Krigsman’s 2012 trends: three quick takes

The always valuable Michael Krigsman (@mkrigsman, IT failures blog here) weighs in with a 2012 prediction: that rapid implementation will get more sustained focus.  I believe that there has been considerable progress over the years in improving both ERP implementations and ERP sustainability (see here for a bit of the bad old days).  However, there’s room for further improvement, especially in achieving consistent success.  Here’s my quick take on the three initiatives Michael highlighted:

  • Oracle and Fusion HCM Rapid Implementation: Frankly, I’m dubious of an approach that completely farms out implementation improvement to partners.  But that may be because I believe in the SAP philosophy of sticking with standard processes whenever possible.  After all, “there are only so many ways to do accounts payable”.  Oracle is consciously “best of breed” (or “do it yourself”), so de gustibus non est disputandum et caveat emptor!
  • SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions:  While SAP had many of these elements separately, I love the emphasis on fixed-price, focused-scope solutions.  These have the potential of win/win when done right: the customer pays up a bit to get IT failure insurance, the vendor has incentive to execute (or to innovate to improve profitability).  Three caveats: 1.) Many customers want to get fixed-price/lowest-cost… that mirage too often dissolves in a sandstorm of change orders. 2.) What measures will SAP take to drive this behavior in the ecosystem?  Partner quality assurance has been a sore spot for years; this area was perhaps the one area Leo had completely right!  3.) My take is that infrastructure provisioning is the achilles heel of IT project management.  I don’t see anything (at a high level) here that addresses that.
  • SYSPRO Quantum Architecture: Two things strike me: 1.) Michael highlights the intent “to address communication and other issues that interfere with successful projects.”  If SYSPRO is really committed to addressing such barriers, this approach will pay dividends; especially regarding failure models like disagreement on when something is done or “ready to use”.  2.) However, Michael also notes that others have developed this kind of approach.  I’ll bet SAP could post a very similar slide on an integrated implementation strategy, so what’s truly differentiating here?
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