The Value of a Strategic Data Partner

Let’s start with an admission. It is perfectly possible, given the right resources, time and the people, to build your own data warehouse. Logically, someone has to build them, so why not do it in house?

Let’s continue with a reality check. Technically feasible though this might be, the experience of a number of ZAP clients tells us it’s usually a bad idea. The reason is the same as why large corporations don’t handle their own catering but rather outsource it: it’s not what they do, and they don’t want it to become so.

Clients have found out the hard way

As an example, let’s look at one company known to us that decided it wanted to handle its own data warehouse and analytics implementation. It had SAP Business One running with two major data sources, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics AX. Over the years it had found the implementation of AX had become increasingly complex due to the financials and the folders added as customizations. To handle this, it started using another piece of software, and to make life ‘easier’ added something else by Microsoft into the mix.

On paper it all made sense, but you still needed someone who understood Microsoft SQL to interpret it – and that person left the company. The next step was to get ZAP Data Hub installed, as well as a partner who understood how it could amalgamate all of the data sources and make them talk to each other. The end result was comprehensible data coming from multiple sources but, crucially, appearing as if it were from a single source (indeed it was – that source being ZAP Data Hub), offering better management insights and support for decision making.

Likewise, another business  – a catering company – had grown to a massive scale and was also using disparate data sources. It had multiple languages coming in and realized quickly that as a food business it simply didn’t have the capacity, much less the inclination, to become an enterprise software and services company on the side. 

Even if it had wanted to, and even if it had managed to recruit the right people and implement its own systems, the economies wouldn’t have added up. 

There are software systems out there – like ZAP Data Hub – whose ‘bread and butter’ is to understand the pain points caused by a substantial enterprise reporting system that’s grown over time and how to make data accessible to stakeholders whether they understand technology or not.

Your business specializes, so let it specialize!

Ultimately, even the richest corporate has to sit down and look at the costs of manual data warehousing and ERP reporting and whether they add up. In computing this seems to take some time, unlike in other areas; no business other than a utility company considers supplying its own electricity or water, even if it had the capacity the economies of scale make the idea ludicrous. 

It’s the same for the serious amounts of time and resource in complex data landscapes who might be using SAP Business One (or SYSPRO, or Dynamics, for that matter). To turn your data into the asset it should be, you need the right software and partner in place. Then you can be left to running a manufacturing operation, maintaining a fleet of delivery transport or whatever your actual business is – and that is what’s best for your bottom line.

To learn more about how to make your data work best for you using data warehousing, click here to download our latest eBook.

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