Monday, November 21, 2016

Hybrid Systems Integrations for Right Sized ERP

Often huge ERP systems don’t meet business needs because they are too complex and require too much customization. As a result of having multiple systems, most organizations operate in a “hybrid reality”.

Glenn Johnson*

Many companies choose to implement specialized packages for their industry or  their region. In a post-acquisition environment often the parent company’s ERP system isn’t the best-fit for the subsidiaries. For example, a large oil and gas distribution company in Texas uses a co-existence strategy whereby business processes are fully integrated between the SAP system at headquarters and multiple JD Edwards ERP implementations at its subsidiaries.  Moreover, while many companies are enticed by cloud-based systems, some are trying them on a smaller scale before moving over their entire business.

Organizations need to be prepared with an integration strategy that looks at integration points across ERP, CRM, Warehouse Management, PLM and cloud environments

The goal is to be able to change processes quickly and cost-effectively while maintaining systems integrity, governance, and compliance; in short to arrive at an ERP solution that is well sized across the enterprise with seamless business processes between divisions.

An integration platform can be the glue that holds applications together and the plumbing that facilitates the free flow of data. For example, middleware can enable data from a Salesforce CRM system to be translated into a format that an Oracle ERP system can use. However, enabling the exchange of data between systems is not enough.

In order to make post-modern ERP solutions efficient and effective, middleware platforms need to have the following capabilities built-in:

Support for Big Data is needed to manage the huge volumes of data generated, stored and shared in ERP systems. With an In-Memory Data Grid architecture, if a node fails, the management system shifts the processing to a different node, thereby preventing any data loss. When traffic peaks and processing requirements increase, the management system automatically recruits more nodes, adding scale elastically when it’s needed.

Cloud Friendly  is essential since today’s ERP systems use a variety of cloud-based systems, which are often procured on short-term contracts and frequently switched from one supplier to another. An application integration platform should be able to handle multiple clouds architectures and to manage data in this highly dynamic environment.

Device Agnostic  allows developers to create a native application from a single source which can present the data in the most natural way based on the user’s device. This can be accomplished by taking the output of the integration flow, and then processing it through a presentation layer which can change the look and feel of the application depending on whether it is a smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Secure connections in a predictable manner to other databases, frameworks, applications and endpoints. Certified integration connectors are advisable meaning that that system has been approved and validated by the vendor. In many cases, using an approved integration solution means that your maintenance and support agreements with the vendor will be honored. Using non-vendor-approved integration solutions could leave you without support in case you experience difficulties and the vendor blames the systems integrator.

ERP project size and complexities will always create a risk of increasing project cost overruns and less than optimal results. Having a flexible, scalable, robust integration platform that can work as the engine for right sized ERP can provide the needed flexibility and functionality that can increase the chances for success.

*Glenn Johnson is a Senior Vice President at Magic Software Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on 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 Smart Data Collective

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Despite the grim economic predictions, South Africa's enterprise software market is growing

Automating business processes to boost productivity in South Africa 

Kerry Hope

While Standard & Poor's has predicted that the South African economy will grow by only 0.8% in 2016, Gartner expects 2016 IT spending in South Africa to reach $26.6 billion, an increase of 5.1% from 2015. IDC also believes that South African organisations will invest more this year in automation initiatives to streamline costs and improve flexibility.

Automation is being used by agriculture, banks, utilities, mining companies, manufacturers and healthcare organisations across South Africa to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Following are several examples of how South African organisations across different industries are implementing automation projects to save time and money, while improving the quality of customer service.

Banking - Manual processing is costly and slow, and can lead to inconsistent results and a high error rate. Many companies have enhanced their front-end operations with digital solutions. Internet banking, for example at Standard Bank, offers consumers convenience while reducing labour costs and improving data accuracy.

Government - Smart meters are being used to measure household utility usage in Johannesburg, eliminating the need for meter readers while improving data accuracy and speeding up payments.

Automotive - Robotics are replacing many of the manual tasks on South Africa’s automotive assembly lines, reducing labour costs, improving product reliability and safety. 

Mining - South African mining companies are using sensors to detect methane and rock movement; fuel pipelines have been fitted with sensors to monitor leaks.

Healthcare - Healthcare organisations are using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to monitor their equipment inventory, reducing over-purchasing and equipment rental costs, increasing equipment utilization, and reducing equipment loss.

