Monday, June 18, 2012

IT Leadership - Is it the software or the software provider that makes the difference?

I just had to share this.

A paintbrush is just that, a paintbrush. But in the right hands, it can wield art that is priceless. So goes the way of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. They are a tool (albeit a very expensive, sophisticated one) like any other tool, but in the hands of a skilled craftsman, tremendous positive impact on an organization can be achieved.

Why is this an important point? Because time and time again, I see prospective customers looking into the depths of an ERP system demo for a capability to meet a“requirement,” but don’t use the same scrutiny when looking for the partner to implement and support the system. A reference check may be completed, but a serious discussion around ideas to IMPROVE their business does not take place. An ERP implementation team can be likened to a group of painters with brushes. They can all paint, but those with significant experience in a particular industry can leverage far more expertise wielding the same tool as another.

So my advice is this: stop paying so much attention to the system being implemented and start paying more attention to the partner being chosen. Talk to them about real-life experiences and how they have driven  significant improvements in organizations similar to yours. How have they used the capabilities in the system that they’re selling to dramatically change a business? What do their clients say about delivering business benefit? After all, you may have to upgrade or purchase a new paintbrush, but switching implementation partners can be far more painful.

By Andrew King

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About Me

Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
A techie who loves realism and life's simplicity