Epicor, a global provider of business applications for manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services organizations, recently announced it has fine-tuned its channel strategy to drive growth opportunities in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. As part of this expansion strategy, Epicor will be looking at recruiting new partners, particularly for key markets such as France, Germany, Russia, and Benelux, and boosting its channel presence in the Middle East and South Africa. Epicor will be looking at recruiting partners that already have enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience, typically with knowledge of larger systems, such as SAP, Oracle, Infor, or some Microsoft Dynamics solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in April, I wrote about a consulting firm whose excellent service had earned it rave reviews from a client.
The secret to the firm’s success, it turned out, was pretty simple. Its consultants made sure they understood the client, they committed to the project, they kept their promises, and they followed up. In other words, that firm displayed a genuine commitment to excellence that can be hard to find.
So hard that some of our readers began to wonder how, if you wanted to build a similar consulting firm, you would go about finding the best, brightest, and most committed consultants.
When I asked TEC’s HCM analyst Sherry Fox, she identified seven things you can do to start building a smart, committed talent pool for your consulting firm.
Have you ever been burned by a service provider who promised great service but didn’t deliver? You’re not alone. Especially in the IT world, where virtually every company has a story about a consulting engagement gone wrong.
So what makes an IT service provider great? Are there specific things that the best service providers do to delight their clients? Are there things that you, as a client, can demand? Or is great service something you only know when you see it?
We came upon the answer when we conducted a reference check with a company we’ll call “Midco”—a midsize, US-based distributor of consumer products that had hired a consultant firm to handle its SAP implementation.
The project turned out to be so successful that when Midco filled out our reference check questionnaire, they gave the consultant some of the most effusive praise we’ve ever seen.
To find out what was driving all that excitement, we sat down with Midco’s chief financial officer (CFO), whom we’ll call “Bob,” a former consultant and veteran of several major software implementations.
Bob was happy to talk about what made this consultant so remarkable, and over the course of our conversation, he kept coming back to the same five things.
One of the reasons why Infor, despite its over 70,000 large customer base, hasn’t been regarded as a serious enterprise applications contender has been the company’s spotty relationship with its channel partners. Partners currently contribute only about 25 percent of Infor’s license revenue (except for Latin America, where that ratio is 50 percent).
Last year, Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) introduced its Accreditation Program to provide software buyers with insight into the quality of implementation and support services delivered by value-added resellers (VARs), channel partners, implementers, vendors, and consultants. With the end user in mind, we established an in-depth questionnaire that captures the customer’s level of satisfaction for services rendered (service delivery and support, maintenance, project evaluation) and the customer’s overall recommendation. Through a series of customer reference checks, we examine these areas for service providers that participate in TEC’s Accreditation Program. We then write a concise report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the provider’s services for a particular software type, industry, or business area. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog topic introduced SYSPRO and its traditional vertical solutions. It also analyzed the vendor’s PragmaVision strategy to provide to pragmatic (yet visionary) technology buyers’ need.
Towards the end of offering proven technology to pragmatists, SYSPRO’s fully-integrated solution suite [evaluate this product] connects to disparate systems via Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) technologies. All the above-mentioned modules are based on standard Extensible Markup Language (XML) formats for information exchange, and Web service technologies for enhanced interoperability between disparate systems and for collaborative commerce. SYSPRO’s thoughtful approach to adopting new technology, such as Web services and SOA platforms, again reflects the desires of its sensible buyers, who are driven by business needs rather than by the latest headlines. Read the rest of this entry »
Generally, I would venture to say any website that uses a little more interactive and dynamic technology (i.e. not just publishing “flat” HyperText Markup Language [HTML] pages) and supports some kind of online commerce, community, or other value-added activity that is enabled by the network would have Web 2.0 traits. But, is it still more buzzword than anything else, and is it being used to put “lipstick on a lot of pigs” even now?
Or, is Web 2.0 a genuine set of technologies that can even provide the “richness” of traditional desktop applications (read Microsoft Office) to the Web-based applications, without all the price and/or performance pitfalls/traps that are often associated with Office Business Applications (OBA)? At least we need to keep a close eye on how the next generation of office workers are using social networking sites/communities like Tagging, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messenger (IM), etc., as they can give us a clue how effective collaboration should be driven into next generation of enterprise applications (of course, provided the security and privacy standards have been met). Read the rest of this entry »