Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Its S.A.P. and not Sap~~

Hi again everyone!

As I know everyone is soooo eager to know how instructive this morning could be to me, I thought it would be nice to share all this flow of knowledge that we have the chance to experience.

Well, before writing this comment, I ended up on two websites: SAP's website and OFBiz's one. I wanted to get a quick overview of the spirit of these two.

It appears that SAP's website clearly shows the way on the very home page and once you land there, you can choose either to be a:
and this is how you define your research for business solutions!
This illustrates on the lesson we should get from this class: any system has to suit to the specifities of the business.

As I entered the website of OFBiz (Open For Business), the first thing I wanted to do was download the software, its free after all!!
But not as easy as downloading Open Office, I encountered weird things such as "building from SVN " or "you will need to have a Java 1.5 series J2SDK" or "J2EE Containers" etc... All of these did sap my moral... So I just gave up, wandering on their website.

I have the feeling that OpenSource is really made for Geeks, I feel so excluded from this world. Maybe it just requires time to get into it.
However, it was kind of interesting to realise that the company 1800 flowers (http://ww12.1800flowers.com/) is currently using OFBiz. So if they can do it, I bet we could! This means they gather all the information: Customer database, addresses, tastes, names, etc... but also all the flower types, the stocks, the conservation period before the flowers fade, etc etc...

Now the next step is to be able to identify which software will therefore suit the company's structure. That seems to be a tough job.

As we saw today, they are other crucial choices such as:
-choosing the pace of implementation:
either everything in one shot (Big Bang)
-or a phased implementation.

Then, there should be no barriers whatsoever between departments during the ERP system design or re-design: everything is interrelated and we need a strong communication so as to avoid one's actions to disturb the equilibrium with others.

I hope we can get a clearer image of these interdependencies during the lab-session.
Also some concrete examples of bolt-ons would be nice, so as to really get what are these kind of external tools you can add on your system.

As a final advice I would highlight for this comment, I'd like to recall the huge importance(!!) of INCLUDING YOUR MANAGER in the design of the processes!!!
Otherwise, there will be no strategic use out of this new tool, and it may not even be able to operate properly! ==> If you miss the implementation, you may get into such a mess and sap the company's confidence in ERP system.

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