information systems

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ERP problems and application integration issues

Name : Lee Bak Wai

Student ID : 08044422

Course : BIS Sem 6

Introduction

   The article that I have chose is "ERP problems and Application Integration Issues: An Empirical Survey" which is published in 34th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences ( HICSS-34)-Volume 9 in Maui, Hawaii on January 2001. The author of this article is Marinos Themistocleous, Zahir Irani, Robert M. O' Keefe and Ray Paul from Information System Evaluation Group, Department of Information System and Computing  in Brunel University , Uxbridge , UB8 3PH , United Kingdom. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a computing software that used by company to coordinate the information in every function area of the businesses. Usually the function areas of a company includes Marketing and Sales, Supply Chain Management, Account and Financing and Human Resource.

   ERP plays an important role on improving each function area so that department can communicate with each other effectively and produce a satisfying result.ERP brings conveniences and improvement to the company. However, the purpose of this article is to clarify the ERP problems and Integration issues with an empirical survey where the research of the topic is based on experimental or observation.

  This article has addressed out the benefits of using ERP but has not achieved and integration issues that has not been pointed out. The author of this article seeks to make contribution by researching and analyzing the issue on ERP based on Internet survey. In this article, the author will suggest few solutions for the issue addressed and introducing Enterprise Application Integration(EAI) to solve most of ERP known problems.

  In my opinion, this article clearly described the issues of ERP and its integration with other component where the objective of this article is to identify, analyze and present data. Besides that, the section 2 of this paper focuses on ERP failure, Section 3 focuses on methodology used on the survey to support the statement, Section 4 presents the responses on the fact finding and lastly Section 5 focuses on Application Integration. These statements are supported by many examples , scenario (company case), empirical survey and statements from other books author. It can be clearly seen at the reference page. Therefore, this paper can be considered as a well-formed article. All the key point and fact-finding are pointed out directly.

Critical Review

  In my opinion, I think that the name of the article which is "ERP problems and Application Integration Issues: An Empirical Survey" is appropriate to use. This paper is a discussion on ERP problems and its Integration issues. All the fact-finding are based on Internet surveys. In the introduction, the author has explained the terms of ERP and its Integration issues. The issues raised are identified and analyzed. Besides that, author provides new integration software (Enterprise Application Integration) EAI to solve the issues and briefly explain on the content of Section 2 , Section 3 ,Section 4 and Section 5. The statements of the introduction are leading to the purpose of the study coherently.

  As for the content of each section, the author did not write a section to outline and review the previous studies on this topic. However, the author did mention the name of referrer/referrer documents on most of the statements to clarify the key point he made. Nevertheless, it will confuse the reader due to the fact there the reader need to research on other author statements while reading this paper.

  There are two phases of methods used in the research, which is Web based research then the Response based research. In web-based methods, the author performed literature review to focus on ERP problems and based on the findings from literature review the author develop a sets of questionnaire, which embedded the triangulation structure to reduce bias. In the triangulation structure, it contains three set of categories, which is demographic, business and management, and technical.  Besides that, the author uses search engine and ERP magazines to collect resources such as ERP email list, forums and chat room. Once the questionnaire design is completed, the author loaded the questionnaire on internet and distribute to its member list. Then, all the responses will be stored in web database for further analysis once the respondent filled in the questionnaire.

    Upon collection of data in web-based research, the responses are to analyze and reported. In this phase, 2 steps are included which is Reliability Control and Data Analysis. Reliability control is doing its part to check the reliability of the responder. It check with IP analyzer and data analysis whether the responder exceeded the limit of reliability criteria. Data Analysis will analyze the data after reducing the bias and unreliable responses.

    The author use this methodology to gather data, analyze data and perform data was indeed an effective way to acquire accurate information. In fact, it is a useful methodology for us to use on our own research. By doing the exact steps of this 2 phase methodology, we are able to filter and collect a set of accurate resources where it is useful on own research development.

    As mentioned above, the data are collected based on triangulation structure format, which is survey findings in demographic, business and management and technical. Demographic finding will identify the people/companies responding to the survey and business management focuses on department that decided to implement ERP system, business benefits expected after implementation of ERP system and management issues that will faced during the implementation period. It is because some of the implementation may need the company to stop operation for a temporary of time that may cause the company a loss of time and monies. As for technical, it will focuses on technical issues such as legacy maintenance and technical error. A sets of questionnaire that are based on this triangulation structure are developed to collect data from responder. Then it will be analyze using Reliability control and data analysis as mentioned above. In my opinion, I agree on using this methodology to gather data because it's hard to acquire a accurate information by using Empirical Survey. However, this methodology does annihilate the bias and produces an accurate result. In addition, it will be better if the data is later presented in a well-formed way instead of converting it to percentage (%).

   As for the tables and diagram, the author did not input stronger supporting data such as statistic and hypothesis data. The author identifies the issues and problems into percentage and displays it in the tables. However, the titles and the data in the table do assist in describing the content.

  Based on the results, the researcher success to clarify the failure of ERP and the solutions to solve the issues arises. As for the article, it was well organized where it firstly identified the ERP problem then the methodology use to prove it and the survey findings to support the statement and lastly the Application Integration to provide solutions. It enable readers to read the article in sequence without confusion.

   In this article, I find the most interesting part is the Section 2 and Section 3 which is ERP System Failure and Methodology. It is because this article fact-finding is convincing and methodology used is easy to understand. It allows reader to use the same methodology on future fact-finding by following the steps. It is undeniable that the strength of this article is the fact-finding and the information/statement referrer is well formed. The author uses a lot references to support its own statement which makes the article convincing. However, this article does not have enough its supporting material such as diagram, tables and statistics. It looks like the author collects all references and compile into one article. In future, I may remember this article but not the author itself.

In conclusion, this article may be a good article when the author has enough own supportive material. However, even without this fact this article has clearly explained on Enterprise Resource Planning Issues and the solution. It help the companies to identified their own problem and take this article as the references to find solutions.


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