September 30, 2020
We all had good and bad experiences with our lives. If an ERP project doesn't deliver its benefits per your expectations, the experience may leave a sour taste in our mouth. With such prior experience, you may have lost faith in the claims of digital transformation. You may not even be willing to open up any conversations about ERP innovation regardless of their benefits.
If you are still using legacy ERP systems (such as Point.Man, Visual, or old Syteline version), this article will help you understand the financial implications of using an outdated system.
There are several reasons why your ERP project's previous experience may not have been as great and why you may not feel comfortable changing anything unless there is a pressing need.
1. Afraid of losing your historical data
2. Fearful of disrupting your business processes with the challenging and demanding process of deploying a new ERP system
3. Not convinced about the financial benefits of such massive upfront and risky investments
While ERP projects will never be plug-and-play as they require alignment with the future desired needs and rethinking your business processes, modern technologies and newer business models have made the transition more comfortable because of the following five key reasons:
No loss of historical data
With ease of cloud and data translation technologies available, ERP publishers such as Infor provide an easier migration path if you upgraded their legacy systems to one of their products.
For example, if you're currently on Point.Man, Syteline, or Visual, Infor can take your data as is and convert it into a newer CloudSuite Industrial product database for free without losing any data. Traditionally, this process required millions of dollars of investment and significant efforts in writing the translational logic.
Due to this being an expensive and risky process, ERP vendors often recommended losing historical translational data. This option would not be available if you switched to a product of another publisher.
Even if you may not have had the best experience with your previous project, historical transactional data provide significant value for your business decisions that you can't afford to lose.
More features with less money
If you have been contemplating between cloud vs. on-prem, one of the advantages often ignored includes more features for the same price.
For example, suppose you bought an on-prem license for Infor CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline). In that case, you will have to pay an additional fee if you wanted features such as Quality Management, Enterprise Document Management, or Service Management. The SaaS or cloud variant will include these modules without additional charges as part of the bundled offering.
The old versions such as Point.Man were tiny software packages and didn't help with your enterprise-wide needs. You could be paying an additional license fee to multiple software vendors that enterprise solutions such as CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline) provide as part of their SaaS licensing bundle.
Lower consulting fee or admin efforts
With the changes in regulations such as taxation or fixed assets accounting standards, your tax or audit consulting company (or your internal team) may have to spend a significant amount of time compiling the information that helps you stay compliant with these regulations.
The cloud products such as CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline) update their capabilities with the changes in regulations, and the updated features get pushed with new releases.
Most ERP publishers such as Infor might release newer features to their product twice or thrice per year, allowing your software to comply with more recent regulations and reducing the cost because of consulting or admin efforts.
Convert unpredictable CapEx to predictable operational expenses
We often think of ERP implementations as a large capital expenditure that require years of preparation before considering them. These challenges were relevant to legacy systems as you had to plan for various things, including hardware and software.
On the other hand, the cloud model provides an easy way to reduce all your unpredictable capital expenses (such as admin costs in managing your current infrastructure, support and consulting fee for your IT provider, and internal opportunity costs) to predictable monthly or annual operational expenses with a per-seat price.
Agile business model
Responding quickly to changing business conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, is more challenging with your legacy ERP as the older technologies provided limited capabilities for mobile and IoT scenarios.
The modern cloud options provide the necessary agility if you wanted to test your demand for a new market, try a new idea or product, or scale up your operational capacity to capture seasonal opportunities.
This agility offers a competitive advantage for your business that is not possible with your outdated ERP system.
It makes complete sense to be twice shy once bitten, but the reasons mentioned in this article should provide enough incentives to rethink your strategy. The newer ERP technologies come closer to make the ERP upgrade experience plug-and-play and provide compelling motivation to upgrade your outdated ERP today.
About the author
ElevatIQ, an Infor Channel Partner
Sam Gupta has been a thought leader in the digital transformation space for nearly two decades , with the primary focus on financial systems and ERP. He has been part of large transformation initiatives for fortune-500 corporations but now spends his time consulting with SMEs as a Principal Consultant at ElevatIQ. Sam regularly speaks at industry conferences and contributes his experiences through many popular blogs and publications. He is always open to chat about technology and digital transformation topics on LinkedIn or Twitter.