For a complete business-driven look at the benefits (and challenges) associated with eProcurement and broader P2P systems integration in a cloud environment, we encourage you to download: Procurement Systems Integration Within the Enterprise: Exploring Integration In The Cloud.
Spend Matters observes four types of P2P integrations areas where eProcurement or other frontline buying systems are integrated in real-time:
- The first (and most common) is integration into core ERP/MRP environments focused on core financials and inventory. We should note that rarely is any financials integration "vanilla," even in the case of standard ERP/MRP integration, which often forms the connectivity between front line buying and procurement activity and IT/ finance systems. Even in this area, typical fields that organizations map for integrations are often highly dependent on the specific ERP and business application packages they are integrating with (e.g., GL coding structure). Moreover, the degree to which the underlying financials system is set up from a financial accounting, corporate governance and managerial accounting will dictate the level of ideal integration required for P2P.
- The second is focused on procurement related integrations into a range of toolsets. These may include vendor management systems (VMS), software monitoring/metering/licensing applications, T&E and travel tools, contract management systems, supplier management applications and e-invoicing/AP automation tools.
- The third is to more generalized business applications outside of procurement that are relatively similar across industries. This can include CRM, HR, specialized inventory, warehouse management, asset management, claims/warranty and related toolsets.
- The fourth is industry-specific, such as in retail/point-of-sale (POS) systems. Other examples include contract management and e-invoicing capabilities necessary in environments such as oil and gas, where a $200 million PO might have a single-line item: "drill an offshore well."
We explore the types and implications of P2P systems integration in detail in the following Spend Matters perspective: Procurement Systems Integration Within the Enterprise: Exploring Integration In The Cloud. The research brief is part of the Spend Matters Research Library, a service that offers free access to over fifty Spend Matters papers for qualified procurement and supply chain practitioners. Providers, including software companies, consultants, BPOs, staffing firms/MSPs, etc., can access the Spend Matters research library by becoming Spend Matters PRO Core (single seat) or Premier (company-wide) access members.