ERP Integration Best Practices

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ERP as a system is used to automate business processes to increase efficiency and visibility. However, ERP integration with other enterprise system has been a major struggle in companies.

Integrating isolated applications and providing a united application architecture is the key to implement ERP integration. Questudio analyses customer environments and requirements, and proposes multiple options. Questudio’s integration services bring in extensive experience along with tool-kits to bear in all the integration projects dealings.

ERP integration plays a vital role for managing eCommerce websites. ERP integration forms a prerequisite for Product Information Management which in turn enables B2B eCommerce websites.

Some of the best practices that can be followed while carrying out ERP integration are:

Real-time Integration

Traditionally ERP business process integrations have been file based or batch processes which work well with transactions that were primarily inbound integrations. Today, ERP systems form the key data source of business information with large inbound as well as outbound transaction integrations. So it is worthwhile to implement ERP integrations that can interact with other real-time information enterprise systems like web portals and mobile devices.

Support Multiple ERP

Initially organizations start out by installing modules from the same ERP vendor. As they expand, they tend to purchase modules from different vendors. Often this requires changes to existing integrations to support new applications and additional data formats. Thus supporting multiple vendor modules right in the beginning with loosely-coupled integrations will make it easier to implement successful integrations.

Integration Shift

With a technology evolving so fast, it becomes vital for organizations to be prepared. Today, ERP integrations call for integration of their ERP to the data center’s internal systems and to external systems such as cloud-based applications and mobile applications. Thus an integration approach that can include newer and still evolving protocols is required.

Requirement Gathering

As rudimentary as it may sound, it is always better to understand one’s ERP systems and their integration purposes before starting the integration process. It is worthwhile to consider the factors of source and target of the data that is going to be travelling. The direction in which the data is to flow, either one way or bi-directional is another consideration. The frequency of the run is also important to decide if the run must be hourly, nightly, on-demand or real-time etc. Key fields in terms of the primary keys and cross reference points is yet another deciding factor.

ERP Integration Approach

Though there are multiple approaches of ERP implementation, the latest in the field is the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) approach. Other approaches being point-to-point and custom adapters, which prove to be more complex and burdensome for organizations and incur large maintenance cost respectively.

ESB operates as a middle abstraction layer, thus reduces dependency by decoupling the ERP system from other applications. ESB also supports a wide range of data formats including web-based protocols and excels in companies that require real-time transitions.

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