Cloud computing is currently a much discussed topic, but one in five medium-sized businesses currently do not know what cloud computing really means or what potential this technology brings. This is the result of a recent study. Only twelve percent of the surveyed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are already using IT from the cloud. The aim of this two part article is to develop a decision model for the introduction of ERP cloud computing services using the example of a medium-sized company. It is considered here, the extent to which ERP cloud computing services for the enterprise is a profitable solution. Here, among other aspects of IT security, the accessibility of the system, the functions and personnel costs are considered and brought about a measurable compared to the existing, traditional local IT infrastructure.
In order to develop a decision model for the introduction of ERP cloud computing services using the example of a specific company, initially the current IT landscape, goals for the future operation and maintenance have to be defined in terms of corporate strategy. The measurement criteria of these goals are, in the selection of the available solutions, as comparison criteria that must be evaluated.
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction to Databases in the Cloud
- 2 Employees and Corporate locations
- 3 Modeling of business process
- 4 Problems
Decision Model for Introduction of ERP Cloud Computing Services : Employees and Corporate locations
Take that, the senior management and IT are located at its headquarters. Purchasing, accounting and auditing are housed in the second branch in the same City. Both branches are in the same state, as well as the 5 sites in offering the customers services. No other functional areas of the company are located in the branches of some states.
Take that, there are 60 HP Office Business Computers from the year 2010 with a Windows 7 operating system. For the text and table processing and for communication via e-mail, Office 2010 Professional is used. The company’s Enterprise Resource Planning System is SAP Business All-in-One and an installed SAP GUI is available. The ERP system is adapted to the needs of the company for executing an order for the rental of construction equipment. Maintenance and enhancements on and around the ERP system are implemented by the IT department. Every workplace has on the shared file server via a file storage as a network drive. The permissions are controlled centrally via the domain. Each of the user IDs has a SAP license.
All workstations are integrated into a domain. This applies company wide and across all locations. The link to all sites is carried out by an Internet service provider, this is a router at each site with an IP address of each subnet available.
In the local network, a SAP production server will be used. This is the central application server for all the stores. In this system, an Oracle database is also installed as a data management for SAP operation. Apart from the production server, a SAP development server is available to administrators and developers. In this in-house developments be created and tested before they are transported to the production system. Furthermore, at the headquarters, a Primary Domain Controller is being used. This is responsible for authentication and authorization of the PC and the user. For the e-mail system is available a mail server.
Decision Model for Introduction of ERP Cloud Computing Services : Modeling of business process
For the modeling of company processes event-driven process chain (EPC) will be used. Through this the description of standardized processes, as well as representations of business processes with regard to current and future changes is possible. The use of other process modeling tools such as UML or BPMN 2.0 has been omitted, since the EPC notation covers the presentation of the required detail here and is widely used.
For the decision paper, first the general business process is considered. The process begins with a request by a prospective customer to the rental center. There, the processing of the request can be made depending on the case in three different ways. In person at the rental center, by phone or through a sales representative at the customer site.
After a successful first consulting the test is carried by the vehicle disposition, whether the desired property is available and then prepared for the handover to the customer.
All available to rent and materials are registered in the SAP system as an independent material number. In these, the rent per day, month and year is filed. These are always automatically calculated during the contract period at periodic intervals on an existing lease. The holdings are permanently monitored in the background of the SAP system and automatically updated with each change in the Contract Data. A new lease is always created with a contract period. These terms are changed at any time. A rental may consist of several rental properties and materials. The first periodic statement is always exactly one month after contract start. If the lease for a period of less than a month, so the calculation is done immediately with the end of the contract. On an ongoing contract positions can be grudge at a later date. The calculation of these quantities parts can be done separately or be combined with the calculation of the main positions. With the completion of the rental period, the return delivery of the leased property is done by the customer. This is followed up by the vehicle scheduling and inspected for possible damage incurred.
After completion of the follow-ups and damage assessment is done when preparing the financial statement to the customer. The invoice is generated manually or the customer receives them with the billing cycles.
sub-process order processing through sales at the customer
From the general business process, job processing is performed by a sales representative of the company at the customer site. This sub-process is important for the decision submission. A potential customer would like an appointment with a sales representative, on site.
After registration, the data is checked by the accounting department and the vehicle dispatching and accepted with positive identification, the order and the customer both are notified. Currently, the sales representative can not communicate with the corporate network and thus make no binding offers on site to the customer with the use of their laptops.
Decision Model for Introduction of ERP Cloud Computing Services : Problems
To improve the IT-based enterprise business processes, the problems must be known and defined. The problem descriptions also include the effects of the operation as well as the probability and extent of damage. The probability is divided into gradations:
- Low (probability less than 5%),
- Medium (probability between 5% and 20%)
- High (probability 20%)
The potential damage is scaled into:
- Low (damage less than 1% of annual sales)
- Medium (damage between 1% and 3% of annual turnover) and
- High (damage over 3% of annual turnover).
The impact of this problem show up in various forms:
When customers can be provided binding offer, this results in a negative external effect for the company
Increased effort for the field staff on the basis of duplicate detection job data and subsequent feedback to the customer
Increased susceptibility to errors in transferring the detainees customer data into the ERP system by temporal separation of the two processes
Ad-hoc requests from customers which can not be timely processed by field staff, it may be followed by a job loss
The probability of occurrence of the problem is classified as high, since currently 25% of all jobs are generated by field staff and requesting appointments is much higher. The resulting damage to the company can still describe as low, but there is growing dissatisfaction of customers through the lengthy order processing, thus it can be assumed that in the future fewer orders can be generated by the field staff.
This Article Will Be Continued to Part 2.