Actindo’s international market presence is being expanded to China, confirming its claim to be a...
In today's fast-paced and ever-changing market environment, businesses need to have the right tools to stay competitive. One of these tools is a Digital Operations Platform (DOP). While legacy, monolithic systems were never designed for modern ecommerce, a DOP is more than able to meet the growing demands of customers.
Forrester reports that many old enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems don't deliver the speed and flexibility needed for digital commerce. This is where a DOP comes in.
A Digital Operations Platform (DOP) is an integrated platform that streamlines and automates business operations, providing a centralized system for managing and optimizing business processes. Think of it as the modern, composable, and future-proof version of ERP.
A Digital Operations Platform enables businesses to orchestrate any front-end, back-end, or legacy system, and use their data to accelerate workflows and automate processes across systems, touchpoints, databases, and data warehouses.
In this blog post, we'll explore what a Digital Operations Platform actually does, some key features and benefits, and how it can transform your business. Let's dive in.
What is a Digital Operations Platform?
A Digital Operations Platform is the core of your business operations no matter whether you're a retailer, manufacturer, or supplier. It allows you to centrally manage all processes and touchpoints to create a better customer experience.
From product data management, purchasing, and inventory, to customer management and business intelligence, everything your company needs is made available centrally in one unified place. With a Digital Operations Platform, workflows are merged, back-office activities are unified, and existing systems are integrated so you can focus on what matters most: your customers.
The Importance of a Digital Operations Platform in Today's Digital Landscape
Every business has its unique requirements and strategies. No matter what stage of development your company is at or what goals you are pursuing, a DOP can be adapted to specific needs and supports you in successfully scaling your business activities. It allows businesses to explore additional growth avenues like digital commerce, modernizing existing systems, or exploiting an entirely new revenue potential.
Due to their size and higher order volumes, large and medium-sized enterprises can benefit most from the powerful features of a DOP. Whether you are in B2C, B2B, wholesale, or manufacturing, it doesn't matter - a DOP helps you reach your customers wherever they are.
As Forrester reports, a digital operations strategy for core enterprise applications that is "future fit" is key in achieving resilience, adaptivity, innovation, and sustainable business success in today's environment.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter:
Key Features of a Digital Operations Platform
- MACH-based architecture
A DOP that is based on MACH architecture can provide businesses with a scalable and flexible environment for managing operational processes. MACH means Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless.
The MACH Alliance recently polled their decision-makers and reports that “One in five (21%) organizations are spending over half of their IT budget on upgrades for their legacy IT.” A MACH-based Digital Operations Platform reduces the cost and complexity of maintaining the infrastructure while also providing a secure and reliable environment for business operations.
>> Learn more about each MACH principle and how they benefit your business in our guide. <<
- Process orchestration
You can create, control, map, and monitor your business processes and automate your workflows. As a result, you’ll always have an overview of your processes and be able to correct errors quickly and efficiently. Process orchestration is a powerful feature that gives you real-time control over your processes.
"The DOP combines the advantages of the best-of-breed approach with intelligent process orchestration. Actindo DOP is the central and intelligent link in order to structure, harmonize and control your data and your company-wide processes."
Dr. Florian Haas
Head of Project Management at Actindo
- Product data management and analytics
The basis for a future-proof IT system for digital commerce is a powerful Product Information Management (PIM). With a modern PIM, you can collect, edit, and output product data in one central location. Its flexible data model enables complex and varying data to be mapped, transformed, and transferred to external systems and sales channels. This allows businesses to gain insights into their operational performance and identify areas for improvement.
- Integration with other enterprise systems
A major advantage of a Digital Operations Platform is that existing ERP solutions do not have to be completely replaced in a massive high-risk project. The modernization of an ERP ecosystem can be designed step by step because legacy systems can run alongside modern solutions using the Digital Operations Platform. Thanks to this, businesses benefit from the flexibility of being able to continue to use tried-and-tested systems such as AS/400 or SAP R/3 together with modern web-based solutions.
Benefits of a Digital Operations Platform
Moving to a modern Digital Operations Platform helps businesses realize their full potential in various areas. Here’s a look at some of the main benefits:
- Improved Customer Experience
A smart DOP forms the basis for an improved customer experience at all touchpoints. For example, it enables simplified CRM, accurate and consistent information across all channels, hassle-free offering of various payment and shipping options, and fast processing of orders and returns.
- Increased productivity
Many manual workflows require a lot of time. By automating these workflows, employees can focus on what's important and work more productively. A centralized platform also breaks down data silos between departments and facilitates collaboration.
- Data-driven decisions
A DOP collects data from all sales channels in one place and lets you analyze and report in seconds while keeping an eye on all business activities. The guessing game is over - you can always make your decisions based on real-time data.
