I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference of a major ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) vendor to learn about technology advances on the horizon and meet with top executives from across the globe, both those just exploring the capabilities of ERP systems, and those with multiple implementations under their belts. While I’m always interested in new technical capabilities, what really captured my attention was hearing how technology leaders are taking advantage of the reinvented ERP engine.
Let’s face it. Those three letters – ERP – can be very scary to the uninitiated and downright frightening to anyone who’s been through a failed implementation. Historically, ERP implementations have been expensive and time consuming, and are seen as rather pedestrian when compared to newer technologies like social, mobile, and cloud. Often, technology leaders new to the world of ERP want to know what they can minimally get by on, so they can move on to focus the latest and greatest tools to hit the market and appeal to their business users. Seasoned veterans want to know how they can improve their systems and keep up with new technology without starting the process from scratch. Technology leaders find themselves in a crunch between either maintaining traditional ERP systems, and sustaining business operations, or offering their business users the latest technologies to gain competitive advantage. The reinvented ERP engine puts these polar viewpoints to rest, and delivers far more than in the past.
More ubiquitous, more responsive, and more flexible than ever before, the engine of ERP is the force behind many newer technologies. Reinvented to handle an event driven rather than process driven world, the ERP engine now readily responds to changes in conditions, surges of information, and explosions of service interactions. Bolt on peripherals have been assumed within the ERP engine; connections have been made to smartphones, your inbox, and social channels; and core workloads run on less gear, more quickly. And, you don’t have to scrap your entire system to achieve the benefits of the new engine- make technical upgrades to overhaul the core function and drive efficiencies, then add on leading-edge solutions that offer competitive advantage and reshape or reimagine how the business can run.
So, how are businesses taking advantage of this shift? One mobile service carrier was able to meet their marketing goal of increasing the number of customers upgrading to smartphone data plans. Understanding if customers responded to service offers had been taking up to a week. By implementing a scalable analytics solution to provide customer insights in near real-time, taking advantage of in-memory technology that now supports data processing and analysis within seconds, the company significantly shortened the time needed to analyze customer data, allowing the marketing team to make more timely decisions on offers.
The reinvented ERP engine is more ubiquitous, more responsive, and more flexible than ever before. What will your business do differently now?
For more information on this topic download the Tech Trends 2013 chapter, Reinventing the ERP engine, or watch the video.
Bill Allison is the Global Consulting Technology Leader, responsible for the delivery of full lifecycle technology services to member firm clients around the world. A principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP since 1999, Bill has more than 25 years' experience in the analysis, design, and implementation of information systems, systems strategy, and business process improvement and has worked with some of the largest, most complex technology clients in the world. Currently, he acts in a risk and advisory role on many of Deloitte LLP's most significant engagements.