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Select an Enterprise Application

Selecting a best-fit solution requires balancing needs, cost, and vendor capability.

  • Organizations rarely have both the sufficient knowledge and resources to properly evaluate, select, and implement an enterprise application software (EAS), forcing them to turn to external partnerships.
  • Inadequate and incomplete requirements skew the EAS selection in one direction or another. Many EAS projects fail due to a lack of clear description and specification of functional requirements.
  • The EAS technology market is so vast that it becomes nearly impossible to know where to start or how to differentiate between vendors and products.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Accountability for EAS success is shared between IT and the business. There is no single owner of an EAS. A unified approach to building your strategy promotes an integrated roadmap so all stakeholders have clear direction on the future state.
  • While technology is the key enabler of building strong customer experiences, there are many other drivers of dissatisfaction. IT must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the business to develop a technology framework for enterprise applications.
  • EAS projects are more successful when the management team understands the strategic importance and the criticality of alignment. Time needs to be spent upfront aligning business strategies with EAS capabilities. Effective alignment between IT and the business should happen daily. Alignment doesn’t just occur at the executive level but at each level of the organization.

Impact and Result

  • Conduct an EAS project preparedness assessment as a means to ensure you maximize the value of your time, effort, and spending.
  • Gather the necessary resources to form the team to conduct the EAS selection.
  • Get the proper EAS requirement landscape by mapping out business capabilities and processes, translating into prioritized EAS requirements.
  • Review SoftwareReviews vendor reports to shortlist vendors for your RFP process.
  • Use Info-Tech’s templates and tools to gather your EAS requirements, build your RFP and evaluation scorecard, and build a foundational EAS selection framework.

Select an Enterprise Application Research & Tools

1. Select an Enterprise Application Software Storyboard - A blueprint which prepares you for a proper and better enterprise application selection outcome.

Properly selecting and implementing an enterprise application requires a proper structure. This blueprint guides you with a framework to help in such project, including steps such as assessing readiness, plan for the right resources, requirements gathering, shortlisting, obtaining and evaluating vendor responses, and preparing for implementation.

2. Select an Enterprise Application Readiness Assessment Checklist – a checklist to assess your readiness towards moving ahead with the selection process.

The EAS Readiness Checklist includes a list of essential tasks to be completed prior to the enterprise application selection and implementation project.

3. ERP/HRIS/CRM Requirements Templates – a set of templates to help build a list of requirements and features for the selection process.

These templates are specific to either ERP, HRIS, or CRM. Each template lists out a set of modules and features allowing you to easily build your requirements.

4. Vendor Solicitation (RFP) to Evaluation Suite of Tools – Use Info-Tech’s RFP, vendor response and evaluation tools and templates to increase your efficiency in your RFP and evaluation process.

Configure this time-saving suite of tools to your organizational culture, needs, and most importantly the desired outcome of your RFP initiative.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

10.0/10


Overall Impact

$8,889


Average $ Saved

7


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

City of Woodbury

Guided Implementation

10/10

$2,469

5

Hong Kwok was very knowledgeable and helpful and was able to answer all of the questions I had.

University of Maribor

Guided Implementation

10/10

$14,200

5

Hong is a great communicatior, very knowledgable.

Corix Infrastructure Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$10,000

10

Professional draft templates and materials are so well prepared and quick to adopt and use. A real time saver and ensure a very professional proces... Read More


Workshop: Select an Enterprise Application

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Workshop debrief – Prepare for implementation

The Purpose

  • Review evaluation framework.
  • Prepare for implementation.

Key Benefits Achieved

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Support the project team in establishing the evaluation framework.

  • Evaluation framework considerations.
1.2

Discuss demo scripts scenarios.

  • Demo script considerations.
1.3

Discuss next steps and key items in preparation for the implementation.

  • RFP considerations.

Module 2: Workshop Preparation

The Purpose

The facilitator works with the team to verify organizational readiness for EAS project and form the EAS project team.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Level-set on organizational readiness for EAS
  • Organizational project alignment

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Introduce the workshop and complete an overview of activities.

