Often huge ERP systems don’t meet business needs because they are too compound and require too much customization. As a result of having multiple systems, most organizations operate in a “hybrid reality”.
Many companies choose to implement specialized packages for their industry or their region. In a post-acquisition environment often the parent company’s ERP system isn’t the best-fit for the subsidiaries. For example, a large oil and gas distribution company in Texas uses a co-existence strategy whereby production processes are fully integrated into the SAP system at headquarters and multiple JD Edwards ERP implementations at its subsidiaries. Moreover, while many companies are enticed by cloud-based systems, some are trying them on a smaller scale before moving to their entire business.
Organizations need to be prepared with an integration strategy that looks at integration points across ERP, CRM, Warehouse Management, PLM and cloud environments. The goal is to be able to change processes quickly and economically while maintaining systems integrity, governance, and compliance; in short to arrive at an ERP solution that is well sized across the project with seamless business processes between divisions.
An integration platform can be the glue that holds applications together and the plumbing that facilitates the free flow of data. For example, middleware can enable data from a Salesforce CRM system to be translated into a format that an Oracle ERP system can use. However, enabling the exchange of data between systems is not enough. In order to make post-modern ERP solutions efficient and effective, middleware platforms need to have the following capabilities built-in:
ERP project size and complexity will always create a risk of increasing project cost overruns and less than optimal results. Having a flexible, scalable, robust combination platform that can work as the engine for right sized ERP can present the needed spring and functionality that can increase the chances for success.