ERP Priorities, Blah Blah Blah

    Microsoft commissioned a survey into IT decision makers priorities – with specific reference to ERP. Here’s our take on the results.

    Vendor research on the subject of customers’ Enterprise Resource Planning priorities is generally very lame. The research largely comes up with the vague answers that the Vendor first thought of – and these are generally the same as those identified in the last report you read on the subject.

    On the one hand the latest report from Microsoft is no different:

    ERP Goals by priority

    Really? No *&^% Sherlock! These goals are what Enterprise Resource Planning has always been about. FOREVER. Business systems are like WD40 or 3-in-1 oil. They exist to eliminate friction in a business – like oiling the wheels. These goals are outcomes associated with doing so. The key issue customers need to identify is – where’s the friction? Focus their ERP investments on that. That’s what TNP’s Day In The Life helps with.

    On the other hand, this report from Microsoft does genuinely surprise:

    ERP Challenges top 5

    News that customers have concerns with regards to the up front expense of implementing a new ERP system, or upgrading their existing solution is not new.

    What is different in this report is the extent to which Security shows up as a priority. This is new. What’s driving the change?

    • Historically, customers haven’t seen ERP systems as being at risk – largely because they have been siloed. ERP systems are now connected to many other systems. Like these other systems, ERP systems are now capable of being accessed remotely, on a wide range of devices.
    • This evolution is something that Microsoft can themselves take credit for. Their “integrated innovation” agenda has paid real dividends. The extent to which Power BI, Office 365, Dynamics 365 Business Central, Azure, and Active Directory are integrated is remarkable and unmatched in the market.
    • Ransomware has become a thing. Making sure that a company can post cash, and print and invoice is the CFO’s responsibility – and this report says they are now really worried.

    The NAV/BC Partner community is evolving in response. Acora, TSG, Kick IT, Quantiq (now Avanade) and now TNP have all been on a similar journey – bringing their biz app capability together with a wider range of IT service capability.

    That said – the more things change, the more things stay the same. Successful projects continue to rely upon cultural alignment between supplier and customer – and the depth of relevant specialist capability that the supplier has to offer. To read more of our thoughts on this subject take a look at our whitepapers, 'The Alternative Guide to Buying ERP' and 'Pick a Partner, Not a Price'.


    To read more about the research Microsoft commissioned, find the report here.

    Written by
    Paul White
    Paul White

    Paul is Executive Chairman at TNP. He started in the ERP industry with a company called Systems Union who developed Sun Accounts (which carbon dates him by the way!) He then ran Pegasus for a while before joining Touchstone (where he first encountered Ian) before moving on to become a bigshot at Microsoft. There he ran the UK Dynamics business for 6 years and then Product Management for Dynamics NAV for a further 6 years. Both roles gave him lots of opportunities to stay in touch with Ian and Matt and watch TNP grow. In 2018 Paul joined TNP as their chairman, bringing with him a wealth of NAV product knowledge, market insight and plenty of wise council! Away from ERP Paul has a wife, two daughters, and a dog and for fun he chooses to spend time on the water.