Along with other colleagues here at Tensoft, integration is on my mind. While these thoughts aren’t likely to inspire Ray Charles – or any other musician for that matter – recent developments that will help push integration to new levels have been music to our ears. In fact, please stay tuned for a Tensoft announcement about this in the next few months…. But meanwhile, a little background on why integration should be on your mind too.
One of the key reasons that integration has become so important is that it’s critical to postmodern ERP strategies. Tech Target contributor Linda Rosencrance contacted us for an article that she published on this topic, titled “Postmodern ERP Strategy Hinges on Data Integration.” As Rosencrance found: “The goal of postmodern ERPs is to use the best applications possible — typically from two or more providers — in each area of a business, while ensuring that those apps are able to integrate with each other as necessary.”
The article goes on to discuss this goal, and how Tensoft approaches it. Here’s what it said about this:
Part of what makes a postmodern ERP strategy possible is that the capabilities of integration tools are much better than they ever have been, said Bob Scarborough, CEO and co-founder of Tensoft Inc., a SaaS and ERP vendor in San Jose, Calif., that sells to the semiconductor and high-tech industries. As such, the challenges of postmodern ERP are less around the tool sets and more around understanding what creates good integration and good design, he said.
“The challenge is not the integration itself, but knowing how to do it well,” Scarborough said. Companies get stymied by the details of how to ensure clean data in terms of who owns it and how to validate such data.
“So, they end up with these convoluted processes where they’re integrating [and] bouncing back and forth between systems, which is not effective,” he added.
It’s cleaner to have a whole process in one data system and then integrate the beginning and the end of the process, for example, than to have a business process that goes back and forth between systems 10 times, he said.
“The tools are there if you think about it in a systems way, i.e., what is the easiest and most efficient way to get the data moving between systems,” Scarborough said. “This is where a systems integrator or someone who has systems knowledge comes in.”
In addition to the interview with Tensoft CEO Bob Scarborough, Rosencrance also interviewed a Tensoft customer who could speak to their experience using Tensoft’s to integrate one of its cloud applications to the customer’s SAP financial system. The impetus for this project was the acquisition of Tensoft’s customer, iWatt, to Dialog Semiconductor. From Rosencrance’s interview with this customer:
Consequently, the companies had to integrate all their systems, said David Sutton, Dialog’s former IT director, who was involved in the project.
Because Dialog Semiconductor ran SAP, integrating iWatt into Dialog Semiconductor necessitated a move to SAP Finance first, which required linking a Tensoft semiconductor operations system to SAP. Tensoft’s integration product supported the flow of iWatt’s manufacturing financial results to SAP, according to Tensoft.
“The integration with SAP went really well,” Sutton said. “The simplest approach is to have a best-in-class piece of software doing what it does and not try to make an ERP system keep track of the semiconductor ins and outs and yields because that’s not what it does well. [The ERP system] is good at doing the financials and maybe the accounts receivable.”
Many of us remember the days when integration projects were painful exercises only embarked upon by large companies with legions of IT staff. How can we forget? After all, those days were what brought us to the era of monolithic, “all-in-one” ERP solutions, as the antidote to those painful integrations! But, now that companies have had enough of “one-size-fits-all” and are demanding solutions that fit their industry, their business and their budget, a new era of integration has begun.
To learn more about Tensoft’s expertise with both integration and postmodern ERP, please explore our website or contact us for answers to your questions.