ERP systems based in the Cloud will eventually eclipse the popularity of traditional ERPs for several reasons including low upfront investments, quick deployments and increased flexibility. If you are one of the many companies that has narrowed down your choice to a cloud-based ERP solution, “Congratulations”.
You’ve made a decision but choosing the right implementation partner will result in a seamless and expedited roll-out that will save you both time and money while choosing the wrong partner will result in financial loss, frustration, and potentially failure. For a list of the top factors you need to consider before choosing an implementation partner, see below.
1. The Partner has Extensive Experience in the Cloud
Ask yourself if the partner has significant experience with the business application software you are considering. If the answer is no, mark them off the list. Be wary of partners that claim to be able to install any solution. The more specialized the partner is, the better the chance that they are intimately knowledgeable in that particular solution. Deep Cloud Expertise is paramount to success in this situation as practical challenges of cloud adoption must be addressed including business process redesign and operational process changes. Look for a partner that has a Business Optimization Framework that lays out the foundation for your Cloud adoption and realization.
2. The Partner has Experience Implementing in Your Industry
Let’s say you work in the Healthcare sector. Don’t even consider choosing an implementation partner that cannot provide you with customer case studies/ references from a Healthcare Client. Your implementation partner should understand your business and business strategy as well as the specific needs, regulatory requirements, and other factors specific to your industry. Migrations to the cloud must be tailored to your industry and take into account factors such as compliance reporting to unique inventory and asset management requirements.
3. Bigger Partners Are Not Always Better Partners
Larger firms tend to have larger costs. However, there are cases (especially in large scale international implementations) where a large firm is required. If you have a local or smaller implementation project, you do not need to pay the higher costs associated with larger organizations. However, it is important to ensure that your implementation provider has sufficient resources to support the project. When it comes to Cloud migrations, look for a partner with a pedigree in Cloud SaaS applications who follows a tried and true method for mapping, transforming, and testing your move from On-Premise to Cloud.
4. The Partner has STRONG Project Managers
Customers often over-emphasize the importance of technical skill and undervalue the importance of strong project management skill. The reality is that the team you choose can have all the technical skill in the world, but without a strong project manager who is adept at risk management, handling multiple variables, and dealing with constantly moving parts and people, the project may flop. Make sure you meet your project manager and preferably his team before you sign on the dotted line. Ask for resumes for the entire team.
5. Ask for an Implementation/ Migration Plan
Does your vision align with your Implementation Partners plan? Does it take into account the skill level of your staff assigned to the project? Does it match all of your requirements? Make sure that you are happy with the implementation plan before moving forward. The good news is that Cloud Implementations can be faster and more straight-forward than on – premise implementations due to the lack of required customizations and infrastructure requirements as well as relatively painless upgrades.
At the end of the day you need to be confident that your Implementation Partner knows both Cloud ERP AND understands organizational change management. In addition to core functional and technical knowledge of the software, focus on business intelligence and cloud expertise. Read more about how Astute can help with cloud strategy and planning and best practice based implementation.