Manufacturing - South African bulk wine producers have ordered automation technologies, valued at the price of R18 million, from Germany to improve plant production efficiencies.

Agriculture - Fruitlook allows farmers to build up a long-term database of growing parameters, enabling them to compare different orchards or vineyards as well as trends for different seasons. It also allows farmers to benchmark themselves against each other and identify ways to improve production efficiency. 

Whether it's automation in the way of robotics on the manufacturing floor, or automation features which eliminate manual process, or automation features that provides data on mobile devices, businesses need robust and versatile application development and integration platforms. And those that can work together make automating business processes even easier and more cost effective. Those businesses that automate in order to improve business productivity are most likely to thrive, especially during an economic downturn.

All automation projects should include predictions of improvements in business productivity up front to show the full business benefit. As business productivity improves and costs go down, IT can meet its full potential as enablers of new cost efficiencies and business excellence.

Originally posted at BizCommunity

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Magic Announced the Latest Version of its Rapid Application Development Platform, Magic xpa 3.2

Magic Software Boosts Its Rapid Development Platform with Expanded Mobile Capabilities and Improved User Experience

The code-free Magic xpa Application Platform provides an easy-to-use, highly-productive and cost-effective development environment that lets organizations and ISVs quickly create multi-channel mobile and desktop business apps. 

Enhancements in the Magic xpa 3.2 release include:

- New Windows 10 Mobile client and iOS 10 support for expanded mobile options

- UX and Productivity Improvements for simplified and faster development 

- Web Services Gateway providing support for n tiered application architecture for enhanced data security 

- Availability of a New Compare and Merge Tool for easier management of multi-developer and multi-version applications 

- Improvements to our popular Upgrade Manager utility and additional backward compatibility features, for smoother, faster and more customized upgrades

"Following the amazing feedback and uptake of our 3.1 release at Upgrade Sessions held around the globe, we are happy to give our customers even more reasons to upgrade with Magic xpa 3.2," states Ami Ries, Vice President, Research and Development at Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. “With enterprise apps at the heart of digital transformation processes, Magic xpa’s powerful and highly productive environment can give enterprises an important competitive edge.”

Magic xpa Application Platform is part of Magic’s End-to-End Enterprise Mobility Solution, which also includes Magic xpi Integration Platform, Magic Mobile Device Management and Magic Mobile Professional Services. 

Magic End-to-End Enterprise Mobility Solution provides organizations with a holistic and cost-effective solution for the rapid creation and deployment of secure, enterprise-grade mobile business apps.

You can try Magic xpa for free, downloading our Single User Edition.

Download the PDF version of our Press Release here

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Australia's Moose Toys integrates Oracle Suite with Magic Software, facilitates EDI globally

Magic xpi Integration Platform drives innovation and efficiency by integrating business processes across Oracle Suite and automating EDI services

Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. announced today that global toy leader, Moose Toys, headquartered in Australia, selected the Magic xpi Integration Platform to help drive innovation and efficiency by introducing business process automation (BPA) across multiple Oracle systems including Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Oracle Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Cloud, Oracle Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Cloud, as well as by automating EDI services. Magic’s Australasian representative, Integral Limited, signed the deal.

Moose Toys growth and innovation has taken the toy world by storm. By employing creative ideas and cutting-edge technology, among other accolades, Moose has become a leading manufacturer of electronic toys for youth, and its CEO, Manny Stul, was recently named the EY 2016 Entrepreneur of the World. But with the success and growth comes additional challenges. The company has to manage many complex business processes involved in taking new toys to market, have an accurate 360-degree view of its business and operate at optimum efficiency. The need for integration and automation of business processes across systems, led the company to look for an integration platform.

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. These integrations will provide Moose Toys with significant process efficiency and improve the visibility and timeliness of data for the company’s US operations. In addition, Magic xpi will be used for integrations with various applications including Oracle Cloud applications, Oracle’s JD Edwards and Oracle Demantra.

"We were looking for an enterprise-grade integration platform that was cost-effective, low- maintenance, and could easily manage business processes between disparate on-premises and cloud systems. Magic xpi ticked all the boxes,” said Ben Dart, COO Moose Toys.

