Stand up to the JD Edwards | E-Commerce Integration Challenges

An intimidating initiative that an organization takes up to gain that competitive edge over others is its eCommerce Project. Connecting and integrating an eCommerce system with a JD Edwards implementation is a challenging task in itself – a challenge that bears sweet results, of course!

What does eCommerce behold?

Electronic Commerce consists of buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the internet and other computer networks. A wide variety of commerce is conducted in this way, including things such as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), automated inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. A complete process can be listed as:

  • Online ordering,
  • order fulfillment,
  • freight forwarding and
  • Final delivery.

 Sounds Easy? Not really!

Figure 1. The web of eCommerce Integration

Where the eCommerce sounds like an easy job to implement, it really requires overcoming challenges and involves many factors that make it a success. With a robust and efficient strategy that includes data flow, business logic and an integration methodology, eCommerce integration projects can deliver tremendous business value both to the organization and to the end customer.
The factors that add up to a successful eCommerce project can be listed as follows:

  • Thorough Market research
  • Sound IT strategy – redesigning business processes to achieve best practices within organization
  • Employ easy payment processes – Credit cards are the most popular options
  • Reliability and security – trust is a big thing
  • Know your audience – customers have become the newly hired boss and you need to know what they want (or don’t want, for that matter!)
  • Sound business model
  • Focus on the core competency
  • Stay super-close to the cutting edge –being part of the corporate culture
  • Develop organizational agility
  • Nip-tuck and dress up your website
  • Streamline the business processes
  • Provide details for feedback and keep up

Challenges: Inevitable, yet controllable

A successful integration project involves keeping the integration less complex, and delivering a best of breed approach to software, systems and integration. With a multitude of eCommerce shopping cart choices, and eCommerce platforms, the first big challenge that pops up is the competition. Having an integration platform that works well with JD Edwards versions can help give an edge to the company.
Making a business case is essential as well, where an intensive ROI analysis is key. A challenge faced here is to comply by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard all the time. Data synchronization is seen as the introductory work and getting over this challenge will ease the way into integration.
Trouncing over the challenges related to the Master Item Data Processes involves checking for duplicates, checking for ambiguity, cleansing the information, taking opportunities for cross-selling, up selling and making product recommendations whenever required.
Another test to face is that the JD Edwards has a number of highly inter-related data sets that need to be carefully handled when writing to the database. Simply writing SQL statements into the database might provide temporary results, but is a temptation that should be fought. Proper integration requires use of methodologies, correct business functions and the right business objects.
Finally, the Master Item Data Quality should be checked for timeliness, latency, freshness, consistency, coherence and determinism. Working to include these features will make the integration project a successful one. The process of integrating an eCommerce site to JD Edwards has many moving parts. Ephlux believes in executing any integration project by planning, organizing and documenting a strategy – thus allowing for a much smoother project. So, think twice, act once, and keep things simple.

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