In theory your new ERP system will handle all your information integration needs. In practice it’s a darned nice theory.
When you get down to it, you’re going to find that you need other third-party packages to handle jobs that your ERP system either can’t do or can’t do adequately.
As a result you’re going to find that you need to share information with the other packages, or interact with them on a transactional basis. That means you’re going to have to tie these third-party packages into your ERP system. To do that you’re probably going to need an integration partner.
How to integrate your applications will depend on the details of your software and your system.
In some cases the third-party supplier will have provided interfaces for the most popular ERP systems. This makes the integration job relatively easy.
If your software doesn’t have built-in integration, you will need to decide the level and nature of the integration desired and decide how to create and maintain the integration.
It’s important at this stage to specify exactly what you need integrated and at what level. This determines the scope of the operation and will help save time and resources on the integration job.
In developing your integration plan, make sure you do any custom integration between packaged applications outside the applications rather than by trying to go inside the applications.
Don’t modify packaged software as that is a fertile source of trouble. Modifying packaged software leads to integration and maintenance issues that are very hard to deal with.
The choice of an integrator is one of the most critical parts of this job. Ideally you want someone who has experience in these kinds of integrations who is familiar with your ERP system and the applications to be integrated. It may be hard to find someone with these qualifications, but it is worth looking seriously.