When Your ERP System Becomes Your Woobie

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We recently discussed the Microsoft Dynamics Support Lifecycle and the advantages of running the current version of your Dynamics ERP software. The benefits of such a strategy can be clearly presented and experienced. But what if you don’t want to follow that path, don’t want to spend the time and funds to stay current. Maybe business stinks right now and you can’t justify the expense. Maybe you’re just satisfied with what you’ve got. “Hey, it works!!” , you say, and you’d be right.

Staying current is, in some ways, like keeping up with the Joneses. Newer car, newer TV, newer phone, newer ERP software, because you’ve been told by skilled marketing and sales people that you’ve just got to have the latest and greatest stuff. Because the latest and greatest stuff is, of course, always the Best stuff. And, of course, everyone wants the Best stuff, right? Well . . .

. . . most business owners aren’t motivated by the Joneses, unless the Joneses are taking away their customers. And most business owners, particularly in the small and medium space, keep a tight hand on their wallet. It’s no-frills or maybe a few frills but that’s it! No need to give that hard earned money to software developers and consultants just for the latest and greatest.

The Support Lifecycle is an irrelevant concept because, at the end of the five year Mainstream Support cycle, the software still works. Everyone in the company who needs it knows how to use it. They’ve figured out how to correct mistakes. They know how to run reports. Their consultant can be counted on to get them out of the jam that rarely occurs. The ERP system becomes their business Woobie, a stable inanimate friend, always there providing comfort and support.

Woobies come in many shapes and sizes. Some are based on a lamb, some on a bear. A stuffed Nemo, the clown fish, was a treasured and well-worn woobie for one young person. Probably the most famous woobie is the blanket that belonged to Linus van Pelt, the Peanuts comic character. Erudite and proper people call it a “security blanket” but where’s the fun and security in that? Woobies can last for years and years providing quiet but consistent service to the possessor. ERP software can be like that too.

The ERP woobie always prints invoices and checks to keep things running. It never fails to tell you how well you’re doing with agings and financial statements. It tags along with your business day to day and month to month. It also accumulates the dust and dirt of daily data entry.  Its database may fray around the edges when newer operating systems and other software are introduced as server or desktop systems slow down or fail. Imperceptibly, the security part of the blanket becomes compromised.

Finally, the time comes when woobie must be put aside. Perhaps woobie gets lost when a server fails without a good backup. Maybe woobie can’t handle a significant change in the enterprise. Possibly your enterprise grows up and finds that woobie, treasured though it is, won’t fill your practical business needs anymore. The staff at Admiral Consulting Group understand the role of woobies (and may even have some of their own). As a Microsoft Gold Certified consultant, we can help when your woobie gets lost or when it’s time to put woobie aside because you’re growing. Admiral Consulting Group is prepared to assist with your woobie transition. Be assured, we treat all woobies with sensitivity, respect and professionalism.

By Admiral Consulting Group



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