Enterprise systems such as ERP, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) have promised great benefits. In fact, enterprise software has become a necessary foundation for organizations of all shapes and sizes.
Commercial software is now available for horizontal applications, such as ERP and CRM, and also for niche systems in nearly every industry sector.
Challenges in System Selection
However, evaluating and selecting a new enterprise system has become more and more difficult. The underlying technologies are changing. Some systems look good on the surface but may not be the best fit for a specific industry. Others may not provide flexibility for the future. Still others may be overkill for small and midsize businesses. Vendor viability, software reliability, and ease of implementation must also be considered.
Finally, there have been many mergers and acquisitions among enterprise software vendors over the past decade, and it is not always clear whether a particular system is really part of a surviving vendor’s product road-map for the future.
Cloud-based systems add another level of complexity to the decision. Is the vendor’s cloud ERP offering really software-as-a-service (SaaS). Or is it merely the vendor’s traditional on-premises ERP now offered in a hosted data center as a managed service? And, does it matter?
Choosing the right enterprise system requires an organized approach: collecting operating data, building the business case, analyzing key requirements, screening vendors, and organizing demonstrations. But who has the experience, time, resources and tools to do it right?
Our Software Vendor Evaluation Process is Different
Strativa is the right choice for independent consulting in enterprise software selection and vendor evaluation.
- Envisioning the future. The new system should not just replicate old ways of doing business. Our approach begins by understanding how the business is changing, what the new system must do to support it, and how the system can enable innovation and new business processes.
- Key issues, not a lengthy RFP. In understanding your business, our software selection consultants focus on differentiators: the things that make your organization different from others and things that make enterprise software vendors different from one another. We structure these into a concise request for information (RFI) to use in our initial vendor qualification. The RFP comes near the end of the process, after you’ve determined the finalists.
- Getting quickly to a short list. Many buyers make the mistake of starting their software selection projects by talking to vendors. Our software selection consultants, on the other hand, shorten the list of candidate vendors in a three-step process that gets you to the right solution without taking up inordinate amounts of time from your project team.
- Evaluating implementation consultants as well as software vendors. Too many software projects fail, not because the customer chooses the wrong system but because the implementation consulting firm is not qualified. Our vendor introduction and reference-checking phases ensure that you not only have the right system, but the right system implementation consultants as well.
- Absolute and total independence. Because we do not sell software or “partner” with any technology vendors for implementation services, our software selection consultants have the independence and objectivity necessary to give unbiased advice. We sit on your side of the table only.
- No conflict of interest. Nearly all of the free “software evaluation tools” are marketing websites in disguise. They make their money by selling your contact information to vendors as sales leads. In contrast, Strativa is focused entirely on providing management consulting services. We are not in the lead generation business for vendors.
Our software evaluation consulting services do not need to end with selection of the right software vendor. With our execution services, we can continue our engagement through implementation of the chosen system.
- 10-minute video presentation highlighting current trends in ERP selection, adoption, and key factors for success: Trends in ERP and How to Ensure Success. →
- Free research report based on several Strativa client engagements, where clients were dealing with entrenched legacy systems: IT Strategies for Legacy Systems: Avoiding Technical Bankruptcy →