Integrating your Magento eCommerce site with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne can be an overwhelming project, but the outcome is well worth the effort. A Magento and JDE integration automates data sharing processes between the two systems, reduces the possibility of human error, and eases the pressure of potential growth on your eCommerce site.
Creating internal support for your integration project will be critical to the success of the project itself. To encourage internal support, we suggest following a few key steps.
Define Your Integration Strategy
When discussing an integration strategy, the technical aspects fall away and the focus is on the business strategy. Who will own what data and which data processes? Answering these questions helps to prevent inefficiencies throughout the project due to miscommunication and logic duplication. The best way to go about planning an integration strategy is to focus on the Golden Rules of Integration: keep the business logic where it belongs, don’t duplicate data unless you know why, and use an integration methodology that’s appropriate for the project.
Data: The One Source of the Truth
Data is the lifeblood of an eCommerce engine, and the data needed for an integration project typically already exists in JDE. This makes it critical to set a strategy around the data integration. It is crucial to determine where each data element should be stored and which system “owns” the data. Careful consideration should be given to data points such as Customer Master data, Item/Catalog data, and Customer Order Information.
After it is decided where each data point should reside, who owns it, and how it will be shared, a data map should be created so that ownership is clearly defined and documented. A great mantra to keep in mind is: “There can only be one source of the truth.” This will help to establish whether Magento or JDE should own the data.
Keep the Business Logic Where It Belongs
After it’s determined whether Magento or JDE owns each piece of data, consider the business logic required to process an eCommerce order. Magento includes functionality that is duplicated in JDE, such as item pricing, taxing, and order processing. In considering these redundancies, look to keep a business function within the system that is best suited for processing that function.
A great example is the pricing engine. Both Magento and JD Edwards have very flexible pricing engines. However, Magento also features powerful promotion and discount modules as well. Duplicating the JDE pricing engine into the Magento system can be a daunting task, and generally is not recommended. The project team must look at the business logic and determine which system handles the functionality best.
Ten Points of Integration Methodology
Our standard integration strategy looks at ten different integration points and related business logic and processes. The goals of each project determine which integration point is needed, and how it is used within the overall project. Typically, our project use four to six integration points, but we have had projects with only one or two, and projects using all ten.
A good example of an integration point is inventory availability. The first business decision to be made is whether or not the Magento site should expose inventory availability to the shoppers. Not every eCommerce site does, and those that do use a few different methods for sharing this information. Some sites show the actual number of products available, while others share a red, yellow, or green light to indicate availability. Another option is to simply provide an ‘In Stock’ or ‘Out of Stock’ flag on the site. These business decisions drive the type of integration required, and how timely the update needs to be.
Engage Your Sales Team
Internal support is crucial for any project, but getting buy-in from your sales team will really benefit a Magento and JD Edwards integration. The project team must engage the sales team early and often in order to rally their support for the integration. We have found that once the sales team understands how the integrated systems will align with corporate goals and how it can help them specifically, they will embrace the project.
A fully integrated eCommerce site brings with it several new tools and strategies that can improve the lives of the sales team. A new eCommerce site replaces the cumbersome traditional order entry model, where the sales team captures the order from the customer and enters the details into JDE. This was typically done by talking via phone with the CSR team, entering the orders, or by faxing handwritten order forms to the home office.
The sales team can still leverage order entry as needed on behalf of the customer, but now the salesperson utilizes Magento to place orders for the customer, typically while visiting with the customer or while on the phone with them. The advantage of this scenario is that the sales team is leveraging the same systems as the customer and can see any other orders that the customer has placed.
Finally, once the sales team is using Magento for placing orders, then the organization can use Magento's marketing capabilities for marketing to the sales team on behalf of the customer. In this scenario, the cross-sell/up-sell functionality is geared more towards the sales person, rather than the customer. This helps to ensure that the sales team is made aware of all the latest promotions at the exact time they need to know them: when they are placing an order for a customer. This also helps new members of the sales team by educating them as they are working with their customers.
All of these tools allow the sales team to spend more time facilitating relationships with customers, which is a significant benefit to any organization.
Identify Your Project Leader
Any eCommerce project, especially those in a B2B environment, touch almost every part of your organization: Sales and Marketing, Operations, Finance, and especially IT. There must be a champion for this endeavor within your organization, someone who will help to drive the project through to launch and ensure that it gets the TLC it deserves thereafter.
With your integration process nailed down, it’s important to find a partner to support you along the way. Our team has years of experience integrating Magento and JD Edwards and we’re always up to the challenges of an integration.
Are you ready to get started? Contact our team.