Exciting Time for ERP selection projects.

Posted on: March 14, 2011 | By: SuperUser Account | ERP Selection

Our firm has been assessing, selecting and implementing various ERP packages over the past 19 years, and we are pleased to report that businesses of all sizes have several powerful, reliable and relatively easy to implement solutions from which to choose. Exciting developments from both the perspective of the actual ERP software and the manner in which it can be hosted have given customers more and better choices than any time in the past. For the past 18 years, we have helped select and implement QAD software largely due to its solid capabilities, its reliability and its ease of implementation. To this day, QAD remains a strong ERP player in the manufacturing and distribution space, especially within advanced repetitive companies. Historically, we have found the large ERP players, SAP and Oracle, to be overly complex to the point where the additional benefit did not justify the costs and risks created by the complexity. It is clear to us that these companies have taken steps to streamline their offerings by offering pre-configured and industry targeted solutions. Proper scope definition and product (and module) selection is still critical in this space. Within the middle tier of ERP players, including Epicor and the various Infor solutions, we see solid packages that may or may not be optimal, depending on your industry and the specific competitive advantages you are trying to support. One package that stands out to us is Microsoft Dynamics AX. We have found that Dynamics AX combines the robustness and flexibility of the larger ERP packages with the “implementability” of simpler ERP packages. In our opinion, they have achieved this attractive balance through the use of an intuitive interface, both for initial configuration and end users operation. And we continue to be excited about the large investment that Microsoft continues to make on the AX platform. Finally, it is clear that all ERP organizations are striving for SaaS (Software as a Service) options, with some providers further along than others. We have evaluated many variations of “cloud” offerings and can report that there are pros and cons to each. A “true” multi-tenant cloud offering certainly has advantages, but there are certainly circumstances where a dedicated server cloud offering makes more sense. And of course, an on premises alternative may make sense for certain environments with complex integration to external systems or equipment. But it is truly exciting for us to now have worked on successful ERP implementations that have come live in the “cloud”. This has given clients that need the benefits of a new ERP platform the possibility of implementing one without massive day one investments. Often times, we find that pointing oneself in the correct direction before embarking on an ERP journey can make the difference between success and failure. After all, it doesn’t matter how fast or how far you drive if you’re on the wrong interstate! We believe sound technology assessment and selection advice, with the business in mind, is the best “bang for the buck” technology investment an organization can make. Most organizations evaluate ERP software once a decade or less; our advisory services can make it easier and help to mitigate the risks involved in such projects. If you agree, please feel free to reach out to our team. Mike Brennolt mbrennolt@logan-consulting.com (312) 345-8806

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