EXTENDED ERP SYSTEMS AND ERP ADD-ONS
Businesses often employ two systems to make sure business processes run efficiently - a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system and an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com and Microsoft offer on-premise as well as Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM and ERP solutions to businesses of all sizes. A CRM system deals with frontend information - managing valuable customer data and enriching it through interactions with marketing and customer support.
This helps businesses understand prospects and clients, manage relationships and sales pipeline, and upsell and cross-sell products. An ERP system handles critical backend information - generally managing customer information that is required once orders have been placed.
This can include purchase history, billing and shipping details, accounting information, financial data, and supply chain management details. Both client relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems independently offer substantial benefits to businesses.
The Integration Challenge Generally, ERP and CRM systems tend to remain siloed as their contrasting architectures make it difficult to streamline integration. Those who try to create seamless connectivity between the two often turn to custom point-to-point integration. This method is fragile, expensive, and difficult to maintain. With point-to-point connections, a developer needs to manage connectivity and implement changes. Moreover, changes impact the entire system, leaving room for errors. These point-to-point integrations deliver a short-term solution, but become overly complicated as businesses grow. Another method businesses many times resort to is “swivel chair” data entry.