ERP: A Marriage Broker

by January 4, 2018 0 comments

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a multibillion-dollar industry that produces components supporting a variety of business functions. IT investments have become the largest category of capital expenditure in businesses across the globe over the past decade.

Though ERP systems have changed drastically and had adopted according to various new advancements in technology since its inception. Top ERP Solution providers are innovating and introducing new features, functionality and technology that can serve a workforce in a better way and can automate the entire process with more visibility and competitive edge.

Today ERP system is more being adopted by small and mid-market companies, as they have understood clearly the importance of ERP software in managing business processes. Another reason for more adoption is reduced costs of implementation and cloud deployment options have also added value to its viabilities.

It is also developing a security circle to protect the data usable for companies. ERP providers are designing tools within the software that can analyze data and have features responsible for security audits risk management processes and thus enhancing purchase of ERP systems.

Mobile accessibility has also increased through time. Now your workforce can simply access the system from anywhere and anytime. This is resulting in fast decisions delivery. According to Ramajeyam Sekar, Project Director in CMS Computers, Chennai besides having many ERP brands in the market ERP solutions are still battling with some of the challenges:

ERP Product Fitment:

A lot of ERP products in the market both branded; unbranded, open source & cloud-based ERP are not the right fit everywhere. The small and medium segment has many failure stories and causes of dissatisfaction over unsuccessful implementation across these business segments.

Moreover, as the competition is building up, more and more customization requirements are increasing and hence need to build flexible systems and processes is a big challenge. Before deciding to customize some features or to develop a new module, makes sure with your ERP consultants that these features will really bring some value in your business, in order to not develop an expensive module that your employee will never use.

User Acceptance:

The success of an ERP implementation is influenced by a great many factors. User involvement is one of the most cited, critical success factors in ERP implementation projects. Generally, when users are involved in the implementation, the end result will deliver a better fit in relation to business processes and acceptance between the end users and the ERP System.

In technical terms, the preparation comes in the form of user acceptance testing (UAT). User acceptance testing is often used as a project milestone for contractual reasons; completing UAT signifies that the solution has reached an acceptable level of stability and this, in turn, can be linked with the issue of who is going to pay for fixing defects.

UAT is actually far more important than that — it is your key to project success. It’s important to iron out the issues in a safe environment first, and for an ERP implementation, the safe environment is UAT. Every issue that is found during UAT is one less issue that will need to be solved after going live, and the thing about go live issues is they can be really dangerous.

When an issue occurs in a production system in a go-live environment, it needs to be fixed quickly, and there is typically a great deal of stress associated with the issue. Being hurried in a stressful environment does not make for good programming and it certainly doesn’t allow for well thought out design.

Communication:

Effective implementation of ERP solutions requires good communication, which is essential to the organization. The main idea behind communication is to avoid the creation of a group of resistant’s to the ERP project, in order to mitigate the risk. Two main risks perceived by end users need to be erased: first the risk the ERP will do the work done by the end user.

You need to be clear that the ERP is not integrated to do the job of employees but to help them to be more productive by simplifying the processes. Secondly, some employees can be afraid to not have the abilities to work on this new system because of their limited computer literacy. Hence, there is an extensive need for training which will help them to understand the new ERP system.

Setting realistic expectations requires an investment of time, resources and money, but the payoff occurs when your organization achieves all its expected benefits and experiences ERP success. ERP solutions are often seen as the magic stick which will solve all the problems of a company and will enhance all processes instantly.

But the reality is a bit different; a high percentage of ERP implementation project fails because they have not been carefully thought upstream in terms of organizational benefits, budget, and timelines of the project. However, one of the most important aspects to ensure the success of an ERP deployment project is the ability to set realistic expectations.

Having realistic expectations will allow the company of any sizes; an ERP is an achievable project, which respects the business objectives in the short

time to long-time. Sudhir Singh, Managing Director, Marg ERP also agrees that ERP industry is dealing with post GST challenges. “Some major challenges in the face of GST rollout included preparation of an adequate IT support and a system which was GST compliant. Another important need was to create GST awareness and subject knowledge so that the market had GST-skilled resources to ensure swift implementation.” He said.

