Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Building a Bridge. Building systems in a vacuum results in technical achievements that fail to meet business requirements. In other words, a disaster. One book, Totally Integrated Enterprises, bridges the business and IT domains. It educates business process owners on the capabilities and technologies that provide tools to support operations, and gives IT insights into how to best develop and deploy systems that meet business requirements.

Integration is assumed to be within the context of ERP systems, which are enterprise-wide in scope. The level of detail is kept reasonably high so that both audiences can easily grasp the key issues and understand the challenges and needs of the other. What I like about the book is the fact that it never loses sight of business requirements, and the manner in which it stays focused on quality and real world issues. I also like the way case studies are used to reinforce some of the more abstract aspects of enterprise integration.

Highlights of this book that will interest both business and IT include:

Because this book is a high level view of enterprise integration many details that support the decision to employ integrated systems and how to implement them are missing. However, the true value of this book is the way it brings together business and technical information and the way the authors have managed to address both groups that are normally widely separated.

If you are seeking a book about deciding whether of not to implement an enterprise-wide system I recommend Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: Systems, Life Cycle, Electronic Commerce, and Risk by Daniel Edmund O'Leary. If you are more interested in an implementation methodology I recommend E-Business and ERP: Rapid Implementation and Project Planningby Murrell G. Shields.

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