Make your systems more flexible
Do you sometimes feel trapped because your systems are so rigid and they can’t seem to keep up with your organization’s changing needs?
Over the years, a company will put a number of systems in place to meet the business needs of its various departments. The company ends up with several systems from different eras that often don’t communicate well with each other. Replacing all of them to enable data-sharing would be very costly.
The old systems rarely have interactive or digital features, as they were designed a long time before the Internet played such a large part in business.
Yet I’m sure you’re getting more and more special requests from other departments wanting to use the latest computer technologies in their day-to-day work.
Are you constantly being asked to install software programs in line with the latest tools? I imagine so. And I imagine you have a hard time responding to those requests because of how your environment was designed.
Interactivity, innovative features and personalization
Most likely, some of the latest requests you’ve received are related to improving client communications.
Providing an interactive, personalized customer experience is increasingly important to an organization’s growth, and departments that serve customers are fully aware of it.
They want to send out simple, automated mailings, using email for some clients, and paper for others. Some want to personalize invoices for each customer. Others want to generate reports based on data from a number of incompatible systems.
In order to do this, the systems hosting the customer data need to be more flexible.
Business Operations departments want everything to be instantaneous and interactive so that they can save time, reduce costs and improve customer service. Moreover, your competitors already have such capabilities, and your employees have gotten used to this new type of digital service, which they receive as customers of other companies.
They don’t understand why you can’t help them and why it’s so complicated to put such a system in place.
But on your end, you have to juggle rigid legacy systems with a limited IT budget.
So what should you do?
It’s best to find a solution that aligns with your existing systems, instead of introducing sweeping changes.
Bridging the gap between systems
For many years, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software packages have been helping companies to better centralize their essential information. All of the data involving billing and customers can be stored with ERP software. But these are often complex systems that require specific skills to make changes. What’s more, it’s expensive and time-consuming to make the needed changes to these systems that are often far beyond their prime.
ERPs are just one example of systems that manage a company’s information. In order to interact with clients, Business Operations departments must be able to access data from several systems (CRM, ECM, etc.).
Instead of altering the existing systems, it’s advisable to get a middleware system that bridges the gap between systems, without having to change them directly.
This middleware system is sort of like an orchestra conductor, coordinating the data sets from the different systems and harmonizing their performance. The conductor makes it possible to easily convert and standardize data moving between systems.
So you can readily respond to the needs of the departments requiring more interactivity, without having to play with data from heavy and complex systems.
The conductor makes changes as new systems are developed and adapts to your vision, and not the other way around.
You’re wondering about the likelihood of finding such an ideal tool? You think it may exist, but only for large companies? There’s hope! Take a peek at our services designed to help Microsoft Dynamics AX integrators.