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Whew! We made it! What do we do now?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Many ERP implementations focus on integrating the enterprise on a common business platform -- and rightly so. So, once you have successfully accomplished this, how do you move to the next level? Well, at xTuple we have a couple of new products that will enable you to reach out to customers and suppliers, and strengthen your relationship with them.

One is an email and integration platform, and the other is a web portal that provides trading partners web access to elements of your business that you define.  Please take a minute and learn about them...

The first new product is xTuple Connect.  xTuple Connect provides facilities for offline processing and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) connectivity. EDI options range from simple emailing of basic documents (Invoices, Statements, Purchase Orders, Quotes, Sales Orders, Credit Memos) to highly complex XML input and output driven by XSLT style sheets and automatically processing into the xTuple ERP system. xTuple Connect also supports recurring scheduling of xTuple's powerful MetaSQL so that critical business information can be pushed to users through recurring emails or application processing steps can be automated.

In addition, batch jobs and major reports can be scheduled for offline processing. For example, Material Requirements Planning (MRP) can be scheduled for a nightly run. Also, the Accounts Receivable Manager can schedule daily receipt of an email that contains the A/R Aging report in an email attachment.

This video contains a scenario where xTuple Connect retrieves an XML purchase order from a customer's EDI server. The XML file is then converted to an xTuple Sales Order based on an XSLT style sheet transformation. The Sales Order is then issued and shipped and the resulting invoice is converted to an XML file that is transmitted back to the customer's EDI server. The data interchange and data conversions are all scheduled and processed through xTuple: VIDEO

Ultimately, xTuple Connect will enable you to reach out from your ERP implementation and tighten the relationships you have with customers, suppliers, and employees.

The second new offering that strengthens these relationships is the xTuple Web Portal. It empowers customers, suppliers, and partners to interact with you through your website. They can, through a web form, create an CRM Incident (a support ticket) in your internal xTuple ERP implementation. Your team can then address the incident, develop as solution, and respond. As this occurs the public website is updated with status reports, notes and attachments. The entity originating the incident can receive emails informing them whenever its status is updated.

This VIDEO shows a sample xTuple Web Portal process flow.

Expanding the scope of your ERP implementation to strengthen your relationship with customers, suppliers and even end users, is an important follow-on phase to your ERP Implementation. xTuple continues to developing products that can help you achieve this goal, and xTuple Connect and the xTuple Web Portal are the most recent additions to this portfolio.

Mike Atherton

Director Product Evangelism
Mike has delivered project management, implementation, technical and training services to xTuple clients since the earliest days of the company. These clients span a wide range of industries around the world. Prior to xTuple, Mike was a Senior ERP Consultant for Computer Associates International, an expert on multiple CA products, notably the Baan Triton/MK product acquired first by SSA, then Infor. He served as adjunct faculty for The George Washington University and Marymount University where he taught courses on Operations Management and Global Operations Strategy, and currently guest lectures on project management and systems-thinking in The Graduate School USA's Center for Leadership and Management. He holds a B.B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a M.B.A. from The George Washington University. An author of numerous articles, Mike has written on a variety of topics including "Becoming a Closed-Loop Organization," which appeared in Darwin magazine and CIO.com, and "Strategy Implementation: Closing The Management Gap," which appeared in Industrial Management magazine. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, the leading charitable organization dedicated to curing myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).