Boulder City, Nevada, home of the famous Hoover Dam, has opted for Munis, cloud-based ERP software from Tyler Technologies, to replace a number of legacy applications that no longer meets its needs. A 7-year contract has been signed to provide the municipality with financial management, human capital management, and content management functionality, along with self-service capabilities. Because of the cloud-based nature of the deployment, the client will not be “taking care” of its own data—this is the full responsibility of the vendor. All the information will be stored in Tyler’s remote data centers, not at the customer’s location.
It is pretty interesting to see that governmental and municipal authorities are increasingly accepting the idea of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud applications, including for massive, mission-critical ERP packages. I’m curious to know how long the implementation will take and how things will be looking a year from now.
It’s only last year that Epicor and Activant were merged, and now there’s more big news from the company. Today Epicor announced its acquisition of Solarsoft Business Systems, a developer of ERP and manufacturing execution system (MES) software for small and medium businesses. Solarsoft’s two major ERP products, iVP and Tropos, cater to discrete and mixed-mode manufacturers of that market segment. While iVP is mainly focused on discrete-type customers with a strong need for electronic data interchange (EDI) functionality and offers relatively easy transformation for legacy IBM-based systems, Tropos is more process manufacturing–oriented and includes many features that allow customers to comply with US FDA requirements. Read the rest of this entry »
In today’s business milieu, the likelihood of successfully selecting and implementing corporate software, particularly large and complex solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), is very difficult to foretell owing in large part to the nature of those projects. Many uncertainties exist at the planning stage that none of the parties involved (software vendor, software implementer, if different, and the client) are able to fully discover and control. Vendors and implementers don’t know the client’s business well enough, while the clients aren’t familiar with the software. Only aligned joint efforts of software providers and client managers, subject matter experts, and end users can lead to a successful system deployment—meeting expected business objectives within given budgets and timeframes. Another lurking issue in software implementation projects is that the degree of success of any given project can be measured only at the end of the road—mainly at the end of the implementation stage or after go-live.
A number of factors may cause ERP projects to go wrong from the very beginning: Read the rest of this entry »
The most recently certified enterprise resource planning (ERP) software product by TEC analysts is offered by the Brazilian company TOTVS and is called Protheus. Although the vendor is not very well known in the North American and European markets, it is extremely well represented in the corporate solutions market of Latin America, particularly in Brazil, where the vendor holds nearly 50% of the entire business applications in use. Its influence in other countries in the region is also impressive—with nearly 34% of the Latin American market share overall. In addition, the sales figures continue to grow by double digits every year, particularly in the last 10 years.
In addition to verifying the typical software features and functions, during the certification process, TEC analysts wanted to see what was behind the vendor’s great success. Read the rest of this entry »
This year TEC analysts are certifying a variety of new ERP solutions for process manufacturers. Another that has been recently certified is vendor JustFoodERP’s eponymous software JustFoodERP.
JustFoodERP is a subsidiary of the Microsoft Dynamics Partner IndustryBuilt, and was founded just over 12 years ago specifically to develop and deliver an ERP system focused on the food and beverage industry. Read the rest of this entry »
As we all know, many unique and time-sensitive activities occur in all areas of business, government, or even research. Those activities, regardless of their specific nature, can be managed using the project management approach with its associated tools and techniques. This approach is generally intended for assessing the progress of projects and using the necessary and relevant resources of an organization to ensure project effectiveness and completion within planned timeframe and assigned budget.
A software implementation initiative, particularly an enterprise-wide ERP implementation, is a very good example of such a temporary assignment that is usually treated as a project.
For more than 40 years, project management has been recognized as a detached set of techniques that can be applied to any area or discipline. As such, it has been used by hundreds of thousands of project management professionals to manage all types of projects.
However, problems arise when using this approach for ERP implementation. Working with the software end-user community, we here at Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) often see a number of practical issues with ERP selection and implementation projects. We find that when professional project managers with limited knowledge of complex software, business issues, and industry-specific requirements are assigned to manage ERP implementation projects, those projects usually take longer, cost more, and are more likely to fail. Read the rest of this entry »
The rapid development of information technology and all types of business software yields a lot of possibilities for businesses and other organizations that were previously unavailable or even unimaginable. The positive effect of the mass adoption of business software is clearly visible and well known, and I am not going to pursue that subject here. Negative consequences, however, also exist.
In reality, businesses have become so congested and dependent on enterprise software applications that they are often not able to function outside the templates provided by software applications and their embedded so-called “best-practices.” Moreover, while software can resolve certain business issues, in doing so it can create other restrictions and limitations for companies. Read the rest of this entry »
In the software industry, at least in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) segment, there is an implicit understanding of what is meant by tier 1, 2, and 3 vendors. Though the distinction may seem obvious, definitions of software vendor tiers are sparse. Those that exist vary from source to source and are mainly based on the vendor’s clients’ company size, the number of the vendor’s remote business units, and the vendor’s annual revenue. Nonetheless, it seems that the very short list of tier 1 ERP vendors is always easy enough to identify. Or is it? Read the rest of this entry »
In addition to the recently certified iVP software, the Solarsoft applications that have been certified by TEC now include Tropos ERP. The certification process is complete and I’m currently in the process of writing the full TEC Certification Report on the product (access full list of certification reports). Here is my preliminary report of Tropos ERP. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone wants their business to grow, to broaden its operations within a territory or country and, eventually, across borders to other countries and continents. However, business expansion abroad entails a great deal of forethought, especially with regard to enterprise software applications. In fact, the differences in business environments may not only affect corporate business strategy, but also pose various hurdles to an organization’s software extension strategy and strategic information technology (IT) decisions overall. Such hidden issues should be researched ahead of time so that the necessary allowances and adjustments can be made to your plans for growth.
Companies need to consider numerous aspects when planning their expansion. I’ve identified four major types of possible problems that have a direct impact on IT and corporate software decisions. Read the rest of this entry »
ProcessPro, an ERP software vendor from Minnesota, United States, recently presented a live demo session of its software ProcessPro ERP to TEC analysts. Here’s a brief overview of the company, its product, and some key factors differentiating this vendor from its competitors. Read the rest of this entry »
I am glad to announce that TEC’s 2012 ERP for Services Buyer’s Guide is now available for downloading.
Services organizations run projects as a core attribute of their typical activity and arrange their business processes in a way that is different from that of other business types, such as, for instance, manufacturing, distribution, and even nonproject-based services. As such, specialized enterprise software developed for such organizations, rather than a generic enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, are better suited to meet their business needs. Read the rest of this entry »
Your organization has selected to purchase an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software—or any other type of software for that matter. The next step is to find the software provider that will deliver and implement the software for you. This can be the vendor, an independent software vendor (ISV), or an authorized reseller, often called a value-added reseller (VAR). Finding the right service provider for your organization is a challenging feat. Oftentimes, a positive reference from a company that has already performed software implementation with a selected VAR or software vendor seals the deal. But as references have the potential for subjectivity and bias, you need a standardized approach to assessing the provider’s performance. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether it is an enterprise resource planning (ERP), a customer relationship management (CRM), or any other system, acquisition and deployment of enterprise class software is usually a significant move for a company of any size and industry. It leads to disruption of the company’s business activities, so much so that hardly any employee is left unaffected during such a major project. Read the rest of this entry »
In a recent live demo session with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor Ability, I had the chance to get an in-depth look at Ability 585 ERP. It’s not every day that a product’s capabilities exceed my expectations, but this was the certainly the case with Ability 585 ERP, which is now TEC Certified for ERP for Manufacturing (SMB). Read the rest of this entry »