP desktop apps are built using different technologies, so the majority of their UI controls will have different class names. If a GUI element class changes after an update, you need to create a different selector or you can create a unique selector without using the class attribute. For example, use Name, Unique ID, Text, other attributes or relative selectors.
Is it possible to show the whole business process you showed in the webinar?
Yes! Reach out directly here for a demo.
Can you show the code?
We would be happy to do so during a demo or site visit. Please reach out to schedule.
* WorkFusion’s Intelligent Automation Cloud offering no longer includes Express and Business editions.
Also published on Medium.