ERP functionality is like Rajinikanth not the Brand or Technology!

Rajinikanth delivers audience’s expectation and functionality of the software has to meet the user’s expectations.

The word Customization for the core functionality of the software, is the term which the IT vendor is using sweetly, saying that he will make the software as per the need of the customer. Never choose a software which does not have core business functionally, be it any technology or any brand. Your company may get in to serious trouble.

Technology folks may be upset on me for saying this. Guys, please put with me for next 10 minutes. Thanks!!

What is the Technology on which IRCTC is built? I do not know. All I want is get my confirmed Tatkal ticket to stand as a hero in front of my wife…. of course my card details has to be safe.

What is technology on which Tally is built? I do not know. But it has 8.5 lacs user base.

In general, any SME will be able to implement our ERP system within 3-5 weeks. But when I go to a company to sell my ERP software, if the prospect opens the discussion by asking what Front end, Database and Reporting tool, invariably such companies has taken more than 6-8 months for implementation. Such guys talking too much of a technology has to be in an IT company not in an end-user organisation.

Let me share few more example as to why the software functionality is the king.

Take the example of the Telephones.

  • Companies bought Phones
  • Later put all the phones through an EPABX
  • Now the killer cloud telephone apps has now replaced the EPABX. It says “Never ever miss a customer’s call”. Such guarantee can not be given by a telephone.

Take the Example of In-house software team and IT infrastructure.

  • Companies use to buy Desktops, Networking, Servers, Backup devices, Leased Lines and In-house IT team.
  • But now Server, Networking, Internet back-bone and Backups have moved to a Data Centers.
  • In-house IT team does not exist. So called EDP (Electronic Data Processing) department. They all either lost jobs or moved to IT companies.
  • Now it is Laptops, Broadband Internet connections / Hi-speed Wifi data cards with Applications on Cloud can run their entire enterprise.

So the end-users of a customer has minimum hardware with access to killer applications like CRM, Help Desk, Cloud Telephony, ERP, Procurement portal, Biometric, Business Intelligence (BI) etc.,

By saying this I am no way arguing that still companies can work on foxpro. Let me take an example here. If 2 guys goes to a customer with 2 different software which one he may need to choose and why?

  1. One has 100% business functions that the customer needs but not on the latest technology
  2. But the other has 40% of functionality but in the latest technology

Obviously the first one. I will share the reasons why?

In the first case:

  1. The customer can implement the software immediately.
  2. End-users finds it comfortable
  3. The implementation team will get the user acceptance quickly
  4. The software guys also obviously has functional experts who can continue to add new functionalities from time to time
  5. The customer can get the business results quickly.
  6. Faster Return on Investment (ROI)

In the second case: (the magic word customization sounds like the IT vendor will do something exclusively for you. No, he will make the customer a joker). The experience of several small companies investing on customization is like a bottomless pit.

  1. The gaps has to be customized
  2. The requirements have to be given by the customer’s team leaving their primary work.
  3. Whenever you start the customization, the sky is the limit and creates enough confusion as to what to customize, whether to consider the VPs/GMs/ Managers / End-users requirement.
  4. On top of it how to integrate different customization of 2 different business functions.
  5. The customer has to pay for it and he has to wait for it.
  6. Due to customization, the software will have more bugs and the customer has to test it. (The customer Pay for the customization and also becomes a guinea pig)
  7. End-users need to wait and are forced to continue the legacy system
  8. Due to the delay in implementation will undergo a slag
  9. The Top management will be attending more Software meetings than any business meetings.
  10. The whole organisation will lose sight of their primary business and by the time they realize it becomes too late.

In my view, the functionality is like Rajinikanth and the rest of the start cast, Producer, Director, technical crew members, location, money and the good story are in the back drop.I am not denying the fact that they are all important, but without Rajinikanth it all become meaning less, right..

SMEs has to be very careful while selecting its IT vendor. After all it is their hard-earned money.