Hardware Environment and its Selection for ERP Implementation



Any ERP implementation attracts expenditure on account of

1.     Operating System (OS)
2.     Database Management for hosting the system.
3.     Network especially when the system is rolled out at different locations.
4.     Licensing with ERP packages

Hosting OS:
      Unless a system is implemented from scratch, it may be a better option to integrate the chosen ERP system with existing OS of the organization, which will reduce upfront expenditure of implementation.
      The important consideration is that whether the preferred ERP system is compatible with current hosting platform.
      Robust and scalability of existing platform.
      In the OS sector (for mainframe and server segment various flavors of UNIX (IBM, HP, Solaris etc.) are in offer
      Microsoft windows and Linux OS is also used to run some open source ERP package but yet to be popular for commercial applications

Supporting Database:

      Most popular players of database market are Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Sybase, constituting about 90% of market share.
      If the existing platform of database does not belong to mainstream offering, it may be prudent to explore an alternative.
      There are exceptions, such as an organization selecting QAD solution, may consider use of "Progress" RDBMS with which this package is most compatible.
      Another important factor relating to ERP platform is whether the ERP system to be hosted in house or hosted remotely.
      If hosted remotely, all upfront cost relating to hardware, OS and RDBMS are eliminated. The vendor may then charge an additional hosting cost periodically.


Network:

      Important networking issues relating to ERP implementation are- network topology
      Detailed networking design
     Setting up new or leveraging existing Local Area Networking (LAN) and Wide Area Networking (WAN), constitute an important part of pre implementation/ implementation process.
     This includes cabling to plan workstations, laying fiber optic backbone, provision for sufficient bandwidth to remote sites (particularly hosting distributed application/database).
      Networking printers.
     Mode of sharing networked printers in various functional divisions such as warehouses, accounting offices and sales units need to be planned beforehand.


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