The perfect match – EPO-Connector & ecosio API
ecosio uses the EPO Connector to enable EDI for SAP ERP (SAP certified)
The Viennese consulting company EPO Consulting GmbH (founded 2003) offers SAP software solutions (SAP interfaces, SAP add-ons, and SAP mobility). EPO Consulting primarily supports clients with process optimization using proprietary software. The EPO Connector enables the integration of SAP in non-SAP systems – without middleware directly from SAP ABAP. Mobile solutions for SAP can also be efficiently connected using the EPO Connector, which has been SAP certified since 2005.
ecosio API is ecosio’s leading EDI innovation, allowing to connect ERP systems via direct integration, a single standardised transmission channel, and a unified document format. In order to integrate the ecosio API functionality in an ERP system, ecosio provides a modern REST-API. ecosio API’s complete scope of functionality can be seamlessly integrated in the ERP system’s user interface, making it 100% EDI ready. The EPO Connector brings the full set of ecosio API features to SAP ERP.
A win-win partnership
EPO Consulting’s EPO Connector for generic data exchange from SAP has been around for years – it’s SAP certified. Increasingly, clients with SAP ERP have been looking for an integrated EDI solution – and that’s where ecosio came in. “We used to get requests for EDI from companies and partners, but we were unable to deliver. Other EDI providers saw us as competition or offered similar products to ours, so we didn’t have the opportunity for partnership before we met ecosio. They quickly recognized this as a win-win situation,” Werner Kroiss, Managing Director, EPO Consulting.
EPO and ecosio met at the Chamber of Commerce’s AUSTRIAPRO association, where electronic invoicing is discussed. Thanks to a pilot client who needed EDI, the EPO Connector was tethered to the ecosio API, including integration of the complete monitoring functionality in the EPO Connector. After the test phase and going live with the pilot client, the EPO Connector became a unique, highly specialized product which is now in service around the clock with numerous clients.
An interface that significantly improves communication
From the beginning, SAP SE used IDocs (Intermediate Documents) as the data exchange format in its ERP software. IDoc is a proprietary format of SAP. This was important from an economic standpoint, but market acceptance was reluctant: a good deal of technical coordination was required, and communication transferred from specialist departments to IT specialists, resulting in numerous problems. Communication in specialist departments had to be monitored by the IT department, with errors corrected in a cumbersome manner. Many questions of responsibility resulted: was this truly a technical error, or perhaps an error incurred by the specialist department? Who was responsible in company A, and with whom should they speak in company B – the IT department or the purchaser?
EDI functionality made possible by integrating ecosio API in SAP
In partnership with ecosio, EPO Consulting’s EPO Connector was connected with the ecosio API and the ecosio Integration Hub, making it possible to send and receive messages directly from SAP ERP. At the receiving end, regular requests can be made to check if new messages have arrived (PULL principle). Alternatively, new messages can be pro-actively transferred from the ecosio Integration Hub to the recipient (PUSH principle). Additionally, complete message monitoring is integrated in SAP ERP through the EPO Connector, so that pertinent information can be retrieved directly from SAP’s ERP program – making a login into an additional EDI monitor unnecessary.
A well-known problem with SAP’s IDocs is, that they cannot be imported to SAP if there is even the smallest error or defect in the document – an unknown article number, for example. The integrated EPO IDoc editor now makes it possible to display faulty IDocs and easily edit them so that they can be imported in SAP – even without help from the IT department.
Satisfied clients – successful partnership
EPO Consulting was extremely satisfied with the cooperation. Complete integration in the SAP user interface means more efficient processes and increased user satisfaction due to quicker processing and decreased error rate. On the client side, relationships with partners have significantly improved. Data is more quickly available for employees, leading to considerable time savings.
Communication between ecosio and EPO consulting was smooth, technically precise, and competent. Companies that manage their processes with SAP now have access to an EDI interface that makes electronic data exchange easy. “We worked together as equal partners – and that’s reflected in the quality of our product,” Christoph Ebm, Managing Director, ecosio GmbH.