By ProProcure Uncategorised 24th October 2018
What is system integration?
As digitisation and technological advances continue to shape our experiences in the world, businesses everywhere are beginning to realise the importance of system integration. But what exactly is this, and how can it lead to enhanced performance?
Like it sounds, system integration brings digital systems across an operation together to form an interconnected whole. Such B2B systems might include customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems (WMS), third party logistics (3PL), and procure-to-pay (P2P). The theory being that the more an enterprise and its suppliers can integrate different systems, the more efficient their trading relationship becomes. They’re able to seamlessly exchange information, and in turn, reduce the costs of ineffective business collaboration.
Why is it so important?
Unifying different software solutions to successfully function as a whole is fast becoming the key to improved efficiency, performance and competitiveness.
As innovation drives the digitisation of ever more business processes, enterprises are finding themselves in a position of having multiple IT systems to take care of different tasks: a CRM tool, a finance system, enquiries and invoicing systems and a sales order system.
So as businesses move towards greater efficiency – often within global supply chains – it’s important for these systems to all integrate with one another. With integration also comes the benefit of having just one master system of records to update, which can also manage the updates of each connected system. From an operational perspective this is a great plus point – but how else can integration help?
Reconciliation is made easier thanks to electronic data – the ability to exchange business information (such as enquiries, requisitions and POs) via the cloud. Between enterprise and supplier each process is completely automated; improving process, reducing resource requirements and eliminating user error.
Finally, when a business integrates its existing platforms it can also improve the return on investment (ROI) by enhancing the capabilities of each system. Value can be added to a system when new functionalities are created as a result of different systems becoming connected.
In short, businesses are realising the need to implement a system integration strategy – but first they need to choose a type of integration. Different approaches to system integration will depend on factors such as budget, resource availability and the existing IT landscape (i.e. cloud, on-site or hybrid).
One option for integration is XML (or specifically for commerce, cXML), a mark-up language like html that’s tailored to eCommerce. An XML integration is a connector between an enterprise and its suppliers that enables different formats or programming languages to be compatible – in other words, it allows different systems across the supply chain to talk to one another in a language they understand. As such, XML integrations enable centralised inventory management, and make it possible for enterprises to work with a larger number of suppliers and increase their distribution channels.
Another option is API integration (application programming interface). API acts as a messenger that processes requests and facilitates connectivity between data, applications and devices, ensuring enterprise systems can function together seamlessly. Essentially, it enables applications to communicate with backend systems, which is hugely beneficial for increasing the efficiency of operations within a business.
Geneus makes procurement integration easy
Geneus, our Category-Cataloguing tool, integrates seamlessly with all major ERP and P2P systems, helping enterprises and suppliers alike to manage and interact within complex supply chains. In short, it helps capture the tricky spend that is slipping away unmanaged!
Geneus extends beyond the limitations of other platforms by being able to catalogue complex and highly configurable products and services; most end-to-end ERP and P2P platforms are unable to do this. As such, integrating ERP and P2P with Geneus can help enterprises improve the ROI on their existing investments.
For suppliers, Geneus has the ability to integrate not only with their sales order processing systems, but also with their customers’ eProcurement systems, effectively linking the two.
This is a considerable benefit for suppliers, who are often compelled to use whichever platform their customer has chosen. With Geneus, suppliers can create their own online catalogues which integrate seamlessly with their customer’s P2P system – meaning they don’t have to upload the product twice.
Geneus uses both XML and API integrations, and integrates with systems including SAP Ariba, Coupa, JD Edwards and Salesforce. Here’s a look at how one of these integrations can work:
For more information on how Geneus can integrate with your existing systems to give you greater efficiency and that all-important competitive edge, contact us today.