TMCnet Feature
July 29, 2020

WHY COMPANIES NEED TO INTEGRATE ERP & BIG DATA



ERP has been at the heart of most enterprises today. Businesses are operating in an ecosystem deluged with data that holds critical insights that can transform a company’s future.

But here lies the rub. Did you know that even with an ERP in place, most businesses cannot maximize their investments? A study conducted by Information week reports that of the data that companies collect, only 12% are analyzed, and a staggering 88% are left out. In another study, the McKinsey Report also states that three out of ten companies pricing decisions fail because the data companies gathered from ERP systems are left to rot -- not interpreted and acted upon.



Such research results only show that companies are losing out on a chunk of critical and valuable business insights but could also be making the wrong decisions. Because of the sophisticated nature of businesses, it is not easy to manage the information collected by ERP systems. Then, there are also challenges in data manipulation. Being able to interpret data is turnkey to changing the course of how companies perform, which can transform their operations to gain profitability. Businesses need some integration mechanism to bring forth analytics intelligence into the picture. They need to converge technology advancements to harmonize information streams that would propel real-time inputs, efficient operations, higher productivity, and smart business decision-making.

What they need is integration between ERP and big data.

ERP systems help companies deal with an insurmountable amount of data, but what big data analysis can elevate you further by allowing you to forecast the future. Big data tools are designed to distinguish data sources and allow manipulation, making it easier for users to understand information by converting them into user-friendly formats. Such integration can offer massive benefits such as:

Management of structured and unstructured data

Data is complex, and being able to manage such an onslaught of different data sourced from multiple platforms such as social networking sites and other communication in between servers and machines is key to interpreting them.

Faster Information Delivery and 

Speed is one of the most significant advantages of integrating ERP and big data. The integration allows the creation of node-level transparencies that would enable managers to leverage ERP and big data capabilities quickly. Such enhance information density, deriving sharp and valuable insights to allow faster and more precise business decision making. With information delivered at speed, managers can decide on how to manage pitfalls and opportunities properly. And since they have more time on their hands, they can explore more profitable opportunities, spend more time on new marketing and sales ventures, and hire new talents to join their existing pool.

Improved Project Management

ERP information aggregation allows for better scheduling and management of projects. Information is readily available and delivered immediately across multiple platforms, whether mobile or on-premise or online. Data points can be accessed simultaneously and in real-time. Because of this, employees can do more in less time without compromising quality and other parameters, creating better project management efficiencies.

Streamlined Supply Chain Management

The integration of ERP and big data offers businesses a complete view of the company’s assets and processes. Such enables better decision making, to meet evolving business demands.

Accurate Sales Forecasts and Reporting

Being able to read and interpret sales trends and historical patterns are vital inputs to forecasting and decision making. Imagine a blind man driving a car, what can you expect? With big data ERP, companies benefit from sharp insights and forecasts extracted from diverse channels and platforms, empowering managers to act on pending data and promoting faster turnaround times.

Now that we appreciate the interpretation and utilization of data, companies can go to greater heights. The question is, how and what integration types should you choose?

The best ERP system integration type fits your specific business, considering systems you are currently using, budget, and whether you prefer an on-premise, cloud, or a hybrid implementation.

Point to Point

This type of integration is when you want the ERP software to connect to each interface or software individually. The challenge is that it is quite tedious and complicated since you need to separately integrate each system you’ll be using, which poses a concern when it’s time to scale further. But while it is quite arduous to implement, come companies prefer this over other options since there is a low barrier to entry.

Custom Applications

Some companies are lucky enough to find IT people who can develop their customized business tools from the ground up. They often start with data transfers and move towards adding more tasks and workflows into the mix. Similar to Point-to-point applications, they require specialized skills and an in-depth understanding of the current system, which brings us to the conclusion that it’s not for everyone.

Enterprise Service Bus or ESB

Compared to the point-to-point and the Customized integration processes, the ESB is a straightforward and straightforward process. Applications connect to a “communication bus” that serves as a centralized tool, facilitating and managing all communication. The good thing about choosing this integration option is that applications need not be modified when another component or app is added. It can read and recognize each app and centralizes the communications.

Another thing you also need to consider is the upkeep of the implementation in case you move to a new business model, expand or add further applications. It would be best to take into consideration the associated costs, downtime, complexity, training investments, customization factors, and scalability of the integration model you want to choose.

As technology and customers evolve, so does ERP systems integration. We all know that ERP has become the backbone of many businesses but being able to utilize its maximum potential with Big Data integration. Before selecting an ERP system, make sure that you know your long-term roadmap so that you can choose one that would work best for your company’s budget, capability and future applications.

Author:

Henry Chen, business development manager at Syncoria, a Canadian based business specialized in digital transformation solution. We have been providing digital business solutions to our customers for more than 16 years. 



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