Integration Concepts Integrating the three elements of business Martin Levesque, Steve Lincoln and Jeremiah Mapes
Agenda • The Case for Integration • Blending People, Paper and Data • Models of Integration • Directional and Bi-Directional Communication • Examples from Customer Implementations • Basic Accounts Payable • AP/AR SAP Line of Business integration • Proprietary Enterprise Application • MRP and Manufacturing • AP Workflow: AS/400 and Active Directory • iSynergy API • Client Example
Case for Integration • Efficiency • Benefits bottom-line through reduction technical and manual effort • Greatly reduces the opportunity for making mistakes throughout the business process • Maintains proper data integrity across disparate systems • Accessibility • Reduces touch points to gain the same information that would normally require multiple logins, screens or footsteps • Strategic • Bridges communication gaps between the people, paper and data when correctly implemented • Gain competitive advantage by improving productivity rates and process controls
Models of Integration • Directional (Pull) • One master system of record • Keeps data consistent between systems • Often used to make decisions in workflow • Examples: • Deriving information from an accounting system into iSynergy to minimize data entry and reduce errors • Using data sync tasks in Progression to access internal databases in order make automated decisions in workflow • Using web service tasks to interact with 3rd party data sources • Access remote data to assist in business decisions when direct data integration is not available (ODBC) • Centralize data from disparate data sources to improve productivity
Models of Integration • Bi-Directional Integration (Push and Pull) • iDatix and Client systems now depend on each other to execute the business process • Allows for hands-free monitoring of activity • Reduce manual effort of verification and validation • Examples • Workflow decisions are integrated with Material Resource Planning systems for improved rate of production • Pull inventory status to determine if parts are available for production • Update 3rd party system in order to automate the release of production documentation to the manufacturing line
Accounts Payable Integration from indexing through document capture and manager approvals
Business Case • Invoices and Checks • One check to many invoices • Accounting system stores data relationships between purchase orders, invoices and checks • Challenge: • Want to be able to locate associate the check that paid each invoice with the actual invoice document • Do NOT want to make system store multiple digital copies of same check
A Complete Solution • Data Exchange with MI2 plugin • ODBC compliant accounting database • Find all invoices numbers for each check number • Automatically creates a duplicate reference to the original check for each invoice • Index the invoice with the check number
Accounts Payable: Next Steps • Workflow • Invoices are routed by dollar amount through the Progression workflow to obtain the required approvals • Accounting system is automatically updated with status signifying the invoice is ready to be paid • Once paid the accounting system will then update iSynergy and mark each invoice as paid • Both systems are now up to date
SAP Integration to complete the supply chain
PDF Spooling and iDox • SAP line of Business system • Provides the capability to manage financial, asset, and cost accounting as well as production operations and materials • Challenge: • Receiving department generates large amounts of paperwork, requiring heavy foot traffic which leads to lost documents and mistakes • Disconnected from purchasing department’s processes and finding information across multiple groups is challenging
Line of Business – PDF Spooling and iDox • Solution: • Integrate line of business receiving docs into main procurement process • Generate receiving documents into text based PDFs using SAP print spool • Automatically index PDF files into iSynergy using iDox • Update purchase order with shipment number in order to complete the supply chain
Proprietary Enterprise Application Integrating with custom developed systems
Business Case • Environment • Strong internal development of a custom information system that tracks day to day business operations • Focused on the core function of the business • Tailored to the industry and purpose Appliance Repair Scheduling
Identified Gaps • Gaps: • Traditional implementation of business processes rely on human transfer of knowledge • Ability to track, measure and prioritize the execution of processes is lacking How do we bridge the gap? Integration database Integration database provides buffer between core systems
iForm Solution • Use data events from proprietary system to instantiate an iForm and initiate the workflow • Provide tracking and visibility from the onset of the process • Live forms • Reflect dynamic data that can reach into multiple systems • Provide the user with a centralized dataset to accomplish the task at hand Integration database form data
Web Service Integration • External Web Service integration • Leverage SOAP based web services to facilitate workflow decision making based on data located on customer’s client mainframe systems • Data changes frequently – allows for secure direct link to external system for a real-time view of the data • Workflow Routing • Combining internal and external data in order to enable intelligent decision making within the process • Example: Use web service task to verify that an initial payment has been deposited into bank account, then route the service order through the workflow to a technician in order to schedule the appliance repair SOAP Internet
Proprietary Enterprise Application • What have we gained? • Real time processing using the most up-to-date information • Visualization and monitoring of processes • Centralizing all data needed to make business decisions • Access data for workflow routing that would not normally be available through standard database integration • Tracking from the onset of the process
Manufacturing and MRP Seamless integration of work orders, technical documents and oversight.
