Magento and e-commerce in B2B, ERP and PIM environment

The integration of ERP systems and e-commerce is as old as e-commerce. B2B, ERP, PIM or supply chain management and their integration are since years essential part of Magento installation. 6 years ago many ERP vendors didn’t look to Magento. But today “Magento SAP integration” is one of the most asked questions. Reason enough to have a look to IT history and related buzzwords.

Do you know “CIM”? Computer Integrated Manufacturing ….
In the 80 ‘and 90′, this was one of the buzzwords of software vendors and consultants. Created by “Think tanks” at universities and consulting companies, “CIM” promised an holistic approach to automate shopfloor and factories, making manufacturers more competitive.
Analysing those projects and looking behind the scenes, you could see what we see also today. Customers need to understand their processes and implement their business strategy inside them. Computer and software were just a tool for that.
30 years later software companies and consultants started to sell “Industry 4.0″. It’s like old wine in new bottles. But at customer side we see a new generation of managers repeating the mistakes of the predecessor – Believing in software & concepts, but not in excellence in their business.

In many companies we see a heterogeneous IT infrastructure today, evolved during decades. Like 30 years ago there is a need to integrate all components, to look after interfaces, processes and procedures.
The often mentioned homogenous IT infrastructure doesn’t exist in reality. You can find everywhere stand-alone solutions, as for production control, shopfloor management, product data management or sales.

That looks like a disadvantage, but it is not in reality. Stand alone solution are often perfectly tailored for their purpose. They support their users in the best way, which is quite relevant in the competition. On the other hand standalone solution require much more effort for integration.

Integration between ERP and e-commerce platform is a classic example of stand alone solutions.
E-Commerce means sales. Sales ​​means sales channels. There are so many concepts and presentations on “xy channel”. It shows the strong interest and need for ideas and answers. Companies not choosing the best solution for sales today, failed already the first move.

But why talking about CIM and Industry 4.0?
After CIM we saw the concept of “Supply Chain Management” explaining supply chains and their management. After the industry 4.0 wave we will see again, that integration and the understanding of business processes will remain the most aspect.

At #MM16DE there is a strong focus on B2B, ERP and PIM. 8 speakers present their ideas and concepts. Have a look to case studies, strategies and detailed “how to”.