Mobility and Enterprise Software

Whether you are currently evaluating an ERP/CRM solution or looking to modernise and align your current  platforms, mobility will or should be high on your criteria list.

The business drivers include

Higher productivity – of customer facing sales and support staff whilst out of the office

Better response times to customer queries – we expect the same response times of suppliers, wherever they are

Complete information at hand when on the road – if there is any doubt, a customer can order off Amazon and it will arrive at an expected date – you need to at least match that experience

Analyst firm Forrester forecasts that 82 million consumers will own tablets by 2015. That the average smart device owner currently has 30 to 40 apps, and one-third of owners download new apps monthly. These apps are not just small bits of functionality but are increasingly connected to and dependent on a limitless supply of data through wireless technology and the cloud. These Mobile Apps will require significant change within an organisation in order to deliver the high value expected.

The interesting element is that Mobile does not mean phone or email – they are projects already completed. Mobile functionality being envisaged now expects that ERP and CRM projects to be available and complete. The next generation of  Mobility covers:

  • Business Process Management/Automation (BPM projects) – extending out the business process
  • Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) – allowing ‘what-if ‘questions and powerful query
  • Location based services – such as GPS

Just as the web has radically changed some industries and what a successful business model may be, the Mobile worker and device will likely affect the operating models of businesses in the short term before radically reshaping business models.

If you are interested in reading more, download our Mobile CRM Guidebook, or add it as an area in your ERP Checklist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ERP Vendors – oracle

Many years ago Oracle bought PeopleSoft and JD Edwards with a grand plan to merge their ERP products with Oracle’s own, under the code name Fusion. After many stops and starts these have been announced and released this week at Oracle Open World.

The Fusion applications include

For more information visit their website. It appears that the CRM and HCM modules are also available as Cloud applications under the Oracle Public Cloud brand.

Tools

If you are considering Oracle applications, add them to your shortlist in our ERP Checklist to help evaluate them against the competition.

 

CRM integration with ERP

This video shows how SAP Business One offers CRM functionality within the ERP package for SME businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics “Cloud” Challenges

Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM for the Cloud is soon to  announced publicly – although its current beta testing is pretty broad and promotion has already begun with cross-sell offers to Siebel and Salesforce.com users.

However, it line up of Dynamics ERP products (AX, GP, NAV and SL) don’t have short-term solutionsnto enable cloud versions. Basically the issues are:

  • The products were not built for the Cloud – they were designed some time ago for one copy of the software for one company. Web applications are more flexible, allowing many companies per copy and allowing moving of workload between systems
  • There are lots of products(AX, GP, NAV and SL) and they are all different ‘under the hood’
  • There may be a nagging doubt within Microsoft as to whether Cloud is a trend for the long term or a trend that will disappear
  • What to do with partners trained to sell products when most cloud applications are done through subscriptions and sold directly( eg Netsuite and Salesforce.com),
  • ERP implementations are generally more complicated than a CRM implementation for example. There are more interfaces and systems that need to be integrated – and some of those no doubt will never reach the cloud!
  • Along the same lines, many Dynamics ERP implemenataitons may need other Microsoft technolgies to move at the same time – Azure, MS Office, Exchange etc.

 If you need a more technical view of this discussion,then the article by SoftwareAdvice is worth a read.

For more information on  Dynamics CRM 2011 product  visit our sister site CRM-Guidebooks.