CRM & Master Data – heading to a marsupialisation of IS-U?

Integration SAP

Despite a general tendency to ‘lean, optimized and efficient’ solutions, the ERP ecosystems are suffering more and more today of what could be called the ‘kangaroo syndrome’. Just like that mammal which has a ‘pocket’ within which it carries the baby after its birth, the IT systems tend to be born more and more in an embryonic state, with a high dependence of other systems from which it takes the food and the stability. This raises some questions. A perfect example of this situation is the ‘graft’ of an external CRM system to a very elaborated SAP module like IS-U.

A CRM system may first seem to be a set of separated functionalities and reserved for the commercials or for back-office teams or even for externalised administrative services. Its natural connection with the operational system would be thus limited to the basic data: goods or services for sale, customers with their address, contact and financial information. Therefore, it would be enough to complete it with some ‘views’ of the operational and financial information to be able to handle flexibly all the interactions with the external world.

 

The end-to-end integration process and structural data consistency are the safeguard of the robustness and sustainability of a solution.

This vision allows one to begin with a minimum of interface links and to make it evolve progressively to more integration through several successive ‘releases’. However, it refrains both fundamentals aspects that underlie the efficiency of modern IT systems: the end-to-end integration process and structural data consistency are the safeguards of the robustness and sustainability of a solution. In an IT world where the ROI becomes a problem due to the speed of evolution of solutions, this integration can make the difference for a project’s profitability.

According to us, the driver of the data transformations, replications (dual data entry, …), should rather be the flow of end-to-end business information, across applications, and driven by a longer term vision. On the other hand, the middleware role should stay focused on the data transmission and keep the functional logic in the backend systems. It seems obvious to us that the key to a successful integration is more the integration of flows, rather than the transformations or the technical mapping of the data.

The preferred approach is the systematic analysis of cross-application flows as a starting point, by anticipating the needs of the future business and, by doing so, integrate it from the beginning in the analysis of future developments. Starting from this business analysis, it becomes possible to elaborate a strong integrated data model. It is on this basis that one can build the technical and functional processes that support the business needs for the longer term.

By its strong specific experience in IS-U with many partnerships in the energy area, TETRADE Consulting focuses on this integrated approach. Especially the IS-U ‘data-model’ is particular and imposes a carefully thought integration, consistent with business processes (technics, logistics, commercials) and the market rules, which we perfectly master.

It is with this vision that our clients can benefit from our expertise and our reflections about the future integrated solutions, in order to see new functionalities evolve witch confidence towards maturity.

For more information about our approach, visit our website or contact us by email: admin@tetrade.be. Also don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to have an independent advice on your solution or your current approach.