ERP Data Integration with B2B

January 18, 2010
By djohnson

A few weeks ago Gartner acquired AMR, and this week Dennis Gaughan replaced Bruce Richardson (who left AMR to join the vendor Infor) with the responsiblity for editing the AMR newsletter.

One thing didn’t change – we still found a few gems in the newsletter. In today’s B2B discussion, Dennis points out the need for integration across single companies which behave as if they are different enterprises.

There are strong links between the core ERP system and the B2B infrastructure. Our recent survey on B2B shows that one-third of the data in a company’s ERP system comes from external sources. Results also show that B2B integration issues frequently cause delays in ERP upgrade or migration projects. There’s strong evidence of this link with our customers, many of which are consolidating or upgrading their B2B infrastructures as part of an ERP project.

The article continues to describe how Oracle and SAP are salivating as this represents an opportunity to involve more business systems into the core company ERP solution. This will create a single integrated system for complete supply chain integration.

What is the SaaS and Cloud opportunity?

When you hear “integration of systems across business units, geographies, and external vendors” you should think cloud. The cloud (internal and external) is designed to provide ease of access across multiple locations while working and scaling efficiently.

Benefits of cloud architectures include less bandwidth, fewer server resources, access from anywhere, browser based access, simplified integration, simplified maintenance, easier to manage upgrades, and more to deliver easier to manage global operations. Note that many of these benefits are the result of web based designs which are often the core of cloud architectures.

Are there any concerns?

Pick your cloud/SaaS solution carefully to ensure that integration with other systems is possible. Highly customizable SaaS solutions are those which work with common development environments and provide complete APIs and SDKs which can be utilized by VARs and customers. Many SaaS vendors have proprietary platforms which require specialized programming skills.

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