Enterprise Resource Planning System Integration

systems would have a severe impact on the day-to-day activities of business.

Disparate Legacy Systems

According to Dash, National Sales Head (India) of Ramco ERP solutions, disparate legacy systems are systems that perform data processing as usually individual systems without having any interaction or data exchange with other similar systems. Hence each system will have a separate unique database. These systems are not integrated. Therefore there is always inconsistency in data entry like integrity issues and duplication of data.

Importance of Integration

In order to remain competitive and sustain development, an integrated enterprise system is a necessity for fast growing organizations. Insufficient information availability will lead to loss of time, money and energy resulting in poor decision making. Improving the visibility and maximizing the quality of information are the key notions for top management for improving their business.

Most of the business executives admit that integrating key functions and processes is the key for maximizing profits. The returns of an actively pursued integrated business strategy can be significant and failure to do so would be catastrophic. As the business develops, the legacy systems do not extemporize along with the growth of the company. Consequently, they would become obsolete leading to performance and stability issues. Hence it is better to migrate to an integrated ERP system as earlier as possible.

Issues Due to Lack of Integration

There are several issues that an organization would face because of lack of integration among the services and applications they use. Some of them are discussed as follows:

· The non-integrated applications using different languages and technologies, residing on different platforms result in isolated functionality and multiple instances of the same data.

· Lack of application integration leads to redundant activities, inefficient response to customers and greater cost expenditures.

· Non-integrated legacy systems usually run on obsolete hardware systems which are slow and expensive to maintain.

· Documentation and understanding of legacy system details are often absent and tracing faults would lead to time consumption and needless expense.

· Difficultness in extending and lack of clean interfaces in legacy systems make it tough to integrate with other systems.

ERP Systems on Integration Issues

ERP systems are built on a single comprehensive database in order to share data across the whole enterprise. ERP system integration inside the organization can be assumed to be complete and comprehensive. Also, integration with outside world is pretty much straight forward nowadays with the help of web-based technologies like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Service-oriented architecture (SoA), Application Programming Interface (API), Blackberry server etc.

Integrity: Doing the Right Thing Matters!

Lewis says, “Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching”. An analogous quote by Oprah Winfrey states, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” In other words, the way I see it – integrity is where our beliefs, words and actions intersect. It is not something that can be faked or disingenuously exhibited in pursuit of accolades or praise from others.

The most succinct way I can describe integrity is that it is equivalent to breathing life into our morals and values. What I know for sure is the act of exemplifying integrity in our lives on a daily basis is a choice. I often say, the choices people make, good or bad, can impact the entire trajectory of their life. Having integrity does not mean a person is perfect by any means. It just shows that some people are more conscientious in making morally sound decisions than others. How wonderful it would be if more people would exercise more selfless choices.

Doing the Right Thing

Over the majority of my career, I have worked in two areas that have the greatest influence on the success or failure of a business, i.e., financial and human resources. Consequently, during my tenure, I have arbitrated numerous cases in which integrity had come into question. While presiding over each case, I always kept the words of wisdom at the forefront of my mind which an esteemed colleague said to me years ago while teaching a workshop on the principles of ethics and integrity. He said, “When it comes to integrity in the workplace, there is no such thing as a bad person. There are only good people who are put in bad situations”.

Depending on your belief system, I guess there could be some truth in that statement. However, I would be hard pressed to agree with this sentiment in its entirety given my belief system about integrity which is, ‘doing the right thing even when no one is watching’. In this statement, there is no judgment of good or bad about the individual. I simply believe a person of integrity who is put in a bad situation will in all likelihood choose to do the right thing. Of course, having integrity does not mean there is no room for error or that a person of integrity is always picture-perfect in every word, thought or deed. However, whether it is at work or play, a person of integrity will most certainly hold true to this value regardless of the situation.

In my profession, my goal is to always be very intentional in leading others by example. When training my staff, I teach them to take pride in their work and to execute their duties as if their every move and decision is subject to audit. This strategy is not intended to intimidate. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that an effective leader leads through motivation, not through intimidation. So, as a leader, I utilize my experience and values to motivate others to do the right thing at all times even if no one is watching. This goes a long way in your career as well as your personal life.

Integrated Systems Vs Separate Systems

For example, a business owner signs up with SalesForce, a popular CRM, and then signs up for Freshbooks, a popular accounting software for small businesses. Signing up for both of these systems takes very little time and effort. (Of course, signing up for an integrated solution takes the same amount of time.)

The business owner will also take about the same amount of time and effort to load data into the separate CRM and the accounting software as he or she will take loading the information into the integrated software. (Although, some time and effort is saved with the integrate systems, since accounts and contacts need only be loaded once, compared to twice with the separate systems.)

