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?"

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