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SAP Business One Automating Overseas Facility of the Multinational Corporation

International expansion often brings something that was not expected to be a problem initially and good example is accounting application for your foreign branch.  The first idea might be something like this: ‘don’t worry we should be able to get additional user licenses for our current Corporate ERP and deploy them for international offices.’

The idea looks great and you forget about the question up to the point when overseas based accounting personnel informs you that your corporate ERP doesn’t have let’s say Brazilian user interface and is not compliant to Brazilian legislation according to their CPA.  You are getting a little bit nervous and launching your homework on such topics as ERP localization concept for specific country or world’s region.  Let’s come through these concepts and try to make recommendations:

1. Corporate ERP Localization.  It has two aspects where the first one is compliance to targeted country tax code and business related legislation.  And the second one is user interface and data entry support on the language of this country.  You may learn that your current accounting deployed in the headquarters is not localized for the country where you new facility is located.  For example Microsoft Dynamics GP is not localized in such countries as Brazil, China or Russia and attempts to open user interface in the few data entry forms might be a way to go.  However covering legislation compliance is really difficult especially in large world or regional powers such as Russia or Brazil.  In China you have additional challenge as several popular on the United States market ERP applications do not support Unicode characters out of the box.  Each character in Unicode standard has two bytes and that space is enough to encode virtually all the hieroglyphs and letters in all world alphabets.  Dynamics GP for example has Dexterity architecture initially created as a shell in C++ programming language.  Dexterity initially didn’t support Unicode and at this time it might take too much effort to reprogram Dexterity and enable Unicode support.  Much better idea is to pick ERP application which is already localized directly by its software publisher

2. SAP Business One on the international arena.  It was intended to be present internationally since its inception initially in Israel.  You can switch user interface from one language to another without even leaving the application as well as associate specific language with specific user.  In the United States Business One is recommended for small businesses however in such countries as Brazil it is often associated with mid-market offer as well as good solution for production and distribution facilities owned by multinational corporations with headquarters in the USA.  It is often the case that multinational firm is opening manufacturing plant in South America, South East Asia and China where SAP B1 is localized and ready to be implemented

3. Centralized installation exposed to international users.  When you plan international offices accounting system installation we do recommend you to deploy the application and its databases on the servers in the headquarters and expose to the users worldwide via Citrix, Microsoft Terminal Server or similar technologies.  In this case you will have IT cost reduction and databases ready for consolidated financial and managerial reporting.  Current version 8.81 allows you to install all the databases on the same Microsoft SQL Server as you might be aware that previous versions 2007 and 2005 had two hives A and B and two SQL Servers were recommended

4. Corporate ERP designed from several integrated accounting applications.  This is not something unusual.  If you have let’s say Dynamics GP in the headquarters this doesn’t mean that SAP B1 is not compatible in the sense of GL transaction level integration or consolidated FRx or Microsoft Management Reporter.  We had good example when multinational firm with central office in Chicago deployed Business One in Brazilian production facility and integration was done by exporting GL records from SAP B1 into the text file and importing them into GP company via Integration Manager every night.  Start with integration approach and later on you can decide what to do next.  To our information the company later on switched to Business One in Chicago headquarters as well

5. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904 (for international customers, where our representative pick up the phone in St. Joseph, MI call center). We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West Michigan and Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed). Our consultants speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese. We feature our expertise is in International Business.  We provide second opinion in SB1 data migrationScience Articles, customization and reporting

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Andrew Karasev is SAP Business One Consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space.  By the nature of our service we are helping customers USA, Canada nationwide and internationally with consulting force speaking in English, Russian, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese

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