Thursday, July 2, 2009

SAP bashing

Wow! It’s SAP bashing time again.
Apparently some disgruntled customer of an SAP vendor feels left out in the cold.
So he decides to turn his anger and frustration into other use and launches a website,

Now if you search Google for “SAP horror stories” you get a 57.300 hits.
Just for fun, look up “Oracle horror stories”. That racks up 147.000 hits!
Now google “Dynamics horror stories”…
Puts things in perspective for all the Microsoft believers, not?

I have never used any of SAP’s products, and I don’t have any experience with the vendor that is so heavily targeted with this site.

But how come the number 1 ERP player in the world (yes, SAP), fails so miserably? After all, the SAP reseller in question claims “it can help run SAP for small and mid-sized companies”.

I can understand that an ERP implementation goes wrong. As these things costs time and money, it will end up with an unhappy customer.
But the site’s designer is more than unhappy, he’s pretty angry.
How could have gotten things this far? I believe there are two sides to every story. And as different parties are involved in an erp migration project, there sure are different sides here.
Every ERP implementation has it’s milestones: Missing deadlines in an early stage of a project is big warning.
What about the match between required functionality according to the customer and the available functionality in the proposed solution? These are things that can be included in the contract between customer and vendor, before the implementation starts. Just like the required training of personnel. Don’t leave anything in the dark, but it in black and white.

With year 2000 projects and the euro conversion well behind us, one would think that the slogan “no such thing as a bad erp implementation” is reality. But as products get more mature and complex, contain more and more functionality, implementation costs rise. And in today’s market, the need for qualified, trained business consultants grows.

Lots of things in nature come with waves: sometimes draught for weeks, then days of pooring rain.
Similar to that I do believe we are on the rise regarding this issue: More ERP projects will fail the next few years, or not meet predefined targets.

So my advice: Make sure you do your homework before you even start looking for an erp suite.

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