Monday, 27 March 2006 19:32

Microsoft gets wooden spoon in ERP survey

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A customer satisfaction survey across Asia Pacific, the US and Europe has savaged all of the top three major vendors in the ERP space, but singles out Microsoft  among all vendors as having the least integration expertise in manufacturing-centric ERP environments.

The Cincom run web-based survey, which polled 4500 ERP users and received 258 responses, measured the impact on ERP users of customer references, ease of customisation, industry expertise, integration expertise, pricing and licensing, services pricing, software quality, support resources and vendor viability.
 
Accoridng to the survey, the biggest complaint from Oracle and SAP users was the lack of consistent and clear approaches to managing licenses and maintenance fees including the fact that all their applications licensing cannot be managed from a single interface.  This was a major source of aggravation for major ERP vendors' customers. 
 
- When SAP customers with a median of 6 to 10 years of experience with SAP were asked what they would most like to change about the company, they asked for greater simplification and management of licenses. Specifically they asked for a portal view of all licenses so they could manage their entire SAP investment efficiently.
 
- The highest levels of dissatisfaction with Oracle come from the costs and complexities of customisation, followed by the costs of integrating with legacy and third party systems.  Overall, the biggest determinant of customer dissatisfaction for Oracle customers continued to be maintenance pricing and concern over support policies for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards applications.
 
- SAP wins against Oracle most often due to its customer references.  According to the survey results, both vendors are comparably viewed by ERP users for their integration and customisation capabilities.  The tipping point however is the fact that many respondents said they knew of SAP users in their area of manufacturing and had heard of the good and the bad of using this vendors specific applications and ERP systems.
 
- Service oriented architectures are considered more the basis of bringing together applications to support complex processes for competitive advantage over cost reduction through database consolidation.  Early adopters admit that costs of integration are higher than expected and headcount reductions, used to sell the concept inside their companies, dont materialise as more integration experts are needed to accomplish these projects.
 
- Over 60% of respondents see Oracles Fusion launch needing many years to come to fruition and don't see the full integration of PeopleSoft, Siebel and JD Edwards platforms ever being completely finished. The remaining 30% of respondents dont care about this initiative.  Siebel's recent strong financial quarter can be attributed to customers wanting a solid release of their CRM systems before Fusion potentially forces an entirely new architecture on these users.  The survey's written-in comments speak to this point, and the fact that Fusion "will take years to complete" according to one CIO.
 
- Despite widespread criticism of SAP's approach to counting CRM seats slanting their lead against Siebel and now Oracle, SAP CRM customers have much higher levels of customer satisfaction than Oracles CRM systems, and this is driven primarily by industry depth of expertise.
 
- Of all vendors, Microsoft gets the lowest scores for integration expertise in manufacturing-centric ERP environments.  Just over 30% of respondents see Microsoft's ability to integrate outside their own environments as "poor".


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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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