Organizations across the world have reported failure in ERP implementation and many are unsatisfied about the performance of their ERP software. Sometimes during implementation failure the capabilities of software are questioned but the reason for failure can be the selection of wrong platform. Depending on the need and budget - the selection of right platform should be made.
To reduce failures and to get highest returns, the companies should spend more than three to four months time to define the required platform. ERP platform depends on the number of users, number of transactions, output required, scalability, networking features, business model and the future prospects of the organization. Sometimes organizations grow during the implementation process and the ERP selected a few months back is rendered incapable of handling the new demands.
How to define ERP platform?
1. Define the business processes, key areas and strengths of current business and define the future needs which will be fulfilled by the software.
2. Search technology which can fit the business needs instead of searching for just technology.
3. Budget is important. Implementation cost can go beyond expectation and the organization should consider the extra costs of implementation.
4. Use a realistic approach to select a platform and a team of consultant should be formed to test the approach to ensure the success of the plan.
With advancement in technology there are a number of vendors ready to provide the best suitable solution and organizations can bargain to get the best according to their business needs. Instead of trying to implement what the competitors are doing, the organization can go for new vendors to get better support and customization.
There are many factors which should be considered to define ERP platform. If it is a global organization it may need features such as multi-currency, multi location, multi language. If the job area is sales and marketing field - it may need wireless technologies. The need of manufacturing unit, retail sector, call centers or military based organization are different and therefore, the solution should be selected based on need to ease work processes and to increase ROI.
Some areas of research are -
While selecting the platform the important factor is technology. Some of the leading ERP providers are Oracle based on Oracle's proprietary Tools, PeopleSoft is also based on propriety language, and SAP is based on ABAP.
To know about the technology, buyer can see internet and ask the vendor about it.
Microsoft products are mostly designed on .NET platform and it can be integrated to many different databases and applications, and it can also be used to get internet based solution.
Microsoft SQL Server claims to support more than 134,000 transactions in an hour and at one time the system can be accessed by thousands of users. These databases require strong servers and security, which can be expensive. Similar features are provided by Oracle.
If it is a retail unit or the required number of transaction in a day is not more than 10, the company can select a cheap and light database.
The system involving customers, clients, partners, vendors and employee requires security setup and defining roles. The ERP should have proper networking features.