eProcurement: The Need for Streamlining & Automating Inter-System Transactions

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
Spend Control and eProcurement is clearly an area where best-in-class applications delivered by specialists in procurement provide considerably more breadth and depth of functionality than what is available in large, monolithic and more generalist software packages. 
But when any new application is introduced into a company’s systems environment, it is very important that integration with other applications is well thought through and well implemented in order to ensure seamless business processes and avoid complex systems management. The approach must address issues such as:
  • The need to maintain base data such as account codes and suppliers in one place without duplicate entry
  • The need for the new application to conform to existing data such as the company’s chart of accounts
  • The need to dynamically access certain data, such as account balances, as part of processing transactions
  • The need to protect and fully leverage investments in existing systems 
An approach to integration is required that provides multiple, well defined integration points, at all pertinent business process steps, in each of the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications, in order to facilitate rapid integration with other business software.

Since Spend Control and eProcurement is often integrated with a standard ERP or financial system package, it would be ideal to have to have a proven, fully vendor-supported and maintained integration application that is parameter-driven and user configurable for commonly used applications, Infor Sun Systems, MS Dynamics, UNIT4 Agresso etc. Such standardised integration should have the facility to grow with new plug-in connectors as the market advances. And there should also be a toolbox to extend integration kits to non-standard applications and home grown systems. 
As a specialist in eProcurement, PROACTIS recognised from the outset it must also be an expert in integration. All of PROACTIS applications are designed to be ‘agnostic’ to surrounding financial and operational systems, whether they be packaged or in-house developed applications. The PROACTIS integration framework provides clearly-defined integration points and standard-based tools that make it easy to integrate PROACTIS with just about any application. Going further, PROACTIS standard integration kits deliver “out-of-the-box” integration with popular ERP and financial software packages. These kits are designed to get organisations up and running with seamless integration in a matter of hours.