Integra has an open architecture: analyst

Integra, a business-to-business financial applications software package created by JBM Logic Inc., offers the possibility that mid-sized companies can access ERP functionality without having to pay the price typically associated with that technology.

Integra, which has 20 financial application modules and can integrate with several human resource packages, as well as Microsoft Outlook, can offer companies just that, according to JBM Logic in Montreal.

The product, which runs on Windows NT, several Unix platforms, DOS and IBM’s OS/2, is especially useful for companies in the made-to-order market because it integrates with AutoCAD, said analyst Daniel Giguere, a partner at Montreal-based Synapse Gestion. Giguere said custom-functionality can be created on-the-fly, without the need to code.

Integra can be used either in a client/server environment, or through the Web using only a browser. The look and feel of the software is the same no matter which way users choose to deploy Integra.

This makes the product ideal for companies with multiple sites, said JBM Logic president Jean-Francois Brodeur.

Integra’s Web capability made operations easier for Helix Hearing Care of America which has clinics around North America. Before Integra, Helix was using ACCPAC. That meant working with data meant importing and exporting to different systems, said COO Martin Cousineau in Montreal. Now, whenever a clinic anywhere in North America enters data, it is entered directly into the system.

“The feedback I received from our department is [Integra’s] really good,” Cousineau said. “We take less space on our disk and access the information more faster.”

Nancy Russel, a controller at Montreal-based Lecuyer, which makes large cement underground water drainage and sewage systems, is also impressed by the system. “It is a good system. We can count on it,” she said.

Russel, an early user, said that any bugs or awkward details that Lecuyer found in Integra were corrected right away.

One piece the system lacks, Giguere said, is a manufacturing calendar feature. This is a module that he would like to see included with future releases.

But the system does integrate with other schedulers. “It is a very open technology,” Giguere said.

According to Brodeur, the inventory capabilities make Integra especially useful for business-to-business transactions.

“Everything concerning inventory is done in real time. So as soon as there is an order coming in for a product, you would see that order reserve the product. As soon as something comes in the shipping area, it automatically increases the quantity available for you to sell,” he said.

Because the software is browser-based, users can also give information to customers.

“You could share data with your business partners, so they would be able to view their stocks, query their accounts and track project completion,” Brodeur said. Companies sharing information with others can still protect vital data by controlling what users can access. Information sent over the Web is encrypted.

Integra’s modules include an inventory control piece, which allows multi-currency transactions and can be interfaced with bar code scanners to simplify data entry. Other modules available include purchasing, workflow management, document management, and manufacturing quotations and estimates applications.

Customers can get most of the functionality they require right out of the box, according to Brodeur.

“What we use as a rule of thumb is that the base product would suit 80 per cent of [a customer’s] needs, and for the other 20 per cent, that could be done through customization. More customization than this, then they could probably look into a higher-end package,” he said.

Integra, which works with an Oracle relational database, comes with over 300 pre-configured reports and has multi-language capabilities.

An eight-module package of Integra ( for four users starts at around $25,000, depending on configuration.

JBM Logic in Montreal can be reached at 1-800-799-6839.

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