Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
Problems with Non-ERP Systems
In-house design limits connectivity outside the company
Tendency toward separate IS’ s within firm
lack of integration limits communication within the company
Strategic decision-making not supported
Long-term maintenance costs high
Limits ability to engage in process reengineering
Traditional IS Model: Closed Database Architecture
Similar in concept to flat-file approach
data remains the property of the application
fragmentation limits communications
Existence of numerous distinct and independent databases
redundancy and anomaly problems
Paper-based
requires multiple entry of data
status of information unknown at key points

What is ERP?
Those activities supported by multi-module application software that help a company manage the important parts of its business in an integrated fashion.
Key features include:
Smooth and seamless flow of information across organizational boundaries
Standardized environment with shared database independent of applications and integrated applications

Two Main ERP Applications
Core applications
a.k.a. Online Transaction Processing (OLTP)
transaction processing systems
support the day-to-day operational activities of the business
support mission-critical tasks through simple queries of operational databases
include Sales and Distribution, Business Planning, Production Planning, Shop Floor Control, and Logistics modules
Two Main ERP Applications
Business analysis applications
a.k.a. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
decision support tool for management-critical tasks through analytical investigation of complex data associations
supplies management with real-time information and permits timely decisions to improve performance and achieve competitive advantage
includes decision support, modeling, information retrieval, ad-hoc reporting/analysis, and what-if analysis

OLAP
Supports management-critical tasks through analytical investigation of complex data associations captured in data warehouses:
Consolidation is the aggregation or roll-up of data.
Drill-down allows the user to see data in selective increasing levels of detail.
Slicing and Dicing enables the user to examine data from different viewpoints often performed along a time axis to depict trends and patterns.
ERP System Configurations: Client-Server Network Topology
Two-tier
common server handles both application and database duties
used especially in LANs

ERP System Configurations: Client-Server Network Topology
Three-tier
client links to the application server which then initiates a second connection to the database server
used especially in WANs

ERP System Configurations: Databases and Bolt-Ons
Database Configuration
selection of database tables in the thousands
setting the switches in the system
Bolt-on Software
third-party vendors provide specialized functionality software
Supply-Chain Management (SCM) links vendors, carriers, third-party logistics companies, and information systems providers
What is a Data Warehouse?
A relational or multi-dimensional database that may consume hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of disk storage
The data is normally extracted periodically from operational database or from a public information service.
A database constructed for quick searching, retrieval, ad-hoc queries, and ease of use
An ERP system could exist without having a data warehouse. The trend, however, is that organizations that are serious about competitive advantage deploy both. The recommended data architecture for an ERP implementation includes separate operational and data warehouse databases
Data Warehouse Process
The five essential stages of the data warehousing process are:
Modeling data for the data warehouse
Extracting data from operational databases
Cleansing extracted data
Transforming data into the warehouse model
Loading the data into the data warehouse database

Data Warehouse Process: Stage 1
Modeling data for the data warehouse
Because of the vast size of a data warehouse, the warehouse database consists of de-normalized data.
Relational theory does not apply to a data warehousing system.
Wherever possible normalized tables pertaining to selected events may be consolidated into de-normalized tables.
Data Warehouse Process: Stage 2
Extracting data from operational databases
The process of collecting data from operational databases, flat-files, archives, and external data sources.
Snapshots vs. Stabilized Data:
a key feature of a data warehouse is that the data contained in it are in a non-volatile (stable) state.
Data Warehouse Process: Stage 3
Cleansing extracted data
Involves filtering out or repairing invalid data prior to being stored in the warehouse
Operational data are dirty for many reasons: clerical, data entry, computer program errors, misspelled names, and blank fields.
Also involves transforming data into standard business terms with standard data values
Data Warehouse Process: Stage 4
Transforming data into the warehouse model
To improve efficiency, data is transformed into summary views before they are loaded.
Unlike operational views, which are virtual in nature with underlying base tables, data warehouse views are physical tables.
OLAP, however, permits the user to construct virtual views from detail data when one does not already exist.

Data Warehouse Process: Stage 5
Loading the data into the data warehouse database
Data warehouses must be created and maintained separately from the operational databases.
Internal Efficiency
Integration of Legacy Systems
Consolidation of Global Data

Risks Associated with ERP Implementation
Pace of Implementation
Big Bang–switch operations from legacy systems to ERP in a single event
Phased-In–independent ERP units installed over time, assimilated and integrated
Opposition to Changes to the Businesses Culture
User reluctance and inertia
Need of (upper) management support

Risks Associated with ERP Implementation
Choosing the Wrong ERP
Goodness of Fit: no ERP system is best for all industries
Scalability: system’ s ability to grow
Choosing the Wrong Consultant
Common to use a third-party (the Big Five)
Be thorough in interviewing potential consultants
Establish explicit expectations
Risks Associated with ERP Implementation
High Cost and Cost Overruns
Common areas with high costs:
Training
Testing and Integration
Database Conversion
Disruptions to Operations
ERP is reengineering–expect major changes in how business is done
Implications for Internal Control and Auditing
Transaction Authorization
Controls are needed to validate transactions before they are accepted by other modules.
ERPs are more dependent on programmed controls than on human intervention.
Segregation of Duties
Manual processes that normally require segregation of duties are often eliminated.
User role: predefined user roles limit a user’ s access to certain functions and data.
Implications for Internal Control and Auditing
Supervision
Supervisors need to acquire a technical and operational understanding of the new system.
Employee-empowered philosophy should not eliminate supervision.
Accounting Records
Corrupted data may be passed from external sources and from legacy systems.
Loss of paper audit trail
Implications for Internal Control and Auditing
Access Controls
Critical concern with confidentiality of information
Who should have access to what?
Access to Data Warehouse
Data warehouses often involve sharing information with suppliers and customers.
Implications for Internal Control and Auditing
Contingency Planning
How to keep business going in case of disaster
Key role of servers requires backup plans: redundant servers or shared servers
Independent Verification
Traditional verifications are meaningless
Need to shift from transaction level to overall performance level
Implications for Internal Control and Auditing
ERP projects may be concurrent with BPR, CRM, Data Warehousing, SCM
All of these increase risk of successful implementation
ERP systems impact organizational structure and internal controls
New control policies must precede migration to an ERP system
Implications for Internal Control and Auditing
Gartner Group noted following concerns regarding implementing ERP:

Audits of ERPs
Audit could provide assurance covering the areas of
process integrity
application security
infrastructure integrity
implementation integrity
ERP Products
SAP: largest ERP vendor
modules can be integrated or used alone
new features include SCM, B2B, e-commerce, XML
J.D. Edwards
flexibility: users can change features; less of a pre-set structure than SAP’ s
modularity: accept modules (bolt-ons) from other vendors
ERP Products
Oracle
tailored to e-business focus
Internet based vs. client-server based applications
PeopleSoft
open, modular architecture allows rapid integration with existing systems
Baan
use of best-of-class applications

this concludes the ERP slide presentation

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