Network Quality of Service for Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: A Case Study Approach

Network Quality of Service for Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: A Case Study Approach

Ted Chia-Han Lo (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Jairo Gutiérrez (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-274-9.ch004
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Abstract

The research reported in this chapter studied the relevance of the application of network quality of service (QoS) technologies for modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, explored the state-of-art for QoS technologies and implementations, and finally provided a framework for the provision of QoS for ERP systems that utilise Internet protocol (IP) networks. The motivation for conducting this research has been the fact that, to date, there is a dearth of literature on the realisation of network QoS for mission-critical ERP systems. Nor have the current implementations of QoS been studied with the objective of developing a practical framework, based on the knowledge and experiences of the practitioners, to allow a structured approach for the provision of QoS for modern ERP systems. Due to the intent and the nature of the research, an interpretivist research paradigm underlies the work and informed a qualitative research method. Based upon the research problem and the context of research, a case study research method has been selected. Four individual cases—including both leading ERP vendors and network technology vendors—were conducted. The primary data collection was done using semi-structured interviews and this data was supplemented by an extensive array of secondary material. The case data collected was then analysed using qualitative data analysis strategies derived from the existing literature. Cross-case analysis confirmed that the traditional approaches for ensuring the performance of ERP systems on IP networks do not address network congestion and latency effectively, nor do they offer guaranteed network service quality for ERP systems. Moreover, a cross-case comparative data analysis was used to review the pattern of existing QoS implementations and it concluded that while QoS is increasingly being acknowledged by enterprises as an important issue, its deployment remains limited. The findings from the cross-case analysis ultimately became the basis of the proposed framework for the provision of network QoS for ERP systems. The proposed framework focuses on providing a structured, yet practical approach to implement end-to-end IP QoS that accommodates both ERP systems and their Web-enabled versions based on state-of-art traffic classification mechanisms. The value of the research is envisioned to be most visible for two major audiences: enterprises that currently utilise best-effort IP networks for their ERP deployments and ERP vendors.

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