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Q1 What is ERP? Explain the advantages and Disadvantages of ERP.

Enterprise resource planning system is a fully integrated business management system covering functional areas of an enterprise like Logistics, Production, Finance, Accounting and Human Resources. It organizes and integrates operation processes and information flows to make optimum use of resources such as men, material, money and machine. Enterprise resource planning promises One database, One application, One user interface for the entire enterprise, where once disparate systems ruled manufacturing, distribution, finance and sales. ERP Characteristics Any system has to possess few key characteristics to qualify for a true ERP solution. These features are: 1.Flexibility: An ERP system should be flexible to respond to the changing needs of an enterprise. The client server technology enables ERP to run across various database back ends through Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). 2.Modular & Open: ERP system has to have open system architecture. This means that any module can be interfaced or detached whenever required without affecting the other modules. It should support multiple hardware platforms for the companies having heterogeneous collection of systems. It must support some third party add-ons also. 3.Comprehensive: It should be able to support variety of organizational functions and must be suitable for a wide range of business organizations. 4.Beyond The Company: It should not be confined to the organizational boundaries, rather support the on-line connectivity to the other business entities of the organization. 5.Best Business Practices: It must have a collection of the best business processes applicable worldwide. An ERP package imposes its own logic on a companys strategy, culture and organization.

Advantages of ERP Since all information is available at a central location as soon as some transaction happens, no one has to wait for some other department to provide the information. ERP ensures quicker processing of information and reduces the burden of paperwork. ERP helps in serving the customers efficiently by way of prompt response and follow up.

ERP helps in disposing queries immediately and facilitating the payments from customers with ease and well ahead of the stipulated deadline. ERP also helps in having a say over your competitor and adapting to the whims and fancies of the market and business fluctuations. ERP eliminates redundancy in data entry, minimizes the errors and helps to do away with unwanted ambiguity. ERP is suitable for global operations as it encompasses all the domestic jargons, currency conversions, diverse accounting standards, and multilingual facilities. ERP helps to control and data and facilitates the necessary contacts to acquire the same.

Disadvantages of ERP Huge investments in terms of time and money Slow benefit realization High risk implementation and operation Costly failures

Q2 Explain the limitations of ERP. ERP applications have succeeded in integrating data from multiple functional areas, resulting in an incremental addition of value over previous "legacy" point solutions. However, there scope is limited to the single enterprise, they are typically slow and they are transaction-based, not intelligence based, so they fail to encapsulate the complexity required in cases where multiple courses of action are available. In contrast to ERP systems, APS (Advanced Planning & Scheduling) systems are intelligent(that is, they provide modeling and analysis capabilities for intelligent decision support). Some of the shortcomings of the ERP software are given below: ERP systems are basically meant for recording what has already happened, rather than planning for what will be. These systems can process orders, but they do not analyze business situations to provide insight into future courses of action. ERP systems allow an enterprise to design complex and sophisticated workflows, but are far too rigid in their ability to continually reshape and restructure workflows as business challenges and opportunities arise. While ERP systems integrate multiple business functions; they lack the ability to expand their scope to multiple enterprises. This gap has to be filled.

Some risks to watch out for in implementing an ERP system include:

User Resistance/Revolt - Users who fear being downsized may sabotage the system. Mismatch between ERP system and Organizational Culture--If a system attempts to implement best practices inappropriate to the organization, the system may suffer from "culture clash" consequences. Inability to manage technology. Illogical processing. Inability to stop processing quickly. Cascading errors. Repetition of Errors. Concentration of data.

The limitations and pitfalls of the Enterprise Resource Planning are as follows. The systems can be too expensive to install and maintain. ERP is often seen as too rigid and difficult to adapt to the specific Workflow and Business process of some companies.

Q3 Explain Internet, Intranet and Extranet. Internet: Intranet: The term Intranet is used to describe Internet technology used on a local area network to provide e-mail, Web pages, and other communication methods to employees. Employees use the same browser used to access the Internet to access the companys Intranet. However, anyone who is not connected to the organizations local area network is unable to access the Intranet. Intranets are used to distribute employee information, provide Web page-based forms that are completed online, and give authorized employees access to data stored in the organizations databases. Main features of the Intranet Intranet has common IP protocol suite with the internet but offers significant differences Packets are private rather than public More focused Enterprise based management Stronger policies and a controlling organization Cost borne by single organization Stronger enforcement of policies More control of the network

Benefits of intranets Integrate data from diverse sources Legacy is removed by a common http protocol and web based presentation Provide Access to data by all stakeholders in the companys value chain Shared data allows presentation to different parts of the organization including customers

Different formats used to Present information for each stakeholders Use of web design and XML allows range of different presentations to be exploited Guarantee Performance, Availability, Serviceability, and Security A product of the network being closed

Extranet: An Extranet is frequently used to link business partners, such as suppliers, vendors, and trading partners, who conduct frequent business transactions with an organization. Lets say you provide office supplies to 100 businesses. Instead of the office staff quoting prices, checking availability, and tracking orders, every customer can do this by logging on your Extranet.