The importance of Integration for your Company

Some businesses anticipate that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution is the only business management software they need to streamline and run their business smoothly, but in reality that’s not the case. Every business and industry has its own unique set of requirements so ERPs are designed to provide the robust foundation of a business management solution, while allowing businesses to hand pick the precise complementary software they need to add to make to their solution ideally suited to their specific needs. So, what happens if your ERP can’t integrate with the complementary solutions you need?

Role of Integration

Envision your business software like a set of Lego. Your ERP forms the foundation for your building blocks and each piece of Lego is a complementary solution that you can use to construct the exact software and set of features you need to meet your business requirements. Without the right foundation and Lego pieces, the finished product will never meet your expectations.

Different ERP’s don’t all integrate with the same complementary solutions. Each ERP has a suite of its own complementary solutions that offer the most commonly required features (such as Human Resources, Payroll or Inventory Management). Outside of that, there are third party solutions that ERPs can integrate with for more unique business needs, often industry related. For this reason, it is essential that businesses determine what they will need, and how they are going to use their solution before deciding which ERP to implement. Without planning ahead, businesses might discover too late that they require a specific feature through a complementary solution that doesn’t integrate with their ERP.

How Cloud comes into play for integration

In the past, on-premise ERP solutions without cloud capabilities were the norm, however in recent years business management has transitioned heavily into cloud. Advanced solution suites such as that offered by Sage, can integrate with both on-premise and cloud ERP solutions. For example, regardless of whether your Sage X3 is hosted on-premise on in the cloud, you can still utilize Sage’s product suite, including complementary solutions such as Sage Intelligence or Sage HRMS (Human Resource Management System).

However, many new complementary solutions are beginning to be built exclusively for the cloud, particularly those offered by third parties that are not ERP providers. This can pose a large problem for businesses that do not have a cloud ERP because they can’t gain access to new and advancing technology that could potentially improve their business processes. The result? Businesses can end up trapped in the past, using dated solutions that are actively hindering their ability to grow and thrive.

For those businesses that do incorporate cloud into their ERP solution, cloud gives them the opportunity to implement complementary solutions with greater ease, speed and more often than not lower cost to integrate initially and maintain down the line.

Using Complementary Solutions without Integrating

When a complementary solution can’t integrate with their ERP, some businesses still decide to run the software separate from there ERP. In many cases this isn’t even an option, but when it is and businesses go this route, it generally results in having to manually transfer over information which has obvious issues such as:

– Increasing the workload for employees
– Increasing the amount of manual work & processes involved in daily tasks
– Increasing the opportunity for error
– Decreasing the reliability of data

What Integration means for your Business

Choosing an ERP that can grow and expand as the needs of your business change is essential for the success of your business in the long run and having an ERP that can integrate with the solutions you need both now and in the future is crucial. If your ERP can’t integrate with new and advanced technology it means that you’re confining the success of your business to a tiny box. You will run the risk of missing out on huge business opportunities, and the chance to make your ERP as robust and efficient as it can be.