A SaaS (Software as a Service) ERP is the latest effort in the ERP industry to provide a rapid, cost-effective solution for customers who want an enterprise solution. A SaaS deployment model provides the potential for greater value realization through the type of solutions that the customer implements.
I firmly believe that one of the key reasons for failed ERP implementations in schools is that expectations were not correctly established and managed throughout the implementation. Few benefits of a SaaS based ERP:
- Cheap: The customer does not need to make a huge expenditure to implement and utilize.
- Fast: Populate a few excel templates & have few questions answered and you will have an up and running ERP in weeks.
- Flexible: ERP Users can do customization, it minimize IT involvement.
- Intuitive: Quick to learn and easy to navigate.
- Technology Upgrades: You always get the latest once the SaaS ERP is upgraded on the Server.
There are a plethora of ERP SaaS offerings are in the market today. A majority of the market and many ERP analysts still take an on premise approach to evaluating ERP SaaS offerings. Remember Services, not software, will have the greatest impact on SaaS ERP success.
Installation Is Not an Implementation – Ah, the battle cry of ERP SaaS “You can be up and running in a matter of minutes!” Now, it is a fair statement you will have a running system but it is a far cry from a configured business solution. Consider the key activities required for this transformation:
School Configuration -> Data Migration -> Testing -> Training -> Help Desk
Even though SaaS ERP software and infrastructure can be provided in an accelerated fashion, the business value realization of a SaaS ERP model can only be achieved through the effective delivery of technology services.
Good Services Can Cover a Multitude of Software Gaps – SaaS ERP software installation is a very small step in SaaS ERP experience. Following are a few points I would like to elaborate:
- Installed ERP software does not provide any business value on its own. Business value is only realized when software is configured and implemented in a production environment.
- Let’s not forget that a SaaS ERP model is outsourcing technical services to the ERP vendor.
- SaaS ERP software release cycles will be at least three times faster than traditional on premise ERP software. That means that a SaaS software model will address gaps in a shorter term.
As more customers look at SaaS ERP I believe that services not software will be the emerging competitive differentiator.
Too often we focus on the cart before the horse. I believe that we are experiencing this misalignment with the emerging SaaS ERP market. The best ERP software is of little value if you cannot implement a viable, manageable solution. Technical services provided by the ERP vendor’s SaaS operations will have the greatest, long-term impact for business success.
Pick an ERP vendor that will focus on improving both their ERP software and SaaS technical services. We assure you if you choose GEMS School ERP you will always be our satisfied customer.