In our prior post we looked at the state of satisfaction of ERP system buyers according to the most recent (2013) survey by Panorama Consulting. We identified and recapped how things went on nearly 200 companies’ deployments across a spectrum of businesses, including their overall satisfaction, how well the systems met their anticipated needs, and how they did on cost and time budget overruns.
Today we’ll look at how they felt about various ERP software vendors, what types of systems clients chose to deploy and how they used consultants. Since it’s a fairly long report, we’ll cut to the chase with key conclusions…
About 60% of ERP deployments reported being at least moderately satisfied (or better) with their ERP vendor. Often Panorama found (as have we) that most of the others are expressing a disconnect between what they were promised during the sales pitch, and what they actually achieved. Here again, clearly defined requirements and a roadmap would alleviate much of this disconnect.
The systems most often selected to be shortlisted (i.e., make the cut to the final round) were of note, we thought. The top two were SAP and Oracle – both of which are very high end systems aimed at very large companies. This may be why Panorama’s “average” implementation costs were well into the millions. As we noted earlier, about half the companies surveyed fell into the category of being large enough to be candidates for SAP and Oracle, i.e., companies with $300 million to $1 billion in revenues.
In our own world, the SMB (small to midsize business) market is our only concern. Here it’s interesting then to note that the next most favorably viewed systems, in order, came from Microsoft, Epicor and Infor, with Microsoft (Dynamics) having been both shortlisted and having been the final selection more frequently than the others by a fair margin.
Type of ERP Software
While all the hype in the media these days seems to about ‘cloud’ applications, only about one in six respondents said any part of their system was hosted in the cloud. Concerns over security breaches, lack of knowledge and risk of data loss were most frequently cited as the concerns. Over six in ten selected the more traditional ‘on-premise’ deployment.
More tellingly, despite cloud solutions touting themselves as being less expensive than traditional ERP implementations, the majority of respondents admitted to minor or no savings. True cost of ownership over time tends to minimize the expected cost savings potential of cloud based systems.
Consultants were used by respondents during virtually all of the phases of deployment, from initial planning, through software selection, implementation, training and support. They were brought in most frequently to “manage the implementation” as well as to supplement internal resources, to be a “strategic partner from planning through implementation” and to provide “organizational change management support.” Panorama concludes its consultants’ analysis by noting that “if an organization wants to do it right, chances are it will need a high degree of third-party guidance to light its way.”
In our next post, we’ll recap what the survey concluded about ERP budgets, benefits and time to recoup costs. Stay tuned…