With so many options to choose from, cloud, on-premise, industry-specific finding the right ERP for your business can be confusing. Many times, potential clients tell us the more ERP’s they look at, the more they all start to look the same. And when that happens it becomes almost impossible to find the right software for your business. So, how are you to find the right ERP without going crazy?
One thing that can help, is using some ERP vendor comparison tools published by well-known analyst firms like Nucleus Research and Gartner. Comparing ERP systems is one of the main things that these research firms focus their time on. So, in creating their ERP vendor comparison reports, they have done a lot of the legwork for you. They’ve spent hours culling all the different options and ranking them across many of the factors which are the most important to ERP buyers. So, if you don’t know where to begin your ERP research, look no further than one of these reports.
As helpful as these comparison tools can be, the sheer amount of information they contain can sometimes be a little daunting. So today, I want to show you what to look for in one of the most popular reports, the Nucleus Research Value Matrix. When you’re done reading this or watching me accompanying video, you’ll be ready to go from “I have no idea where to start” to your ERP vendors short list in no time.
Visual learners start here!
Prefer to read? Can’t watch the video on your office computer?
No problem! Keep reading for a written explanation of what you need to know to make the most of this popular ERP vendor comparison tool.
When you open the Nucleus Research Value Matrix, one of the first things you’ll notice is a scatterplot that shows each of the ERP systems the report covers ranked on usability and functionality. This scatterplot serves two purposes. Its big picture purpose is to give you an idea of how ERP vendors are positioned in the market. But, it’s more important purpose, especially when being used to create a vendor shortlist for your ERP buying decision is to help you home in on the vendors which are likely to be a good fit for your business. To do this, you need to first decide which quadrant of the scatterplot best describes your business. It’s an easy mistake to assume that those in the upper right-hand corner (Leaders) are the best ERP solutions out there. However, that is not true for every business.
For example, if you are a startup just buying your first ERP, it is very unlikely you will need all the features included in the “Leader” programs. In fact, they would probably just overwhelm your staff and slow things down, rather than helping to improve productivity as intended. On the other hand, if you are in a highly regulated industry, or one with very specific needs, you will most likely be looking for an ERP in the “Expert” category. Although these systems may take a little more time for users to learn, they offer functionality others do not.
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Once you’ve decided which quadrant you fall into, your ERP vendor shortlist is done! Now all that’s left to do is find the one that is the best fit for your needs and budget.
Ready to explore some of the most popular ERP solutions available today?
By: Laura Schomaker, Intelligent Technologies Inc., a Microsoft and Acumatica partner.