Operational Efficiency
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18 Nov 2022
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Optimizing Business Processes with Integrated Management

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


The ongoing challenge of operating more efficiently and doing more with fewer forces companies and organizations to streamline and improve their business processes. But these improvements require investments that must yield reduced costs and improved responsiveness quickly and with minimal risk. The demand for lower operating costs and faster return on investment is provoking a shift in focus from isolated tasks and functions to the importance of integrated business processes and flows.

We provide customers with a critical element left out of most application vendor's solutions — a clear road map for business process improvement. The configurable business processes inherent in our products are based on the flow of information through natural linkages of business activities.

The New Enterprise: Moving From Pieces to Processes

Achieving any overall business objective, such as retaining customers, requires a seamless flow of information between all business functions. For example, capturing customer information, following up with clients, acquiring a customized request for a product or service, designing the product, managing the process, delivering the finished goods, and collecting payment across multiple departments within a business requires integrated information flow.

Executing complex processes requires exchanging data quickly and easily between applications. Achieving this ideal requires one of two actions:

  • Integrating and customizing existing applications, which can be time-consuming and result in an assortment of programs strung together with complex coding and programming processes
  • Adopting flexible applications that are designed, developed, and supported to work together

Our product is a complete business management system that supports the entire process from beginning to end. Rather than stringing together numerous applications, we offer a single system that supports all aspects of a business strategy. Moving beyond older desktop technology, our LIS manages operations, customers, suppliers, partners, employees, and more.

Most technology solutions focus on a specific application, feature, functionality, or a single department's activities. Our products, on the other hand, automates business processes across multiple organizations, departments, and numerous applications. The result is a streamlined, efficient, integrated flow of information across an entire enterprise and geographies.

The Integrated Application

We make every effort to streamline business functions, including advanced planning, marketing, sales, request fulfillment, order fulfillment, product development, procurement, financials, project management, sales automation, and human resources. We offer a comprehensive set of applications integrated into a single global database – allowing the connection and automation of workflow across the front and back offices. This complete and seamless solution creates the foundation for consolidating critical information such as sales positions, inventory levels, and revenue across all lines of business, products, and geographies.

Our unified data model consolidates data and provides a consistent definition of customers, suppliers, partners, products, and employees across the enterprise. The business intelligence systems and the data are centralized, which means no waiting for information to pass through a different data aggregation and analysis system. Management will have access to daily business intelligence that reveals the state of their business unit in real-time relative to past, present, and projected performance metrics. In other words, decision-makers can access better information at the right time and a lower cost.

A system built from the ground up with a singular purpose to integrate can profoundly affect how business gets done, high-quality and complete information results in more effective decisions and actions. Integration can dissolve communication barriers, reveal revenue growth opportunities, and help remove expenses. We help employees get the job done better, faster while using fewer resources.

Our highly integrated approach runs circles around varying components fused with complex programming and unique applications. Most vendors sell parts that must be modified to meet each customer's unique needs and individual areas of a business. Expensive consultants and systems integrators glue the pieces together, creating a new software configuration for each customer. As new versions of the software are released, the customized configurations must be upgraded and re-integrated all at the time and expense of the customer.

Meanwhile, instead of improving the processes that directly affect core business competency, business is concentrating enormous amounts of money, time, and human effort on software engineering and re-engineering. Valuable capital is spent on maintaining and upgrading systems that hinder business continuity and need to be adaptable to future needs. Executive strategic direction and employee activities remain disconnected. Related business functions need insight into information that can be used to achieve common goals and objectives.

Innovative businesses utilized such integration as a portal to their business processes, creating real-time snapshots of the company.

Companies that desire real-time operations are increasingly utilizing the Internet as the primary platform for building state-of-the-art operations. Web applications can deliver interactive applications that interface with the dozens of systems already in place. The most dominant initiative for IT organizations is the demand for more robust and better portal applications. Portals integrate content, community, and communication services according to the user's needs using personalization, authentication, and consolidated information. Portals are capable of uniting services such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Resources (HR), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, document repositories, financial systems, and internal and external Web sites.

Examples of the portal phenomenon can be seen in the productivity improvement in US organizations over the last decade. Those most successful at improving productivity have successfully harnessed the Web as a strategic platform for doing business with customers, partners, and employees. Effective portals are not a front-end to a single back-office application but a gateway to multiple services. Consider companies that have reduced the time required to process an order from a partner from six days to six minutes. These companies have established several online services like remote monitoring, device design, and maintenance notification systems that differentiate them from the rest of the market. These portals allow collaboration with customers more effectively by giving a real-time view of the enterprise. In each case, the capabilities exposed through a portal make a competitive difference.

Portals are a crucial platform for delivering products and services effectively, collaborating more efficiently, and meeting the constantly increasing expectations of customers. Organizations are deploying portals to reduce costs, improve decision-making, serve customers better and streamline value chains. The common elements of all successful portal projects are providing comprehensive information and integration, delivering news and resources in the context of users' needs, and adapting well to multiple markets across the enterprise. This can only be achieved through tight module integration within a product.

When discussing "real-time enterprises," it's important to distinguish between objectives and reality. Very few organizations are prepared at the enterprise or technology level to operate in real-time or even close to it. Most have a latency built into their business as a factor of their:

  • supply chain
  • existing processes
  • the mindset of their employees
  • policies

Virtually every factor of an organization deserves scrutiny as it sets its sights on operating more efficiently. This is why being a real-time enterprise is an objective for most businesses; it takes a great deal of time, resources, and political will to re-engineer an entire organization around a new organizational mandate like "real-time."

Information systems have started to deliver on the promise of real-time operations through improvements in the performance of hardware, networks, and software. More and more organizations and individuals are investing in high-speed Internet connections that open up new opportunities for online collaboration.

While many organizations feel they have the hardware and enterprise systems to operate more efficiently, more than half think they would gain competitive advantages if they reduced the time it takes to collect, analyze and redistribute data. The Web is an ideal catalyst for crystallizing these performance improvements into true business advantage, and portals are a natural evolutionary step. So how do portals help in approaching real-time operations? At the risk of over-simplifying the issue, it's about something other than implementing one more system or web interface. It's about adding intelligence and integration to the information and techniques the organization has already invested in and creating channels by which people can take advantage of that intelligence. Let's take a look at how this translates into the portal capabilities that organizations will need as they pursue their objective of operating in real-time:

Comprehensive information and integration. The worst thing that can happen in today's data-rich market environment is that an organization or an individual should be forced to make decisions without adequate information. Whether an actuary makes a pricing change, a concierge manager checks on a client request, or even a customer makes a buying decision. Everyone likes to feel they are working with the best and complete information. Information that needs to be updated can lead to good choices and missteps. Not having access to suitable systems when needed can mean that critical steps are delayed or never done. In many cases, the correct information and processes are right under our noses, but we don't know to ask for them – unacceptable in an age of information technology and connectedness.

Effective portals make all the necessary information and business processes, regardless of where they reside in the business or the platform they run, available to everyone who needs them, consequent to their role, rights, and privileges. Suppose the actuary needs claim experience information from a data center in California, mixed with financial performance benchmark data from New York and cost of sales information managed out of Boston. That insight needs to be delivered to that person in real time. If a person also needs access to parts of the price change transaction interface that runs on the New York mainframes, that also needs to be included in the actuary's information set.

While a Web-based portal is ideal for delivering this set of heterogeneous electronic assets to users, it takes excellent coordination and effort. Thought must be given to tying together existing systems, transforming data types to Web-ready copy, and managing each transaction through to completion. Remember to consider the complexity of this first requirement and the number of systems users need to access daily. And don't forget that things change – the systems, people, or conditions change as soon as you've got one business scenario worked out.

It's the nature of today's business environment – change is a constant. A sophisticated, well-planned portal offers the unique ability to access and manage structured or unstructured content in ERP, CRM, HR, documents, or legacy systems. The challenge is for the portal to be flexible enough to adapt to your organization's various formats, standards, protocols, and procedures. We provide modules to bridge enterprise applications directly into the portal. These modules allow IT to aggregate the information into the portal without agonizing over custom coding.

Information and resources in context. Equally challenging as having incomplete information to work with is having too much information and systems to filter through to support informed decisions. It's a truism that most organizations have more information than they can effectively use. In many cases, users need to learn the data they're looking for is there. Unfortunately, employees spend a lot of time re-creating existing information. As business managers, partners, and customers strive to make more immediate, better-informed decisions. They face an absolute maze of systems, sources, sites, and repositories where the right information to support their decision might be stored. For example, most enterprise systems today offer an application interface to expose their capabilities online. But true to the Pareto principle, 80 percent of users typically require only 20 percent of the capabilities available through that system.

Portals, therefore, must understand each user's information needs, their privileges to use enterprise information, and their current objective, and then dynamically assemble and deliver the correct information supporting that objective. By understanding each user's profile and every electronic asset's profile, personalization allows the portal to match them up dynamically to the correct information.

Adaptability on an enterprise scale. Many technologies are not designed to support the volume of Web transactions that one would anticipate from a large-scale enterprise. Many point solutions offer attractive solutions to discrete business problems, but they need to scale to resolve cross-departmental or global challenges. Trying to extend these solutions to the enterprise often creates a vicious circle of hardware upgrades and custom development, which is the IT equivalent of painting yourself into a corner. At a certain point, any way out is going to be messy. IT teams in today's organizations also struggle with the pace of change - of technologies, but more importantly, with the needs and demands of the business.

Every department, every team, and every line of business has a list of priorities for IT support. Every turn in the industry, every process optimization, and every innovation means one more request for a new application, feature, or report. IT teams need help to make maximum reuse of the work they have done, to reconfigure applications for redeployment, or to buy software off the shelf to meet these needs as best they can. And they need help to maintain all the good work they've done, which as a matter of necessity, is often running on different platforms in different languages.