MRP and Manufacturing: Business Case • Business Case: Manufacturing firm • MRP system contains routing documents for the work line • Includes Bill of Materials (BOM) and major work step organization • Shared network file system • contains detailed technical documents that are maintained by engineering • Gaps: • MRP system lacks a method to organize work into a process • Relies on human effort for organizing and prioritizing effort • Paper work order documents /instructions have potential to be misplaced/lost • Management lacks visibility of what areas are bottlenecks and where orders are in the process • Excess amounts of paper is a drain on resources
MRP and Manufacturing: Solution • Solution • Empower planner to use workflow to initiate the process • Integrate data output from MRP system directly into iSynergy/Progression • Combine the MRP data with now centrally located instruction detail documents to automatically provide full package at point of assembly • Continuous updating and tracking of the instance throughout the workflow in order for management oversight
MRP and Manufacturing: Solution • Planner is aware of line progress and uses workflow to notify production control for release • Production control initiates work via MRP system • Initiates workflow automatically via integration into PDF print spooling. MRP System
MRP and Manufacturing: Binding Data Together WO • Integrated solution reduces touch points by bringing together all information components required to perform the line work at the appropriate station • Revisions from MPR and work instructions are automatically matched
MRP and Manufacturing: Clear oversight • Clear management oversight available at the touch of a button • With easy to understand metrics Where is assembly X?
MRP and Manufacturing: Gains • What do we gain from integration? • Greater control and insight over work initiation • Seamless alignment of disparate information required for production brought to the assembler at the point of work • Production documents cannot be ‘lost’ and can be simultaneously accessed at any point. • Easy and robust management oversight for metrics and bottlenecks • Reduction of paper waste
Workflow integration for AP Leverage AS/400 and Active Directory to automate delivery of marked up expense reports
Integration for AD • Business Case: • AP department handles Expense Report processing from field representatives • Processing requires parsing and correcting issues with reported expenditures marked on mailed in forms • If there are issues that need to be corrected or will not be reimbursed, employees need to be sent back the form in order for them to correct it • Challenges: • Snail mailing of the forms back to employees is costly and cumbersome • Emailing forms requires looking up the employee’s information manually by the processors • Need to handle updates to the form as new revisions and mark the old items as duplicates
Integration for AD • Solution: • Streamlined workflow process that empowers reviewers to analyze and mark up expense reports digitally using iSynergy and Progression • Progression coordinates the review process seamlessly on the back end to deliver new and revised reports to personnel without manual intervention and paperwork
Integration for AD • Solution: • Once reviewed, integration with AS/400 system provides for personnel data to be accurate at time of processing. • Custom integration with organization’s Active Directory builds upon AS/400 link to synchronize the employee’s authoritative email address. • Workflow then routes the adjusted expense report to the employee for review and correction.
iSynergy API integration Seamless assimilation with existing web based systems, leverage
Integration Into Internal Business Web Applications • Business Case: • Internal web application provides information needed for workflow decisions by a knowledge worker • Need to review information in internal web app to make decisions for workflow • Gap • Manually searching for the information in the internal system for each workflow item takes time and risks data entry errors.
Integration Into Internal Business Web Applications • Solution • Leverage Progression URL task launch feature to tie in the internal system and go directly to the information that needs to be reviewed when the work item is opened
Integrating into Internal Business Web Applications • Examples: • Workflow to Google Maps using mCapture data or address from records in internal system
Integrating into Internal Business Web Applications • Examples: • Workflow to patient record system using data from work item that includes patient id
Technical Summary • Keys to integration: • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) compliance • Direct database access • Read/Write access • Opens access for integration across our entire product suite • Web Services • SOAP based services for Progression • Enables access across network boundaries and provides an almost unlimited range of possibilities for integration • RESTfuliForm integration • Database connector or using your own
Integrating People, Paper and Data to Reduce DSO’s A straight forward method for leveraging SQL and AS400 events.
Reducing DSO Through Integration • Automate Routine Decisions to Accelerate Processing for Each Type of Credit being Issued by ClosetMaid for their Client Base in the U.S, Canada and Mexico (Defective products, Shortages, Promo incentives) • Develop a Platform that Brings Together the 3 Elements of their Business: People, Paper and Data • Use Existing Legacy AS400 System Events and Logic to Drive Workflow • Automate Escalation and Sign Off of Approvals via Dollar Amount/Regional Exec. • Provide New Previously Hidden Process Metrics
Reducing DSO Through Integration Three Major Areas of Credit & Collections Process Initial Claim Review Escalation of Approvals Final Review & Release