There are two ways to approach the integration of your company’s SAP environment with parcel carriers such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.:
Option 1 – Integrate Without Middleware
You can integrate your SAP environment with FedEx and/or UPS without bringing in middleware. This is possible through the use of web services functionality that SAP has already built into ECC. With this method, you have the ability to configure an encrypted SSL connection (via HTTPS on port 443 -or- routing communication through a web proxy) between your SAP environment and FedEx/UPS, but won’t get the “bonus functionality” that middleware often includes.
Option 2 – Integrate With Middleware
There are several middleware products on the market that can help you acheive integration, including SAP’s Business Connector and SAP’s netWeaver Process Integration(SAP PI). Most third party middleware products will also add on additional enticing functionality in an effort to stand out and get your business.
Blue Harbors’ Suggestion
Skip the middleware and utilize the built in web services functionality in SAP ECC. Why bring in additional software and the resulting cost and compatibility issues down the road when you can utilize SAP’s built in functionality? Our take – Thin is in! Don’t bloat your environment in favor of the unneccesary bells and whistles that external software / middleware often brings in to catch your attention and make the sale. Ultimately, using SAP’s built in web services is a much more cost effective approach when integrating with FedEx, UPS, and any other parcel carrier service.
Building out the web services interface to integrate with parcel carrier services is not as simple as it may sound. The initial data mapping and communication development between your SAP environment and the parcel carriers such as FedEx and UPS can be an involved and complicated process. The good news – Blue Harbors has already worked through these complications and has developed a proven solution that is cost effective and comprehensive. From initial requirements gathering, to testing, implementation, and even training, we will have your SAP environment seamlessly integrated with any parcel carrier service within 8 weeks.
Want more information on the Blue Harbors Express Ship Solution? We would love to receive an opportunity to show you how this solution will benefit your business and give you a competitive edge. Just email us at info@BlueHarbors.com or call us at (888)-277-4366 and we will respond same day to set up a call that works with your schedule.