To Keep your Current ERP or Modernize it?
What do your ERP and your car have in common? If you don’t maintain them properly, they will end up costing you a whole lot more in terms of money, time and your overall health. Just as you shouldn’t ignore the recommended scheduled maintenance on your car, your ERP needs to be regularly maintained and upgraded too. If you continue to drive an overheated car, it will burn out or even worse, crash. If you continue to take on more productivity than your ERP and staff can handle—well, you get the picture.
Companies want to grow and have the ability to future-proof. When WhiteLight Group is approached with the question, “How do I get to the point where I can exist in a modern ERP environment?” We have one answer–by being current. In our previous blog post on maintaining modern ERP, we discussed the business impact, approaches to modernizing and current trends.
Approaches to modernizing your ERP to stay current:
- Get on the latest release of your ERP software
- Stop agonizing customizations
- Move your ERP to the cloud
- Take a hybrid ERP approach
A common fear we witness is that of being forced to throw everything away and start over. People tend to get into the mindset that they can either have cloud or on-premise. This is NOT the case. As Murk Hurd, CEO of Oracle explained, the next decade is one of coexistence. “Plug-and-play” a la carte models are allowing enterprises to get current in pieces by taking an incremental approach to modernizing their ERP systems. Start by changing small parts of your business, whether it’s financials, procurement, project management or customer service support. They will be fine coexisting with what you already have in place.
It’s time to cease extensive modifications and custom integrations since they make staying current difficult and introduce significant risk of security breaches. Legacy ERP systems weren’t designed for complex compliance reporting requirements, but cloud platforms are now enabling global governance across industries today. For instance, all manufacturers are facing exponentially greater compliance and regulations than they ever have before. ERP systems that were designed and implemented decades ago lack the specific features needed to keep manufacturers in compliance today. Cloud platforms and applications purpose-built for manufacturing are providing strategic views of quality for the first time for many manufacturers.
- Your customizations were a nightmare and you don’t want to spend any more.
- Lack of functionality or flexibility is not limiting your company’s growth or agility. This includes the ability to access information through flexible report writers and inquiry tools (SQL).
- The system is reliable, meaning it doesn’t break down or otherwise becoming unavailable due to either hardware or software failure.
- Still affordable because maintenance costs have not increased to the point of being intolerable due to discontinued equipment or unsupported software.
- Cultural stubbornness and lack of executive buy-in.
- Lack of functionality or flexibility is limiting the company’s growth or agility.
- There is a patchwork of business systems that have been added over the years but are not interconnected
- Slow response time and difficulty in accessing information.
- Hardware becomes unreliable with limited support and increasingly expensive as the equipment is discontinued or the supplier is acquired
- Software becomes increasingly expensive to maintain
- Falling behind on market technology advances and industry sector standards.
- Higher standards demanded by changing workforce
- Need for increased productivity throughout the enterprise
- Current system is inhibiting the business in some way
With the rise of cloud as a predominant deployment platform, JD Edwards is proving that it can continue to offer rich ERP functionality while simultaneously delivering on the promising benefits of the cloud. JD Edwards EnterpriseOne provides customers a choice of deployment options such as on-premise or hybrid deployment, private cloud, and public clouds.
The JD Edwards EnterpriseOne IoT (Internet of Things) Orchestrator enables customers to collect, filter, analyze, and act on real-time data as it’s being transmitted through IoT devices. Eliminate costly manual processes by reacting to—or avoiding—business disruptions in real-time, and by analyzing historical data for continuous process improvement.
JD Edwards recognizes and embraces mobility, which is a key reason for its success in the ERP space. With 84 mobile applications for field service, maintenance, project management, supply chain, and safety incident management, these customizable smartphone and tablet apps enable customers to help their businesses find new ways to create operational efficiencies.
Reacting fast to changing business conditions is hard when the IT infrastructure doesn’t support end-to-end processes. For instance, we’ve worked with many companies wanting to get off QuickBooks(TM) due to various inefficiencies. How do you know if QuickBooks(TM) is failing your business?
- No real time visibility
- Outdated manual processes
- Data comes in too slow, costing sales
- More work done is being done outside of Quickbooks(TM) than in it
- Focusing too much on the technology and not enough on the business
While cloud is no longer a new concept, change is often met with resistance. It’s inevitable, even in the best interest of the organization. Remember when the iPod was released in 2001 and people couldn’t understand why they would need all of their music available to them in one place, at any time? It’s like that.
Screen shot from a MacRumors forum thread in 2001.
Having complete visibility into operating functions and analytics at your fingertips is essential for increasing productivity, reducing errors and making better decisions. Who wants to be wasting time and resources on manual processes with little-to-no insight?
The key to approaching the culture shift is to take a bottom-up approach to modern best practices. Show your employees exactly how the new technology works and emphasize:
- User-friendly applications
- Social collaboration tools
- Any device access
- Everyone gets insight
- Impact on morale and operating efficiency
Whether you decide to upgrade your ERP software or incrementally move parts of your business to the cloud, staying current will allow you the flexibility and insights needed to grow and prosper. Decide which cumbersome business processes are amenable to automation and connectivity. Remember, your business should run like a well-oiled machine on a regular maintenance schedule.
WhiteLight Group helps organizations simplify, standardize, and optimize their ERP business processes in the areas of finance, procurement, manufacturing, capital asset management and supply chain. Automation results in smarter business decisions, cost savings and increased revenue. Our consultants are always up-to-date with their JD Edwards certifications and hold extensive experience in EnterpriseOne and World upgrades, implementations and global roll-outs.
Attend Collaborate 16! The Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community is where Oracle power users and IT decision makers find practical solutions for today and strategies for tomorrow. WhiteLight Group partner Paul Demes will be presenting Maintaining Modern ERP: The Importance of Staying Current. Learn more here.
Join the ERP Cloud North Americas LinkedIn Group!