“Since we had recently adopted multiple Oracle enterprise systems, Magic’s Oracle Platinum and Cloud Select Partnership, Oracle Validated Integration status, and Magic and Integral’s history of successful integrations sealed the deal.”

“Leading its industry through innovation, Moose Toys understands the critical importance of business process automation and access to real-time information to speed processes and improve decision making,” said Avi Fran├žois Polak, Managing Director of Distribution at Magic. 

“With its code-free visual approach, broad connectivity and robust IMDG-based architecture, Magic xpi provides Moose Toys with a highly-productive, business-oriented integration solution that also gives them the flexibility to easily integrate more applications and services when their business requires. We’re really excited that every Moose toy will come with a little more Magic.”

About Moose Toys

Moose Toys is a global toy company with a passionate mission to ‘make children happy’. The proud recipient of numerous coveted toy awards, including the rare back to back win in 2015 & 2016 of the Girls TOTY awarded by the Toy Industry Association for Shopkins. A total of 114 awards since 1993 solidifies Moose as a market leader who is consistently placed within the top 5 toy companies in the USA and Australia. Distributing to 80+ countries and supported with 200+ strong global team and offices in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Australia (Melbourne, head office), Moose has cemented itself as an innovative creator of properties that transcend from toybox to apps to entertainment.

Moose is renowned for designing, developing and distributing toy and lifestyle products across the globe for children of all ages and the young at heart. Moose has products in key toy categories including collectibles, arts and crafts, activity toys, dolls, novelty items and outdoor products, and has brought joy to kids worldwide with successful products such as Mighty Beanz, Beados, Aqua Sand, The Trash Pack™, Little Live Pets™ and the current global collectible craze – Shopkins™! For more information, please visit

About Integral Limited

Since its establishment in 1991, Integral has established itself as experienced and enduring market-leading developers of software solutions, “delivering control, simply.”

Integral’s highly experienced consultants and analysts serve clients across diverse industries, including manufacturing, retail, forestry, health, aerospace and logistics.

Integral is the exclusive distributor of Magic Software solutions in Australia and New Zealand and has developed application and integration solutions for leading Australasian companies.

For more information, visit

About Magic Software Enterprises

Magic Software Enterprises (NASDAQ: MGIC) empowers customers and partners around the globe with smarter technology that provides a multichannel user experience of enterprise logic and data.

For more information visit:

About Oracle Validated Integration

Oracle Validated Integration, available through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), gives customers confidence that the integration of complementary partner software products with Oracle Applications and specific Oracle Fusion Middleware solutions have been validated, and the products work together as designed. 

This can help customers reduce risk, improve system implementation cycles, and provide for smoother upgrades and simpler maintenance. Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical process to review partner integrations. Partners who have successfully completed the program are authorized to use the “Oracle Validated Integration” logo. 

For more information, please visit at

About Oracle PartnerNetwork

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle’s partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle’s products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. 

Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program – an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. 

To find out more visit:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

30 Years of Citizen Developers

More than three decades ago, the Rapid Application Development platform known as Magic burst upon the scene and became immediately popular as the PC revolution was in full force.

Glenn Johnson*

Thousands of citizen developers known as “magicians” working on DOS machines created applications quickly and easily accessing ISAM databases and displaying results on green screen monitors. By the mid-1990s, Magic had gone cross-platform and enterprise and global. Its citizen developers had grown-up and were winning all the international development competitions. Suddenly, big businesses started using Magic too and the RAD tool phenomenon of the PC became a mainstay for creating serious business applications that served millions of users and handled billions of dollars in transactions on enterprise servers.

Magic extended its citizen developer approach to application integration as well. Starting in 2003, business analysts could now use “Magic” to connect third-party applications behind the scenes. This RAD approach to application integration began saving companies millions of dollars as they streamlined business processes, unified information and reduced processing errors without hiring a team of point-to-point integration programmers to make it happen.

It is with more than a little amusement then that the Magic community observes the introduction of new “low code” platforms and "click not code" solutions designed to solve a problem that has been largely solved for decades by what has always been known as a “no code” platform. Gartner has invented a new term, “citizen developer” to describe app developers who are basically users that create apps using enterprise approved app platforms.

"Why low code when you can no code?"

