The 5 ERP trends that are here to stay

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With question marks around digital transformation, the Cloud, and the pandemic, there are a great many uncertainties that continue to circle the global marketplace.

So, we thought this time (and to offer a little light relief), we’d like to consider what is going to stay the same.

More specifically, we’ve whittled it down to five trends in the ERP space that will remain steadfast for the foreseeable.

How do we know this? Well, we’re no stranger to the market, and have had more than 20 years to ascertain what comes and goes, and what’s here to stay.

Keep an eye on fixed costs

Making sure your Oracle estate is adequately supported is a fixed cost in your IT budget. It’s unavoidable, unless you’re considering going unsupported and falling out of compliance (which isn’t the most recommended course of action).

But with such large sums of capital required to finance vendor support, surely it would make sense that the market adopt a more customer-centric approach to payment?

It’s well known that vendors benefit massively from the huge margins on their support services (we’re talking 90%, here). And the majority of this money is funnelled straight into Cloud R&D costs – something that on-premise customers might well never gain access to, despite having (inadvertently) funded the innovation.

Not only do these customers miss out here, but it’s sort of a double whammy. Often the vendors won’t add advanced new features or functionality to its on-premise technologies as the long-term goal is the Cloud.

But this is where third-party support can be a constant assurance.

We can guarantee cost-savings of at least 50%. Support services are at the core of our offering and our expertise, so we don’t ground our fees in R&D costs. That’s quite the reduction on your annual support bill.

Better still, unlike Oracle, we don’t have desupport dates, nor do we have tiered support. Whether you’ve been using your system for 2 or 10 years, we’ll provide you with the same, high-quality support.

We certainly won’t charge you more (4% year-on-year, plus 20% for years two and three of Extended Support, for example) for the privilege of receiving a lesser service in the years to come (yes, we’re talking about Oracle’s Sustaining Support and Market Driven Support offerings).

Not only can you drastically reduce your annual Oracle support bill, but these savings could translate into a long-term investment plan to fund the changes you want to see in your organisation.

We helped the National Audit Office to achieve just that. By transitioning to our third-party support services, this customer was able to keep its payroll systems and Oracle databases supported, make significant cost savings, and successfully migrate to a new system. (If you want to find out more about the National Audit Office’s third-party support journey, head over to our customers page.)

Continuing to enjoy your system

In addition to helping organisations save a bundle on their support and maintenance costs, third-party support can drastically improve an IT estate’s ROI.

You see, maintaining your Oracle system can become more expensive than the original cost of the software itself. This, too, is true of having to continuously upgrade.

The fact that some organisations are hesitant to upgrade and are looking to make the most of their prior investments (previous upgrades, customisations, etc.) isn’t lost on the vendors, either. Interest in alternatives to vendor support has increased considerably, so it’s no surprise that Oracle has tried to plug the gap and reel back in its sceptical customers.

Finally recognising third-party support as a legitimate competitor, Oracle launched its Market Driven Support (MDS) offering to provide support for expiring, or recently expired, product versions, bridging the gap for those organisations that couldn’t upgrade, or make that all-important jump to its Cloud offering.

But, just as Oracle gives with one hand, it takes with the other. (Well, we did say we’d talk about trends that are likely to stay the same, after all.)

Oracle’s motivation is, as always, to keep fattening the support cash cow and, ultimately, drive up Cloud migrations. That’s why the vendor’s “generous” solution of MDS comes with an expiry date, a caveat, and a chunky price tag.

Your organisation will have to pay extortionate fees for its make-do support solution in addition to your usual annual support costs, AND you’ll have to agree to either upgrade or migrate to the Cloud when your two years of MDS is up.

However, at Support Revolution, we do not cap the length of time you can enjoy our support services, so your organisation can benefit from long-term savings. We are expertly positioned to support the complete range of Oracle products, including new and legacy offerings, because we have more than two decades of experience as an Oracle partner.

This enables organisations to hop off the upgrade cycle and stick with their tried and tested systems, including any and all customisations. For those that opt to move to third-party support, there will be no looming deadlines, so organisations can extend the lifespan of the software indefinitely.

