Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are vital for all kinds of companies, especially those that are growing or very large.
ERP may also be discussed within the corporate setting as Information Management Technology (IMT), or it may have other code names.
Companies look to software providers for help in managing all kinds of enterprise resources. Some of the biggest needs fall in the categories of accounting, financial analysis, human resource management, client relations, manufacturing, supply chain, and inventory management. Some of the largest solution providers include Oracle, IBM, SAP, Salesforce, and Microsoft.
Below are a few ERP success stories to help understand some companies’ biggest challenges and goals in this area.
- Choosing the Oracle ERP Cloud solution helped Western Digital merge three businesses.
- In 2018, Walmart announced a five-year agreement with Microsoft for Microsoft Azure, which creates a framework for multiple ERP systems.
- The TD Bank Group of companies also contracted with Microsoft Azure for a cloud framework that can integrate multiple capabilities and create more digital innovation opportunities.
Western Digital is a technology company with offerings in the areas of data, data storage, data systems, and data solutions. A merger of Western Digital, SanDisk, and HGST was a big challenge for the company around 2019. With the merger, Western Digital wanted to centralize ERP so that all three companies could better work together.
After final deliberations among two providers, the company went with the Oracle ERP Cloud. This choice also followed with an Oracle Suite of products that included solutions for performance management and analytics, all integrated together.
The major benefits of the Oracle choice included integrations from the three businesses across the following:
- Cost center management
- Information technology
- Human resource management
- Payroll processing
- Streamlined systems for forecasting business analytics and forecasts
- Workforce planning
- Comprehensive dashboards and automated reporting
- Improved customer relationship analysis
- Systems all running efficiently in the cloud for easier accessibility and document management
Walmart is one of the top ten largest companies in the United States by market capitalization. Sales for the company are around $500 billion annually, which nearly doubles that of its closest retail competitor Amazon.
The company operates globally with brick and mortar supercenters, discount stores, and neighborhood markets. It owns hundreds of brands, including the well known Sam’s Club. To successfully keep its shelves stocked it works with thousands of suppliers. Its e-commerce business is also a behemoth, with a long list of online seller partnerships. The sheer size of Walmart’s business is one of its greatest advantages, but also challenges when it comes to ERP.
Walmart works with many ERP providers. In 2018 however, it announced a strategic partnership for building out a digital transformation through Microsoft Azure. Expectations for the Microsoft Azure relationship include:
- Plans for building out a cloud-based enterprise system that serves as the framework for managing all of its resources
- The capability to plug-in existing ERP applications to the Microsoft Azure framework
- Integration of Microsoft 365
- Broader and more efficient opportunities for e-commerce
- Broader opportunities for automated warehousing capabilities
- Use of artificial intelligence for supplier relationships
- Integration with SAP Hana and other legacy inventory management solutions
- Integration with blockchain-based solutions that are evolving
TD Bank Group
A migration to a sound cloud framework was also the driver for a relationship between TD Bank and Microsoft for the Microsoft Azure ERP. For the TD Bank Group, some of its biggest challenges are centered around digital storage and the digital experience for customers.
With Microsoft Azure, the TD Bank Group will also integrate Office 365. Some of the greatest benefits TD Bank will experience with its Azure relationship include:
- Enhancements in derivative pricing and risk management for TD Securities
- Integrations for its proprietary data and analytics database used in cross-bank reporting
- Integrations with artificial intelligence developments through its subsidiary Layer 6
- Greater opportunities for managing TD Bank customer relationships and digital experiences
The Bottom Line
ERP systems are usually big-ticket projects with high costs and varying timeframes. Often, the commitment to an ERP system is one a company hopes to keep over the long haul. Comprehensively, a company can utilize many different ERP solutions and providers, which can create a lot of compatibility complexity.