The role of APIs and ERP

APIs work seamlessly with other applications that businesses require to provide the well-rounded hub needed by modern, cloud-enabled organisations
21 March 2023 by
The role of APIs and ERP
Smart Information Technologies Limited, Barry Bullen

The role of APIs and ERP is often a behind-the-scenes story. But without APIs, ERP wouldn’t work seamlessly with other applications businesses require to provide the well-rounded hub needed by modern, cloud-enabled organisations.

What is an ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software refers to a centralised view of business processes in general, ranging from procurement and supply chain management to areas such as human resources, sales, and customer service. This could be invoicing, tax software, HR systems, fulfilment services and more all under a single umbrella. But to enable all these systems to work as one, you generally need to utilise APIs.

What are APIs?

An API is the middleman between ERP and a program requesting data. The API receives the request and returns the specific data so long as the request has the appropriate permissions. The API also controls what data can be requested and how it is received. It's basically a tunnel that lets programs talk to each other. Now, you can use one created by the SaaS provider or hire developers to write custom APIs. But whatever you do, documentation is key. You don’t want your ERP to become defunct just because the API owner leaves the company.

How do they work together?

ERP software helps retailers to improve their efficiency, lower operational and management costs, make effective forecasts, and reduce risks connected with financial operations. It gives the possibility for employees to manage data easily and share it between different departments without any difficulties. For management ERP systems provide access to the data which allows them to make important business decisions for the future and analyse the previous activity and company’s results. And APIs enable the conversations between your various systems allowing them all to feed into a central point for better automation, decision making and customer service.

Examples of API-enabled ERP

API-enabled ERP could link systems like the following together:

●      Invoicing software with tax-prep software

●      Logistics, warehousing, and fulfilment houses

●      Ordering, payment, inventory, and fulfilment software for e-commerce

●      Social media, marketing, couponing, and POS linked for sales

●      CRM, inbound contact, call centre and website visits linked for retention

●      Business dashboards, sales figures and forecasts linked for business planning

API risks

Creating or sourcing the right APIs for your ERP is a time-consuming process. It needs to be properly scoped, so the resulting connection is still fit for purpose when it’s rolled out. An API and ERP integration partner can help you to make sure this happens. Bear in mind an easy integration can take a couple of days but something more complex with multiple data integration points and can take weeks, In many cases, organisations already have a legacy ERP system in place, but they’re unable or unwilling to upgrade it due to the complexity and cost that such a migration would entail. Again, APIs can come to the rescue: APIs are also highly useful for integrating legacy on-premises ERP systems with cloud-based software and infrastructure. But due to the built-in complexity, you’ll need help to get this done. If you’re ready to explore what APIs can do for your organisation, our helpful team is standing by.


The role of APIs and ERP
Smart Information Technologies Limited, Barry Bullen 21 March 2023
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