Strategy Application in Business

What are the primary differences between ERP, CRM, and SAP, and why would an organization select one of these for inter-organizational collaboration?

ERP, CRM, and SAP are normally confused to mean the same thing. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the software that rationalizes the internal activities of a department in an organization (Hyysalo 2005). This particular software mediates various activities such as accounting, administration, and human resources thus streamlining the general functioning of an organization. Employees also depend on this software for updates regarding the management of other departments. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is customer-oriented and not employees oriented like ERP.

In an organization, departments that have a direct link to customers such as marketing and sales departments use CRM software. Sales personnel in an organization manage all data involving existing customers and potential customers through the help of CRM software (Creswell 2009). Besides, CRM avails important information regarding customers, which helps in analyzing the needs of customers. It is evident that CRM is for external use while ERP is for internal use. Software Application Product (SAP) is the top software provider of the ERP software.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is more of a method and not a product. On the other hand, Software Application Product (SAP) is a top vendor of such applications (ERP and CRM). For any business owner, the aim of adopting a technological solution would be to improve the performance of a particular business. While retailing an ERP system, it is advisable to compare what different vendors are selling and determine the one that matches the requirements of the organization.

A good system should be relevant to the operations of an organization and must have the ability to save time while saving on costs also (Creswell 2009). The cost of acquiring a solution from a vendor should be lower than the cost of purchasing new hardware and employing staff to install a new operating system. For software providing companies such as SAP, they should be in a position to demonstrate their products to business owners in the best way possible.

Issues of having implemented Web-enabled technologies across organizations, and critique their successes and failures

Inter-organizational collaboration has proved a lot of success as well as shortcomings. Co-ordinate collaboration allows the collaborating companies to work interdependently towards a common goal. This realization of this is normally through the isolation contribution of each of the organization departments. However, this has an effect of limiting advancements in creation and innovations due to the reduced competition among the collaborating firms (Durham 2008).

Through this kind of collaboration, an organization can discover the technical readiness of the other organizations. If its readiness is lower than its counterparts are, then it can upgrade positively. Collaborative management tools smoothen the progress of specific activities during the development of major projects undertaken by the collaborating firms. It is apparent that collaboration results in dormancy among the interrelated firms.

Ten warning signs of the ERP systems that may hurt the business

When an ERP is about to collapse it is possible to observe the precursor signs. When the system cannot integrate data from the out-of-date ERP system and the current system, during decision-making, it is a reason enough to raise alarm. This compromises the quality and accessibility of information in the organization due to a lack of adequate data during decision-making. Whenever there is the recruitment of new employees, the organization invests a lump sum of capital in training them to operate the ERP systems (Durham 2008). This process is frustrating to both the employees and the organization in terms of cost and time.

Also, trading partners of the organization have difficulties connecting to the organization’s EPR system. This poses a challenge to the organization since suppliers normally require effective access to the inventory levels and orders of the organization at large.

Explain the management and leadership issues the CIO and CTO should consider before moving forward with the implementation of technologies that allow collaboration between their company and outside organizations

It is the responsibility of the Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer to ensure that the organization implements a suitable technological solution. The CIO gathers information regarding the external organizations he wishes to establish a relationship with (Kim et al, 2008). The officer then identifies the long-term benefits of the relationship and the risks likely to arise from such co-relation. Before entering into any kind of collaboration, the CIO should carry out feasibility studies to analyze the circumstances surrounding the co-relation. Upon providing a substantive report, it is the work of the CTO to determine a suitable technological solution. The solution should be able to meet the objectives of the firm.

What web-enabled technologies have been utilized in inter-organizational collaboration?

A vital requirement in inter-organization collaboration is sharing information. This trend of collaboration has led to improvements in E-collaboration as many organizations collaborate. Groupware is the common collaboration software and is usually into three divisions regarding the level of collaboration organizations hope to achieve (Correia, 2008). This is communication, co-ordination, and conferencing. The McDonalds group of restaurants uses groupware to attain coordination in all the branches. There are several methods of sharing information across collaborating organizations such as e-mailing, faxing, conferencing.

Your CIO recently announced that collaboration with competitors will lead to a lack of differentiation in systems between organizations, with grave consequences for firms. This will drive competition to a price-only basis, and cut profitability for all. Support or refute this argument

The grounds for inter-organizational collaboration are information sharing among the collaborating organizations. This has a negative effect of limiting creativity and innovation among the related organizations. Consequently, there are no developments expected in the industry and thus the quality is bound to remain the same since competition is not on a basis of quality, but the price. The products produced by the collaborating firms are almost similar with minimal differentiation. The difference aims at a price as the firms which are cheapest attract more customers. Firms end up cutting on their profits and compromising quality for the customers (Bouwman et al, 2005).


Bouwman, H., Van Den Hooff, B., Van De Wijngaert, L., & Van Dijk, J. (2005). Information & communication technology in organizations. Thousand Oaks. California: SAGE Publications.

Correia, A.P. (2008). Team conflict in ICT-rich environments; roles of technologies in conflict management. California: SAGE publishers.

Creswell, D.J. (2009). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. London: Cengage learning.

Durham, H. (2008). Introducing new cultural and technological approaches into institutional practice. London: Cengage learning.

Hyysalo, S. (2005). Objects and motives in a product design process. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Kim. C, Lee. J & Merrill, M.D. (2008). Foundations for the future. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.