Ideally, the core portal and information management services used repeatedly across the enterprise's breadth would be optimized to:

  • work together
  • architected to scale well
  • account for transaction volume
  • adhere to content adaptation

And the vendors that provided the platform and services would be substantial, stable, and have a strong stable of customers. These vendors would also offer innovation in their technology since innovation is the key to IT providing a competitive advantage. IT systems are never static, and information is constantly in flux. Effective portals connect with the information in the repository where the data resides. Should an individual resource be unavailable, the portal can notify the user without disconnecting the user from the wealth of other services available through the portal. In short, outlets should operate with the idea that the individual data sources will change over time, but the user experience remains constant.

Can a Portal Allow My Organization to Operate in Real Time Today?

The short answer to this question is yes. Many organizations are now getting their systems and processes deployed for the first time and adapting their operations around the often-strict business processes dictated.

Availability of information precedes innovation. A customer portal can allow incremental value to users. Many organizations choose the opposite approach, attempting to repair and rebuild core infrastructure, then deploying and training the organization.

Portals are a vital component of an effective overall Web strategy. A portal should deliver what available today is. Again, this is the crux of the real-time organization: to have the correct information at the right time and to continue to adapt and deploy applications and business processes to support the constantly changing needs of the business.

An organization's best bet is to adopt essential market standards like Java and work with vendors that provide the most extraordinary breadth of capability.

Portals Are the First Step to the Real-Time Enterprise.

Portals are the first step to understanding and managing information for the real-time enterprise. They are an intermediate step, one that can be initiated immediately and one that can provide significant competitive advantages. Portals have become easier and less expensive to deploy, especially portal frameworks offering more extensive, integrated capabilities. A few recommendations are:

  • Expose information from multiple systems and sources through Web applications
  • Provide sophisticated, active information management capabilities to populate portals with useful, contextual information
  • Understand user and departmental information needs
  • Focus on quick deployments with integrated suites to cut implementation costs and risks

Marketing remains disconnected from sales by adopting applications that automate only bits and pieces of processes. Sales remain disconnected from finance, and so on. In such a scenario, distributed systems trap information inside silos, making it nearly impossible to collaborate and access data across business units or geographies. Each company's team might understand its piece of the business. Still, the company operates blindly as an integrated whole, needing more accurate, up-to-the-minute information to make better decisions and work more productively.

Configure, Don't Customize

We give customers a new choice beyond customizing applications—configurable. Remove the variations from one installation to the next by running standard, certified configurations that can be redefined, or reconfigured, to fit precise business needs. Reduce complexity and enable the agility to react to market changes. Take the labor and costs out.

Being adaptable requires businesses today to place special demands on enterprise systems to respond quickly to:

  • market innovations
  • meet regulatory requirements
  • support personalized business rules
  • streamline
  • automate transaction flows
  • manage exceptions

The software should be based on extensible process-driven architecture. Our workflow capabilities are embedded in the applications within the our framework and automatically process and route information of any type according to business rules. Our software workflow capabilities provide configurable at the time of implementation and the ability to support these ongoing demands.

Through years of implementations and work with customers, companies, and organizations across many different industries, our product was developed with many sets of configurable business processes now inherent in the products. For example, our LIS system allows the application configuration to meet business needs without changing the code. This reduces implementation time and ongoing maintenance expenses and makes it far easier to take advantage of upgrades and new features.

OUr software business flows provide a clear, attainable roadmap for integrated collaboration that supports specific business objectives. The inherent business flows allow you to manage inter-organizational processes that support key business objectives while executing tactically to achieve day-to-day requirements. These flows have flexibility and are configurable to meet many different process requirements. They are built upon a unified information architecture, allowing easy integration with other legacy systems and third-party applications.

We are committed to customer success in solving business process challenges. The entire development lifecycle, from gathering business requirements through product release, is focused on building product sets that support business flows. These business flows extend through collaboration across the whole enterprise and beyond your organization.

An essential component of that commitment is ongoing testing of our applications. A part of that focus is continuous improvement in the quality of our products. We test our products based on both business flows and product functionality — enabling you to work towards consistent delivery of higher quality solutions tested end-to-end across multiple business flows.

To assist with the initial implementation process and ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs, Our software provides tools to automate the functional configuration. These implementation tools empower you to quickly set up critical business processes using a web-based form of checkboxes, enabling a low-risk, high-efficiency implementation. You are presented with easy-to-answer business questions that translate into tailored application configurations.

With our products, you decide which business flows you will implement based on your priorities. Identify the broken processes and choose the starting point that works best. Begin anywhere and expand as you achieve success. You may decide you only want to implement small business flows within. You may use our products to maximize value by improving many business processes. Whether you use our products or a third-party implementor, these business flows provide the infrastructure for better operations and information. These business flows are built, supported, and enhanced to work together.


Speed and efficiency are critical in today's economy, compelling companies to re-evaluate their business processes and systems to identify ways to reduce costs and improve responsiveness. Market demand for lower operating costs and faster return on investment are provoking a shift in focus from isolated tasks and functions to the importance of integrated business processes and flows.

Improve your business processes. Increase your efficiency. Get the right information to the right people at the right time.

Tyrone Showers