Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why flexibility in cloud services is key to ERP success in today’s age

In the fast-moving digital world, being able to quickly adapt to disruptive business processes and changing business needs is key to success and survival. While organisations might be able to adapt their strategy and culture, they also need their business systems to adapt to these new processes and requirements. The need for flexibility and near real-time response to changing business processes is especially essential for an organisation’s core ERP system.

Here are five reasons why ERP needs to be flexible.

Hybrid cloud configurations
Today companies should be prepared to extend their core ERP systems with a variety of cloud-based services to take advantage of best-of-breed and supplemental capabilities. They also may want to support a two-tier ERP model in which companies run more than one ERP system, often a primary one at headquarters and additional cloud ERP services at subsidiaries.
Companies should have the flexibility to create efficient, seamless workflows across multiple ERP systems, add-on services, and different applications, including CRM, WMS, and PLM – regardless of whether they reside on-premises or in the cloud.

Changing business models
Companies shouldn’t have to limit the way products and services are offered because their under pinning system is inflexible. For example, with the growing demand for subscription services, insurance companies are providing insurance coverage for young drivers by the day and jet engine manufactures are sell air time instead of the engines themselves.
An inflexible ERP system that can’t support dynamic business practices such as new revenue models and depreciation methods can be a serious inhibitor to positive changes. No company wants to be limited to outdated business models because of its ERP system.

Mobile ERP
The ability to perform day-to-day business functions on the go, including approving purchase requests, signing contracts, and viewing inventory levels boosts efficiency considerably. Mobile ERP applications benefit everyone from sales people to warehouse workers to CEOs who want immediate access to financial reports.
Enterprises must be prepared to mobilize relevant ERP data and processes, update data based on real-time transactions and support offline use cases.

Secure ERP data
Weak ERP security can lead to a loss of assets and compromise data privacy. Securing ERP data also needs to take into account the possibility of integrating with public clouds and tools.
In order for sensitive data to be protected, ERP systems need consistent secure integrations to back end and reporting systems.

IoT data tsunami
Companies wanting to leverage data from IoT systems for predictive maintenance, predictive analytics, and optimized manufacturing, could be flooded with huge volumes of data coming from sensors.
ERP systems can connect the device data with business data and must be able to process, analyse and show all this data in real-time. Elasticity with the ability to scale up quickly will become essential as more and more ERP business processes are data driven.

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Given ERP size and complexities, and the introduction of new technologies as part of digital transformation, there is always the need to modify and expand ERP systems. Planning ahead to include the necessary flexibility, and using solutions that are fully interoperable is the best way to be prepared for new data, security and reporting requirements that come with digital transformation.

Interested in integration? Meet the Magic xpi Integration Platform




Written by Stephan Romeder

Stephan Romeder, is the General Manager of Magic Software Enterprises Europe, a leading provider of multi-channel application development, application integration and enterprise mobility solutions. He is also the Managing Director of Magic Software Deutschland, covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Stephan began his career at Magic in 1996 increasing sales and earning many sales and business awards as he worked his way up the corporate ladder by combining a strong focus on innovation with a commitment to developing long-term relationships with customers, partners and employees.

Originally posted at CloudTech

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

8 big trends that will impact IT in 2017

In 2017 disruptive technologies that were previously buzz words will become a reality, there will be a rise in cyberattacks, and the new administration, in addition to going digital, will most likely change policies and regulations, requiring modifications to IT systems. With all of these changes, enterprises will continue to look to IT to be an enabler of digital transformation for increased efficiency and competitiveness.

Here are eight key trends on the horizon for 2017:


1. US government deregulation 
Under a new administration and Republican Congress, major changes in regulations are expected to impact numerous industries. The ripple effects across IT systems will likely require significant changes in business processes, and may even necessitate wholesale replacement of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) and other specialized systems in industries such as healthcare and banking where the deregulatory expectations are particularly high.

2. Rise in state-sponsored cyberattacks
Businesses should be prepared for a rise in state-sponsored attacks like the much publicized Russian-backed hackers’ break into mobile phones used by Democratic Party officials. Backed by budget, manpower, and determination, nations don’t have to worry about recouping costs or generating profit, so state-sponsored cyberattacks targeting mobile devices and enterprise systems will only increase in 2017.

