by Debbie Wilson | January 16, 2019 | Comments Off on “How ERP Vendors Should Compete (and what you can do to encourage it…)” by Chris Pang
Ah, a new year, new beginnings, and renewed energies to take on the next 12 months!
January is also when the final set of ‘Predicts’ reports are released. One report I wanted to highlight is Five Ways to Get Ahead in the Enterprise Application Market. This report discusses what enterprise application software vendors need to do to be competitive through the next 5 years. Key topics discussed include: making the right M&A choices, improving the customer experience through product design, embracing new pricing models, and responsibly leveraging customer data to deliver new value.
Put simply it means that ERP vendors SHOULDN’T just rely on technology, price, and feature/ functionality to differentiate. Instead differentiation should come through the customer ownership experience and the value the vendor consistently gives to the customer from beginning to end of contract. My friend and colleague Paul Saunders recently discussed the poor REP that many ERP Vendors suffer from here.
Now don’t get me wrong, competently executing core business processes such as order to cash, record to report, source to settle, hire to retire etc. is still going to be an important pre-requisite in vendor selection. But ask yourself this: Can and will the vendor help you reimagine or create new that process to do things better or differently to make your life easier and make a difference to the business? (And I’m not just talking about small things like having a slightly nicer looking input screen to aid data entry…)
Some vendors already incorporate these more customer centric characteristics into their go-to-market and product road maps, but more can and should be done. This is where ERP buyers can accelerate and drive the ERP market forward. But note, buyers need to adopt an open and collaborative attitude themselves. Talking to the vendor as a strategic partner in the beginning before treating them as an adversary to be heavily beaten and destroyed on price and concessions when the contracts appear does not make for a good working relationship!
So as you look to that next ERP upgrade or new ERP implementation, challenge the vendor on how they can be a true business partner rather than ‘just’ a technology supplier. That way you get a better ownership experience and the industry will change for the better sooner rather than later.
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