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Open Platform ERP – delivering business value and a competitive advantage

The Open Platform is an exciting development in ERP, but how will it impact your business now and in the future?

The success of companies like Uber and Airbnb is well documented, and though they operate in different industries they both have one thing in
common: their success is based on the principles of the Platform Economy. The Platform Economy is built on collaboration and integration. A fundamental requirement for participation in that economy is an Open Platform.

Sage X3 is the foundation for your Open Platform

At Sage Summit held in Dubai in April 2019, Sage enhanced their Open Ecosystem with announcements for new APIs and GraphQL for Sage X3 version 12. Sage’s announcement is important to customers who want to be more competitive and drive real business value from their ERP investments. With enhanced business system interoperability, Sage X3 is an enabler for the business models that drive the Platform Economy.

What are Open Platforms, and why are they so important now in ERP?

An “open platform” is identifiable by these three attributes:

  • Enables its data to be accessed by its users, suppliers or customers
  • It’s a system in which interoperability and integration are primary design objectives – there are no “silos”
  • It’s powered by technology that is freely available through open licenses, and it uses industry‐standard Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to facilitate access

The value of interoperability and integration between enterprise business systems becomes clear when you consider the ability of Open Platforms to:

Connect multiple or dissimilar ERP systems – Sometimes businesses have a mix of different ERP systems, e.g. Sage ERP systems at branch level and “Brand B” ERP at head office. This may be a legacy of mergers and acquisitions, or it may be by design to reduce software licensing costs and the Total Cost of Ownership.

Whatever the reasons, Open Platforms can create a seamless and homogenous ERP environment, while reducing the complexity and cost of maintaining and supporting these systems.

Connect ERP to other enterprise business systems – In a “best of breed” world, with an increasing number of Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, there is a growing need to connect other business systems to your ERP system.

An example may be connecting a CRM system, to create a 360‐degree view of your customers and their buying behaviours. Open Platforms and APIs provide a quick and secure means to achieve this.

Connect your ERP system to customers and suppliers – In the “always on” world of business, and particularly in eCommerce, the ability to service your customers around the clock is a clear competitive advantage.

Providing managed access to your systems, through web and mobile apps, can allow your suppliers to service your business needs in new ways that reduce costs and improve your competitiveness.

Open Platforms deliver real business value

Open Platforms reduce costs – You can reduce processing time and errors by streamlining existing operations and eliminating manual processes and handoffs.

You can also cut out non‐core processes, such as handling customer enquiries on the phone, by opening up your systems to customer and supplier self‐service.

What’s more, you can reduce the cost of maintaining and supporting multiple systems by using tested industry‐standard APIs.
Open Platforms increase revenues – You can identify trends and opportunities better with improved visibility across your systems and business lines, and enhance the Customer Experience by anticipating customer needs with better insights.
Open Platforms enhance your Governance, Risk and Compliance posture – Regulatory and compliance reporting has become complex and time‐consuming.

Sophisticated reporting tools, using APIs for integration, can help you to comply with these growing demands quickly.

Open Platforms will future‐proof your business – Enabling you to respond quickly to threats from traditional competitors or start‐ups, by providing the agility to change business models and systems.

The Web brought change, and Open Platforms are bringing business transformation

It’s easy to see the great business value that Open Platforms can deliver. They enable you to compete in the Platform Economy, while providing a measurable Return on Investment.

But the biggest benefit is the ability to drive business transformation and competitiveness. In the same way as the World Wide Web opened up the Internet, Open Platforms are enabling businesses to grow at unprecedented rates by sharing information and services with customers and external
partners in the Platform Economy.

Coming up next

Winning in the Platform Economy – a 4‐part series that will explain what it is, why it’s changing the face of business and how your business can become a part of it…

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