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Connecting up your ERP to the outside world

Business imperative or really stupid idea?

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Workshop Poll In this week's ERP workshop poll, we are looking at the practicalities of integrating with or providing access to the outside world - suppliers, distributors, resellers, customers and so on. If you have experience of ERP from this perspective, get clicking below with your feedback.

READER POLL:

1. Which of the following groups do you integrate with via your ERP system(s) and what stage are you at with your integration? (Please answer for each of the methods listed below)

  Comprehensive integration in place Partial integration or work in progress On the agenda No plans N/A
System to system communication
(ie their systems talking directly to your systems)
 
Strategic/high volume suppliers
Ad hoc/lower volume suppliers
Strategic/high value direct B2B customers
Ad hoc/lower value direct B2B customers
Strategic/high volume distributors/resellers
Ad hoc/lower volume distributors/resellers
Other trading partners
Consumers
Other (please state)
Portal Access (ie external users log in through a web page)  
Strategic/high volume suppliers
Ad hoc/lower volume suppliers
Strategic/high value direct B2B customers
Ad hoc/lower value direct B2B customers
Strategic/high volume distributors/resellers
Ad hoc/lower volume distributors/resellers
Other trading partners
Consumers
Other (please state)

2. For each of the following groups who is the driving force behind the integration or access?

  Predominantly us Predominantly them Mutual imperative No real need N/A
Strategic/high volume suppliers
Ad hoc/lower volume suppliers
Strategic/high value direct B2B customers
Ad hoc/lower value direct B2B customers
Strategic/high volume distributors/resellers
Ad hoc/lower volume distributors/resellers
Other trading partners
Consumers
Other (please state)

3. How much of a challenge have the following been or would you anticipate them to be when providing integration with or access to external audiences via your ERP system(s)? (1-5 scale, where 5 = Very challenging, 1 = Not at all challenging)

  Very challenging   Not at all challenging  
  5 4 3 2 1 N/A
Cost/overhead of development/integration work
Security/identity management
Data protection/privacy
Willingness of other parties to put in the effort
Trust issues on the part of your organisation
Trust issues on the part of other parties
Agreeing interchange standards, formats, etc
Document/data mapping between various sources
Assuring quality of data originating from your organisation
Assuring quality of data originating from other parties
Network/comms constraints (eg bandwidth, QoS)
Architectural constraints (performance, availability)
Disaster recovery arrangements between parties
Working across multiple ERP instances
International issues (time zones, multi-lingual support etc)
Ongoing programme monitoring/management
Other (please state)

4. Do you have any warnings or must-do tips and tricks to help avoid the above traps in this area?

 

BEFORE YOU GO

5. Approximately how large is your organisation (worldwide) in terms of employees?

Less than 10 employees
10 to 50 employees
50 to 250 employees
250 to 1,000 employees
1,000 to 5,000 employees
5,000 to 10,000 employees
Over 10,000 employees

6. Which of the following best describes your organisation?

Energy & Utilities
Financial Services
Healthcare
Hi-Tech
Manufacturing
Oil & Gas
Pharmaceuticals
Central/Local Government
Retail & wholesale
Professional services
Telecommunications
Travel & Transportation
Other (please specify)

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