With time now on their side, and enjoying the savings made from switching to third-party support, organisations can redesign their IT roadmap and pursue projects, or upgrades, when it best suits them.

Keep receiving the best quality support

Incident management should be a top priority for your support provider.

It’s not uncommon, however, for organisations to log a support ticket with a vendor, only to realise that – regardless of the priority level and urgency of the incident – there’s no clear guidance for when (or if) you can expect a response, or a fix.

To compensate for its lacking approach to incident resolution, Oracle instead points its customers in the direction of My Oracle Support which has been loaded with knowledge base articles. These materials tend to encompass information about common faults and also enables organisations to download patches to fix the problem… themselves. 

The ‘do it yourself’ approach effectively transfers the responsibility, time, resources, and cost for fixing issues from Oracle to the customers. Which might, on occasion, be adequate, but this is also largely dependent on the expertise and capacity of an organisation’s in-house teams, and is not exactly the critical response you would expect (need!) during an emergency.

You need the reassurance that your incident will be managed by a team of experts (especially when considering the size of your annual support bill).

We’ve learnt from the vendors’ mistakes and have sought to rectify the pitfalls in its support services. In fact, we’ve got you covered for both response and resolution times.

Our SLAs ensure that our customers know when they can expect a response from us, as well as the timescales for a resolution. We understand that delays to critical incidents could have a detrimental impact on your organisation, so we won’t leave you in the lurch.

In addition to continuing to uphold our SLAs for the foreseeable, our patches are tailored to your specific system and any customisations you may have in place.

Like Oracle, we have an extensive knowledge base, with a plethora of support articles and incident resolutions. Unlike Oracle, we’re a big advocate for getting it right the first time, so you won’t catch us dropping a self-help guide into your lap when you’re in need of real support.

Continuing the customer-centric focus

With such rapid technological advances happening and the disruptive influence of the pandemic straining markets around the globe, the needs, wants, expectations, and demands of organisations are changing and wide ranging.

One trend that continues to gain momentum, however, is digital transformation, and this has been recognised as a major focus for the ERP market in 2022.

A more flexible approach to IT estates is considered vital as organisations pursue best of breed technologies to help them achieve their evolving business needs and objectives.

Historically the functionality of ERP software has predominantly been vendor-led, resulting in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Now, however, the landscape is changing slightly as organisations seek ERP technologies with innovative processes and seamless interfaces to improve user experience, operational efficiencies, and ROI, as well as secure a competitive edge, in the face of ongoing uncertainty and economic challenges.

Our customer-centric ethos and ability to provide best-in-class support services (far beyond what the vendors are willing to offer) means we can support all those customisations and tweaks that make your IT estate unique to your organisation’s requirements.

Alternatively, if you’re debating a major IT project or migration, third-party support could offer the respite you need while you research, develop, and set in motion the plan for the future of your IT estate.

Led by your organisation’s support needs and expectations, we consistently deliver our services to uphold ITIL best practice, as well as ISO 9001 and 27001 standards, and is something we will not change.

The only constant is change

Technological innovation and advancements are happening all the time.

Over the past 10 years alone, we have seen the rise of social media, Cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. And the rapid trajectory of these developments has only accelerated after the speedbump that was 2020.

With new technologies come changing business demands, organisational needs, and excitement. But, hot on the heels of this excitement, comes trepidation and teething problems that can snowball into larger issues.

We’re all for positive changes, of course. But when it’s navigated properly and serves to benefit the organisation that’s undertaking it, for example.

That’s why we focus on being constant in an endlessly evolving market. Organisations can rely on us in times of great change to support their ERP needs – whether these remain the same (supporting legacy systems), or need shaking up (long-term digital transformation plans).

If you’re feeling the pressure to make a decision prematurely, are thinking about making a switch, or just want to enjoy a prolonged sense of stability then why not chat to us?

Or, to find out how we’ve changed the way software support is provided, check out our customers’ stories!

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