3. IoT security as first priority 
Recent IoT security breaches will put security top-of-mind for enterprise IT departments in 2017. As billions of connected things are deployed, botnets will continue to multiply if devices aren’t secured. Security measures will be taken to prevent attacks from hacked consumer CCTV cameras and other connected devices that caused outages for Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify, Netflix, and others earlier this year. In addition, corporate IoT deployments will be hardened to prevent Stuxnet type attacks.

4. Geo-fencing for mobile app push notifications 
Geo-fencing will become a more common feature for mobile applications, especially push notifications used for sending shoppers incentives, reminders of rewards, and surveying customers about their shopping experience. Retailers will be able to build email and in-app campaigns for shoppers who have previously appeared at specific locations.

5. Digital customer experience as important as the product  
Consumers will consider a convenient and intuitive shopping app experience to be as important as the quality of the product or service they buy. Experiences beyond the ordinary that include augmented reality, virtual marketplaces, peer-to-peer collaboration, and 360-degree integration will be in demand.

6. App modernization for consistency 
Existing on-premise apps will continue to be morphed into mobile apps with a push to create a consistent look and feel across all platforms, including tablets, mobile, and the web. 

7. AI will be everywhere 
Corporate giants like Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple, and Salesforce, are competing in the race to acquire private AI companies, with over 40 acquisitions taking place in 2016 alone. This year, AI will be used to discover insights, predict outcomes, suggest next steps, and anticipate sales opportunities for businesses.

8. Displacements due to digital transformation and demonetization displacements 
No company wants to go the way of Blockbuster or Polaroid cameras. Risk-adverse businesses that postpone innovating and adapting processes to match the needs of the digital economy may quickly become obsolete, no matter how trusted their products and services once were. Demonetization and the digitization of currency will drive new consumer revolutions across numerous marketplaces, presenting both threats and opportunities to which businesses must quickly adjust.

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The year ahead will present new opportunities and challenges accelerated by change in policies and disruptive technologies. Having a flexible, scalable, robust integration platform will make it possible to support the changes in culture brought on by focusing on the customer experience and digital transformation. Being flexible and adaptable to rapidly implement and integrate technologies will increase competitiveness and lead to essential differentiators for market leaders’ success.


Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform



Written by Glenn Johnson

Glenn Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on ittoolbox.com and contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON, CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences. His interviews on software industry issues have been aired on the NBC Today Show, E! News, Discovery and more.

Originally posted at The Enterprisers Project

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Magic Customers Are Doing More with Magic xpi – Shouldn’t You?

We’ve found that many Magic xpi customers start with one specific integration project in mind and then, because they find it so easy to use and like it so much, they keep finding additional uses. 

In fact, at leading organizations around the globe, like Sennheiser & Suntory Beverage & Food Europe (Orangina /Schweppes), Magic xpi has become their central integration platform. 

But don’t take our word for it, you can hear it from them:



Sennheiser




“Basically we are using Magic xpi to build interfaces around our ERP system which is JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and to connect several different systems including Sugar CRM, Websphere Q, different databases, different sources….” Marius Tempelmeier, Software Developer, Sennheiser


Mundipharma





“When we first originally purchased Magic xpi we thought we would be utilizing it for only our applications on our smartphones. It was a real eye opener when we realized it could also be used for integration between systems.” 
Daniel Stasiak, Senior Consultant, Mundipharma 

“Magic xpi Integration Platform’s prebuilt adapters and broad connectivity enables us to optimize interfaces between applications and lets Magic xpi serve as a central data hub, making our IT infrastructure and maintenance more efficient.” 
Berthold Berg, Head of Enterprise Applications, Mundipharma 


Orangina Schweppes (Suntory Beverage & Food Europe)

“Magic xpi is now used as a centralized platform for all application integrations in all Suntory Beverage & Food Europe Business units: Orangina Suntory France, Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd, Schweppes International Limited.”
Thierry Serra, ‎IT FO/CRM Application Domain Leader Europe, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe


Moose Toys

Moose Toys is using the Magic xpi Integration Platform to handle most of its integration needs, including complex EDI integrations with leading global retail customers in US and Australia. In addition, Magic xpi will be used for integrations with various applications including Oracle Cloud applications, Oracle’s JD Edwards and Oracle Demantra.


