Administration takes place on two levels in e-Synergy: at the system level and in each module. System-level administration took a little getting used to in tests, particularly because many core features are controlled by roles and organizational structures within the e-HRM module.
e-Synergys security model limits who has access to what kind of information, so it does not really matter that configuring back-office connectivity for divisions happens in the e-HRM module rather than in the system module. (We expected that information to reside in the system module.)
e-Synergy natively supports other Exact Software back-end systems, such as the companys accounting systems. Otherwise, the system supports connections to accounting and other back-office applications through XML. XML also controls data exchange with client applications such as Microsoft Word and Outlook.
The e-HRM and e-CRM components have a common look and feel, and the major forms within each application have a common design. This made it easy for us to repurpose some of these elements in applications we designed using the form and workflow tools.
In general, we liked the way we could manage processes extensively from within each module. For example, the e-HRM module controls the whole process of managing employees, beginning with hiring. The HR system can then manage the process, from posting a job description on the Web site to budgeting and hiring.
The hiring workflow provides a good model of e-Synergys workflow capabilities. We needed to follow the logical steps of associating a job requisition to a role within an organization. After that was done, it was possible to associate a particular job with a candidate who had applied for it via the Web—and, in the process, we could save an HR manager the trouble of filling out employee record information.
The e-CRM module manages customer and partner data. We found that e-CRM provides good tools for users charged with managing customer data. The main screen (as well as the left-hand pane) is search-driven to give sales and customer service staff quick access to customer or partner data. We liked the customization capabilities and the ease with which we could manage workflow from within the e-CRM module.
The e-CRM module works well with the e-Logistics module, which is a combination product management tool and supplier management system. In addition, we could easily tap into the e-Projects project management application and the e-Documents document management system.
On the financial side, the e-Financials module provides budgeting, an executive view and reporting tools for consolidated company financials. Accounting must be managed in an external application, and data must be imported through native connectors or through an XML connector for Exact Software accounting applications.
Another feature that we thought worked particularly well is e-Synergys support for synchronizing the users Outlook calendar with his or her e-Synergy calendar, as well as the document integration with Microsoft Word. If we needed to create a document to associate with a particular customer account, we could create and upload the document directly from Word by providing customer account information.