11 June 2021

Is ERP really delivering the value you need?

MHR Blog | When you look closely at ERP...

When you look closely at ERP solutions, can they really continue to deliver the value, functionality, and ease of implementation your organisation is looking for?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has been a popular business solution since the 90s. Its all-encompassing; streamlining day-to-day business activities – including accounting, finance, procurement, project management, supply chain, and manufacturing – has led many organisations to believe the ‘one-stop’ mantra of ERP providers as being the answer to all their needs.

However, ERP cost of ownership has climbed significantly recently, while on-premise ERP hasn’t always been able to keep pace with new technology trends, leading to shortfalls in functionality. Right now, it’s hardly surprising that many organisations are questioning whether ERP alone is the optimum solution in changing times.

Is ERP really delivering the value you need?

There is always that ever-present need to balance software functionality with cost of ownership. It’s also true that many organisations face the challenge of having legacy systems that are unable to cope with specialist functions and the process of digital transformation. This can be made worse with unrealistic organisational expectations and resistance to change.

Suddenly, it seems that ERP solutions aren’t delivering the value you expect or the functionality you now need in a dynamic digital environment. Indeed, a recent survey revealed that Oracle’s ERP licensing is simply too expensive – as is annual maintenance and support – with over 50% of those surveyed at C-Level, VP/Director of IT and Procurement roles stating that they are currently reducing or planning to reduce spending on Oracle.

Introducing Best of Breed (BoB) solutions

Right now, there are a huge number of other systems available that address specific business needs. These systems typically focus on specific applications or business processes and are often described as ‘Best of Breed’ solutions.

Over the years, Best of Breed (BoB) solutions have allowed organisations to choose a market-leading system for a specific business function at a more affordable price. Rarely is ‘everything from one provider’ the most efficient solution available. It’s a myth, and organisations are finding that they are losing out on functionality somewhere down the line by sticking with ERP alone.

Combining BoB solutions into your ERP

As technology has advanced, BoB has been empowered. APIs have enabled system connectivity like never before, supporting flexible links that allow users to seamlessly transition between their preferred tools.

It means that for many organisations, BoB solutions provide the specialist functionality they need and the next generation technology that future-proofs their business. At the same time, ease of implementation, lower cost of ownership and a simple user adoption process provides a compelling business case for BoB integration into ERP systems.

Choosing BoB solutions for specific business activities

This decision is made easier by the fact there are BoB solutions that cover almost every conceivable business activity. Those most likely to feature in ERP vs BoB decisions include Payroll Management Systems (PMS) and Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS). A great example can be found in a BoB software solution such as iTrent from MHR, which is proven to provide BoB functionality in Payroll and HR for all kinds of organisations, including Warwickshire County Council, as this case study clearly demonstrates.

Achieving a real return on investment

It’s increasingly the case that the best software solutions don’t have to come from one provider. It can be time consuming, expensive and bring a high chance of failure. Instead, BoB implementation – and integration into your existing ERP architecture – can be achieved in much quicker timescales and give you the advanced functionality, the seamless operations and the return on investment you need.

Keeping yourself informed

Right now, the tide is turning on ERP as a solitary standalone solution. Some 73% of Oracle customers moving to cloud environments are choosing alternative cloud providers instead. At the same time, an increasing number of organisations are looking at combining their ERP architecture with BoB specialist functionality.

So with the need to reduce costs and improve functionality being more relevant today than it’s ever been, ERP v BoB is still the question on many people’s minds. But whichever route you’re considering, it’s always best practice to keep yourself informed on the latest opportunities, the advances in functionality, the reducing cost and the ease of implementation that comes from not just the jack of all trades (ERP), but by including the masters of one (BoB).

Rethink your ERP strategy and find out what specialist HR and payroll solutions can offer your organisation.

Oliver Kent - Head of Strategic Accounts for the Public Sector at MHR

Oliver Kent

Oliver is Head of Strategic Accounts for the Public Sector at MHR, with over 20 years of experience, Oliver has specialised in transformation, HR technology, analytics and change management. He is a member of the CIPD and is a champion for change within the industry. 

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