In today’s data-driven world, organizations are generating more data than ever before — from internet of things monitoring of machines and systems to order and fulfillment tracking. Turning your manufacturing data into meaningful insights requires the ability to access and analyze it quickly and easily.
However, for many organizations, accessing data is a significant challenge. One of the most common problems is accessing data from complex, legacy systems like SAP. Replicating data from SAP to your database, data warehouse or data lake can help address this challenge, but it’s not always straightforward.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of replicating SAP data to the cloud, the challenges organizations face when trying to do so and how an ELT solution like Fivetran helps overcome these challenges.
Benefits of replicating SAP data to the cloud
While the benefits of replicating SAP data to your destination of choice are numerous, one of the most significant is the ability to create a central repository for all of your manufacturing data. This centralization can provide your organization with a more comprehensive view of your business operations, which in turn enables better decision-making and heightened analytics.
By replicating SAP data to your cloud destination, you can eliminate data silos — leading to more accurate and timely reporting. With the emergence of data management and governance practices, you need the ability to securely access your SAP data from multiple locations — at any time. In manufacturing, you also need agile insights due to the nature of continuous operations and non-stop production. You can accomplish this by replicating your SAP data to a cloud data warehouse or data lake that offers a range of tools for managing and governing data, such as data cataloging, data profiling and data lineage. These tools help track data usage and ensure compliance with data privacy and security regulations while having continuous access and monitoring of your most important data points.
Another consideration is the ability to scale your data processing capabilities. With SAP data in the cloud, you can take advantage of the virtually unlimited compute and storage resources that cloud platforms offer — which is vital for large manufacturing data loads. This scalability enables you to handle larger volumes of data, perform complex data analysis and support more users accessing data to drive success in your manufacturing operations. This, in turn, helps you derive greater value from your formerly difficult to access SAP data to make better-informed business decisions. Essentially, it combines back office data from SAP with non-SAP data sources.
Challenges of replicating SAP data to the cloud
While there are many benefits to replicating SAP data to the cloud, there are also several challenges that you may face. One of the most significant is the complexity of SAP systems and large volumes of data stored within SAP.
SAP is a highly complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with many different and unique use cases – which is why it’s difficult to extract data from its systems and transfer it to a cloud data warehouse or data lake. In the manufacturing space, you need to take action on new insights within minutes, but the complexity of SAP can cause time delays and limited access to your large data sets.
Another challenge is the variety of data formats. SAP uses several data formats, such as IDoc, BAPI and RFC, which are difficult to work with when integrating with other systems. Additionally, storing SAP in various locations, such as tables, fields and documents, can add to the complexity of integrating with other applications to derive valuable insights.
Replicating SAP data to a cloud data warehouse or data lake is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process without the right solution. You and your organization may need to dedicate significant resources to building and maintaining integrations, which can take valuable time away from other projects and delay your time to insights. Building a custom data integration solution is challenging, especially when working with complex systems like SAP and large manufacturing data sets composed of billions of system monitoring and goods production data points.
How Fivetran helps overcome these challenges
Fivetran is a cloud-based ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) platform that can help you overcome the challenges of replicating SAP data to your cloud destination of choice.
We automate the process of data replication, making it easier and more efficient to extract data from your SAP systems and load it into your destination. Uniquely positioned to handle large volumes of manufacturing data, Fivetran has multiple methods for extracting data from SAP and quickly driving valuable insights.
Fivetran offers pre-built connectors for a wide range of systems, including SAP. These connectors are designed to handle the complexities of SAP systems - multiple data formats and intricate data models - making it easier to extract and transfer your high-volume manufacturing data. We provide capabilities for a wide range of SAP configuration options and data transformations to help you access, clean and transform your SAP data before loading it into your destination.
By using Fivetran, you can significantly reduce the time and resources required to replicate SAP data into your destination. Our automated approach to data replication eliminates the need for custom integrations and reduces the effort in monitoring pipelines for your manufacturing data sources. This approach helps get your manufacturing data into the cloud faster, enabling you to quickly derive insights and make informed business decisions.
In conclusion, replicating manufacturing data from SAP to a cloud destination has many benefits. However, the complexity of SAP systems and the challenges associated with integrating SAP with other systems can make this process difficult. By using an ELT platform like Fivetran, you can easily overcome these challenges and take advantage of the benefits of replicating SAP data to the cloud. With Fivetran, you can simplify the process of data replication, reduce the time and resources required to extract and transfer data and accelerate the process of turning your manufacturing data into insights.