ERP vendors leave their customers with upgrade headaches

Organisations that have implemented ERP solutions are being hit with the substantial ongoing cost of propagating custom modifications when upgrades are subsequently released by the vendor. 

 The major ERP vendors and their implementation partners have long promoted their ability to customise business solutions unique to their clients requirements. However, when the vendor upgrades their product at a later date, the customer is expected to fund the cost of re-writing and re-implementing their customisations inline with the current release of the vendor’s product. 

In some cases the cost of re-applying these changes is so prohibitive that customers have become stranded on an older version of the product, unable to afford to move to the latest version.

Technology One has taken a new approach to this problem with a new service, called Integrate One, designed to meet the requirements of its customers, with custom-built solutions fully integrated to its total product suite. 

Technology One Chairman Adrian Di Marco said that organisations with unique requirements that required customisations have for too long been offered a sub-standard and costly solution by its multinational ERP competitors. 

“Customers have had to wear costly upgrades every time they moved to the next version of the vendor’s product. 

“Underpinning all of Technology One’s solutions is an application development framework that provides the core look and feel, user interface and functionality of our products.

“We use this framework to provide custom applications for those clients who have unique requirements that don’t fit an out of the box solution. These custom applications are fully integrated to our total product suite using published interfaces and web services to achieve tight integration.

“The benefit for our customers is clear, as all our solutions are built utilising the same framework, and are tightly integrated in such a way that future upgrades to new releases of our products are seamless and without additional costs. 

“It is all part of providing a total solution to our customers. Technology One develops, markets, sells, implements and supports its own range of applications. 

“Customers who utilise our Integrate One service will also be provided with ongoing support for the custom built applications.”

The issue of customers being hit with the cost of custom modifications is compounded by instability in the market as ERP vendors continue to acquire multiple overlapping products. 

“As vendors wrap up acquisitions, and consolidate down to a single product, customers need to be wary of being left with a custom application that no-one will take responsibility for, and that will need to be re-applied at some future date to the new consolidated product from that ERP vendor.

“The approach used by our competitors is open to finger pointing and blame, and at the end of the day, the customer pays the price. 

“In the long term, we believe the only model acceptable to clients in the enterprise application market will be that of a company who takes 100% ownership of their solutions, services and customisations.”