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Navigating the Enterprise Software Mindfields

Make sure you ask vendors in detail about integration issues.

November 6, 2003

Organizations can find their way through the perils of the enterprise-application selection process by:

Assessing the complexity of current and anticipated planning requirements, including the speed of cycle times. It’s essential to consider previous planning successes and failures. This can help an organization identify critical planning and buying needs. AMR Research suggests that organizations use this information to shop for products accordingly. It also advises that companies ask vendors to demonstrate the benefits of their proposed systems with actual scenarios suited to the organization’s requirements.

Looking for software that gathers and translates data across the supply chain and allows for quantifiable and qualitative planning. Applications should accommodate data and connect to other systems. Applications should be driven by work flow, and accommodate multicurrency and multilingual translations, e-mail and alerting features. They should also provide a way to link to human-capital management and analytics software.

Minimizing project and implementation creep by asking vendors in detail about integration issues, best-practice templates and planning and analysis experience in their industry. This direct approach is particularly critical for planning that cuts across CRM, ERP and supply-chain data, as well as data residing outside the corporate firewall.

Workforce Management, November 2003, p. 56 -- Subscribe Now!