2.2

Complete organizational context assessment to level-set understanding.

2.3

Complete EAS readiness assessment.

  • EAS readiness assessment
2.4

Form EAS selection team.

  • Structured EAS selection team

Module 3: Mapping Capabilities to Prioritizing Requirements

The Purpose

  • Determine the business capabilities and process impacted by the EAS.
  • Determine what the business needs to get out of the EAS solution.
  • Build the selection roadmap and project plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

Business and ERP solution alignment

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Map business capabilities/processes.

  • Business capability/process map
3.2

Inventory application and data flow.

  • List or map of application + data flow
3.3

List EAS requirements.

3.4

Prioritize EAS requirements.

  • Prioritized EAS requirements

Module 4: Vendor Landscape and your RFP

The Purpose

  • Understand EAS market product offerings.
  • Readying key RFP aspects and expected vendor responses.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Shortlist of vendors to elicit RFP response.
  • Translated EAS requirements into RFP.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Build RFP.

  • Draft of RFP template.
4.2

Build vendor response template.

  • Draft of vendor response template.

Module 5: How to Evaluate Vendors

The Purpose

  • Prepare for demonstration and evaluation.
  • Establish evaluation criteria.

Key Benefits Achieved

Narrow your options for ERP selection to best-fit vendors.

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Run an RFP evaluation simulation.

  • Draft of demo script template.
5.2

Establish evaluation criteria.

  • Draft of evaluation criteria.
5.3

Customize the RFP and Demonstration and Scoring Tool.

  • Draft of RFP and Demonstration and Scoring Tool.

Select an Enterprise Application

Selecting a best-fit solution requires balancing needs, cost, and vendor capability.

Analyst Perspective

A foundational EAS strategy is critical to decision-making.

Enterprise application software (EAS) is a core tool that a business leverages to accomplish its goals. An EAS that is doing its job well is invisible to the business. The challenges come when the tool is no longer invisible. It has become a source of friction in the functioning of the business.

EAS systems are expensive, their benefits are difficult to quantify, and they often suffer from poor user satisfaction. Post-implementation, technology evolves, organizational goals change, and the health of the system is not monitored. This is complicated in today’s digital landscape with multiple integration points, siloed data, and competing priorities.

Too often organizations jump into selecting replacement systems without understanding the needs of the organization. Alignment between business and IT is just one part of the overall strategy. Identifying key pain points and opportunities, assessed in the light of organizational strategy, will provide a strong foundation to the transformation of the EAS system. Learning about different vendor product offerings with a rigorous approach and evaluation framework will pave way for a better selection outcome.

Hong Kwok, Research Director

Hong Kwok
Research Director
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge Common Obstacles Info-Tech’s Approach
Selecting and implementing an EAS is one of the most expensive and time-consuming technology transformations an organization can undertake. EAS projects are notorious for time and budget overruns, with only a margin of the anticipated benefits being realized. Making the wrong technology selection or failing to plan for an EAS implementation has significant – and possibly career-ending – implications.

The EAS technology market is so vast that it is nearly impossible to know where to start or how to differentiate between vendors and products.

Inadequate and incomplete requirements skew the EAS selection in one direction to another. Many EAS projects fail due to a lack of clear description and specification of functional requirements.

Organizations rarely have both the sufficient knowledge and resources to properly evaluate, select, and implement an EAS, forcing them to turn to external partnerships.

EAS selection must be driven by your organization’s overall strategy. Ensure you are ready to embark on this journey with the right resources.

Determine what EAS solution fits your organization through a structured requirement gathering process to a vendor evaluation framework.

Ensure strong points of integration between EAS and other software such as ERP to HRIS. No EAS should live in isolation.

Info-Tech Insight
Accountability for EAS success is shared between IT and the business. There is no single owner of an EAS. A unified approach to building your strategy promotes an integrated roadmap so all stakeholders have clear direction on the future state.

