Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lessons Learned - Wed1

An ERP system simply is a giant computer program that integrates multiple traditional programs before used by many companies. It is sold as a bundled program system by various companies such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, Baan, J.D. Edwards, and SAP. There also are open source versions of the program.

The type of ERP system defines unique attributes to the program. For example when an SAP P/3 can require many management decisions be taken prior to implementation and require further customization of the system according to the company structure, an in-house programming team may be able to write a more easy-to-implement version of ERP for certain companies. Besides, customizations on these programs may have to be remade when a software upgrade is to be made, as the upgrade will erase or disregard the customizations made before.

Open source systems are easier to understand and customize, but the costs of acquiring a programming team for their implementation may go beyond expectations. Open source systems may not be the highest quality either. Noone is earning money off them after all.

Since ERP systems are giant programs, they require the installation of a considerably large hardware system. In addition to the computers in offices and at facilities, a number of servers are needed. The example given by Mr.Kumar for Siebel was as follows:

Web server --- Enterprise server --- Database server --- File system server

Where the enterprise server is actually a gateway server that allocates data flow to and from a number of Siebel servers that do the processing.

A query is made from the Siebel client, which goes to the webserver, and then to the enterprise server. Data is collected from the database server and the employee files are collected from the file server. Then they are processed by the siebel servers according to the incoming flow of information.

Siebel has various clients such as the webclient (internet explorer!:)), handheld client, mobile webclient, etc. In short, Siebel simply made a client version for each type of hardware (PDA, laptop, PC) for users, and one mobile and one fixed client for programmers.

Building the ERP case

The advantage of using ERP is basically integration between traditionally disparate departments of an enterprise. Such integration reduces paperwork and simplifies procedures for management, in return resulting in better management of and communication within an enterprise.

The risks are mainly lack of know-how or scale to implement an ERP system. It is a costly system, and if not implemented correctly: garbage in, garbage out. Besides SMEs may not have the scale to benefit from many functions of an ERP, and therefore the benefits may be less than costs.

Elevator Speech
Short speech you make to introduce a concept to someone, usually the manager/CEO. It is intended to convey the whole idea in a few seconds/minute. Advantage: informal speech, nothing written, face-to-face. Disadvantage: short, lack of detail. Making good elevator speeches is important in business! You may not ever get the chance of talking to the CEO or having an appointment with the CEO. Once you see him/her you have to take your chance and use time wisely. be edited.

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