The Long & Winding Road to an ERP Implementation – Can You Speed the Journey?
Panorama Consulting Solutions developed its annual Clash of the Titans analysis to compare the “titans” of the enterprise software industry: SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and Infor. The data is based upon feedback from 263 companies who have selected or implemented SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics or Infor ERP solutions. (Give it a read HERE.)
SAP remains the favored vendor (30%) despite its reputation for bearing the longest implementation cycle (14.7 months). Putting this in context, both Oracle and Microsoft clock in at a solid 12 months. Why such a long implementation time-frame? We know that the process itself is multi-layered. It requires examining business practices, streamlining operating procedures, installing and testing software, cleansing and migrating data, managing change, training users, managing go live and maintaining support. It’s not a one-time event, but rather a continuous process or lifecycle. And if the client is anything like Shell, Hershey’s, Nissan or Johnson & Johnson – global and deeply complex organizations -a global implementation will naturally require a longer time table simply due to the number of locations.
With the average cost of an Enterprise App Deployment bordering on $6.1M and a potential delivery time of 14+ months, the risks are great for any business leader. So, we think the million-dollar question has to be “Is there a way to reduce delivery time to something more manageable and, ultimately, more cost-effectively?”
Reduce Travel - Meet Digitally
An enterprise will need representation from each of the organization’s functional areas, across all regions and time-zones. Flying teams in and out of a variety of locations is neither inexpensive or expedient. Conference calls are not practical - imagine the challenge of coordinating schedules. Instead, consider running high-impact digital workshops with groups of stakeholders and distributed audiences. Yes, they still require coordination, but they provide the ability to combine synchronous and asynchronous activities much more efficiently. It requires a good deal less time with less administration. It enables multiple business units, demographics and geographies to contribute simultaneously for speed and efficiency.
We’ve talked quite a bit about the time-consuming process of requirements gathering. Juggling emails, Excel/Word, wikis and even Post-It notes (!) to keep track of requirements consumes a lot of your team’s time. Since it’s often executed manually as spreadsheet or workbook, it’s also tedious. Clients aren’t sure where to start or clear on what data goes where. Consultants are left with incomplete or inaccurate data.
A much more effective approach includes automated self-guided forms. They enable global teams to provide input requirements without the mystery of what goes where. Avoid incomplete, incorrect and lost requirements caused by ill-suited tools like Excel, Word & wikis which lead to project delays and even project failures. Automated approval workflows help to validate requirements before moving to configuration (40% faster requirements definition with fewer mistakes, less backtracking and greater stakeholder alignment). It also provides real-time control over who can view, modify, and approve your requirements data – to ensure development teams spend their valuable time only on accurate and approved requirements.