Tally ERP 9 is a robust business management application capable of handling a wide array of business activities, ranging from accounting, financial control, and payroll management, to sales/receivables, statutory compliance, and inventory management. However, small and medium sized businesses seldom need all the features of this versatile ERP application. As a result, Tally ERP 9 customization is the key to meet the specific and unique business requirements of a particular firm.
Apart from being an end-to-end business management application, Tally ERP 9 is built to be a platform that can be extended to support Tally customization. Using a development language called Tally Definition Language (TDL), you can enhance or change the default behavior of Tally ERP 9 by extending its core functionality. Tally ERP 9 also supports ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) API and import & export of data in standard data formats like XML (Extensible Markup Language) & CSV (Comma Separated Values) format. Tally ERP 9 has a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) listener, which helps in online integration and with other business tools.
The following is a 5-stage process followed by your well-known Tally software solutions providers to successfully implement a Tally ERP 9 customization project that fits not only the current needs of your business but also is scalable in future:
1. Gathering and assessing business requirements: Understanding the scope and the finer nuances of the business that make it unique compared to others is key to achieving successful ERP customization within time. More often than not, solution providers understand what is required by the business; however, discussing what is not required by the business also brings greater clarity in defining the exact scope of the exercise.
2. Conceptualizing the elements that will achieve the goal: This phase requires the service provider to decide on the tools and design a strategy to meet the end objective of the client. This will include a detailed study of the existing version of Tally ERP 9 been used by the client and defining the architecture, add-ons, components, modules, interfaces, and data that will need to be developed to fill the gap.
3. Development of add-ons, macros, and modules followed by pilot testing: This stage is the most critical and time consuming as it is here that all the elements defined in the previous stage are developed. Most common means of extending the use of stock application includes specific add-on plugins, macros, and full-fledged modules. The development and integration of these custom software elements is followed by meticulous pilot testing. Testing helps iron out all the variances of the system vis-à-vis its stated functionalities.
4. Live deployment and staff training: This stage involves Tally Integrator (TI) rolling out the developed solution to all business locations of the client. Another important aspect during this stage is training the client’s staff to work on the software application and address issues that they may face with regards to factors, such as custom invoice generation, payroll management, accounts management, managing inventory status, and generating MIS reports at multiple levels, among others.
5. Provision of post-implementation support: Expert and well-known Tally solutions specialists include this as a part of their customization project because many a times, even though pilot testing goes smoothly, some issues arise during real-life deployment. As a result, support and maintenance during this stage is essential for the end client.