You are not just picking a piece of software, you are choosing a long-term technology partner

Reasons for Selectin Chosen Software

Decision making in selection often stands on functional fit; don’t forget to consider vendor fit.

As the ERP technology market becomes increasingly saturated and difficult to decode, vendors are trying to get ahead by focusing on building a partnership, not just making a sale.

68 % of organizations are satisfied with the overall ERP vendor experience, up from 54% in 2017.

Panorama Consulting Solutions, “Report,” 2018

What is an Enterprise Application?

Our Definition: Enterprise Application Software (EAS) is a large software system that provides a broad and integrated set of features which supports a range of business operations and processes across an organization. The system is broadly deployed, provides a unified interface and data structure, allowing for higher business productivity and reporting efficiencies. Best known EAS solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Resource Information System (HRIS), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

More focused EAS solutions may also bring benefits to your organization, depending on the scale of operations, complexity of operations, and functions. Here are some examples:

PSA: Professional Services Automation
SCMS: Supply Chain Management System
WMS: Warehouse Management System
EAM: Enterprise Asset Management
PIMS: Product Information Management System
MES: Manufacturing Execution System
MA: Marketing Automation

Our other Selection Framework

When selecting personal or commodity applications, or mid-tier applications with spend below $100,000, use our Rapid Application Selection Framework.

Download this tool

Enterprise Applications Lifecycle Advisory Services

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

What is EPR

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems facilitate the flow of information across business units. They allow for the seamless integration of systems and create a holistic view of the enterprise to support decision making.

In many organizations, the ERP system is considered the lifeblood of the enterprise. Problems with this key operational system will have a dramatic impact on the ability of the enterprise to survive and grow.

An ERP system:

  • Automates processes, reducing the amount of manual, routine work.
  • Integrates with core modules, eliminating the fragmentation of systems.
  • Centralizes information for reporting from multiple parts of the value chain to a single point.
ERP use cases: Product-centric
Suitable for organizations that manufacture, assemble, distribute, or manage material goods.
Service-centric
Suitable for organizations that provide and manage field services and/or professional services.

Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

What is HRIS?

An HRIS is used to acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve, and distribute information regarding an organization’s human resources. HRIS covers the entire employee lifecycle from recruit to retire.

An HRIS:

  • Retains employee data in a single repository.
  • Enhances employee engagement through self-service and visibility into their records.
  • Enhances data security through role-based access control.
  • Eliminates manual processes and enables workflow automation.
  • Reduces transaction processing time and HR administrative tasks.
  • Presents an end-to-end, comprehensive view of all HR processes.
  • Reduces exposure to risk with compliance to rules and regulations.
  • Enhances the business’s reporting capability on various aspects of human capital.

Human Resource Information System

Customer relationship management (CRM)

What is CRM?

A CRM platform (or suite) is a core enterprise application that provides a broad feature set for supporting customer interaction processes, typically across marketing, sales and customer service. These suites supplant more basic applications for customer interaction management (such as the contact management module of an ERP or office productivity suite).

A CRM suite provides many key capabilities, including but not limited to:

  • Account management
  • Order history tracking
  • Pipeline management
  • Case management
  • Campaign management
  • Reports and analytics
  • Customer journey execution

A CRM provides a host of native capabilities, but many organizations elect to tightly integrate their CRM solution with other parts of their customer experience ecosystem to provide a 360-degree view of their customers.

Customer relationship management

The good EAS numbers

There are many good reasons to support EAS implementation and use.

92% of organizations report that CRM use is important for accomplishing revenue objectives.
Source: Validity, 2020

Almost 26% of companies implement HRIS is to obtain greater functionalities, while other main reasons are to increase efficiencies, support growth, and consolidate systems.
Source: SoftwarePath, 2022

Functionality of an ERP is believed to be the most important aspect by almost 40% of companies.
Source: SelectHub, 2022

The ugly EAS numbers

Risks are high in EAS projects.

