Popularity Of Accelerator ERP Solutions Increasing
Accelerator ERP solutions are growing in popularity as businesses seek a fast-tracked implementation that can deliver a quick return on investment.
The ERP market has grown and diversified over the years and with growing competition, organisations are realising the need to effectively implement ERP solutions.
However, some organisations are still wary of any tech implementation. They are concerned it will be a huge undertaking, cost vast amounts of money, take a long time and fail to deliver to their requirements.
So, are ERP accelerators the panacea a company needs to implement ERP quickly and painlessly? We spoke with Faye O’Connell, Product Development Director at Embridge Consulting, who shared her thoughts.
ERP Accelerators are pre-configured versions of an ERP software solution. Rather than starting from scratch, customers start with a pre-configured solution where the specific industry requirements have already been catered for.
This means it is immediately cheaper, easier and quicker to deploy. But despite the appeal, there remains concerns about the benefits of an accelerator approach. While new software offers opportunities to streamline processes and reduce costs, potential improvements might be held back by a resistance to change and a tendency to stick to familiar practices.
O’Connell acknowledges the concern: “A packaged solution essentially delivers the requirements of most businesses across Finance, Procurement and HR.” But that is only part of the story as she continues: “In order to make sure people understand the business process change, and accept and use the new system, change management as part of an ERP implementation is key.”
Because they have best practice and industry knowledge built in, accelerators can really support this change process. A point O’Connell reiterates: “They can allow customers to not only embrace the latest technologies but make the shift in mindset, culture and process that is required to deliver the greatest benefit. If you start from best practice it means that you are showing the organisation what ‘good’ looks like today, which gives assurance, accelerates the time to value, and gives predictability on timescales and costs.
Differentiating the offering
But, what about the restrictions imposed by an accelerator? Some business believe that their operations, systems and processes are too different for a package solution to work for them – that their unique differentiators and competitive advantages are not going to be addressed by a vanilla configuration.
“The reality is that accelerators are usually based on specific industry verticals,” O’Connell explains. “Within a given industry, such as UK Public Sector, certain functions like invoice processing, purchase orders, absence and payroll are pretty standard.”
So an accelerator implementation isn’t a cut down version of the software and nor should it restrict you. In fact, “In addition to standard best practice processes, an implementation should support customising the solution to address unique requirements.” O’Connell confirms. “It’s by tweaking the 10% variance, you can ensure that the offering is applicable to that specific company. This can be done within the first implementation cycle or as a second phase – which really emphasises the importance of choosing an agile and scalable software solution”.
Accelerate with your implementation partner
Changing software is an expensive, wide-ranging project with risks involved. Deploying new technologies can take significant time, effort and money. However, there comes a time when a new system is needed – and all of this work now lies ahead of you. “A good implementation partner offers methodology and accelerators that reduce the pain and time of this experience,” she concludes. “For instance, if a solution has been prebuilt, it has been pretested and can contribute to reducing risks when compared to building a solution from scratch.”
It’s important to find an implementation partner that has experience working within similar industries and has demonstrated expertise in leveraging proven methodology and accelerators.
Embridge Consulting has developed EVA, our ERP accelerator which is powered by Unit4 ERP. The result of years of project and industry experience, EVA provides a rapid implementation for Unit4 ERP covering: