Integrator rightsizes solution mid-level ops

Integ Communications tapped into a low-cost solution to improve its financial operations while avoiding the budget burden of an expensive enterprise resource management package.

After spinning off from its parent company Alcatel earlier this year and forming a joint venture with listed IT services company UXC Limited, the communications integrator needed its own financial reporting system.

Integ's finance director Theo Belekas said the staff were already familiar users of SAP R/3 but the application had not been customised to the needs of a smaller, independent company.

"We quickly realised that there was no way we could afford to implement or manage a large-scale implementation on our own," Belekas said.

So the company managed to avoid the "full-blown" cost of moving to an SAP R/3 solution by adopting a $150,000 Smart Business Solutions package, developed by SAP and IBM, to manage its finance and operations.

Belekas said the system followed the same rules and protocols as its parent company's ERP system which meant Integ could save significant costs in training staff. Staff could also transpose data easily from the previous system without the need to re-key.

The strength of the package was that it was scalable and flexible enough to be customised to a small business. It also performed complex tasks for a company growing and changing through recent merger and acquisition activity as well as enabling better business decisions.

"We have more than 20 cost centres and managers for all of those cost centres who need monthly information to manage their groups effectively.

"We can now analyse sales and costs by state, sales exec, by functional group, and line of business," he said.

In terms of costs, the IBM/SAP package appealed because it offered SAP R/3 functionality at a reasonable price, he said.

Belekas estimates the company saved itself just under a million dollars by moving to an ERM solution customised for a mid-sized operation.

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