Marg Compusoft is anticipating the market behaviour post GST, according to Singh, Marg ERP could foresee that most of the businesses would be looking to upgrade their software or look for a reliable brand that was providing GST enabled the software. “With GST, a big historic reformation in the taxation history, the first and the biggest need for compliance for the taxpayer was to get himself registered with tax authorities,” he added.

Earlier, competitors were accounting and software providing companies, but post-GST, the scenario has completely changed. After the launch of GST, inventory solutions providing has become as important as accounting software. Since Marg ERP was already well-established in inventory software sector, the company has built a much stronger product in line with market demand.

Post-GST, there is a growing demand for inventory+accounting software. Speaking about competition Singh said, “We expect to see the major spurt in the demand for our products and services. Companies that were using only accounting package are now turning to Marg ERP. Everyone now wants their inventory aspect to be as strong as their accounting part.”

Operating from a head office in the capital city, Marg ERP has a threefold strategy to make forays into the fast expanding market post GST. First, they are building a promotion team in such a way that it can start activities from the ground level.

Currently, its team is in the process of building up local teams in different regions. “Earlier our representative from the head office would visit the regional offices and train their personnel on the product and its marketing strategy. Now we are setting up offices in different cities across India and building up a local team to work independently.” Singh informs. Soon there will be small teams’ at all regional offices whose job will be to connect with the local client and explore the local market.

Marg Initiatives

There are few more strategy operations which are going on informs Singh, “Project ‘MILAAP’ is part of the second strategy and an existing program. With it we plan to expand our existing network, reaching out to those already in inventory and accounting providing sector, but not able to expand their business because of the shortage of manpower and expertise in GST related issues.

There are a large number of such people who are eager to join hands with us and gain from our subject knowledge and support. We will ensure that their business remains secure and their revenue augmented by becoming a part of Marg.” Marg’s latest launch — the ‘VISTAAR’ program is also there, which will be diversified and will be compliant at different levels. “We plan to start a‘VISTAAR’ Academy, and ‘VISTAAR’ Association etc. These are part of our expansion plans and efforts to get more players on board.” Singh informs.

The third is making people ‘SAKSHAM’ or empowered; this is going to be our expanded initiatives wherein company is able to educate more and more people regarding ERP software. One more dimension they want to add to SAKSHAM initiative is the organizational development of the partners.

Plans for next Fiscal

“We are doing our research on the market demands and expanding our network accordingly. We are focusing on enabling the network and making them fully skilled so that we are not only able to meet the market demand but also able to serve them in the best possible way. Our plan is to have our presence in every district, and if need be, in every taluka so that consumers can reach us wherever they are,” told Sudhir Singh.

Tally Xcelerator

The revolutionary tax reform that has been introduced, as well as focus on digitization, are promoting entrepreneurship opportunities resulting in a truly competitive business environment. In order to stay ahead of the competition and get onto the path of sustainable growth, it is imperative for small and emerging businesses to have a guiding light on macro aspects of the business which are related to growth and development.

Large enterprises and MNCs are inundated with such offerings and are backed by equally strong consulting companies, however, there is an abject dearth of similar services for SMEs. With this understanding and insight into the future challenges, Tally Solutions has also launched a one-of-a-kind program called Tally Xcelerator (TX) to offer consultancy services to small and medium businesses, with an aim to empower SMEs and facilitate their growth.

Under this program, Tally appointed partners called Tally Xcelerator will extend business advisory services playing the role of a coach, mentor and trainer to all of Tally’s partners and small businesses across the country.The program aims to help SMEs realize their trade and investment opportunities and become competitive in both the domestic and global market.

Joyce Ray, India Business Head, Tally Solutions said “We have been working very closely with more than 1 million SMEs for over 3 decades and understand their growth opportunities and challenge areas. Over a period of time, we have figured that there is a considerable dearth of initiatives taken to support the small businesses in our country in terms of their growth and development.