- Simple integration options
A DOP enables the step-by-step integration of legacy IT systems, without completely replacing them. All external marketplaces, payment, shipping, and fulfillment providers, or other external tools and service providers can be connected just as easily.
- >> Read our guide to ERP for E-Commerce <<
4 Use Cases of a Digital Operations Platform
A Digital Operations Platform is characterized by the fact that it offers comprehensive and modern ERP functionalities, which companies can assemble freely from various components according to their requirements. These might include purchasing, supplier and warehouse management, order processing and dispatch, customer management, accounting, and payment, or even business intelligence. Let’s take a look at some of the most favored use cases for a DOP.
1. Omnichannel orchestration: With omnichannel orchestration, you can connect to as many marketplaces as you want, and even expand your sales channels. Your customers' shopping experience is unified through a centralized control panel, creating a seamless customer experience (CX) across all channels. This way, you benefit from new touchpoints and an up-to-date unified commerce environment.
2. Order management: With a centralized order management system, businesses can easily manage orders across multiple channels and marketplaces. This feature offers businesses fully controlled picking, packing, and shipping for each sales channel. This means you can process orders quickly and accurately for maximum customer satisfaction and loyalty.
3. Warehouse management: A Digital Operations Platform includes a comprehensive warehouse management system that provides businesses with complete visibility and control over their warehouse operations. With a centralized view of the inventory, businesses can optimize inventory levels and avoid stockouts. Thanks to real-time updates, you can manage warehouse operations proactively, reducing errors and improving efficiency.
4. Shipping & fulfillment: The platform integrates with a range of shipping carriers, enabling businesses to manage their shipping from a single platform. The platform also includes features such as label creation, tracking, and returns management, providing businesses with a comprehensive solution for their shipping needs.
How to Integrate Legacy IT Systems with a DOP
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering how to integrate your legacy IT system with a sophisticated Digital Operations Platform. At Actindo, we can help.
With a Digital Operations Platform, businesses benefit from being able to continue using tried-and-tested systems such as AS/400 or SAP R/3 together with modern web-based solutions. When the legacy systems have reached the end of their life, they can be gently decommissioned, while corresponding new solutions that are freely customizable are already connected to the Digital Operations Platform.
Businesses that plan on modernizing their legacy IT systems will be able to accomplish this systematically with our Actindo Core1 Digital Operations Platform. The in-depth headless ERP functionality and the high integration capability of the Actindo platform become a stable foundation for a flexible and customizable IT ecosystem.
Examples of Successful Digital Operations Platform Implementations
Braun Büffel, a luxury leather goods company based in Germany, partnered with Actindo to expand their D2C business and connect important marketplaces.
To remain fit for the future and meet its high standards of customer service, the brand designed a new online store based on Adobe Commerce (Magneto 2) and implemented the Actindo Core1 platform to expand its D2C business and connect crucial marketplaces. Thanks to the modular structure and the comprehensive functionalities offered by the Actindo DOP, Braun Büffel could easily assemble the components according to its specifications.
After the successful implementation of the DOP, Braun Büffel’s share of D2C e-commerce sales rose to almost 30 percent within 2 years.
alpha trading solutions is a leading distributor of entertainment products and fulfillment service provider for e-commerce. Following the high growth rates in online trade since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, alpha trading solutions significantly expanded its e-commerce division. Due to the increasing number of packages in logistics, especially in the D2C area, they needed high-speed, efficient processes in multi-channel fulfillment, warehousing, order picking & packing, and shipping.
alpha trading solutions worked with Actindo, Reesink Logistic Solutions, and PKS Software to transform the company into a modular e-commerce & fulfillment company. Actindo acts as the central Digital Operations Platform for alpha trading solutions and integrates their legacy IT (IBM AS/400), sales channels, product data, commerce-related order processes, and all warehouse technologies in one MACH-based platform. The software platform orchestrates and automates all processes and connects the legacy IT systems with the new, modern systems. This enables alpha trading solutions to get to the next level in digitalization to scale their business.
A Digital Operations Platform is more than just a software solution - it's a game-changer for businesses. By integrating all the tools and functions needed to manage operations in one place, a DOP enables businesses to optimize their processes and boost productivity.
The market today is experiencing a shift toward digital business models with increased importance for agile and efficient operations. A Digital Operations Platform (DOP) is the foundation for businesses looking to thrive in this new reality. A DOP can help businesses optimize their processes, adapt to changing market conditions, and stay ahead of the competition by providing a unified platform for all operations. It's no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ - a DOP is essential for success in the digital age.
“At Actindo, we've made it our mission to enable sophisticated transactional business models beyond retail, e-commerce, and desktop and to be responsible for driving and delivering the single point of truth for composable commerce and control customer-centric experiences in the unified commerce era.”
- Boris Krstic, Co-Founder & CEO at Actindo.