All entries for May 2011

May 23, 2011

Extract datas from ERP system to BI system

BI (Business Intelligence) system is a data analysis tool and ERP system is an online translation processing system. Are there any relationships between these two systems? The answer is certainly yes. Moreover, let us take oil industry as an example, the ERP system is just like an oil field, and BI is an oil refining tool. During the oil refining period, we need the basic raw materials????oil. The oil is the data which is stored in the ERP system.

The users always worry about three problems when they extract data from ERP system to Business Intelligence system. First of all, the company should ensure the integrity of the data. If the data is incomplete, it may cause a great deal of problems. What is more, the data should be accurate. This is due to the fact that the accuracy of data is playing a vital role in the whole information system. Last but not least, the data must be extracted in time. If the data can not reach to the BI system timely, it is useless at all. The data extracting solution will be successful when these three problems are solved.

In realistic working process, data selection can be divided into two parts. The first part is initialized extracting, normally people will use totally extracting pattern during this process. That is to say, people will copy the entire data from ERP system to BI system without any modifications. It will last for a long time if the database of the enterprise is big. Furthermore, the second part is the follow-up extracting. After the first data selection finished, the data may be changed as the global market is changing all the time. In this case, people will not apply total replacement method into data selection. Instead, they will just update the new information into the database. It is efficient, convenient and money-saving to use this method.

An ERP Implementation Case – Ekin Project

This entry is related with an ERP implementation project within an International construction sub-contractor company. In the study Ekin Project`s ERP experience will be shared and analysed. Firstly brief summary of the project decision stage will be held and afterwards implementation process will be analysed in detail.

Ekin Project is a company which usually does mechanic sub-contracting jobs in large scare construction project such as airports, commercial centres and skyscrapers. They work internationally and employ staff different nations. They use project based organisation structure and they suffers from not being able to keep the intellectual property within the company. There was not an integrated IS tool they use. Data capturing and stored was done by spreadsheets stored in company`s databases. This disintegrated structure causes some problems in information sharing and results in duplications in data. Every staff use their own way of keeping and tracing the information and when they leave, their system cannot be continued by the new comer.

The owner of the company foresees the need of and integrated IT program and forces the management board to have an ERP program. The owner has a name in his mind, MS Dynamics Axapta. The program decision was not given rationally. The owner of the company gathered some information from his friends and contacts who he has in construction company. In the decision process the needs of the company and best candidates were not selected by going through a logical process. Even IT department`s manager`s decisions were not taken into consideration. The patron took a pushy role and forced the company implement the change as soon as possible. However middle level and lower level managers were not happy to have such a large scale change in the current process. Ekin is an old company and employs old fashion people as well. Excitement of the boss did not shared by his employers, however nobody sounded any disagreement in the board meeting or any an official meetings organised by the boss. They did not resist and comment on the issue until they realised they have to change.

In the company a new organisational unit was formed. ERP implementation and integration team was formed with 2 personnel and one manager. These two personnel are experienced in their subjects and had work for the company at least 7 years. Even though the manager is new in the company, he is loved and respected by the other personnel. Although they work willingly in the project, they were not happy not to be asked their opinion in the program`s selection process. The duty of this team is acting like a bridge between the program developer consultant company and the site staff.

Probably, MS Dynamics was not the most ideal alternative. Microsoft is well known and has god reputation in the global market as a software supplier but developing and selling an ERP program was totally new to them. They got in ERP sector by requiring acquiring an European software company and their ERP product. Especially first few versions create lots of problems and did not do well in the market. However version 4 and especially 5 do a good job with a reasonable price. They aim at SMEs by implementing a cheap price.

Obviously Axapta was not ready to be used within construction sector. While the biggest player in the market SAP providing the sector with different editions of the ERP program, Microsoft uses developers and solution partners to tailor the general version of the program to a specific company. In general, there are a handful of construction companies which utilise an ERP module with all modules. Construction sector requires a totally different product because their processes are different from a production company. Therefore alternating the current modules and making them suitable for a construction job made the project last longer than it was planned initially.

The process of the implementation process was like; the consultation company gives training for an ERP module and describes the capability of the module. Ekin ERP team analyses the current system and process and comes up with a requirements list. By using these two, ERP team decides on amendments which are necessary for the implementation. This process generally involves floor personnel who actually use the system. They are consulted while analysing the system and creating a process flow with satisfies the company`s needs and adapts ERP program`s capabilities. Change demands are shared with developers after they are agreed by the ERP team. Developers estimates a duration for the change asked for and at the end of this period new part of the program is tested by ERP team. Tested and approved modules are explained and trials are done with the floor personnel. A user manual for the each module and sometime for the small add-on are prepared in two languages and disseminated to the concerned personal.

Floor staff and even middle level are not usually willing to change. They persist to keep the status quo. During the training phase, their awareness of the benefits of the new program is tried to be increased. When this does not work, the boss publishes an ordinance to force the change to personnel. The huge support from the boss accelerates the implementation process. However the need to keeping the new and old processes until the ERP module becomes fully functional. As an experience, staff should be allowed to work in the two systems simultaneously during a specific period of time. After it is understood that the ERP module is fully functional the old way of doing the job is abandoned. In this way any unexpected problem can be dealt with.

Accounting module is the most crucial one in an ERP program. Nearly every sub-module has a relation with this module. Purchase module transfers the details of purchase bills, project module transfers the direct and indirect costs of the progress done in that period. Therefore the manager of the ERP team decided on implementing the accounting modules last after all others are done.

