Most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions have long lifecycles. However, the supporting technology changes over time. And soon these highly functioning ERP solutions start becoming expensive with regular bug fixing, periodic system upgrades, and customization needs. So what can an organization do to revive these business solutions before they get outdated? They need to upgrade them the “right way” to maximize the solution benefits. What is the “right way”? We need to understand what drives up the upgrade costs first.
Here are some typical needs which make the ERP Upgrades an expensive affair -
Licence Migration, Additional User requirements and New Modules
Hardware sizing, Architecture Configuration, Cloud vs. on-premise
Customizations, Multiple Locations, No. of users, modules used, process complexity, third-party integrations, training team members
Listed below are some steps an organization must consider in order to ensure a smooth ERP upgrade process, without burning a hole in the pockets.
1. Exhaustive IT and Software Audits
Eliminate all the unwanted hardware by taking up hardware audits. Licence migration audits will help the organization know exactly how many licenses are needed. Audit will help you identify and streamline end-users. Functionality migration audits help one identify which modules are crucial for the business. This way one gets rid of expensive, specialized modules which are not required. This step can make the business avoid significant rework and additional licenses which are unnecessary at the time.
2. Placement of Resources
Ensuring the right mix of on-shore and off-shore teams helps to avoid cost and timeline overruns. Organization should leverage the Onsite teams, interact with the vendors to clarify requirements and set the right expectations. Ensure you have the right communication and review plan in place for the offshore teams.
This will eliminate any requirement gaps and result in better ERP upgrade project. Some vendors offer managed services support packages to manage and optimize the ERP environment.
3. Reduce Customizations
Customizations prove to be expensive in the long run. Organizations should make use of standard ERP functionalities to match the current business processes as much as possible. Ask the vendor to provide you expertise in discarding redundant processes and simplify process flows.
Less customization will also mean that you get to leverage the latest modules and functionalities on offer by the ERP system. Organizations should insist that the vendor uses standard templates and proven methodologies to fast-track the upgrade process while minimizing the risk and costs.
4. Adequate Training
Training the staff and users of the new ERP system post the upgrade is very important. This helps them utilize all the new features and makes your ERP more productive. In the long run, this results in faster ROI from your ERP investments.
Using the above steps under the guidance of an expert ERP Upgrade vendor can save significant amount during the ERP Upgrade projects.