Oxygen has completed the first full-scale implementation in Australasia of SAP’s new XI (exchange infrastructure) software which will integrate SCA Hygiene Australasia’s SAP system with 20 non-SAP applications run by the company and its suppliers.
SCA Hygiene Australasia manufactures and markets a number of leading household hygiene brands, including Sorbent, Purex, Handee, Deeko, Hygenex, Treasures, Libra, TENA and Orchid. Operating across New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, it is part of SCA, a US$12 billion (NZ$17.6 million) international paper company producing absorbent hygiene products, packaging solutions and publication papers.
SCA has used the features of XI — a product suite already covered by its SAP licence agreement — to avoid having to establish a new integration platform to support upgrading and transfer of existing webMethods interfaces. This would have involved investments in infrastructure, licence fees and on-going maintenance, as well as project costs to complete the upgrade and test it. The net savings to the business through the XI implementation are in excess of $200,000 per annum.
Oxygen’s general manager business optimisation, Brian Pereira, says the implementation is highly relevant to SAP customers because it demonstrates an important step forward in SAP’s ability to integrate SAP applications with non-SAP applications.
“The SCA HA implementation shows that SAP now has an effective and cost-effective solution to the challenge of integrating non-SAP applications without performance and security compromises,” Pereira says.
“This capability is absolutely critical when creating an extended supply chain embracing suppliers and customers, many of whom may not be SAP users.”
Part of the SAP NetWeaver platform, XI is the first toolkit for integrating SAP with non-SAP applications which is not bolted on to the outside of SAP but integrated with SAP’s communication and operating layers.
Oxygen’s project at SCA HA — largely completed before XI became available for general purchase — used every tool in the SAP XI toolkit, giving Oxygen valuable intellectual property across the complete range of XI functionality, Pereira says.
Gerard Guinane, IT director at SCA HA, says seamless integration with non-SAP applications was critical to achieving full supply chain visibility.
“At SCA, everything either starts or finishes with SAP. The success of our supply chain is dependent on all the systems and processes that integrate with our SAP solution. As we strive to improve our customer delivery performance any weak link can significantly disrupt the entire supply chain,” he says.
The interfaces between SCA HA and its suppliers are concentrated in the areas of sales-related information, warehousing and distribution systems.
SCA HA receives electronic purchase orders from key customers. Each customer independently selects and runs its own applications, so SCA HA has to integrate its SAP systems with a multitude of external applications. Particularly important here is integration with third-party warehouses which also store and distribute products for other manufacturers. SCA HA must integrate with these third-party warehouse management systems in real time.
SCA HA expects to add further points of integration with its suppliers as outsourced services, such as the transport of materials by third-party suppliers, become more sophisticated.