The Total Guide to ERP Integration: Systems, Processes & Solutions
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ERP integration, from how it works, to specific ERPs & solutions.
Tipalti Integrates With Your ERP
What is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)?
An ERP system (enterprise resource planning) is company-wide software that handles these business functions: billing, payments, transactions and reports for accounting, budget vs. actual results, cash management, supply chain, purchasing from vendors, inventory management, bill of materials, manufacturing resource planning (MRP 2), manufacturing production scheduling, and human resources.
What is ERP Integration?
ERP integration is business integration through seamlessly connected modular software ERP systems and third-party software platforms and SaaS apps. ERP system integration gives the entire organization a unified view of data and information from different systems in real-time, whether originating in the ERP system or through connected software.
ERP system integration may be accomplished with cloud-based and on-premises software. Integrated ERP solutions automate business processes and workflows with software that isn’t offered in the ERP software system and reduce manual data entry.
How Can Businesses Integrate Processes & Workflows with ERP Systems?
Businesses integrate processes & workflows with an ERP system by using add-on software with either seamlessly integrated API or flat file connections and an ESB (enterprise service bus) for communications. Fields in the add-on software are mapped to ERP software fields, so the software combination works together. Users log in to the ERP system to access integrated software features.
ERP integration lets users set up system business processes and workflows to match their business processes and streamline them. Businesses periodically review their workflows and complete business process re-engineering (BPR) to map, analyze, and streamline workflows and remove processing time bottlenecks. Companies improve processes with expertly designed integrated ERP system automation.
How Does AP Automation Software Improve ERP Integration?
Integrated AP automation software enhances ERP integration by adding automated features missing from ERP systems to significantly reduce accounts payable and vendor payments processing costs, manual data entry, errors, and fraud risk. An add-on global payables automation app seamlessly integrates with the ERP system through the same user interface and log in.
Tipalti AP automation provides self-service supplier onboarding, automated online vendor invoice approval with EDI documents matching, global mass payments using preferred payment methods, currencies, and automatic payments reconciliation. Tipalti eliminates 80% of the accounts payable workload, producing time savings, and reducing hiring needs.
The Tipalti cloud payables automation SaaS add-on bridges the entire supplier, invoice workflow automation (IWA), and automated payments gap in standalone ERP systems. Other AP automation software doesn’t cover the entire global B2B supplier mass payment process. Tipalti automatically sends accurate payment data to your company’s financial records.
Tipalti customer support is excellent. Tipalti meets your business needs and expectations, improving ERP integration. Using the Tipalti integration solution for global mass payments automation gives your company more time for FP&A And decision-making support.
Which Types of Systems Integrate with ERP Software?
Types of third-party software often integrated with ERP systems include:
- CRM (customer relationship management)
- eCommerce platforms
- AP automation software
- Product lifecycle management (PLM) software
- Project management software
- Business intelligence software (BI)
CRM (customer resource management) Software
CRM is customer resource management software for acquiring and managing prospect and customer data relating to “contact information, account details, and sales opportunities,” according to Salesforce. Data integration between CRM and ERP software systems gives ERP users more insight into sales funnel leads and tracks and accounts for customer information and data and sales levels by customer after-sales conversion.
Salesforce is the top cloud SaaS software provider in the CRM space. According to Forbes, Salesforce had a 19.5% market share in 2018; other major CRM vendors include SAP (8.3%), Oracle (5.5%), Adobe (5.1%), and Microsoft (2.7%). The source of the Forbes CRM market share data is a Gartner June 2019 report.
eCommerce platforms offer websites for displaying product offerings, conducting business, and transaction processing for online sales to customers. Major eCommerce vendors include Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce. Other software vendors provide Amazon ERP integration for online merchants.
AP Automation Software
Accounts payable or AP automation software automates the invoice and approval workflows and allows users to make global mass payments to suppliers. Payables automation eliminates manual data entry and automates routine tasks with RPA and machine learning, using thousands of rules. AP automation automatically reconciles payments.
Mass global payments automation extends payment method and currency choices for international cross-border transactions. It reduces fraud, provides automatic payments reconciliation, and handles supplier onboarding and tax compliance reporting. Tipalti is a leader in cloud-based SaaS AP automation software that integrates with ERP systems.
Project Management Software
Project management software handles project planning, specific tasks and timelines, project status, budget, resources, documentation, shared files, and communications. Project management software includes JIRA from Atlassian, Trello, Asana, Teamwork Projects, Microsoft Project, Basecamp, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Business Intelligence Software (BI)
Business intelligence software imports and analyzes data through visualization and dashboards. Business intelligence software includes Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Oracle Analytics Cloud, MicroStrategy, and TIBCO Spotfire, and Workday Adaptive Planning. Microsoft and Oracle offer ERP systems. Workday provides enterprise, human resources workforce planning, financial planning, and revenue forecasting.
What are the Benefits of ERP Integration?
Benefits of ERP integration include:
- added software features
- not available from ERP systems alone
- authorized access to dashboards, data, and information throughout the business
- automation of manual tasks and data entry
- using RPA rules, machine learning, and analytics
- saving time and money
- reducing fraud
- one integrated ERP user interface and login for each user.
What are the Challenges & Risks of ERP Integration?
Integration challenges and risks relating to adding other business applications to ERP systems go far beyond the challenges of ERP implementation alone.
ERP integration challenges & risks include:
- choosing the wrong third-party add-on software and vendor
- software ROI will not cost-justify its use
- lack of expertise or resources
- leading to failed, difficult, or delayed implementation
- poor customer support and online resource guides
- software security risks and inadequate internal control
- needed for fraud prevention and good corporate governance.
Popular ERP Systems for Business Integration
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