Software Integration for SMEs

Written by Thom Leggett

Continued from page 1

By accessing your suppliers’ stock levels, lead times, order status and other information as if it were your own, you can better manage warehouse inventories or production schedules; and therefore provide a more reliable service to your customers. Being able to make, track and settle orders online will further increase your responsiveness to your marketplace.

Allowing your customers access to similar information and services from your organisation will bring more realistic and timely orders, that your customers know already you will be able to fulfil. Integrating your customers will also enable a much more intelligent analysis of your product line: spot an under-performing product before it impacts your bottom line; increase marketing budget for a product that hasrepparttar potential to go throughrepparttar 133537 roof or implement an on-demand (or as near as possible) production process to minimise your exposure through stock levels.

This is not a task to be undertaken lightly, asrepparttar 133538 technical issues involved with integratingrepparttar 133539 different systems that have been implemented byrepparttar 133540 companies in your supply chain are less than trivial. Onrepparttar 133541 other hand, trying to persuaderepparttar 133542 same companies to switch from their existing systems to a common platform is likely to be next to impossible. This is where good middleware will come to your rescue.

Why is all this relevant to SME’s? The SME sector is quickly becoming more reliant on technology, andrepparttar 133543 problem of integration has started to filter down to them. Many SME’s are using a few incompatible applications to automate their processes; and have no idea how much integration could benefit them.

So what should I do? If you have only just started, or still have relatively little reliance on your IT systems, a data warehouse style approach may be most applicable. This can work well from a clean slate, although there are some caveats: Bear in mind that to gain cost-efficiency, you must remain locked in to one software vendor, or your integration costs will far outweighrepparttar 133544 potential gains. This carries with it a certain amount of risk in caserepparttar 133545 vendor withdraws support or even goes bust.

For most SME’s a middle-of-the-road approach is preferable: continue using standard off-the-shelf software such as Microsoft Excel, Access, ACT, Sage etc to store and process information; but use customised middleware on top. This will not only save effort and ensure consistency; it can also be used for reporting, or can incorporate newer, more demanding applications such as predictive software.

Thom is the operations director for Fire Without Smoke Software (FWOSS) ltd

The future of mobile gaming

Written by Charles March

Continued from page 1

It has to be said thatrepparttar designers seems to have struggled getting a phone into a games machine (or a phone into a games console.) Having to turnrepparttar 133536 device on it's side to make a call is unique to sayrepparttar 133537 least, but this is probably a small issue, if you can play Tomb Raider while you are waiting for that call.

The second potential Killer App isrepparttar 133538 wireless connectivity built intorepparttar 133539 device. The ability to compete against other N-Gagers over Bluetooth, so avoiding paying connection charges putsrepparttar 133540 N-Gage ahead ofrepparttar 133541 competition. Other consoles have Bluetooth add-ons in development or are being developed to include wireless connectivity,repparttar 133542 Zodiac being a case in point. Nokia haverepparttar 133543 advantage of beingrepparttar 133544 first intorepparttar 133545 market. Whether this lead time will be enough to makerepparttar 133546 N-Gage a market leader is yet to be seen. It should give developers time to work on new games and maybe give Nokia a foot hold inrepparttar 133547 market.

Read more aboutrepparttar 133548 new N-Gage at

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