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Etex is known around the world for its building materials and solutions and operates 101 plants in 42 countries. The multinational recently introduced its ‘One Etex’ movement, which is all about simplifying, standardising and adding agility to structures, processes and systems around the world – paving the way for innovation in the process. With this goal in mind, Flexso helped the Etex team implement SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) as a structured hub for custom development initiatives. Get the details about this case story, as presented during SAP NOW Live.

Bridging the gap between core IT and custom and third-party apps

The IT landscapes of large multinational companies are often jungles of different apps, tools and systems – which makes a standard digital core like SAP ECC or S/4HANA a game changer. However, complex organisations always have special digital requirements that don’t necessarily align with the standard. As a result, custom development isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

In planning for an agile, unified future, Etex was looking for a platform to manage and build innovative custom developments in the best possible way, with embedded version management, monitoring and end-to-end integrations with the non-SAP solutions they also use.

That’s exactly what SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) does.

Focus on the apps – not the complexity

welcome terminal at etex

There’s a lot happening behind the scenes in core IT: infrastructure, DevOps, user experience, security, user management and authorisation, and much more. SCP handles all of this complexity, enabling large businesses to focus on building innovative, enterprise-scale apps and extensions that are easy to use and that deliver real business value.

Some examples of the 70+ technology and business services offered by SAP Cloud Platform:

  • identity and authentication services for all applications;
  • an integration suite for cloud middleware, API management, OpenConnectors, workflow and BPM;
  • application development, both Mendix and CAPM + Fiori;
  • mobile services, including web/hybrid/native, online/offline, scanning/camera, etc.;
  • portal services via Fiori launchpad, with role-based access;
  • advanced capabilities like IoT, machine learning, intelligent RPA, chatbots and more.

Etex’s vision is to use SAP Cloud Platform as its single development and integration hub, which fully aligns with the ‘One Etex’ movement – a global, company-wide initiative to bring simplicity, standardisation and agility to corporate structures, processes and systems.

Flexso worked closely with the Etex team to innovate two initial use cases for SAP Cloud Platform: the Welcome Terminal, which offers self-registration for trucks and couriers; and the use of SAP Cloud Platform as a cloud-based middleware platform.

Use case 1: Etex Welcome Terminal

Just like in any manufacturing environment in which many shipments of products and solutions are coming and going on multiple sites, Etex truck drivers and warehouse operators struggled with:

  • long waiting lines
  • language barriers
  • appointment and dock planning challenges
  • disruptions on local roads
  • ensuring safety and keeping track of visitors

Flexso developed a Fiori app on SAP Cloud Platform, which runs on SAP ECC as Etex’s back-end system.

welcome terminal at etex 2

Thanks to the solution, drivers can check in themselves in their native languages, take a safety questionnaire and check out – either via the hardware terminals, or through a mobile app with QR code that is currently being developed. Warehouse managers can track incoming and outgoing shipments on their mobile phones, ensuring optimised appointment and dock planning processes.

Discover how our Welcome Terminal Accelerator – which is up and running in no time – can help to win time, money and boost safety, by digitizing the logistics flow at your site.

Use case 2: SAP integration suite and document compliance

Previously, Etex was running multiple middleware tools including SAP PI, an on-premise solution that will no longer be supported by SAP after 2020. To maximise future-proofness, they chose to migrate their middleware to the cloud via SAP Cloud Platform Integration (CPI).

This pre-built integration package simplifies integration and make access simple, scalable and secure. Also based on SAP Cloud Platform, Flexso helped Etex implement SAP Document Compliance, a fully cloud-based compliance reporting solution that enables Etex businesses to send electronic invoices to the government before shipping products to their customers.

Flexso helped Etex move 120 interfaces from SAP PI to CPI in four separate sprints to allow users to get to know the system and manage risks. All migrations were completed within four months.

Lessons learned
- Before starting, have a clear vision on architecture that aligns with the business strategy. For example, Etex’ ‘One Etex’ strategy led to the selection of one, single platform.
- SAP Cloud Platform may involve quite a learning curve for your SAP team.Think up front about the technical skills and capabilities you’ll need to develop in house.

Flexso is your dedicated partner in applying SAP technologies to boost business outcomes.

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