Integrating Magento with an ERP system can seem like a daunting task, but it’s always worth it. Tying your two systems together can allow business logic to remain within the existing ERP system while still enabling data to flow in real time to Magento, making the eCommerce process much smoother.
When it comes to integrating Magento with SAP, you need to identify which functionality and data points are the most critical for your business. Beware of the one-size-fits-all approach offered by many marketplace extensions. Your data integration needs are complex and may not easily mirror the needs of others. Prioritizing key integration points by identifying how the data will flow is essential.
Regardless of how complicated a project’s integration needs might be, our team follows six key steps for a successful integration. While every project is different and has different needs, these steps help ensure that the best possible solution is applied.
Six Key Steps for a Successful Integration
Define the eCommerce Strategy
When beginning a Magento eCommerce and ERP integration, you first need to ask yourself a few questions: What is the site intended to do? Is it intended to primarily increase revenue, decrease costs, or improve customer satisfaction? Rank these in order of importance, with only one ranked as most important.
Engage the Sales Team
Get the sales team on board. Make sure the sales team understands what role the online site will play in the company and how they can leverage the site for success. An eCommerce site can be a valuable tool in your sales teams’ arsenal to effectively and efficiently meet your customers’ needs.
Define the Project Leader
An eCommerce project, especially in a B2B environment, will 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.
Identify the Primary Data Source
Data is the lifeblood of an eCommerce engine, and the data needed for an integration project typically already exists in the ERP. 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.
Put the Business Logic Where it Belongs
After it’s determined whether the eCommerce or ERP system owns each piece of data, consider the business logic required to process an eCommerce order. ECommerce systems typically include functionality that is duplicated in the ERP, 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.
Use the Best Integration Methodology Available
There are several integration options available, including a simple FTP process, an MQ Series, and Web (Business) Services. It’s often beneficial to use an integration methodology that is already being used, but it may make sense to change to a new technology. When deciding on which methodology to use, you need to consider the initial programming needs as well as ongoing support. Our team regularly turns to our Ten Points of Integration strategy for success.
You can read more about integrating Magento and SAP in this case study.
Do you have a Magento and ERP integration project that needs some help? Contact our team.