Hardware’s Impact on Business Management Software

Many companies, when deciding to implement an ERP solution, forget that the hardware side is crucial to a speedy and responsive experience.

As is the case in most aspects of competitive markets, the big companies are the first to adopt and benefit from the latest advances in software and technology. This has probably been due to the inhibitive cost of implementing such a solution at the time.
The world’s leading enterprise software company SAP, made its mark by being the first to offer a fully inclusive business management software system. Now, 85% of the Fortune 500 companies in the world use SAP in some form or another.
SAP’s origins began back in 1975 and started with the migration of Xerox out of the cost intensive computer industry market. IBM were tasked with the operation of dismantling this behemoth operation. They were given the rights to Scientific Data Systems (SDS/ SAPE software, whom Xerox had bought for the mighty sum of €676 million in 1969.

SAP’s founders Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, and Claus Wellenreuther

The engineers involved were tasked to use relational database software developed by SDS to specific departments to cover the whole IBM enterprise. However, the project was scrapped and the five engineers tasked with the project decided to venture out on their own. They created their own version, entitled Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (“System Analysis and Program Development”) and hence the origin of the acronym SAP.

First Computers
SDS was bought and closed by Xerox in 1975. This is one of their Sigma computer systems.

The cost of a computer system in the late 1970s that was capable of running SAP was out of the reach of most companies bar the few multinationals in existence then. This all
This all changed however, with the advent of the Personal Computer, and server software like Novell’s Netware in the 1980’s. As the market grew and the cost of production fell, the technology needed to run an ERP dropped dramatically. The cost of purchasing a server to host the database for the ERP, or hosting your database in the cloud, are now financially viable options for SME’s.
It is these technological revolutions which are sometimes crucial to how effective your ERP software system performs, and, for the business stakeholders, there are a few key considerations that a business needs to consider. Besides the obvious adaptation of employees to this new software system, the speed, reliability and effectiveness of the platform on which it is delivered, should also be of concern.
Many companies, when deciding to implement an ERP solution, forget that the hardware side is crucial to a speedy and responsive experience. The office worker accessing particular business data on their brand new high specification business PC to the recently purchased server may be miffed at the speed of accessing information from the database. This was a common problem we identified when asked to look at a new client’s existing infrastructure.
For example, a recent audit of a client’s IT infrastructure revealed a slowdown in how their Point of Sale terminals were communicating with the server. There was a noticeable delay in the sending and receiving of business transactions over their local network.
The problem; an unmanaged 100 MB switch, an old piece of hardware now throttling the transfer of information between the clients computer and the server, meaning the potential of the new technology was not actualised in the user experience.

Herbst Insight
Herbst Insight

Another example would sometimes be just a simple update of the ERP database software, or the configuring of the server’s hard drive array.
These terminologies and the technical aspect to these solutions might seem a little overwhelming, but at Hybrid Technology Partners, they are our bread and butter.

We offer a free business audit, as well as deploying and supporting the Herbst Insight ERP.

On the IT consultancy side of things, we would be delighted to have the opportunity to help lend our experience in making your business management software and hardware run to a streamlined process and giving you, ultimately, a better business.

In the next blog post, I will look at SaaS and potential cloud solutions available to your business.

If you want to learn more about ERP systems and their applications, look at our guide on ERP systems and benefits

Stephen Hughes