Directed Basic Research in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Directed Basic Research in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

S. Parthasarathy (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-731-7.ch025

Abstract

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) covers the techniques and concepts employed for the integrated management of businesses as a whole, from the viewpoint of the effective use of management resources, to improve the efficiency of an enterprise. One way of looking at ERP is as a combination of business processes and information technology. The objective of this chapter is to highlight the research challenges in ERP projects from the viewpoint of software engineering and draw round the solutions in hand. This chapter on the directed basic research in ERP systems gives us two outputs: (1) A comprehensive framework presenting the current research problems in the ERP systems from the viewpoint of software engineering and (2) The channel to solve these problems. The outcome is a high quality, reliable and complete ERP software solution.
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Background

Software Engineering is a discipline that integrates the process, methods and tools that are required for the development of the software. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an integrated software system reflecting the business processes of an enterprise. ERP is often referred to as the packaged software. This is different from the traditional software in the sense the ERP software adapts the best practices in the industry as the base for the customer’s requirements. An ERP system can be regarded as one of the most innovative developments in the information technology of the 1990s. The motivations for the enterprises to implement ERP systems are the integration, standardization capabilities, flexibility to customize the software and their abilities to drive the effective business process re-engineering and the management of core and support processes.

According to the AMR Research Report (www.amrresearch.com), the ERP market had a spectacular year, with total revenue growing by 14% and license revenue up an amazing 18% from 2005. While sales of traditional ERP applications were very healthy in 2006, many vendors also saw substantial revenue growth from the acquisition of other software companies. Large organizations continue to roll out SAP or Oracle, while many SMEs or smaller divisions of the large organizations are still in the ERP selection process, searching for the right point product or upgrading applications. As per the AMR Research report on ERP called “Enterprise Resource Planning Spending Report, 2006-2007,” U.S. companies increased their ERP budgets by 11.3% in 2007. It also states that the enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications market grew to $25.4B in 2005, reached $29B in 2006 and over the next five years, the market will grow at an average of 10%.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Business Process Reengineering (BPR): Business Process Reengineering is defined as the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.

Supply Chain Management (SCM): Supply chain management is the practice of coordinating the flow of goods, services, information and finances as they move from raw materials to parts supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): The fundamental theory behind CRM is to identify profitable customers, attract and retain them, and maximize their useful life span and the profits from them by establishing and fostering good relationships with them.

Knowledge Management (KM): Knowledge is a derivative of symbols, data, and information. Knowledge management is defined as the management of information and knowledge and their usage in organizational routines/processes within organizations.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): The ERP package aims at integrating all key business activities through improved relationships at all levels to achieve a competitive advantage. ERP systems can be considered an IT infrastructure able to facilitate the flow of information between all business processes in an organization.

Customization: Customization is the core process for adjusting the software to fit the organization.

Requirements Engineering (RE): Systematic requirements analysis is also known as requirements engineering. It is a software engineering task that bridges the gap between system level requirements engineering and software design.

Decision Support System (DSS): Decision support system is the information and planning system that provides the ability to interrogate computers on an ad–hoc basis, analyze information and predict the impact of decisions before they are made.

Software Engineering: A discipline that integrates process, methods and tools for the development of computer software.

Software Metric: It refers to a broad range of measurements for computer software. Measurements can be applied to the software process with the intent of improving it on a continuous basis. Software metrics are analyzed and assessed by software managers. Measures are often collected by software engineers.

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