Part 2 of Dealer Management Systems Series:

In the first part of the series, I discuessed how Software-as-a-Service makes the capabilities and power of dedicated software applications accessible to all businesses, no matter the shape or size.

“That’s great! I hear you scream at your monitors as coffee cups smash into your office walls all over the world. But what about connecting all this stuff together, Pete!? We’ll have systems doing ordering and we won’t have a clue what we’re selling!”

Well, worry not and read on…

If you have many decentralised applications all performing separate business functions, naturally, you need to avoid information silos by connecting all of the systems together. This ensures an integrated and correlated IT base from which to plan your operations. For this reason, whenever you are planning to introduce another application into your IT environment, integration should be a fundamental consideration.

The simplest type of integration to a new application involves a one-off extract from the old system, some simple translation of the data, and a load into the new system. This is typical when replacing a legacy system with a new system and as the integration requirements are one off and not requiring an on-going refresh, it is often most easily done manually. As SaaS has evolved to incorporate solutions, which satisfy a broader scope of IT business functionality, a one off extract of data and an isolated business system functioning in a silo is no longer appropriate for most applications.

To address this requirement, dedicated SaaS integration companies have risen specifically to support connecting multiple SaaS systems together. This approach does have its merits, however introducing a 3rd party into a process as well as an additional application can drive time to value and reduce ROI. It will typically add time to the implementation as it will be necessary to train the 3rd party on the data mapping requirements and it’s often difficult to map the integration requirements of a specific application to a generic integration platform without some degree of customisation. Continuous introduction of another application into a process additionally introduces potential point of failure.

Increased levels of customisation, reduced ROI, and value time are contrary to the fundamentals that make SaaS software appealing. The ideal solution has strong built-in integration capabilities, utilising standard non-proprietary communication protocols.

All of Syncron’s SaaS products are built upon a foundation of the Business Process Platform (BPP). Amongst the wonderful array of features, the BPP is a powerful integration engine which provides turn-key adapters for enterprise system integration, as well as a comprehensive integration framework which can be used to connect any system.

Fig: The most appropriate technology for each connected systems can be selected.

The BPP is event driven and incorporates transactional and parallel data processing capabilities. This means that multiple systems can be connected to the same instance and the expected bundle of data arrives for a particular system – the associated processing will begin immediately.

The BPP also includes support for data capture management and real time alerts. This allows you to easily monitor all of your connected systems and data transfers in one convenient interface, and pre-configure automated processes for exception handling. Connecting it up to an SMTP (email for the non IT speakers) server means it can even monitor and take corrective action independently, sending you an email notification if any user intervention is required!

If we take this concept of multiple connected systems one step further, suppose you have technology that allows you to connect multiple IT systems together over the internet, then it must also be possible to apply this same technology for B2B system connections.

In my next post, I will elaborate on this and how by leveraging the underlying B2B connection capability of the Business Process Platform, you can use Syncron’s Inventory Management software to connect and plan all of your supply chain network –  from wholesale to the dealer end customer supply using a single integrated platform.

To read the first blog in the DMS series, click below:

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