Enterprise Resource Planning
Assignment 2 - Research Report - 10% (Due Session 8) Individual Assignment
For this component you will be required to analyze a case study of an organization and write a report on it on a recent academic paper on a topic related to ERP implementation on any organization. Some possible topic areas include but are not limited to:
The paper you select must be directly relevant to one of the above topics or another topic and be related to ERP or Software Engineering. The paper must be approved by your lecturer and be related to what we are studying this semester in Enterprise Resource Planning. The paper can be from any academic conference or other relevant Journal or online sources such as Google Scholar, Academic department repositories, or a significant commercial company involved in research such as IBM etc. All students must select a different paper. Thus, the paper must be approved by your lecturer before proceeding. In case two students are wanting to present on the same paper, the first who emails the lecturer with their choice will be allocated that paper. Please note that popular magazine or web-site articles are not academic papers.
A grade of 10% of the Units mark will be awarded for your presentation and your participation in other student presentations. You are to prepare a set of powerpoint slides for your presentation. If you do not participate in at least 70% of other student’s presentations, you will forfeit a significant proportion of the marks for this component.
Note: if class numbers are large the presentations may be organized into groups, but students will still all need to select their own individual paper for Assignment 2. In the case where presentations are arranged in groups each group can decide which students’ paper will be used for the presentation.
The presentations will occur in sessions 5-12 on the academic calendar for the semester and the order of presentations will be by arrangement, but these will be evenly spread over those sessions.
What to Submit.
For this component you will write a report or critique on the paper you chose from the topic above listed.
You should perform a literature survey on the topic to identify the benefits and challenges associated with ERP implementation. Based on your literature survey, you need to create and submit (1) an abstract (2 pages) in IEEE format and (2) a 5-10 mins video presentation explaining the abstract.
Your report should be limited to approx. 2000 words (not including references). Use 1.5 spacing with a 12 point Times New Roman font. Though your paper will largely be based on the chosen article, you should use other sources to support your discussion or the chosen papers premises. Citation of sources is mandatory and must be in the IEEE style.
Your report or critique must include:
Title Page: The title of the assessment, the name of the paper you are reporting on and its authors, and your name and student ID.
Introduction: Identification of the paper you are critiquing/ reviewing, a statement of the purpose for your report and a brief outline of how you will discuss the selected article (one or two paragraphs).
Body of Report: Describe the intention and content of the article. If it is a research report, discuss the research method (survey, case study, observation, experiment, or other method) and findings. Comment on problems or issues highlighted by the authors. Report on results discussed and discuss the conclusions of the article and how they are relevant to the topics of this Unit of Study.
Conclusion: A summary of the points you have made in the body of the paper. The conclusion should not introduce any ‘new’ material that was not discussed in the body of
the paper. (One or two paragraphs)
References: A list of sources used in your text. They should be listed alphabetically by (first)
author’s family name. Follow the IEEE style.
The footer must include your name, student ID, and page number.
Note: reports submitted on papers which are not approved or not the approved paper registered for the student will not be graded and attract a zero (0) grade.
Enterprise Resource Planning
Reporting Paper: Post-Merger integration strategy of multiple ERPs in the Hardware Industry
The report reviews the paper written by Matin Shaikh discussiing the “Post-Merger integration strategy of multiple ERPs in the Hardware Industry”. The paper was presented at ISPIM Connects Bangkok – Partnering for an Innovative Community, Bangkok, Thailand on 1-4 March 2020.
The report reviews the paper and substantiate the findings of the paper with the help of other studies and other researches conducted in this area. Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) have become common business strategy for growth and expansion and ERP is the base for operations in every organization. Thus successful ERP integration has become the basic need of any M&A. The report reviews the study and research carried out in the paper and will report on the findings of the paper in each topic in light of additional research and literature review on the topic. The report concludes by supporting the results of the paper.
Intention of the Paper
Since mergers and Acquisitions are done with the objective to achieve growth, expansion and profitability at a faster rate, the same is not optimized properly due to the lack of ERP integration (Fitzgerald, H., 2017). ERP integration ensures integration of all the functions across the now larger organization like the human resources, finance accounting, operations management, etc. When there are more than two organizations going for merger, the problems of ERP integration is even higher because each of the organization has its own customized ERP system with hardware and software and own reason for supporting the system (Batchmaster, 2018). The best ERP system that can be implemented organization wide is difficult to identify and justify. The lack of proper ERP integration leads to failure of proper communication in the organization and defies the merger objectives. At the same time the investment is huge is adopting new, advanced and complex ERP system.
The ways in which a good and well integrated ERP can help the organization can be simply depicted in the following diagram:
Source: (Elmonem. A., Nasr, E. & Geith, M., 2016
The paper discusses:
Research methods used
The case study research methodology is used in the paper. The case of post-merger integration of ERP of three multinational hardware companies is studied. The three companies were having different ERP system. The case study is important and relevant for the study as the acquirer company decided to implement the new ERP system on cloud instead of adopting the ERP of either of the companies or getting a new ERP system made in house for the resulting company.
