ERP software: The technology platform decides

(Estimated reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)
Ralf Riethmuller

Ralf Riethmuller

Heads the service department at KUMAVISION. In this role, the technology expert is also responsible for Cloud, Teams and office 365

The technological basis of ERP industry software is very different: the scale ranges from proprietary solutions that are developed completely in-house to full-fledged technology platforms that bring a whole range of business applications that are adapted and expanded for different industries will. The platform also decides whether and how easily an industry software in the Cloud or as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as well as in a hybrid scenario. But what actually makes a technology platform?

Versatile platform instead of isolated islands

The technology platform Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes a variety of other business applications and tools in addition to the ERP software Business Central (formerly Navision). In addition to CRM solutions for sales, marketing and service, these include business intelligence applications (evaluation platform), solutions for workflows and mobile apps with a low-code concept, Outlook, Office 365 and teams as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and much more. KUMAVISION uses this fully Cloud-enabled platform and supplements it with industry-specific functions and best-practice processes for different industries such as manufacturing industry, wholesale, project service providers and medical technology. The unique selling point of this concept: All applications work with one database, so problems with data from different applications, isolated solutions and expensive interfaces are a thing of the past.

Efficiency through integration

A modern technology platform shows its strengths in everyday work through its continuous integration capability. An example: A company receives an order by e-mail. Instead of searching for the required information in the e-mail and copying and pasting it to the ERP software, the user calls up the KUMAVISION industry software directly in Outlook. Without changing the program, the ERP software is displayed in Outlook on the right-hand side. The industry software analyzes the e-mail and automatically recognizes the order items. The corresponding item numbers and prices are determined with the help of the system and, for example, transferred to an order. The order is displayed and can be approved at the touch of a button and sent as an e-mail including a PDF attachment. The employee never left Outlook. The seamless integration not only saves time, but also reduces the error rate. Similar scenarios are possible with Microsoft Teams.

Business intelligence instead of gut feeling

The renunciation of data silos is characteristic of modern technology platforms. Because if all business applications in the company work with the same database, the basis is laid for reliable evaluations that include all areas of the company. Does the technology platform then also bring its own business intelligence solution with it, like Microsoft Power BI, the transformation to a data-driven company is possible. With which products and services do we actually earn how much money in which regions? How busy is our team? How about customer satisfaction? How is sales with customers and suppliers developing? Where are hidden risks lurking? Interactive reports and dashboards with up-to-date key figures provide answers to such questions. Here, too, the direct integration saves the industry software time and creates better insights.

All together

An example of the flexibility outlined above is the ease of creating workflows. Workflows pursue several goals in parallel: they increase efficiency through automation, they relieve employees of administrative tasks, they document compliance with legal provisions or internal regulations and avoid costly errors through integrated test routines. The workflow solution Microsoft Power Automate makes it easy to link the business applications of the technology platform: An approval workflow that links the industry software (Business Central) with Outlook and teams, taking into account if-then branches, can be done without Easily create programming effort. Microsoft also offers dozens of templates that companies can customize themselves.

High pace of innovation

As an industry software provider, KUMAVISION can fully concentrate on the industry-specific issues, functions and benefits. The technology partner Microsoft, which invests several billion US dollars in research and development every year, is responsible for the basis. This gives KUMAVISION customers early access to new technologies and innovative products.

Seamless IoT and AI support

New business models such as pay-per-use or predictive maintenance also benefit from the platform concept. Machines and devices can be easily connected to the ERP software via IoT-based sensors and Microsoft Azure IoT services. Whether operating times, units produced, materials used or error messages: All relevant information can be transmitted in real time and automatically triggers the creation of an invoice in the ERP software, an order for the subsequent delivery of materials or a service order for the field service. The logging of environmental conditions and machine settings in production directly in the KUMAVISION industry software is already possible today. By the way: A technology platform must not be equated with a closed system. The exchange with third parties such. B. suppliers, shipping service providers or online marketplaces is possible at any time. For example, Microsoft provides hundreds of connectors that make it easy to connect other solutions

Think about the future today

With the decision for ERP software, companies commit themselves for many years. In addition to the current range of functions, the technology platform should always be included in the decision. After all, it ultimately decides on future security and investment security. What advantages you Microsoft Dynamics 365 opened and how you can use it to optimally map your company-specific requirements, we would be happy to show you in a personal conversation.