The Art Of Possible When It Comes To Integrating Operations Within Multi-Faceted Businesses


Most larger businesses today operate in multi-faceted environments and across multiple territories.  Lowering costs, improving operations, and increasing revenue are undoubtedly the major goals of any business. In today’s tough economic environment, companies constantly strive to improve their performance percentage compared to the previous fiscal year or trading period, a primary reason for a company to invest in new business solutions or upgrade a legacy application. 

Our experience over the last two decades has shown how different systems and disparate operational areas within a business enterprise affect revenue and profit. Businesses can no longer afford the frustration and disconnect between decision-making and access to data. Being able to intervene in a quicker space of time is what sets business operations apart from their competitors. Decision makers expect real-time access to data, and this data needs to be guaranteed, through a solution that is integrated into the company’s existing infrastructure and operational areas. Microsoft provides exactly this, through a comprehensive suite of integrated business applications. 

Take our more recent experience partnering with a South African coal exploration and mining company where Braintree implemented a system to connect all the relevant touch points so that every step of the process, from mining the coal to transporting it to the end user, was secured, integrated and automated. 

Whether in mining, manufacturing, logistics, retail, or any business where different departments need to speak to each other, real-time access to data is vital to remain agile and responsive. Finding a product and a partner to enable a single frictionless reporting platform to work across and integrate with different entities is key to eliminating inefficient data silos, inconsistent reporting, data quality issues, and missed opportunities for insights and improvements. 

 Streamlining operations, improving accuracy and compliance, and enhancing financial management is exactly why a diversified Pan African financial services company asked Braintree to integrate and augment their financial operations. What resulted was the enabling of one view of multiple business landscapes across seven countries, with another 4 to follow. 

Utilising the power of Microsoft and without having to engineer a solution from scratch, companies can incorporate world-class technology that is not complicated or overly expensive to wrap around every part of their business and have all the necessary information ready, correct, and at hand, with the cost-effectiveness of using this platform increasing over time. 

The capabilities of an IT solutions partner backed by the trust and capability afforded by an ever-evolving Microsoft ecosystem reaches far beyond finance and operations as illustrated through our work with one of South Africa’s largest independent private higher education institutions. Here a single, accessible end-to-end Microsoft system was implemented across the full student lifecycle, namely; finance, student enrolment, academics and faculty. 

One of the biggest failures of many companies is their propensity to buy into a new software solution that is often over-engineered and that may be outdated within a matter of years. Microsoft is scalable, with the user interface familiar, and easier to operate from both an operational and customer perspective.  

The role of an IT solutions provider is to understand and digest the technology available, and then propose a versatile, integrated solution which will provide the best value for the customer, with an innate understanding of what the business challenges are, what the current points of failure may be and what the business wants to achieve – an environment where the customer is fully in control of the pace of transition and the roadmap ahead.  

This type of single-vendor approach needs to be engineered enough to give management peace of mind, but also allow the end-user the ability to use the system in a non-complex way, with the relationship between vendor and customer being honest, upfront, and transparent. 

Gone are the days when businesses cannot have real-time line of sight across all their operations. Now is the time for multi-tiered companies or those operating across different territories to tap into an existing scalable and dynamic ecosystem that will create unparalleled efficiency over the long haul.  

Health Huxtable, Executive Head for Braintree