Integration is one of those hot topics that has everyone in IT buzzing. Even so, most companies don’t practice anywhere close to what they preach when it comes to syncing up enterprise systems.
Bring up the subject of integration with most IT professionals and you’re likely to get an eye roll, maybe even a full-throated groan. Integration projects, according to conventional wisdom, are costly, overly complicated, and all-consuming from a resource standpoint. Trying to integrate two systems is frequently compared to falling into a black hole; say many who’ve tried, burdening IT with a lot of extra work and risk without delivering enough of an upside to the business.
While the knocks against enterprise integration projects may be true, the same can’t be said for attempts to establish smaller point connections between systems in the hopes of scoring targeted wins. Connecting an Adept document management system with the email system of record, for example, can do wonders for establishing a centralized record of all interaction with a particular client. Similarly, syncing up Adept with a project management and scheduling tool or a contact management platform can streamline critical workflows and ensure everyone is working off the same information and meeting shared goals.
Greene, Tweed & Co. may be a major player on the global stage, but for most of its history, its engineering data had a decidedly local footprint, tucked away in different file shares around the world and typically painstakingly difficult to find and share.
That is until the manufacturer of high-performance elastomeric and thermoplastic materials embarked on a journey to deploy Synergis’ Adept Product Data Management (PDM) system to centralize its critical engineering assets, including SOLIDWORKS CAD files, and to automate approval workflows on a global scale. But Greene, Tweed wasn’t content to stop there. Its vision was to integrate the Adept PDM platform with its core ERP system to make engineering data accessible to a much broader audience.
Greene, Tweed, like many companies, sees value in syncing its core enterprise systems rather than fostering silos that prevent groups like engineering and manufacturing from readily exchanging data and working off the same page. That’s according to Steven Danasko, SAP Solution Specialist in Greene, Tweed’s IT Center of Excellence, Product Lifecycle Management, who was the key orchestrator of the project. Danasko says that beyond a desire for more centralized data repositories and integrated workflows, the Adept/SAP integration made sense from a financial standpoint because it opened up access to critical engineering data to existing ERP users without requiring investment in additional software licenses.