Integration Of Global Trade Management Software Solutions
Most companies understand the need to adopt global trade management software, but perceptions about integration costs often serve as a deterrent to system acquisition. In particular, businesses cite concerns over the expensive consultant fees often associated with integrating these applications with their back-end systems.
When you choose QuestaWeb global trade management software, you are selecting a highly skilled systems integrator with years of experience integrating our solutions with ERP, WMS and in-house applications of every kind. With QuestaWeb, there is little need to retain any outside consultants unless your company’s internal human resources are limited and you feel you need outside support to oversee project management.
Another differentiator that QuestaWeb brings to the global trade management solution landscape is flexibility. QuestaWeb can accommodate your unique internal business processes as part of the integration process. Unlike some vendors, QuestaWeb never forces customers to adhere to a prescribed way of conducting business operations. Our rules-based system gives us ultimate flexibility in configuring the system and data formats to integrate most of your business processes and procedures.
How We Perform System Integrations
QuestaWeb possesses 30 years’ experience integrating our applications to commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) systems and those designed in-house. We have undergone the SAP certification process and are conversant in the use of most data structures. We even have our own time-tested middleware, called Integration Points Interface (see below). Our expertise extends to legacy integration tools such as XML, web services, flat file and stored procedures.
QuestaWeb employs eight system layouts that cover most integration scenarios involving our software applications. As a result, QuestaWeb’s integration time can be faster, more efficient and less expensive than other vendors that must rely on more layouts to fully accomplish a successful integration.
As detailed under GTM Solution Implementation Methodology, QuestaWeb holds a kickoff meeting where our experts delineate all of your business processes and procedures related to the specific QuestaWeb application acquired. Then, in the integration meetings that follow, QuestaWeb presents the specific layouts and the envisioned mapping to be accomplished. All are thoroughly verified and tested prior to the system going live.
For integrating our import or export applications with an ERP system, for example, QuestaWeb typically would use four layouts. For FTZs, six layouts might come into play. For system requirements unique to one customer, QuestaWeb can perform the necessary configuration, as our staff members are highly qualified programmers able to meet most special requests.
As mentioned above, QuestaWeb has developed a middleware solution called Integration Points Interface. It automates and connects business processes all along the supply chain from customer ERP systems to suppliers, financial institutions, 3PL providers, importers, exporters, foreign trade zone operators and external compliance databases. And, it does so seamlessly and effortlessly in real time.
Middleware that comprises a set of software service layers is best in solving issues related to heterogeneity and interoperability. Thus, QuestaWeb’s Integration Points Interface is multi-layered by design, comprising three separate layers: format, validation and application.
The format layer enables basic format independence for application software and provides a common denominator for normal application transactions interchange across heterogeneous platforms. Since it encapsulates format-dependent requests, implementation is specific to each platform. To enable recording and/or receiving of raw data as they are transmitted, this level limits data validation to an absolute minimum provided the user interface allows privilege-protected raw data manipulations without access to verified data to preserve database integrity.
At the validation layer, there is no format dependency by virtue of earlier removal. Application objects automatically accept, translate and cross-reference raw data and apply partner-specific business rules.
The application layer’s foundation comprises business objects, which provide the functionality of applications and mediate all modifying (create, update, delete) access to QuestaWeb’s databases. A single set of processes govern all database manipulations, so that there can be no discrepancies in data interpretation. Moreover, application maintenance is both rationalized and simplified, while noncompliant transactions are rejected and logged. This layer strictly enforces the Management-by-Exception and Data Integrity concepts for which QuestaWeb is known in the industry.