As technology evolves and develops, integration strategy will become ever more complex and challenging.
As cloud environments evolve, it is likely that over 80 percent of all integration projects will involve cloud and on-premises interoperability. It will be increasingly imperative to consider privacy and data security issues. The data structure of existing software applications in use in your company will require adaptation and customized configurations.
While numerous software solution providers declare that they have expertise in delivering complex and sophisticated integrations, the truth is that very few actually have the necessary experience. Successful integration requires not only a broad and comprehensive understanding of software infrastructure and compatibility, but also a deep “boots on the ground” understanding of your fulfillment execution processes.
What does this mean for your company as you plan to launch a new fulfillment execution software solution? It means you had better be extremely selective when you choose a software solutions provider. You need a company who will be responsible for the complete integration of your new fulfillment execution solution and take into consideration the current platforms in use at your company. If you fail to take these factors into consideration, it is almost certain you will fall far short of any expectations.
How can you protect yourself against the risk that’s involved with purchasing a new software solution? Two aspects that can reduce the overall project risk are finding a software provider that has a proven track record of successful integrations and understanding the level of complexity involved in each of the software projects. If you can find a software supplier that has years of experience implementing, configuring, and integrating sophisticated systems, you should hire them. Customer testimonials are another way of lowering the project risk. Discovering the pros and cons of a software by talking with a few of their clients can help you distinguish a good software supplier from a bad supplier. Additionally, ask about their continued availability and support after the implementation. Last, don’t forget to ask about the level and experience of their people. This will give you an idea of the experience of the company as a whole.
Cloud / On-premises applications
A sophisticated provider will have extensive experience in managing the cloud/ on-premises questions. One of the first IT questions that needs to be addressed is whether a cloud-based WMS or an on-premises WMS is best for your business. Many customers share and move workloads across a confusing range of hosting environments, including legacy co-located equipment to on-premises private clouds and even public clouds. It really doesn’t matter what environment or combination of environments you take advantage of. Regardless, having complete and seamless integration that facilitates the instant and simple management of data and applications is a critical factor in the integration process.
If you are going to use the cloud, it is important to make sure that the public cloud has a simple cloud management interface. Private cloud service relies on public cloud facility. The interface needs to be easy and dependable. If you are a smaller company, web-based interface might be sufficient. For larger companies, using an API to automate your cloud interface will be a preferable option.
Your fulfillment execution solution provider must understand these issues and must offer flexible, scalable solutions, so that as the technology evolves and your business requirements expand, they can continue to provide fast and effective access to data and applications.
How can you find a fulfillment execution supplier with the necessary skills and experience to ensure a seamless and effective integration with all of your other business processes? How can you be sure that the solutions you adopt will be scalable and efficient for years to come? How can you know that the advice about cloud hosting and / or on-premises alternatives reflects state of the art technology?
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