Further to understand the basis for choice of the strategy, the qualitative exploration technique is used in the form of semi-structured interviews with the executive manager from HR and IT department, two to three middle managers from operations, IT department and HR department, and two technicians is done. The interview is also carried out with one business user to understand their view on the new ERP.
The data collected through interviews and with the use of narrative coding was done to identify the influencing factors.
The four ERP integration strategies used in the study for reference are as follows:
1)Absorption- the ERP system of one of the merging partners is used as standard for all the companies. It results in forcing of the ERP system on some of the merging organizations and hence leads to lower acceptance in some group of employees.
2)Best-of Breed integration: The strategy evaluates the information system of the merging organization and the best system from amongst them is adopted (Myers, M.D., 2008)
3)Co-existence integration: in this strategy the ERP system of the organization merged are operated in parallel and minimum integration efforts are done.
4)Greenfield approach: in this strategy a new ERP system is developed and organization wide the new system is used.
Findings of the Paper
The paper found out that the acquirer company in the case study chose to use the new ERP system over cloud and thus used the Greenfield approach on Cloud environment.
Cloud model in IT is the model where in the organizations does not need to own the hardware and software resources rather they are made available to the users on web platform. The resources are owned, maintained, upgraded and hosted by the third parties. The users only pay for the usage of the resources like the rent for usage any immovable property. The model involves lower capital investments while allowing the users to use the latest technology and solution to complex needs on demand. In Cloud based ERP model the ERP software is manage offsite and available on cloud. The organization can now focus on the core competencies of the business rather than IT management (epicor.com, 2020).
The on-premises ERP involves installation of hardware and severs locally in the organization and the system is managed by the internal IT staff of the company. The responsibility to manage the system, upgrade it and maintain lies completely with the organization. The whole process involves cost, time and latest resources. While the cloud ERP does not involve any management involvement by the organization and provide latest technology up-gradations for payment of recurring fee (epicor.com, 2020)
The literature review and research on cloud ERP carried out in Elmonem. A., Nasr, E. & Geith, M. (2016) also says that the benefits from Cloud ERP can be summarized as follows:
-Low investment cost: no investment in building of the infrastructure required for ERP. Only needs to pay for the access of the resources via internet.
-Low operating cost; the cloud service provider is responsible for maintenance and up-gradation of the system, thus reducing the operation cost to the organization.
-Quick implementation: since the cloud service providers have wide range of solutions and access to latest technologies they are able to provide quick solutions to the operation problems of the organization.
-Easy scalability: since the organization is availing the services on web against the payment for usage of resources, the service are elastic and can be scaled up and scaled down as per the needs of the origination with least cost variance.
-Easy Integration: The availability of variety of cloud services and applications makes it easy to integrate the various function of the organization across different applications easily. This is more useful in mergers and acquisitions with organizations using different applications for their functions.
There are various strategies available for post-merger integration of the ERP systems. The research shows that the major concerns and problems for ERP integration post-merger were as follows:
Problems highlighted by the Authors
The completely new ERP system posed following problems:
The use of cloud environment helped in overcoming the problems. However there are certain problems with the cloud ERP which cannot be ignored completely (Elmonem. A., Nasr, E. & Geith, M., 2016).
-Security Risks: The availability of resources on web cloud increases the security risk to the data of the organization.
-Performance/failure risks: since all the work is carried online through internet connection any disruption in the internet services can lead to performance issues and complete shutdown of the ERP system.
-Service level agreement (SLA) issues: the whole ERP system of the organization is dependent upon the cloud services, there can be SLA issues with the vendor and can risk the continuity of the business operations.
-Loss if IT competency: Since the organization is renting all the services on cloud from the service provider the organization do not have any IT competency of its own and is completely dependent upon the skill and expertise of the service provider.
Results and Conclusions of the Paper
The results of the study was the use of new ERP system on cloud by the resulting organization as it helped the organization address most of its concerns and resulted in successful integration of the ERP post-merger.
The paper concluded that the major factors that affect the choice of ERP integration strategy in mergers & acquisitions are:
It is concluded from the review of the above mentioned paper that ERP integration is an important factor to realize the benefits of merger & acquisitions. ERP helps in integration of various functions all across the organizations and helps in growth and expansion.
However, the each merging organization have their own customized ERP systems which are not capable to meet the needs of the new and larger organization. Also there are acceptability issues with use of ERP system followed by any one organization. The new ERP system is the best option but it comes with high cost of investment in resources and is time taking.
Thus cloud ERP is the best solution in the given situation. The cloud ERP results in availability of the ERP system on web which is hosted by the third party. The responsibility to maintain and upgrade lies with the vendor and the organization has the right to use the system for some recurring fees. The could ERP system results in low cost of operations, benefits of scalability, availability of latest technologies, quick implementation an integration.
However, there are some limitations to Cloud ERP like risk to data and dependability on the vendor for quality and up gradation and availability of un- interrupted internet services.