IT Mashups and Hybrid Deployments
The conventional view of applications being autonomous and self-contained programs is no longer a viable representation of enterprise computing. Today these applications are being integrated as components of complex systems to support company specific operations with hybrid / mashup approaches. In fact, these services are likely delivered through a mixture of conventional, cloud and SaaS infrastructure.
As an example, consider a medium-sized business that manufactures products it sells directly via the web and traditional B2B sales channels. In this environment, you may have Salesforce.com or Sugar CRM for sales force automation, Magento or home grown systems for ecommerce and a backend ERP system to manage financial, production and full supply chain processes. Obviously these systems must be interconnected to assure smooth operations for the organization.
This mashup environment, although tremendously empowering, also comes with a new set of challenges. The business workflows now demand that multiple applications which may be provisioned from different source locations to work in concert to support the business. TDS can help navigate these challenges while getting you to production fast.
The challenge and the agile / open alternative
When companies embark on new systems and processes, it is very tempting to innovate and change across the organization. However, for each business process modified, you will need to think through all interdependencies and the organization change that will be required for a successful deployment. This will cost time, money and productivity.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the deployment of a proprietary ERP system. Since the goal of these vendors is customer lock-in, they believe the best approach is to adapt your business processes to match their view of “best practices”.
Of course, sometimes process redesign makes a lot of sense - especially when current approaches may be overly manual and non-scalable. Another example is when existing processes have been molded around the limitations of software that may have been deployed 3, 5 or even 10 years earlier.
However, each change that you take on will require substantial investment in discovery, planning, implementation and training. This is often complicated by the fact that existing processes are not always as well documented as they should be with heavy reliance on "tribal knowledge" for day to day operations.
With latest generation web technology and open systems, there is an alternative. For quicker ROI, you can take a more agile approach with rapid deployment, progressive functionality rollout and a continuous improvement process. With this approach, you can continue with existing operations where this makes sense.
Assessment and Planning Services from TDS
TDS offers optional business process consulting services to help redefine processes, prioritize deployment and assist with company specific documentation and training services. In many cases, our clients prefer to take the lead on business process definition, documentation and training while leverage TDS for planning assistance, core implementation and ongoing support services.
When assessing business applications, TDS starts by reviewing your current systems, processes and goals. We probe into areas that are working well, while searching for low hanging fruit for process improvement. During the assessment and planning phase, TDS will define the general approach, timeline and pricing to complete an enterprise application deployment to suit your business and technical requirements.
As an output of this process, we are able to provide a fixed price statement of work for core implementations and provide budgetary estimates for variable length, time based efforts.