Interested in first-hand experience with one or both ERPs. Especially interested in customization, ease-of-install, ease-of-use and role-specific user interfaces.
Also, any tips on any aspect of moving forward post SAP vs Dynamics question has been settled, such as planning, installation, customization, etc.
Implementation is highly complex and difficult. Delivered reporting is inadequate and the implementors want more in consulting fees for basic workable reports - like normal inquiry removing delivered subtotals for tabular downloads. Your IT team will need to be retrained as SAP Configurers. You will need a communications and training team for the change management resistance. If you have Big Data to convert be sure to contract module specific support programmers who know both SAP and your system. The technology company acting as our project management team on the $2OMM conversion was not prepared to troubleshoot workarounds when they all of a sudden discovered that our transaction workflow and reporting processes were not laid out the same as the SAP industry standard is designed.
During the sale they promised a lot of industry specific stuff would be built in, then during the implementation project (which took 1 year) we found they considered what we thought to be core functionality to be change order related, and about every change order started at $50K. At go live many transaction flows were not fully implemented and the PM was not keeping management in the loop as to failing project management techniques and personnel issues. Warehouse management to inventory to GL did not flow and almost broke the entire system. The Project Management Team did not have programmer relationships locked in before they showed up on site for requirements gathering, meaning they had to substitute less qualified staff for core team, then had to bring in a group from the UK. It was a catastrophe. Be sure you ask if the PM team has multiple large company engagements that are consuming their personnel resources because you can do nothing later if you don't get promises locked in in the negotiation.
The main issue was that our company did not understand fully what an enterprise wide implementation would require, the current management team was under qualified to carry out requirements gathering. None of our processes where documented. SOX was not a consideration back then. You need to assess your team fully, both their technology aptitudes, their understanding of the full business process they manage, their willingness to work together, and their technical accounting expertise, and their ability to be placed on the implementation team, because it will be your current management team that rolls over to the implementation side for a year while you outsource your normal operations to a staffing firm. You will need strong leadership from your Directors whose main job will be to keep the communication going and breaking down obstacles if the personalities collide, especially when things get heated near the end.
Get industry references from the consulting firms and implementation VARs and actually check them and ask those references some very tough questions about the how things went before, during, and after, and with reference to cost overruns, all before you choose a vendor. The one I am talking about is well known and respected yet still could not hold up their end of the bargain easily.
SAP drives process change so it will dumb down a lot of the accounting roles, you won't need the high level creative thinking supervisors and senior accountants any longer after stabilization and many of your managers will no longer be needed because everything is automated, you will need a post implementation workforce reduction plan in place, and you will need to accrue the severance packages, so large will be the impact. Most likely your senior management team and executives will not change and can be shifted around like chess pieces to other parts of the company but you will definitely drive a change in the workforce, so when you hire the staffing firm to recruit your back fills, be sure the back fills you choose might be qualified to be hired permanent at the end of the implementation to ease the burden of downtime after go live when productivity will naturally dip.
Cannot stress enough that if you don't have your current processes flow charted and diagrammed you will have a very hard time implementing SAP. If you do not fit into the German idea of what the industry standard implementation is as defined by SAP you will have a very hard time. You will find that one type of transaction code used to have one T/C name in your current system but with SAP it will have 12 variations.
Successful implementation will be driven by mapping the explosion of transaction codes to how you want them mapped for reporting, if there are 12 additions, then maybe you want to use 8 of them, but map them out early so at go live you don't have 25 people initiating 25 types of transactions that should have been only 3 types of transaction codes. Cash Flow analysis is B in SAP if you don't control the transaction codes.
One major point: If you are doing a lot of work outside your system in spreadsheets now, SAP will bring that same amount of outside the system manipulation in spreadsheets if you do not plan it very carefully. I mean you might need a year to prep and plan. SAP will lock the data so far away from the user with all the security levels. Security can be applied to any object in SAP, to any report, transaction process. By roles yes, but in too much detail. You need to lay out your roles and security very early in the process.
If you are curious about who the players were email me separately.
I would go with Oracle before I ever want to see another SAP implementation. In fact I would even prefer the old system's broken architecture over SAP.
Vet Vet Vet your PM VAR
Don't believe the sales team.
Good points all, Valerie.
Anonymous, you might be interested in...
"Nucleus Research Report — The ROI of Cloud ERP for SMBs:"
"The Proformative Community Guide To ERP Selection & Implementation:"
It covers just about everything you need to know.
Agree with Valerie Campbell's assessment. Went through ERP selection recently and was pleasantly surprised to discover WorkDay. You may be too far down the road, and you don't mitigate all the risks of implementation, but it is the second serious enterprise quality SAAS solution for ERP (NetSuite being the first) and is serious, intuitive stuff.
Here is a case study that Microsoft published. Your MS rep should be able to get you in touch with Kapstone. The conversation should be worth effort.
Amen-squared to Valerie's comments, but I don't necessarily think that experiences like this occur only with SAP. Oracle and SAP do things very differently, so SAP will look good to an Oracle sufferer and Oracle to an SAP sufferer, but neither really has the fit needed by many of the people who buy it, and without the fit, you'll have a lot of cost and pain, making it fit.
No offense, but the question sounds as if you don't really know very much (which may be why you posted the question, of course). Do you mean the SAP Business Suite, or do you mean All-in-One? What industry are you in? Are you a global business? What are you planning on using the software for? These things need to be specified if the answers you get are going to be useful. If you are a small, US-based company with one site, the problems you'll have with either are really different from the problems you'll have if you're much bigger, multi-site, multi-country.
If you don't know what you're doing, don't. It's not quite three-card monte, but the odds are definitely against you.
Good comparisons but i still find SAP as best because i am working on it from last 4 years.
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