How to Ensure Your Network Can Support Your ERP Solution

Enterprise resource planning has always been a staple for businesses, even before software solutions existed to ensure that the activities involved in ERP were all integrated and easily accessible. Now that such software – both on-premises and in the cloud – has become increasingly popular, companies must ensure that their network is up to the task of supporting the system.

Recently, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that cloud-based ERP solutions are seeing more growth, and would contribute to the doubling of the SaaS market – causing it to reach $78 billion by 2016. While ERP in the cloud can offer a range of benefits for enterprise users – including anywhere, anytime access and boosted productivity – such a solution puts even more pressure on an already taxed business WAN.

Is your WAN up to the task? A  Software Defined THINKING WAN, can help ensure support for these all-important ERP systems. With SD-WAN technology in place, an ERP is continually accessible and top-performing, and issues like latency and availability become things of the past.

“Cloud-based ERP solutions are seeing more growth, and will contribute to the doubling of the SaaS market – reaching $78 billion by 2016.”

ERP: What makes it valuable
ERP solutions provider Ramco noted that there are several benefits to leveraging an ERP in a business setting. In addition to integrating the range of solutions used for enterprise resource planning into a single platform, these solutions also enable better reporting across a company. This helps prevent resources and important materials from falling through the cracks, keeping key stakeholders on the same page when it comes to what’s available and what is being utilized for another initiative.

Because ERP solutions keep better track of resources through an improved system, business leaders can improve their decision making, and ensure that nothing is being wasted.

“An ERP system introduces fundamental innovations in managing resources, which eliminates delays and thus reduces cost of operations,” Ramco noted. “For instance, use of mobility allows real-time collection of data, which is indispensable to lowering costs.”

PwC noted that in recent years, businesses have been combining cloud and legacy ERP modules to create a hybrid ERP solution that can help address emerging customer demands. This new style of ERP use brings with it a whole host of additional advantages.

Hybrid ERP systems are enabling enterprises to make the most of their legacy, on-premise ERP systems while scaling their IT strategies to align with and accelerate current and future customer-driven business models,” wrote Forbes contributor Loice Columbus.

However, this model of use can only provide true value when the proper network support is in place to ensure availability.

Where ERP goes wrong: Lackluster network support
But just what type of role does WAN technology plan in ERP usage? Let’s take a look at a few use cases and how they are impacted by less-than-satisfactory WAN support:

  • General availability: First and foremost, let’s examine the typical use case, where an employee seeks to access and utilize data within the ERP solution. Without an optimized WAN providing the necessary support, the platform could become inaccessible to the employee due to a lack of available network paths. This means not only is the worker unable to connect with the information, but he or she is unable to complete the task at hand as well.
  • Real-time updates: One of the most attractive benefits about cloud ERP is the ability to update and have changes reflected in real time. This is especially important to keep geographically-dispersed office locations and employees on the same page as far as resources go. However, a poor WAN connection could have negative implications here as well, as latency could cause a delay in such real-time updates. In an enterprise setting, this could mean stakeholders are unable to view the latest figures as they relate to critical resources, causing them to make business decisions without the newest information in hand.
  • Mobility: Ramco also noted mobile device access capabilities as a key benefit, enabling employees to access and update the ERP from anywhere. This ensures that no matter where the employee is working – the lunchroom, a conference room or other area away from their desk and computer – they can still connect with the resource data they need. Similar to the first case, improper network support could cause a mobile ERP to perform slowly, or be inaccessible altogether. With mobility becoming increasingly key in enterprise circles, this could cause a whole host of issues, not the least of which being reduced productivity.
    An inaccessible ERP solution can cause frustrating obstacles for today's business users. An inaccessible ERP solution can cause frustrating obstacles for today’s business users.

Addressing WAN issues with software defined technology
An ERP is a critical part of today’s business operations, but a network that doesn’t provide optimal support could make such a solution more trouble than it is worth. So how can today’s companies address these all-too-common issues?

The answer is software defined WAN technology, such as Talari’s THINKING WAN. This solution helps to ensure that the traffic associated with critical applications like ERP is prioritized, taking the best possible path across the network. This provides the best system performance and helps to eliminate problems related to latency and availability.

With Talari’s Software Defined THINKING WAN in place, the network becomes an intelligent, self-sufficient system that is able to make the best decisions for each data packet depending on current conditions. This means applications have the support they need to perform at their best even in the face of an outage or link degradation. A software defined WAN ensures that businesses make the most of all their available links, including Internet and MPLS, so applications deliver as expected by end-users.

With a THINKING WAN from Talari, businesses are able to reap all the advantages of ERP technology, including legacy and cloud solutions. To find out more about how SD-WAN technology can benefit your organization, request a custom demo today.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Application Performance/Application Quality, IT Challenges, Hybrid WAN