For enterprise IT departments considering introduction of low code platforms, a good hard look at a no code platform might provide some reassurance in the form of a proven alternative. The Magic xpa Application Platform and the Magic xpi Integration Platform of today are marvels in terms of their ability to simplify the complexity of underlying environments. Using no code visual interfaces and table driven app creation techniques, a citizen developer can make software and integrate software thanks to several common virtues:

Metadata Driven Development. Why write code to manipulate data when you can instead implement visual business logic directly that creates metadata instructions that can be run as an application? It’s called Magic for a reason: because something special happens behind the curtain; you never see the hard work. You just ask for what you want: “Abracadabra.”

Reusability and the Right Degree of Granularity. Call them objects, components, models, templates, subroutines or services, software that can called and reused by other software is virtuous by reason of its efficiency. Magic’s platforms provide deliver reusability as a core characteristic of their internal architectures and design studio experiences. Apps and integration flows are easily built by leveraging granular objects, components, models and so on. The beauty of the platform is that the granularity of the objects is not so fine as to require constant assembly or so course as to be constrained in their flexibility. With just the right sized building blocks, you can create anything without the effort of coding from scratch.

Event-Driven Architecture. A revolution has occurred in the IT world from an old batch-oriented approach to processing to new event-driven architectures with real-time or near real-time asynchronous processing and simultaneous support for long running processes. In a service-oriented world, the Magic platforms deliver responsive, event-driven environments that allow business applications to respond immediately to requests and changes.

In-Memory Computing. Both Magic xpa and Magic xpi leverage in memory computing techniques through the use of an In-Memory Data Grid. Leveraging virtual spaces of shared memory and processing an active-active clustering occurs whereby performance and operational integrity are fully optimized. Parallelism and redundancy results in elastic scalability and high availability.

These metadata-driven, reusable, event-driven, in-memory application and integration platforms are producing mission critical apps and supporting business critical integration processes. A virtuous platform in the hands of citizen developers can be a beautiful thing. With more than 30 years of expanding use, constant improvement and real-world bullet-proofing, Magic now provides the most advanced application and integration platforms for citizen developers. Why low code when you can no code?

*Glenn Johnson is the senior VP of Magic Software Enterprises Americas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Digital Transformation, Digital Transformation, Digital Transformation!

There’s no getting away from it, the phrase digital transformation has been bandied about at an ever increasing rate over the last year or so. But do we really know what it means?

Sarah Leicester*

At a conference I attended quite recently we were split into groups and all had to give our own definitions on the phrase. No one really struggled to give their own interpretation, and the definitions varied a lot. Some suggesting it’s about using digital technology to work more collaboratively, some said it’s about the integration of tools for a streamlined business process and one even suggested that the concept of being ‘offline’ is going to become obsolete. 

I think it’s evident we’re all comfortable giving some sort of explanation of digital transformation and we’re all aware (in varying degrees) that it’s a fundamental part of the future of business processes. After all, the industry is harping on about digital transformation and we wouldn’t want to look silly in front of our peers...right? But how much do we comprehend its importance in our businesses? Maybe not enough.

So what are we actually talking about when we utter those immortal words? Altimeter defines digital transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle”. Now that we have a common definition, your organisation needs to consider what it needs in order to be “digitally transformed”, thus remaining competitive and ultimately providing the best service to your customers.

"In order to accomplish your digital transformation, you need a free flow of information across all aspects of your business processes."

To do this you need to ensure all your system applications (e.g. CRM, ERP etc) are integrated. Integration platforms enable you to connect different systems quickly and efficiently to provide a 360-degree view of your customer, helping you to best communicate with and serve your customers at every stage of the customer relationship lifecycle. 

Leading analyst firm Ovum, states, “the need for agility and better collaboration and data flow governance will drive B2B integration infrastructure modernization.” Fortunately for you, it’s in the hands of the integration vendors to keep their platforms relevant to ensure you are able to keep your business processes streamlined and efficient. 

We at Magic Software are constantly updating and enhancing our integration platform to best serve the evolving needs of our customers. In fact, the latest release of our Magic xpi Integration Platform has been designed to facilitate digital transformation and IoT projects. Read more about it here and take a look at it in action here

So whether you are undertaking a small digital transformation effort or a broader one, I invite you to contact Magic as we have the products, expertise, and experience to help you succeed.

Sarah Leicester, Marketing Manager, Magic UK.