As a conclusion, like every change project, an ERP implementation process confronts challenges and resistance from staff. Resistance can be overcome by educating the personal and showing them the benefits of the new system from their point of view. High level managements support and encourage are crucial in the success of such projects. Such a large scale project requires commitment from everyone within the business.

May 10, 2011

Integration of ERP and social networking

With the booming emerging and growth of online social networks, it goes without saying that the capabilities of social networking and collaboration play a vibrant role in modern business operational and managerial issues. Meanwhile, the adaption of ERP which is the widely-applied advanced Information System in business also enters its 3rdgeneration, integrated with cloud computing as existence of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). As to those two critical components of business, combining them together to serve for business in order to achieve better performance seems an inevitable trend. However, from personal point of view, it should be true, but it might be slow.

Embracing social capabilities for ERP is not merely embedding a Facebook icon in the system and facilitating employees to maintain their interpersonal networks without leaving the transaction. The integration of ERP and social networking is more systematic and comprehensive, related to utilization of information and effective collaboration.

For instance, CRM application of ERP is a relatively rational field to integrate social networking. Greco and White (2009) refine an idea, called Sales 2.1 which is a combination of CRM, ERP, Web 2.0 and Sales 2.0 for improving purchasing experience. With the efforts of Sales 2.1, buyers and sellers can be better connected with the mediation of IT and ERP. By adopting ERP systems and CRM apps, firms can actively capture expectations, ideas and feedback of customers posted on social networks and those data are automatically re-organised and analysed for the use of overall decision-making process (, 2010). Moreover, HR application of ERP also can make better use of social networks to facilitate internal or external recruiting and management.

Nevertheless, idealised imagination and design may be hard to meet practical realisation. Integrators confront two tricky things: the agile, feasible and social nature of social networking and the complex and strict structure and process of ERP. The one is the difficulty of mining and utilising sentimental data in online social networks in the application of ERP. The main feature of ERP is ensuring high-quality data provided for overall corporation systems and departments and whether the quality of data extracted from online social networks reaches the standard is hard to judge by machines, even manipulating individuals. On the other hand, huge architecture and standardised process of ERP makes the adoption of social capabilities less responsive, thereby losing inherent feasibility of social tools. As a result, in spite of idealised configuration there still exist several critical obstacles for the integration of ERP and social networking, and actually it is indeed hard to find a few social elements in various existing ERP systems.

However, ERP vendors and designers still make their efforts on it. For instance, SAP StreamWork labels itself as the ¡¡ãfirst and only solution that brings together people, information, and business methods to drive fast, meaningful results¡¡À (SAP StreamWork, 2011). It is a collaborative decision-making solution of SAP ERP system which can bring people together on the same page, share documents and data in plain view, and provide structure and tools for brainstorming and decision-making. Although it is not pure integration of ERP and social networks, social and collaborative aspects can be detected from this solution. In addition, Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management application also features social capabilities with cloud in HRM (Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management, 2011).

As concluded, it is sure that future ERP systems will be integrated with more and more social capabilities for business needs; yet, inherent complexity of ERP systems will make integrated process slow and hard to achieve.

References:, 2010. ERP, CRM and social networking. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8th May 2011].

Greco, D. and White, B., 2009. Alphabet soup: How CRM, ERP, Web 2.0 & Sales 2.0 is creating a superior sales experience: A case study. In: Proc ISECON Proceeding of the Information System Education Conference. Washington DC, USA.

Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management, 2011. Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management: New cloud applications from the leader in HCM. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8th May 2011].

SAP StreamWork, 2011. What is SAP StreamWork?[online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8th May 2011].

May 01, 2011

ERP project risk assessment

One reason often cited for any software project failure is that managers do not properly assess and manage the risks involved in their projects. Most project managers perceive risk management processes as extra work and expense; thus, risk management processes are often expunged if a project schedule slips.

In the past, several ways were proposed in order to improve the success rate of ERP introduction, unfortunately without great effect. The nature of IT project risk is determined by the risk factors and by the strategic need for the project, innovation, repetition of failed experience, etc. Many processes have been developed in recent years to address the need for a more effective risk management, though they are often too general for ERP application, models including PMI 2001, Standards Australia 1999, SAFE methodology, and Risk Diagnosing Methodology are typical iterative approaches to risk management problems . Main phases are: 1. context analysis; 2. risk identification; 3. risk analysis; 4. risk evaluation; 5. risk treatment; 6. monitoring and review; 7. communication and consulting.

However, ERP projects are interdisciplinary; they affect interdependencies between business processes, software and process reengineering. Critical factors include technological and management aspects, both psychological and sociological. To be effective a risk assessment method should consider several potential aspects (technology, market, financial, operational, organizational, and business) and link them to the project life cycle. This ensures the selection of the most appropriate risk treatment strategy.

Risk management strategy consists of two approaches. The first aims at reducing risky circumstances, while the second deals with risk treatment after a risk appears.

Search this blog

May 2011

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Apr |  Today  | Jun
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31               



Most recent comments

  • I agree. Few companies today can grow their business by focusing on a single domestic market. Many e… by Junhua Lin on this entry
  • Hello. Thang. I am really impressed with your ideas by using 'the learning curve' to argue against s… by Peaw (peow) Kaitwatcharachai on this entry
  • Disagree with your idea about ERP starting with standardized business process. it has be identified … by Mengyun Hu on this entry
  • It seems almost impossible to achieve absolute standardization and flexibility with the implementati… by Sandhya Ramaseshan on this entry
  • BRP also play a critical role in ERP implementation. When implementation ERP system, there are two o… by on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder