In order to address the growing demand of companies to be able to choose an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system among multiple available options to suit the corporate needs fully and within their industry and operational standards, Edocation has developed the SOFTWARE model.
The central notion of this model is the “context” the importance of which has been explored in linguistics, including through D. Hymes’s (1974) SPEAKING model (BLOG|ON|LINGUISTICS, 2019). The SOFTWARE model enables specialists to analyze ERP (and other) programs, not only within the narrow software context, but within the wide industry and operational contexts of a specific company. Moreover, the model can be repeatedly applied to different programs to obtain comparable (“apples to apples”) results, which, in turn, can help select the new ERP, BI (business intelligence) and other software that meet the corporate goals fully.
S = START – the general, brief notes about the ERP system under analysis:
– is it intended for small or large enterprises;
– what are the available modules (GL, Cash/Bank, AP, AR, inventory, fixed assets and so on);
– what is the biggest selling point of the system (easy to integrate with, scalable, flexible reporting), etc.
O = OBJECTIVES – the key goals of the company seeking to implement an ERP system:
– to improve financial reporting;
– to increase the accuracy of inventory management;
– to be able to integrate with other systems, etc.
F = FINANCES – how much does it cost to implement the system, to maintain and, importantly, to upgrade it:
– how much is hourly rate of the people doing the implementation;
– how much is the monthly cost of a user’s license;
– what does it cost to upgrade the system in the future, etc.
T = TIME – how long does it take to get the system up and running:
– the implementation time;
– what is the wait time to receive support after Go-Live;
– how time consuming is it to to upgrade to a newer version;
– how long does it take to train users, etc.
W = WORKABILITY – how easy it is to work in the system:
– how easy is it to perform day-to-day business duties such as entering a sales invoice, issuing a credit memo, creating a new vendor, adding a new item and so on, based on the key business needs;
– how easy it is to create basic BS, IS, and TB reports;
– how efficiently it is to run inventory routine;
– how practical is the year end procedures, etc.
A = AUDIENCE – who are the people that will be doing the implementation (and then support) and who are the team that will be using the system:
– taking into consideration the current human resources that a company disposes of, is it enough to implement and, importantly, to maintain the system;
– will this ERP system help the managers to run their business reports while improving other people’s efficiencies too;
– is the team open to learning the new technology on top of their day-to-day business duties;
– can the new software increase the efficiency of work with the clients and vendors of the company, etc.
R = RISKS – the challenges that may arise in implementing and maintaining the system and how to address them:
– how much can the implementation be beyond the budget, will the implementer put a cap on the overage and deliver the rest of the scope at a reduced or no additional cost;
– how flexible is the system to accommodate unforeseen or new requirements – what are the mechanisms to address them (e.g. development, enabling a new module, inviting an additional implementer’s subject matter expert who has experience with that module and so on);
– how easy it is to change the ERP provider, etc.
E = ENDNOTES – the general, brief, concluding remarks about the ERP system under analysis:
– is it a good fit for the organisation at first glance;
– is it affordable for the company;
– is it able to grow with the organisation or will it have to be replaced in the nearest future, etc.
To sum up, this post has discussed the SOFTWARE model that can help companies compare and choose the ERP system that fits their key business needs. The central notion of this framework is the context. Besides ERP systems, this model can also be used for the analysis of BI systems and other software.
At Edocation, our goal is to help companies make an informed decision about their next ERP system (be it Microsoft or a different provider). If you have questions about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, you can contact us for a consultation. You can also hire Edocation specialist(s) as your independent consultant or project manager if you are already working with a different Microsoft Partner.
1. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC) License Calculator
2. What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?
3. What is Microsoft Power Platform?
BLOG|ON|LINGUISTICS (2019). Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://blogonlinguistics.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/speaking-model-d-hymes/
Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations of sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.