When is an ERP solution more than just a piece of software?

When is an ERP solution more than just a piece of software?

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When is an ERP solution more than just a piece of software?

If we accept the premise that most modern ERP solutions offer similar functionality (apart from vertical based applications) how does a prospective client chose between solution providers? This has been debated for years and often results in the decision being made based on the solution that offers the least risk. A sensible, pragmatic route to take perhaps, given the inherent risk involved in any upgrade or new install of software that lies at the very heart of an organisation.

Numerous authors have introduced best practice methodologies, guidelines and templates to help minimise the threat of an implementation derailing but have largely left the interpretation of such guidelines in the hands of the consultancy or implementation partner.

But should we expect an author to take more responsibility for the success of its software implementation? What if a software author was to provide a pre-configured option for its solution that included not only set-up parameters but completed the picture all the way to the delivery of KPI, dashboards and statistical information?

Sage Plc is aiming to do just that with its imminent launch of Sage X3 ERP Standard Edition in the UK.

It’s a “solution” not just a piece of software. It includes 16 roles, 140 pre defined visual processes, 192 set up wizards and 50 KPI’s and follows the successful launch of this solution in other European countries.

And it doesn’t stop there. As business needs change, Sage provides an upgrade path that allows users to move to its flagship global product Sage ERP X3 without reinstalling the application – a compelling proposition that future proofs a client’s investment.

This of course will not be everyone’s cup of tea, nor will it suit certain organisations, but consider for one moment that all ERP software should provide a sales order processing function, raise purchase orders, manage stock with all its variations and post transactions. Then why shouldn’t these processes, best practices or methodologies be pre- built and packed in a way that a site can adopt from day one? Could this be a software author leading the thought process by drawing upon its vast experience and feedback from its client base?

Sage ERP X3 Standard Edition will undoubtedly challenge the thinking around risk and responsibility and will change how we select ERP in the future. The question is: will other software vendors respond to this positive step forward for the end user?

About Julie

With more than 25 years experience in the IT industry and, in particular, the ERP software marketplace, Julie has been involved in 100’s of ERP project to date.  In particular – as a result of more than a  decade working within the Sage Global product portfolio including products such as Sage 300 ERP, Sage CRM and Sage ERP X3 and within project scopes from Finance to Distribution to Manufacturing – Julie is very au fait with the art of ‘best practice’ implementation methodology, emerging technologies and the requirement for a good ERP to drive effective business outcomes.

Please feel free to email Julie for more information. julie.bruce@cpio.co.uk

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