Often times enterprise software systems come in “modules” that offer functionality to serve multiple business groups, departments, or processes. Examples include:
Often times in the sales process, multiple modules will be offered together in a package deal, to increase value and bring more users into the best practices provided by an enterprise software system.
Makes sense, right?
Of course! Only buy the modules that you need. And expand into different modules once you’re ready (and once the department, group, or business function it serves is ready).
But a very prudent question to ask is how are these modules connected? How is data shared between Contracts and Risk? How can we roll data up across all of our modules to support our corporate goals and objective tracking?
It’s a pretty logical to assume that it would be straight forward and easy to make modules talk to each other. However, often times modules don’t talk to each other at all, and require quite a bit of work to connect- even though they are from the same platform, company, and system.
If you’re looking into an enterprise system with multiple modules, consider these questions:
- Do the modules share a single database– if yes, this should make it easier for the modules to “talk” to each other and share data
- Are there any integrations required to share data between modules– if so, there could be additional software costs (adapters, servers, etc) and service costs (technical consulting to install the modules)
- If an integration is required, how is it set up- are there any pre-built adapters to make the integration easier? Is data shared through XML/batch files or is the integration real time? What data fields can be exposed?
Asking these questions can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.