They should consider using Shared Services to consolidate all these different systems into one single point of access. This will help with economies of scale and streamline the organization's functions to ensure that they are working off one set of numbers.
Which is why I feel that having standard connectivity that can be easily used is important. While web services connectivity is the buzz on the day, seldom are there common web services available. Typically what you hear is "do you have a web service" that I can consume. I think that also offering connectivity via HTTP/HTTPS, Flat File, SQL, etc. as well as web services allows for a greater reach and flexibility for known connectivity. These connectivity types are more generictoo use. Having a solution that allows for the use of the connectivity types is also important. SAP offers a solution for ERP integration that allows for the above connectivity types to be utilized connecting different systems or same systems with its SAP Business Suite. The job of the actually connectivity, error handling, etc. is handled by the SAP Business One Integration platform, leaving the technical business manager or IT staff to simply build business scenarios for integration using common XML and XSLT. I also do not believe it today’s business world it is enough to simply push data between the systems, but rather harmonize the data within the companies eco-system so that data and processes are in line.
In the hardware world connectivity standards such as USB are designed to exchange data. When ERP vendors try to build standard APIs, they also just exchange data to each other using these APIs. However there is no process context and without that you can fully address the issue.
A recent enterprise software trend has been toward standardizing interfaces while limiting the exposure of functional and data layer components. Thus conceivably, two ERP systems, even ones that originate from different vendors, can communicate through a standard web service format. Getting different vendors to agree on a standard connector format can be as tricky in the software world as it is in the hardware world, but seeing the ubiquity of USB and RJ-45 connectors, it's clear it can be done.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.