Mahindra & Mahindra

“Mahindra & Mahindra has increased operational efficiency and productivity by using Magic’s integration platform to easily automate communication with trading partners and make information about third-party products accessible within our SAP system.”
Vijay Mahajan, Head, Center of Excellence-Corporate IT, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 

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If you are also using Magic xpi to do more, share your story with us in the comments. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

8 Key Trends for CIOs in 2017

In 2017 new emerging technologies will be implemented raising new opportunities and challenges. IoT, Geo-fencing, AI and the Digital Experience will be at the top of CIO’s agendas, while at the same time there will be a movement back to classic development methodologies, such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), to enable extensive integration across systems and consistency across delivery platforms.

Here are 8 key trends we see on the horizon for 2017.

1. Move to secure IoT 


Security measures will be taken in 2017 to prevent incidents such as the hacking of CCTV cameras and other connected devices that caused outages for Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify, Netflix and other web sites last October.




2. Geo-fencing for mobile apps 


Geo-fencing will become a more common feature used in different types of applications for providing incentives for shoppers, sending reminders of rewards, surveying customers about their shopping experience, and possibly for monitoring customer visits to competing stores. Even more importantly, by restricting access to devices or applications when a user is outside a set perimeter, geo-fencing will become another line of security defence.


3. Bringing back SOA 


While SOA’s been around for ten years, in 2017 it will be more essential than ever. Managing and capitalising on the interrelated nature of technologies while maintaining control will be the biggest challenge for enterprise architects in 2017. Enterprise SOA will evolve next year to manage connected-everything computing platforms.


4. Monetisation of IoT 


There will be a race to create IoT applications that provide consumer value and revenue streams, by employing all necessary system integrations, usage tracking and billing modules. More companies will follow the lead of huge manufacturers that have already announced the availability of smart products, such as Phillips, whose light bulbs can be controlled by smartphones and Audi Connect that uses built-in WiFi to deliver real-time traffic and weather alerts to commuters.


5. Delivering the ultimate digital experience 


The convergence of digital transformation and customer experience is creating the digital experience. In 2017, delivery of excellent digital experiences will become more important to where consumers will consider a convenient and easy-to-use interface and consistency across touch points, just as if not more important, than the quality of the product or service they buy.


6. Application modernisation 


Existing on-premise apps will continue to be morphed and integrated into mobile apps and even desktop apps, to provide innovative and efficient processes and user experiences.  


7. AI will be everywhere 


Next year AI will be used to improve business opportunities and outcomes by discovering insights, predicting outcomes, suggesting next steps, and anticipating sales opportunities.


8. More companies will lose to digital transformation 


Technological disruption is creating a great divide between winners and losers. No one wants to go the way of previously trusted products and services such as Blockbuster or Polaroid cameras. However, companies that are slow to adopt new technologies and processes will continue to become obsolete.


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The year ahead will present new opportunities and challenges accelerated by disruptive technologies. Companies will be focusing on the customer experience and digital transformation of processes. Having a robust, flexible, and scalable integration platform that enables the rapid integration of applications and technologies will enable CIOs to increase competitiveness and provide essential differentiators for market success in 2017 and beyond.

Originally written by Stephan Romeder, General Manager of Magic Software Europe and posted on IT Pro Portal.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Tale of Two Cities: JD Edwards ERP Integration and Interoperability with Salesforce.com CRM

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; 
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness;
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; 
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; 
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; 
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; 
we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.
- Charles Dickens: “A Tale of Two Cities”
These words may resonate with the business analyst tasked to integrate JD Edwards with Salesforce.com.

On the one hand, both JD Edwards and Salesforce.com were designed with a certain amount of openness and loose coupling to allow for integration and interoperability. This is wisdom, this is light, this is hope. 

On the other hand, completely divergent table structures and lack of any direct integration means that most organizations seeking that integration plunge headfirst into deep technical programming efforts. This is foolishness, this is darkness, this is despair.

