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“Pizza Time – or how to acquire my next ERP solution” by Denis Torii

by Debbie Wilson  |  January 18, 2019  |  1 Comment

I love pizza. But not any kind of flavor. Those close to me may have heard me say that I am not a fish guy (although I love a good fresh salmon sashimi dish). That takes Tuna out of the pizza options I care about. I also prefer a thin dough. And being crispy doesn’t hurt at all. So you can imagine what the guy at the pizza place close to my house thinks when I arrive at the balcony: “There comes the guy with 20 different exception requests. Why can’t he just order plain and simple Pepperoni Pizza as everyone else??”. And no, this is not a “create your own pizza place”.

My team and I review tons of client RFP documents throughout the year. pizza-806087_1280And in many cases, we would help those same clients do a high-level check over the vendor responses. More and more, we notice that vendors would claim to have the magical solution to everyone’s problems. Want to invest less money and still get innovation features without any hassle? We have Cloud ERP for you… Does your operation feel burdened with an old enterprise solution that cannot fulfill your enterprise and industry needs? Here’s a set of Best Practices to you. Want to add an intelligence flavor to solve all of this and get even better results? Grab the AI train, got you a ticket for that. So, as with pizza, you need to be clear on what best suits what you want so you don’t get disappointed in the future. You may not need those many different nice things, or even worse, you may not be ready to benefit from that in the short run.

ERP was never a simple thing. When Gartner coined the term in the past (yes, this was created by Gartner, not by vendor A, B or C), things were already complicated enough. But then business ecosystems got more complex, M&As got more frequent and one thing called digital business transformation started to become a standard. Additionally, technology evolved, ERP vendors learned the sales game and what was already complex became worse. And if you saw last week’s post from my friend Mike Guay (see his blog post here – link), ERP is evolving as well. For those that know what Postmodern ERP is, WATCH OUT, this is already getting different. So not everyone’s desire and target is the same, even in the same industry/size/region.

But the essence of a suitable ERP acquisition process has not dramatically changed. Let’s think what some of the basic things enterprises must be able to answer to achieve it:

  1. What do we need?
  2. Why do we need it?
  3. How will this align with our overall IT and business strategy?

Of course, the answers to those questions have changed through time. But whenever enterprises realize that those basic principles are the drivers to future actions, and that it is a dynamic process, they realize that having an ERP strategy is imperative for success. And more importantly, that this needs to be reviewed with time, to incorporate new business needs, new technologies (do you have an AI approach to ERP?) and to understand what to prioritize in the short term. For example, have you ever heard about Tiered ERP approaches? If not and you are a Gartner client, you should check in a couple of weeks for the new version of a note I published a couple of years ago. We also have several notes on strategies and AI, so schedule a call with one of us. We will help you in taking the blur out of that acquisition journey (which should never start with the RFP, by the way).

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Deborah R Wilson
Managing Vice President, ERP Strategy Team
12 years at Gartner
20 years IT industry

Deborah Wilson, a recovering Gartner research analyst, leads the Gartner ERP strategy research team. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on “Pizza Time – or how to acquire my next ERP solution” by Denis Torii

  1. Dmitriy Gerzon says:

    Good posting. It would be great if you can expand it a little and outline how other technologies can/should be deployed in parallel with ERP to enable pace-layering. I think that’s the key challenge for enterprises. Another big challenge is how to deploy ERP using Agile. How to avoid waiting for 6-12 or even 24 months to get results.

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