Posted by Indusa Admin on February 17, 2016 8:32 am
No matter the industry, or how big or small your business is, you most likely have an array of dedicated applications for different lines of business (LOB). Businesses invest in purchasing and integrating solutions that best address the needs of their business models, industry verticals, and at the same time meet the distinct needs of their users. LOB systems play an integral role in supporting day-to-day operations, monitoring a wide range of industries including small, medium, and enterprise businesses. The culmination of all your LOB systems together helps create a unique technology environment, enabling you to offer superior services to customers.
The Results Gap
While the benefits of LOB systems are obvious, getting the most out of them remains a challenge for many. Over 50 percent of LOB investments are unable to meet user expectations today, resulting in a failure to unlock the true business value of LOB systems. There are a plethora of distinct LOB system users, each with a different skill set, working style, and functional requirement. Lack of recognition of such differences and the failure to invest in combined user experience capabilities for workers and managers leads to a gap between what the LOB system is capable of offering and what the result actually is.
The “one size fits all” tactic to evolving LOB system user experiences is the principal cause of user adoption and ROI challenges experienced during LOB system deployments. Moreover, highly structured processes that lack integration capabilities and user experiences that fail to easily adapt to changing business requirements add to the inefficiencies. Addressing the results gap by enabling user and process-centric measures can help leverage your core competencies and enable you to seamlessly integrate with other business productivity tools.
The Need for Integration
With many systems as an integral part of your day-to-day operations, there is a huge influx of data being generated on a daily basis. Data, in silos, is used by different business units. What’s essential is seamless integration between the various independent systems that provide crucial insights, helping you improve speed to market and react quickly to changing business models and industry trends, unlocking the true value of your LOB systems.
LOB systems offering solutions that are aligned with your industry’s core competencies, that can easily adapt to changing trends while at the same time meet user requirements, definitely have an edge over other offerings that lack one or more of these aspects. Integrating LOB systems with a collaboration tool like SharePoint lets you focus on core competencies, allowing you to make timely advances and take advantage of market opportunities. Bridging the gap between users and multiple LOB systems makes it possible to utilize information which has traditionally been siloed into backend systems – steering unified data access, augmenting visibility, and bringing business intelligence to your fingertips. An integrated solution embedded with these characteristics leads to widespread user adoption and satisfaction and enables you to achieve the desired ROI.
SharePoint as an Integration Platform
Microsoft SharePoint has evolved from being a mere intranet portal to becoming the leading suite of end-to-end business productivity solutions. With rich integration capabilities, SharePoint enables building user- and process-centric business solutions that can address LOB system implementation challenges. The incorporation of a collection of tools and services makes it possible to easily and extensively integrate LOB systems and offer rich user experiences for LOB data access, analysis, and operation. Since LOB systems play a crucial role in supporting the functioning of businesses across a wide range of industries and markets, integrating with and leveraging the core competencies of your LOB systems with SharePoint is the most practical approach to bridging the gap in existing LOB system deployments.
Since your front- and back-office employees heavily depend on mission-critical LOB and other enterprise systems to perform daily operations, integration enables a unified repository to store and link documents to customer interactions. Let’s look at some benefits you can achieve by integrating your LOB systems with SharePoint:
- Increase Employee Productivity: Through integration, your employees can focus on tasks-at-hand by minimizing the disruptions of switching between business applications. This helps increase employee productivity with instant access to content, driving quicker processing and workflow completion. This way you can ensure reduced data entry errors and improved staff turnover.
- Improve Access to Real-time Data: By allowing your employees to access information within familiar business application screens, you can increase productivity and decrease employee frustration. Integration transfers content captured in SharePoint to your native business application, making it extremely quick and easy for your employees to search and reference documents with a single click of a button.
- Enhance Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: By bringing together customer related documents like invoices, sales proposals, contracts, payment schedules, and email correspondence at a unified location, your employees can respond and react to customer queries in time. A single consolidated view of all your customers and related transactions from familiar business application leads to better responsiveness, ultimately facilitating increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Reduce Costs: Through LOB and SharePoint integration, you can reduce your operating and storage costs by digitizing paper content that can be easily accessed across departments and locations. Making business data easily searchable and accessible for all your employees through the SharePoint application also safeguards your business critical data against data threats.
Improve Your Bottom Line
When you’re grappling with decisions surrounding enterprise systems to manage expanding operations and accelerate short-term revenue growth, the actual planning and integration of systems often takes a back seat, resulting in business process inefficiencies and collaboration challenges. Integration between SharePoint and your LOB systems enhances operational efficiency, improves real-time visibility for timely and informed decisions, and accelerates long-term growth. Unlock the true potential of LOB systems today to potentially overcome the growing pains that were previously holding you back.
About the Author – Emama Mistry
Emama Mistry is the Senior Project Manager(Microsoft SharePoint) at INDUSA. She has key involvement in all aspects of SharePoint projects undertaken at Indusa, from Pre-Sales, to Architecture, to Deployment, to Development, to Operations.
Contributing Writer: Neha Kumar