“Digital Transformation” is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers aligned with organization’s vision and strategy. It is also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.
When an organization has made up its mind to implement an ERP, starting with the Finance Module, CRM Module or any other module based on priority, it is essentially the start of a digital transformation journey.
Traditionally, ERPs were considered primarily for internal process automations and reporting. However, with the increase in digital connections and channels for an organization’s customers, vendors, partners, and community, CRM System (end to end customer experience) is a key component. It is this element that helps increase revenue through effective use of tools and automations in the marketing and sales functions of the organization.
ITEG is a partner of Zoho, and Zoho One is once such license bundle that gives you an ERP with all the applications you need. The scope of this article applies to various other ERP similarly.
So, what you should know about the partner you are working with? How will you decide which proposal to go with? We have listed down the different areas below.
The obvious one “Experience”
General experience is the first question you should know, specifically in ERPs. Then, for your industry this will help the partner in mapping your process to the ERP and advise on improvements based on what they have done and seen at other clients.
Since each region has its own business culture, external environments, availability of other services (e.g., cargo and delivery services, payment gateways, VOIP, banking etc.), it is helpful to consider a partner that has relevant experience in your region.
Digital Transformation is more than just rolling out applications, it needs mapping of business to tech and requires change management, effective communication, engagement, and much training and hand holding.
Implementation approach is key to ensure it leads to Business Transformation (we will be doing a separate blog on Business Transformation soon). Listed below are ways to judge the maturing of partners approach to the same.
“Function\Features” versus “Business value\Business Risk Mitigation”
Partners that focus on business value rather than “functions and features” of the ERP are usually more experienced and mature. They are generally better suited to ensuring success.
Internal Process to deliver
You must ask the implementation partners on how they will deliver. A well-defined delivery model aligned with global project management practices is what you should be looking for. This also includes service level agreements (SLAs).
Long term partner
Can they help you in other areas, remember the engagement does not always start with all modules, immediate needs maybe of CRM, Finance, or Projects? You need to know if you can continue your journey with them for other modules and in cases other areas (e.g., digital marketing) and regions (in case you have office and entities in other regions).
Every implementation comes with a cost. This cost is divided in two components license (paid to the ERP Vendor) and Implementation (paid to the Implementation partner) according to a payment plan agreed. Such a payment plan must be linked to delivery milestones to ensure cost if consumed as we move forward in the project.
As is the case, the cheapest option is not always the best and proposals must be weighed considering the above points.