Investing in ERP solutions

Industry consolidation and vendor research and development are combining to produce ERP systems with a multitude of modules. Should CIOs take all the modules on offer or invest in best-of-breed applications and integrate them with their core ERP systems?

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By  Angela Prasad Published  May 20, 2005

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions vanquish an enterprise’s old standalone computer systems in finance, human resources (HR), manufacturing and the warehouse, and replace them with a single unified software program divided into various modules that roughly approximate the legacy systems. Finance, manufacturing and the warehouse still get their own software, except now the software is linked together so the finance department can look into the warehouse software to see if an order has been shipped. An ERP software package is usually flexible enough, allowing end users to install some modules without buying the entire package. Many enterprises, for example, will just install an ERP finance or HR module and leave the rest of the functions for another day. One such organisation is the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). The oil giant has deployed selected modules of Oracle’s ERP solution that not only fulfill its requirements, but also integrates seamlessly with its existing applications. “We made the decision to use the Oracle solution two years ago. We were looking for seamless technical functionalities and the Oracle solution [happen] to be the ideal fit for our requirements,” says Hesham Al Nouri, CIO of the Kuwait Oil Company. “My organisation had specific needs. We [required] a solution that integrated well with our existing applications. We did not want to change our entire IT platform,” he adds. Today, the company is enjoying huge return-on-investment (ROI). Hesham says the solution has helped streamline day-to-day operations of the company and provide the management with a 360-degree view of daily activities.

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