Through the TX program, our aim is to upscale and upskill these businesses which will eventually contribute towards the development of the country’s economy. We want to promote overall SME development in the nation by promoting entrepreneurship, fostering individual entrepreneurial capabilities, building institutional capacity, and encourage employment-creating investment. We will equip our partners to act as pillars of guidance and support to the developing SME community in the country.”

Technology is ever changing

Harsh Vardhan G, Chief Ecosystem Officer, Ramco Systems

Technology is ever changing. As a tech company, we are always looking for what’s going to be the next big tech disruption that will hit enterprises. Two such technologies we are betting on for 2018, include:

CHATBOT IN HR
Today’s world is comfortable with the chat interface, requiring none of the hassles of app download or multiple clicks to access urgent information. Chatbots offer an AI-powered virtual personal assistant for every enterprise user, guiding them complete mundane tasks like time sheets, to applying leave – without necessitating a login.

What makes chatbots such a trending technology in 2018?
Human Resources needs to adapt to the trend of chatbots as the future belongs to automation of tasks such as asking interview questions, finding matching candidates on LinkedIn, scheduling meetings, etc. chatbots work on automating responses to routine and repetitive queries with ease. Their ability to resolve straightforward queries and FAQs within just a few minutes, delivering accurate answers right at the first instance, makes them one of the most sought-after HR tools. Chatbots easily cut through the complex backend data to retrieve just the required information. Chatbots can also be tuned to stop and request for human support for complicated queries that require further assistance. With extensive possibilities to create auto alerts, chatbots have immense potential to expand extensively into many other areas of detailed communication and this is why chatbots will be one of the most trending HR technologies
of 2018.

BLOCKCHAIN IN LOGISTICS
A critical element of logistics is ensuring transparency and reliability in every supply chain transaction. This need can be addressed by Blockchain, the latest buzzword in technology. Blockchain delivers a single version of truth, thereby protecting supply chain assets and resources from errors and fraudulent activity.

What makes Blockchain such a trending technology in 2018?
One of the most relevant advantages of Blockchain in the current scenario is its ability to maintain confidentiality of information and its permission-based access. Any stakeholder outside the ring of approved access will only be able to view the data in an encrypted format. Another feature of Blockchain is its capability of allowing approved stakeholders to enter data at source from a single location. This same version of data will be visible to the other relevant stakeholders.

Blockchain networks are not hierarchical; instead, they are decentralized and extensively distributed, with each stakeholder considered as an equal player. With many more such solutions from Blockchain awaiting discovery in 2018, this technology is definitely one of the most favorite trends to look forward to in 2018.

Piracy is no problem

Rajesh Gupta, Co-founder and CTO, Busy Infotech

Rajesh Gupta, Co-founder and CTO of Busy Infotech claims that GST has given them the best platform to gain momentum in ERP business. GST is a complex subject, and it has compelled SMB, SOHO business owners to adopt a definite system because it’s very difficult to do returns filing manually. “We are very competitive and GST has provided an edge in gaining business momentum. Our revenue also grew almost 5 times as compared to the last year because of the GST solutions” informed Gupta. The company has already a GST centric product in the market, Busy17 which is doing great.

“We have earlier launched Busy17, a GST centric solution and its performance is fantastic. We are selling great numbers and we are trying our best to make the life of users easier as GST is a complex subject. We are also bound to incorporate any changes whenever needed.” Gupta added.

As per the requirement of GST Busy is coming out with new ways of filing returns, so that user’s time is minimized in filing returns. Apart from this Busy has also had it own video tutorial platform on the YouTube. These tutorials provide information about the solution and its compliance. The link to the tutorials is already come bundled with the solution so that user doesn’t have to go elsewhere.

Talking about the piracy and challenges, Gupta pointed out that piracy is not a big problem for them as it is not making any difference. However, there is no mechanism to know how many users are on the pirated versions. “We absolutely have no problem in piracy, in fact, we are thankful to the users.

However, they, in turn, will not get any support from us in times if any problem occurs.” For Busy Infotech, GST will be the main roadmap for at least two to three fiscal years and they will be launching new solutions around it. “For next two to three fiscal year, GST will remain our focus area. We have 300+ channel partners across the country right now and we are strengthening it further especially after GST, and more and more partners are connecting with us.”

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