Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are a fact of life in most companies. So much so, that they are often taken for granted. After all, it is the platform that all applications plug into; connecting the dots between all the diverse, disparate areas of an organization. It is also the repository for vast amounts of real-time data. In short, it’s the system that your enterprise depends on. So, it is worth stopping for a moment to ask yourself:
– Are you taking full advantage of what your ERP system has to offer?
– Is your ERP system keeping up with business requirements?
– Is your ERP system a business enabler?
Apexon has 10+ years’ experience deploying Quality Engineering services for many of the leading enterprise technology platforms. We have worked with many enterprises to develop pre-built frameworks for specific applications that can accelerate test cycles, reduce operational costs and minimize risk.
Here’s what we’ve learned along the way.
Explore and customize
The main players’ offerings – like SAP, Hybris, Salesforce CommerceCloud, Adobe Experience Manager, etc. – boast a rich features list, and yet enterprises only use a relatively small proportion of these.
Action: Pre-built tools that accelerate the test phase can really help to maximize your current system’s capabilities. It’s an easy way of breathing new life into your system while delivering improved business performance, fast.
Boost operational efficiency
We all know how companies – and their data – tend to grow in an organic, hodge-podge fashion. This is especially true for established enterprises that have a long history. Over time, data duplication and process inefficiencies don’t just slow businesses down, they can also hold them back by impairing the quality of data analysis and user experience.
Action: AI-powered quality engineering now makes scrutinizing each stage of testing quick and efficient, with significant, rapid performance gains. Apexon’s own AI-powered testing suite, ASTUTE, the only solution that covers every testing phase, helps enterprises achieve radically faster results (in weeks, not months) while reducing testing efforts up to 35 percent.
Think big to deliver on digital transformation goals
Moving to a new ERP platform is a chance to re-design processes to align with your business priorities. The requirements gathering phase is the time to think big and consider how the platform can help you deliver on your company’s digital transformation goals.
Action: Turn your technology platform into a value driver with the right choice of vendor and technology partner. For instance, Salesforce CommerceCloud is very strong at enabling a unified omnichannel customer experience. Hybris has a commerce platform which is particularly good for integrating diverse enterprise ecosystems. Adobe Experience Manager helps organizations deliver compelling content across web, mobile, and IoT. Your test and integration partner should help advise you of the relative merits of these and many other solutions.
Use accelerators for rapid results
ERP systems are complex. It’s important for the business to quickly realize performance benefits from their investment. Rapid ROI doesn’t just make the finance department happy, it helps win over ‘hearts and minds’ when users get to experience the benefits themselves.
Action: Wherever possible, look for what we at Apexon call “accelerators.” That is to say, pre-built, tried and tested frameworks for specific applications and common scenarios that will speed up your cycle times and reduce operational costs.
Unlock the value of your data
Forrester predicts that data-savvy companies will achieve a $1.2 trillion competitive advantage over their less-informed peers by 2020. As data analytics plays an increasingly important role in business decision-making, your ERP system needs to facilitate how your organization gathers, analyzes and utilizes the data.
Action: Your organization’s big data strategy needs to work in harmony with the enterprise technology platform, so this is a major consideration if you’re considering an upgrade to either of these systems. Of course, we may be biased, but Apexon’s expertise in ERP is highly complementary to our Data Engineering Services, where we work with enterprises to design, develop and implement a big data blueprint that meets their specific needs.
The softer side of ERP
Businesses depend on ERP systems. They touch almost all employees and all areas of the business. As such, employees have an important role to play in shaping the end solution and in promoting internally. On-boarding employees is an important step in ensuring an organization gets the very best value from its ERP solution, but too often training, communications, and ongoing maintenance are overlooked.
Action: During implementation, get the stakeholders actively involved in providing feedback. If possible, do so at every stage to ensure the finished product meets their needs. Plus, set aside resources to maintain the solution and offer ongoing training and troubleshooting to users.
We’d love to hear about your experiences using and adapting ERP systems to suit your changing business needs. Alternately, if you would like to explore ways of putting your enterprise technology platform to work in your organization, we’ve got your back. Fill in this free, no-obligation QE assessment form or contact us below.