iPaas & RPA

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01 Relevance

Integration and automation

Modern IT systems are a composite of distributed services and systems. Customized cloud services are combined with ready-made software-as-a-service services and on-premise systems. Without the use of specialized software, every company remains far below its capabilities. An "all SAP" or "all Microsoft" solution regularly costs more, is prone to errors and only offers a fraction of the features. The corporate world thrives on specialized and individual solutions. Otherwise, unique selling points would not be possible.

These services and systems must be integrated into end-to-end process chains. Systems rarely offer seamless integration between each other. Instead, interfaces are used between which data is "translated". This "translation" often involves further enrichment of data. And if several cross-company systems are linked together, end-to-end automation becomes possible. Manual work is no longer necessary; the automation software contains and applies the business logic independently so that business transactions are implemented correctly without human interaction.

Lower process costs, fewer resources required, faster throughput times and higher quality results are the benefits of intelligent integration and automation.

From order receipt to invoicing

Most automation solutions are created along the so-called order-to-cash process: Orders are automatically recorded and processed; goods and services are automatically picked, dispatched and tracked or provided; financial systems are automatically supplied with performance data, business partners are informed about the different statuses of their orders. Invoices are generated, formatted and delivered fully automatically. Finally, incoming payments are also checked. As a rule, these processes do not take place in one system but in many different ones. Functionalities often have to be added because the core systems do not offer them. Many interfaces and specialized systems form the big picture.

In addition to the order-to-cash process, there are many other use cases that we automate: Settings, exhibitions, transfer of booking files, approval processes, shipment tracking, conversions of outgoing invoice formats, automatic incoming invoice processing and much more. There is hardly a process that cannot be automated - even in the back office.

iPaas and RPA

The best-known approaches to integration and automation are integration-Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). iPaaS is used for APIs (technical interfaces), RPA for the automation of programs with user interfaces. While iPaaS is significantly more reliable and requires less maintenance, RPA can also be used for very old programs without interfaces. iPaaS offers a more elegant way of automating entire processes from start to finish, while RPA is also often used for test automation, as it simulates a human with all their data input and mouse clicks.

It is crucial to apply the right technology to the problem at hand. Otherwise, the maintenance effort is too high and the quality of automation and integration is not good enough.

02 Success factors

In principle, as much as possible should be automated via APIs (interface technologies). RPA should be used when there is no other option. It should also be checked whether direct integration of the systems is possible or whether a dedicated, small microservice is sufficient. This can be significantly cheaper than renting an entire iPaaS or RPA platform.

We not only review and discuss current needs but also try to understand how requirements may change over the next few years. As AI can also be used more and more for automation and integrations, looking to the future should be considered when making decisions. As there are major differences in the costs of iPaaS and RPA, which can be significantly influenced by smart sizing and tough negotiations, any restriction of providers should be avoided. Many roads lead to Rome.

Of course, iPaaS and RPA platforms differ in their capabilities. Many legacy systems with more than 20 years of tradition are being painstakingly and often unhappily trimmed for the cloud age. Even if they were leading the way years ago, they may already have fallen far behind today. We always keep an eye on this and resist the angelic tongues of salespeople.

03 Procedure

Overall process

At the beginning, we ask about the overall process from start to finish: What is to be achieved in terms of content? Which systems in whose sphere of influence are involved? What interfaces do they offer? Where are there currently problems in the process? What data is exchanged? What is the structure of this data? What exceptional circumstances may arise? These and many other points need to be clarified before integration and process automation can take place. We ensure this.

If you fail to take this detailed look at the overall process and its parts, you will have to make up for it during the implementation project. Because without it, error-free implementation is not possible.


Integration means that a system provides data that another system cannot accept unchanged in this form. Data record structures and field contents usually have to be translated. This is called mapping. Here it is important not only to understand the field contents, but also to observe any format restrictions. At the same time, the structure of a data record can vary significantly between the source and target, making a hierarchical transformation necessary.

We take thorough care of understanding your data, document the mapping clearly and comprehensibly and also take care of all content-related coordination with the people involved. The task is tedious but important. Without it, there is no successful project. In the case of RPA, graphical user masks are analyzed instead of technical, text-based interfaces. Interaction with the user masks is important here, especially when it comes to legacy applications such as terminal emulations. We are also competent in this area.

Operation and further development

Once all process steps have been implemented, we turn our attention to operation and further development. Interfaces change, problems arise, new requirements are added. During development, we introduce meaningful logging and monitoring of the automated processes, which can also take place in existing control towers or solutions. This is the basis for error analyses and quantitative evaluations (e.g. power consumption). We can also operate the solution on request. We then take care of all error prevention, elimination and correction.

Finally, we develop further automation solutions on request, train your employees and ensure that process costs are significantly reduced.

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