Fortunately, a solution exists that allows you to automate the design of business processes that span the chasm between JD Edwards ERP which is usually running in a data center and Salesforce.com CRM which runs in the cloud. It is not a small chasm. JD Edwards World is very down-to-earth based on the green screen world of the IBM i and RPG code.

Even EnterpriseOne takes us into the jungle of Java programming and C# programming. On the other hand, Salesforce.com integration requires
programming to complex Web Services involving SOAP and WSDL.

In this White Paper, we introduce Magic xpi Integration Platform for JD Edwards and Salesforce.com as a business process orchestration solution for ERP and CRM integration that requires no manual programming. 

We examine the four pillars of CRM and consider common touchpoints for either JD Edwards World or EnterpriseOne integration including transaction tables processing and Master Business Functions where available. It also discusses the importance of five key integration capabilities for Salesforce.com business process orchestration. 



Finally, it describes briefly the business process design, monitoring and execution capabilities of Magic xpi Integration Platform.

Download the free eBook now and learn more about our Magic xpi solution for JD Edwards.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Delivering Digital Experience: 4 Platform Essentials

You can't escape discussions about digital transformation and customer experience these days. As the chatter intensifies — and both topics integrate more tightly in analyst trend lines and reports — so does the inevitable attempt to converge these trends into digital experience (DX).

*Glenn Johnson

In simple terms, digital transformation can be understood as the changes brought on by the use of digital technology in all aspects of business.

Customer experience (CX) is all about the “sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand,” author, photographer and speaker Adam Richardson wrote in the Harvard Business Review.




The Dawn of DX


The logical intersection of these two megatrends can be thought of as digital experience: the automation and interactions of your brand platform with the customer.

The digital experience is more than marketing automation. It is the convergence of all enterprise systems in service to the customer and their needs.

But how can a business cope with the needed technology to transform customer experiences into digital experience?


An enterprise seeking to deliver digital experience in a way that delights customers, fosters loyalty and raises Net-Promoter Scores (NPS) will need to make sure they are prepared for the following requirements:

Select a CRM Platform with an effective API
Since CRM alone is never enough to accommodate all the requirements of delivering exceptional customer experiences, your CRM platform needs to offer an effective API so that you can interface all the other needed technologies in your enterprise for a total Digital Experience for your customers.

Choose a Multichannel Enterprise Mobility Platform
Select a mobile platform that provides the flexibility needed to develop integrated apps across multiple channels. App development tools that serve only one mobile device community or that are not paired well with back-end integration solutions will prove to be very difficult to implement.

A well-integrated mobile platform that allows you to develop once and deploy to iOS, Android, Windows, web and closed network environments will significantly reduce the complexity of app development and the skillsets required to build the apps used by your customers and employees.

Select Marketing Automation Tools Appropriate for Marketing Users
The classical marketing employee would typically be described as culturally and intellectually different from the typical computer programmer. Marketing automation tools that feel like programming are counter-intuitive to most marketers.

The ideal solutions provide the power needed for highly personalized Digital Experience marketing while at the same time not requiring time-consuming and complex programming.

Marketing campaign roll-outs simply do not have time for a six-month development project. The tools used by marketers need to make sense to marketers.

Provide IT with the Integration Tools Needed to Support the Digital Experience
The introduction of web, mobile, CRM and marketing automation tools in the enterprise creates a big requirement for integration. Point-to-point integration fails when systems change or are updated and they are increasingly difficult to maintain.

A proper integration platform provides a basis for event-driven business process integration that spans enterprise software systems to create truly coherent customer experiences and interactions that provide a 360-degree view of the customer to your employees and a 360-degree view of your business to the customer.


The Cultural Component

To be sure, these platforms will not invoke the cultural change needed to transform a product-centric culture into a customer-centric culture.

But having the right IT platforms in place will make it possible to support the changes in culture brought on by the increasing focus on customer experience and digital transformation.

In a transformed customer-centric culture, digital experience is an inevitable heir to the customer experience and digital transformation trends.


Originally posted at CMS Wire


About the Author

Glenn Johnson is SVP of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. He is the author of "Integrate My JDE" on ittoolbox.com and a contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill).