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HubSpot SAP integration: 5 challenges to watch out for

2 mins read

One huge benefit of HubSpot is its ability to integrate with various popular systems, allowing businesses to pass data from one platform to another seamlessly.

However, it goes without saying that when an integration is executed to a poor standard, serious problems can occur.

In this blog post, we'll focus on HubSpot SAP integrations, discuss the challenges you may experience when merging the two platforms and offer advice on avoiding these complications.


Ready for some expert insight on HubSpot SAP integrations? Join us as we sit down with Avidly's Head of Technical Solutions and HubSpot Certified Trainer Ranya Barakat.


1. HubSpot and SAP work very differently

Firstly, it's about understanding that HubSpot is an object-based model, whereas SAP is API-based.

When it comes to integrations, this can cause issues as it's not as simple as an object-to-object transition.

As we'll touch on a few times throughout this blog post, it's crucial to work closely with your SAP provider. 

The first step of the entire process is to map out all business processes. Initial business process mapping defines what data is needed and if it’s flowing mono-directionally or bi-directionally. 

This is required for the SAP partner to set up and configure the endpoints. They should provide you with these endpoints before your integration so you know the project's end goals.


2. Trying to understand the SAP environment 

If your client uses SAP and you're not working with their SAP partner, having your team understand the client's SAP setup could seriously harm your time-to-value.

Because of the customisation options available inside SAP, understanding how a setup operates without the endpoints can often take longer than the integration or development itself.

Figure out what you'd like to achieve and rely on the expertise of your SAP partner to facilitate a faster setup.


3. Security complications

When handling SAP integrations, you're likely to work with larger companies. This usually brings heightened security measures, making it a little more difficult to find what you need.

With required information like databases, rows and tables stored behind firewalls, accessing the environment can prove extremely challenging without support from your SAP partner.

The challenge often becomes understanding the security controls in place, so you can save time by getting this information from the SAP provider.

There's also the complication of not all SAP environments being cloud-based; when the environment is hosted on-premises, this adds another layer of complexity.


4. Volume of data and API limitations

When integrating SAP with HubSpot you have to consider HubSpot's API limitations. 

Due to SAP being an API-based model and the enormous amount of data your client likely encounters, a strategic approach is advised so you avoid hitting these limits.

Your options are to set up an API add-on for your client and have them batch receive information so you don't reach these limits. If your client does hit them, your information won't sync.


5. Making SAP work across different business units and teams

Many enterprise companies operate across different business units and teams, meaning data will be widely spread across the organisation.

This all has to be considered when building the integration, as you'll want to ensure that the right data syncs to the right business unit.

If this step isn't performed properly, the records won't match and the data won't be passed seamlessly between HubSpot and SAP.

It's crucial to set rules on how data flows between HubSpot and SAP so the right team or business unit receives the right data.


Avoiding HubSpot SAP integration challenges

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to a HubSpot SAP integration, but there are some general rules of thumb to ensure your integration is a success.

A lot of the emphasis pre-integration should be placed on what your client is trying to achieve or a specific problem they're trying to solve. By understanding the value they want HubSpot to deliver, you can work backwards accordingly.

Focus more on the why, along with which areas of the business will feel the most impact. From there, you can figure out the right solution.

Once you've identified what your client wants from a HubSpot SAP integration, you'll want to contact their SAP partner to gather those all-important endpoints.

This step is key to keeping integrations as cost-effective and straightforward as possible. Working closely with whoever has performed the initial SAP setup will keep things as simple as possible for your team.

Before you start syncing any data, you'll also want to perform a deep discovery for data modelling, ensuring everything goes where it needs to. Visualise the flow of data between SAP and HubSpot and map out how the two systems will pass information between one another.

As well as this, you'll need to pay particular attention to the different ways that associations and unique identifiers work between both systems.

It's also vital to put some early measures in place to bypass any firewalls you may encounter. A close working relationship with your client and their SAP partner is crucial to grant you the access you need to avoid any security roadblocks on your integration journey.


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