Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Overview of ERP system: First step in technical direction

Hi each of you!

Today was a course with a different target from yesterday. We begin to have a more technical point of view by having a look in various ERP system which can be implemented. We can divided them in 3 part: The major players, the smaller ones and the open sources.

The major players of the market is essentially proposed to large and even multinational companies. these one have a good financial health and need to have a good implementation. Moreover, the most of the time, big companies prefer to deal with big IT/ consultant company as well. They decrease the risk of being obliged to change their ERP because of repurchase. In fact, it happens that major players buy a smaller player to increase its performance, win some marketshares and to be more specified. In this case, the customers of the smaller player have to change their ERP system.

In addition, when you deal with major players it allows you to have various type of implementors: these one who know how modules work together and these who are expert in one of them and know deeply how it works.

Thanks to that, all your chances of good implementation are in the hands of customers.

Good trainings for employees are needed and can be provided by the IT company.

The last point about the these well known players is that it can provided a type of conformity with the other companies of the same sector... or a comparative advantage...everthing depending on the implementation!!

The smaller players are mostly for the company with smaller size. One of the main advantage is this good communication between the IT/Consultant company and their customer. The customer is waiting for something which answer to their needs and can find it in this type of group. The communication can be one to one and it is always reassuring for a customer to have all the time the same interlocutor. This one knows exactly your history, the culture of your firms and so on. These are crucial to think a bout a good implementation.

The open source players are free: this is their first characteristic! Thanks to that and if the company choose a good community it will help them to implement the ERP system. The most of the time, these system are easier to use and sometimes more customizable.

However, we need to understand that choosing an ERP is not an easy task. It depends on the type of industry, the size of the company, the motivation of ythe employees and so on.

The differences between one ERP system to another is not only the branding and the image. It depends on what the comapny want, what are the feature of the ERP, the industry of the customers, their target but also, like every type of purchase from Business to Business it depends on the saler, the interface of the system.... these little “stuffs” which can change everything.

We also speak about the SAP features. SAP has various fonctions for more or less each dpeartment of the company. You can use all of them or just choose one. It is also possible to use various ERP in the same company. It is called “Best of Breed”..this expression that I did not remember from yesterday!

SAP is adapted for each countries and propose various languages, currencies, taxes issues and so on. We can deduce that it will be interesting for multi national companies.

Another feature which is crucial in frim is the audit trail which let transparency inside the enterprise: Everything can be checked as the name of who did what, when and so on...

But another key point which was relevant was about the limited access which is proposed by SAP. If employees do not have enough access to information, ERP system is useless!!!
....that was the first step of the technical point of view...let s wait for tomorrow to see how it is in real!!!

Have a good night and SAPly dreams!!

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