ERP isn’t still this scary

Glen Alleman passed along this link on the ERP paradox, which appears to be that:

the end result of ERP implementations is often the opposite: less control, and efficiency; and even though the number of applications may be reduced, this advantage is often offset by the cost and effort of maintaining ERP systems.

Unfortunately, the interesting commentary at the beginning of the post is compromised by a rotten foundation: much of the commentary relies upon a 10-year-old paper based on a SAP implementation that started in 1994.   A few comments:

  • Grafting process re-engineering on to a SAP implementation: Does anyone still buy that bill of goods?  Isn’t it the industry standard to assume that core SAP processes will be good-enough practice for processes that aren’t differentiating?
  • Homogeneity vs. heterogeneity:  Heterogeneous processes are valid when driven by hard factors (e.g., statutory, regulatory, compliance, logistical requirements ) and must be questioned when driven by soft factors (e.g., this is the way we’ve always done it).  There’s also an industry angle: for example, CPG go-to-market processes are hard to globalize because they vary based on market maturity and commercial customs.
  • 9-day Upgrade Downtime:  Wow, you’d have to work at that these days; perhaps if your upgrade strategy was to burn down the data center, restore from tapes, then upgrade, you might get there.

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