Sunday, August 29, 2004

Where is the ERP 2004 and beyond?

In the past few weeks I've been discussing with Redhuan of Red1.Org on strategies of OSS ERP and ERP in general.

I served for 7 years in Shell, 2 years in SAP Malaysia(sales and pre-sales), 2 years as i2 SCM reseller before my current stint in an Oil & Gas company in e-Business which is in its 3rd year now.

What I'm about to share is not the official Gartner or Metagroup views of how the ERP or IT market is moving but more from the perspective of the end-users.

The general mood in most organization when it comes to large IT related solutions like ERP, CRM, SCM etc. is more of reflection about the previous feeding frenzy.

Millions have been spent by large organizations but the so called ROI or just plain vanilla benefits that were promised have been something that is hard to quantify. Its not about totally blaming IT solutions or implementers but its more like having bought expensive branded make-up or enrolling in a "cool gym" yet not looking like a glamor girl or alpha-stud months down the road.

At one point perhaps buying big-name must have IT solutions must be like buying the latest Mercedes Benz.. A illusion of power, status etc..

The questions that IT related orgs should be asking clients now is not:
"How the business is changing and this is what we can do for you" but ask the client:

"How have IT spending hurt your business?"
"How much of that IT spending is still relevant?"
"Are you hurting from the sins of the 2yr version upgrade cycles?"
"Are you bleeding like nobody's business from the 17% or more yearly maintenance charges?"
"Are you suffering from delusions due to consultantitis?"
"Say what? You are still using excell spreadsheet for financial consolidation?"
"How could you have survived all these years, made money, and be no. 1 in your market whilst not using our Rolls Royce of a solution??"

It baffles me too. But wait..does this not mean more opportunities for ICT based companies?

Yes. If you don't ask me to throw out my investments.

Yes. If it does not cost a bomb and hurt my bottomline.

Yes. If the solution can adapt to the way my company does business.

Jack Trout quoted someone(can't remember the name) in his book which said: "Simplicity is the result of profound thought".

Can this be the DNA that drives all future ICT products? To the customer it does not matter really whether its .Net or OSS etc.

The fundamental question is always "Will it create value for the business?"

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Crozzroads of Courage

Courage, boldness, guts, renewed vigour... these are themes that keep playing repeatedly in my day to day activities this last couple of months. The funny thing is that as it plays in my mind it sets of a subconcious filter or 'radar' perhaps that just drifts towards elements of courage, boldness etc..

I'm trying to put in some zest back into this unit that I'm heading. We do e-business activities for an oil & gas company but not to my satisfaction yet. The culture is not there yet... there's a bit of a drag in getting things to move (perhaps my fault but perhaps not)... No "magic potion no.9" to bring instant success.

The reality is that change and transformation takes time and loads of patience and perserverence from the initiator (..read yours truly and his team) and my lust to do more is so insatiable that my patience with myself and the whole organization sometimes just fizzles out.

I'm not giving up yet. I'm going to push real hard to make sure that all the initiatives get off the ground.

I've been reading a lot of the good stuff in magazines like fast company and it rekindles a certain passion I had about doing things and going the distance.

Read in a few places that courage is not just about overcoming fear but it is about doing the important things you have to do whilst others may neither accept, belief or see in the same light that you are seeing things. They say that we can live our whole lives being cautious and safe never knowing what we can truly achieve.

I suppose for great and audacious things to happen I have to be Bold yet not Reckless and Decisive yet flexible.

que sera sera...