But, when the business owner tries to connect information from the CRM to the accounting software, he or she is limited in option and must use a workaround. He or she could either a)install a third party integration software, increasing the chance of a system breakdown, b)hire someone to code a new integration method, increasing the cost and effort required to implement the whole system, or c) just deal with the separate system ad hoc, which ads complexity for the entire time the business owner continues to use separate systems.

On the other hand, an integrated solution is just as easy to sign up for, easier to enter information in (since you are not entering information twice), and far easier to connect information, since the system is already designed with all the data connected.

Therefore, considering the Ease of Implementation for the total business solution, an integrated system is easy to implement than disconnected solution.

Ease of Use (Winner: Integrated)

We have found that integrated systems are, in general, easier to use than a network of disconnected business systems.

Every business system, integrated or not, has different levels of usability. It is not the scope of this report to compare all these systems. Rather, we’ve found that as a whole, integrated systems are easier to use because of their integration-a key requirement for business management systems.

A business owner must be able to connect documents with customers, costs with service requests, and staff with projects, just to name a few. Using one system for project management and another for accounting and another for customer relationship management (CRM) compounds the difficulty of using the total business system for the user. The user is forced to integrate outside of the system. Once this step is taken, the integration is temporary and unusable by others. In other words, every time the integration must occur in a disconnected system, it must be integrated again by each user at that moment. The integration doesn’t last and it doesn’t transfer.

What Drives Client Loyalty in ERP Systems Integration Projects?

The Selection Process

Short-listing and selecting an ERP systems integrator can be a long, arduous process, and oftentimes the client keeps their fingers crossed that they’ve made the right decision. The goal, of course, is to identify the best integrator for the project. Because having ERP means upgrades, enhancements, etc., the ideal scenario is for a client to develop a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with their systems integrator.

From the client perspective, they want their systems integrator to…

Deliver what they say they can deliver
Complete the delivery on time (or within a reasonable window)
Bring measurable long-term benefits

From the systems integrator perspective, they want their clients to…

Keep coming back for future projects
Be a reference when selling to other clients

In summary, clients want an ERP systems integrator to execute well so their company can meet their business goals, and the systems integrators want their clients to be satisfied to drive more business in the future. This research reveals that there is a strong relationship between how a systems integrator performs and client loyalty.

Client Loyalty

Because of the size and complexity of ERP systems integration projects, the reasons for retaining a systems integrator for future projects (or not) can extend beyond effective delivery. Therefore, this research includes two different measures of client loyalty – one at the company level and another at the individual level.

Starting The Perfect Home Based Business

At the point of desperation people choose counter-productive measures as a solution to their financial woes. These include taking out high interest personal loans, working a second or third job, selling their valuables, or being forced downsize their lifestyle. Can you see a benefit in any of these options? Do they bring you closer or distance you from your family?

If working second jobs, taking out high interest personal loans, or giving up the things cherished the most in life, aren’t options, what options exist? While most conventionally thinking people resort to the above solutions, many others choose to become successful entrepreneurs by starting some type of part-time business from home. Unfortunately, many people lack the necessary motivation and could care less about success for themselves or their families and that’s o.k. This clears the playing field for others who keep our options open to income opportunities.

While starting a part-time home business has many benefits, you probably wouldn’t even know where or how to begin. The possibilities are endless and this, in itself, can be overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths and relax because I’m going to share with you a simple business model that was specifically designed for people like you and me to be able to simply and efficiently generate a positive cash flow. This business model is called network-marketing (person-to-person) and has been adopted by many reputable companies and is the primary method to promote their products or services, instead of investing in expensive media advertisements. While companies save money on advertising, they are able to pay their representatives high commissions, bonuses, and incredible streams of residual incomes.

Network Marketing Vs.Traditional Home Business

The Network Marketing (Multi-Level Marketing) industry is over 50 years old and has created more millionaires out of average people than any other industry. An increasing number of people are choosing network marketing instead of traditional home businesses for many reasons; monthly residual income, multi-level payment structures, company bonuses/incentives, no stocking products, no invoicing, no shipping, no taking payments, no handling returns, no building websites, or even providing customer service. The network marketing company handles all of the main responsibilities. Your responsibility is simply recommending the product/service to others and showing others how to do the same thing.

Scams, Schemes, and Pyramids

Sadly there are many scams and schemes that empty the pockets of innocent people just looking for a way to make money fast. You can truly judge the validity of a business or opportunity by being aware of RED FLAGS. One obvious and very prevalent red flag is when the opportunity boasts that you can get rich overnight. An example of this is when they advertise that you can make a ludicrous amount of money in a day or a week.

The other type of scam that many desperate people fell into many years ago was the pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme, the only people who made money were the people at the top of the pyramid. People were literally passing their cash up the pyramid and the unfortunate people on the bottom lost their all their money. Pyramid Schemes are illegal and a common RED FLAG to look out for is if an opportunity has no product and requires a person to pay a lot of money to get involved.