It’s 2018 so why isn’t my ERP vendor multi-tenant?

August 7, 2018 from diginomica – “We may be at a point in the software space where application vendors that haven’t produced a multi-tenant suite may never do it. It matters and here’s why…” Click here to read the article. 180 View – Multi-tenant architecture allows one instance of a software system to serve multiple customers. The vendor is responsible for patching and updating the inevitable changes to a system. The article makes a persuasive case why multi-tenant matters but, in our opinion, it is just another criteria to make a decision.   […]

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National Forum On Technology Solutions

180 Systems and CPA Canada developed a new conference that was targeted to senior leaders responsible for technology investment decisions. The conference focused on enterprise software (ERP, BI and CPM) and included customers speaking about their journey through selection and implementation by industry (manufacturing and distribution, not-for-profit and financial services). It also included solutions for today’s industry challenges and emerging technologies such as AI, Blockchain, and IOT. The conference took place on May 28-29, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and we will do it again next year. Click here for more information about this conference […]

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What come first – an ERP system (the chicken) or lean management (the egg)?

Lean management is all about eliminating any waste by identifying each step in a business process and then revising or cutting out non-value added steps. The question is whether this should be done prior to selecting an ERP system. Proponents of doing it first assume that the implementation of an ERP system would be merely improving the automation of the existing process and better to eliminate the waste first. However, this approach (sometimes called repaving the cow paths and extending the chicken and egg analogy) is not best practice. The implementation of an ERP system is the best opportunity to […]

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2017 ERP Survey

September 2017 from CPA Magazine – “Welcome once again to our annual vendor survey on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Every year we have a different theme for the article that accompanies our ERP survey results. This year we decided to look at the fine print in ERP contracts and the good, the bad and the ugly about requests for proposals (RFP) used in software selection….” Read More […]

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How Do You Compare A SaaS Annual Fee To A One-Time License Fee?

We have found that on average the one-time (on-premise) license fee is 3 times the annual fee based on our experience in evaluating RFP responses from vendors. One might think that the ratio between license and annual fee should be greater but that does not take into account the additional hosted services provided by the SaaS vendors including maintenance fees which are billed annually by on-premise vendors at approximately 20% of the license fee. It’s still early days for SaaS and as competition heats up the license ratio: annual fee will increase as SaaS fees are reduced. We recommend that […]

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Reduce Risk of ERP Implementation Failure: Pre-Contract Business Needs Analysis

You naturally want to minimize risks and avoid cost overruns before signing a long-term contract for a new ERP system. Your prospective vendor also wants to minimize risk, but is usually not in a position to do anything other than give an implementation estimate based on lots of assumptions about scope, roles and responsibilities. These assumptions could be fairly accurate, but could also be way off, which could lead to surprises and costly change orders during the implementation.  Neither you nor the vendor want this to happen.  Wrong assumptions that lead to change orders will create frustration, friction and could […]

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Statement of Work (SOW) Stoppers

The SOW is a key document from your vendor that can make or break the implementation. The vendors will do their best to reduce their risk by limiting scope to a high level list, assuming that you will follow best practices, and making a lot of other assumptions about you doing work that you don’t know or understand the effort to complete.  As the vendor risks go down, the customer risks go up.  We recommend the following: Scope is tied to the requirements in the RFP which need to be specific Best practices should only be applied to processes that […]

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Should you restrict ERP selection to just the major vendors?

We don’t think so. There are many excellent products built by small companies for specific industries that are worthy of consideration. But there are risks that the vendor will not be around for the long haul. There are a number of ways to evaluate long-term viability: The system is built with old technology that is getting really difficult to support by the boomers ripe for retirement. There is a lack of investment in the system. Ask to see the product roadmap and recent enhancements. The company is not profitable. Private companies will be reluctant to release this but it can […]

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How to get an accurate estimate of ERP implementations costs

We ask the finalists in our software selection projects for a detailed breakdown of implementation costs by module (g/l, a/r, a/p, purchasing…) and by task (customization, integration, conversion, project management, design…). We provide them with a lot of information to make the estimate possible: detailed requirements business process review which includes process, problems, type of problem, and impact of problem high level process maps access to our client to get the tour and ask whatever questions are needed The finalists are asked to demonstrate a prototype of the to-be business process allowing them to validate assumptions. But sometimes, even with all […]

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ERP Cost Estimates

Buyer beware when estimating the costs of an ERP implementation. There are so many unknowns that make it really tough to avoid unpleasant surprises. The vendors are very reluctant to fix price anything when it comes to the services required because of the many unknowns – scope of work, who does what, capabilities and available time of buyer resources…. It’s especially difficult for the vendors in the early stages of the selection process. At the same time, the buyers want to have a decent ball park of costs before pursuing a potential solution. But there are guidelines that will help. […]

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