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Is It “ERP vs ITSM” Or “ERP plus ITSM”?

By Robert Hall, Support Analyst, Marval


Information Technology in enterprises today has taken on an essential, centralised role. There are no departments or operations that do not use some kind of IT equipment, even if it’s just a simple PC or printer. In most organisations, IT is a crucial part of day-to-day operations, affecting anything from the perimetric security of the buildings to the employees’ learning and development programmes. With its integrated approach, ERP in particular has become a big part of the business’ operations.

An acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP integrates all the various functions that are essential to a business, from logistics management and accounting to human resources and beyond. What ERP actually does is helping to streamline information across the organisation, by employing a shared database to support different operations. So staff that work in different departments will use the same information for doing their job. The benefits of this approach are obvious: from increasing collaboration among different departments in an enterprise, to facilitating and accelerating basic operations like automation, goods’ distribution or invoicing.

ITSM shares some of the principles used in ERP software. An acronym for Information Technology Service Management, ITSM provides a shared database that supports multiple functions used by staff in various departments. Services are of course in the core, but there is also planning for new and old services, asset management, change management, supplier management & SLAs, Continual Service Improvement (CSI), processes, incidents.

The central feature of our award-winning ITSM platform – Marval MSM – is a shared database that supports multiple functions used by different employees in various divisions. In practice, this means that the ITSM Team can manage the Service Portfolio and users can raise Incidents, Service Requests or Change Requests and all rely on the same information for their specific needs.

Marval MSM also offers synchronised reporting and automation; two features that are essential for ERP systems. Process Workflows and Request Rules permit the raising and update of requests via manual updates or email import. A basic request such as a password reset or a new starter can be created and processed to its conclusion without further intervention. MSM uses Xtraction to provide Dashboards and Reports of up-to-date information from the database – for example how many requests have been raised for a customer, how many Request Types raised in a time period. Or put another way, the performance on key metrics. We can now integrate with other applications such as Bomgar and Jira through the use of Plugins.

While ERP and ITSM share a few principles, they are not really competitive. In fact, they can be complimentary. ERP helps introduce an integrated, unified approach for IT across the organisation, while ITSM ensures that IT is managed properly, using a proven process-based approach. With the two of them combined, businesses can improve visibility on key performance metrics and build a highly functional, interoperable and secure environment for their employees.


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