We often come across customers who come to us after having purchased an ERP system and need support. Last year, we engaged with a customer who wanted additional training and support for their Sage ERP software. The controller was very excited about the possibility of moving to cloud-based erp. The problem was, they had just purchased their Sage 100 system two years prior.
We are excited about helping customers reach their full potential with new technology. However, we couldn't in good faith recommend that they purchase and implement multiple accounting systems within five years. So we have come up with some things that help customers extend the life of their software.
The trends in the past would be to purchase a new ERP system once every ten years or so. In the current climate, with cloud software as a service solution becoming more and more prevalent and convenient for customers, we are seeing people transition every 5-7 years.
We just purchased or have limited resources
If your organization is within the 5-year mark, or the workload that comes with implementation is too daunting, I recommend looking to see if you can upgrade the technology. Switching from a proprietary database to a SQL database, if available for your software, can make a big difference in performance, and can reduce bugs and errors.
3rd party solution
It's a fine line, but there are times when adding a 3rd party solution can help extend the life of your software. We implemented an Excel-based financial reporting tool for Sage 100 for the company previously referenced. With this solution, they were able to gain more visibility into their organization, and create the type of reports they needed to make better financial decisions. We also implemented a complimentary fixed assets program so that they could manage their assets more efficiently.
Sometimes when we have used a program for a long time, we get into some habits that decrease productivity. Getting refresher training for your users can help uncover some inefficiencies and help implement "Best practices" for your organization.
If your organization has maintained an active subscription with your software, you can take advantage of software upgrades. Most of the well-known programs release an upgrade once every 12-18 months and include enhanced features that may benefit your business.
Finally, when we have a customer who has been on the software for a long time, we recommend doing a workflow review. Often our businesses change over several years, but how we use the software does not. Reviewing workflows and implementing new features can help the organization run more smoothly and take some of the pain away from a legacy system.