Statistical analysis of ERP projects indicates rates of failure vary from 50 to 70 percent. Taking the low end of those analyst reports, one in two ERP projects is considered a failure.
Source: Electric Journal of Information Systems Evaluation.

46% of HR technology projects exceed their planned timelines.
Source: Unleash, 2020

Almost 70% of all CRM implementation projects do not meet expected objectives.
Source: Future Computing and Informatics Journal

Enterprise Application dissatisfaction

Finance, IT, Sales, HR, and other users of the Enterprise Application system can only optimize with the full support of each other. Cooperation between departments is crucial when trying to improve the technology capabilities and customer interaction.

Drivers of Dissatisfaction
Business Data People and teams Technology
  • Misaligned objectives
  • Product fit
  • Changing priorities
  • Lack of metrics
  • Access to data
  • Data hygiene
  • Data literacy
  • One view of the customer
  • User adoption
  • Lack of IT support
  • Training (use of data and system)
  • Vendor relations
  • Systems integration
  • Multi-channel complexity
  • Capability shortfall
  • Lack of product support

Info-Tech Insight
While technology is the key enabler of building strong customer experiences, there are many other drivers of dissatisfaction. IT must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the business to develop a technology framework for Enterprise Applications.

Case Study

Align strategy and technology to meet consumer demand.

NETFLIX

INDUSTRY
Entertainment

SOURCE
Forbes, 2017

Challenge
Beginning as a mail-out service, Netflix offered subscribers a catalog of videos to select from and have mailed to them directly. Customers no longer had to go to a retail store to rent a video. However, the lack of immediacy of direct mail as the distribution channel resulted in slow adoption.

Blockbuster was the industry leader in video retail but was lagging in its response to industry, consumer, and technology trends around customer experience.

Solution
In response to the increasing presence of tech-savvy consumers on the internet, Netflix invested in developing an online platform as its primary distribution channel. The benefit of doing so was two-fold: passive brand advertising (by being present on the internet) and meeting customer demands for immediacy and convenience. Netflix also recognized the rising demand for personalized service and created an unprecedented, tailored customer experience.

Results
Netflix’s disruptive innovation is built on the foundation of great customer experience management. Netflix is now a $28 billion company, which is ten times what Blockbuster was worth.

Netflix used disruptive technologies to innovatively build a customer experience that put it ahead of the long-time video rental industry leader, Blockbuster.

Info-Tech’s methodology for selecting an Enterprise Application

1. Build alignment and assemble the team 2. Define your EAS 3. Engage, evaluate, and select 4. Next steps
Phase steps
  1. Aligning business and IT
  2. Readiness and resourcing
  1. Map capabilities
  2. List Requirements
  3. Prioritize requirements
  1. Know the products
  2. Engage the vendors
  3. Select properly
  1. Plan for implementation
Phase outcomes Discuss organizational goals and how to advance those using the EA system. Identify gaps and remediation steps in preparation of the selection. Assemble the EA selection team. List and review business capabilities and translate into EAS requirements. Prioritize requirements for selection. Gain an understanding of the product offerings on the market. Engage the vendors through RFPs and conduct a proper evaluation with an objective evaluation criteria and framework. Review and discuss the different elements required in preparation for the implementation project.

Blueprint deliverables

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

ERP/HRIS/CRM Requirements Template

ERP Requirements Template

Accelerate your requirement gathering with a pre-compiled list of common requirements.

RFx Demo Scoring Tool

RFx Demo Scoring Tool

Quickly compare the vendors who respond to the RFx to identify the best fit for your needs.

Key deliverable:

RFx templates

Use one of our templates to build a ready-for-distribution implementation partner RFx tailored to the unique success factors of your implementation.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit Guided Implementation Workshop Consulting
"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to his the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks are used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is between six to ten calls over the course of four to six months.

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4

Call #1: Scoping call to understand the current situation.

Call #2: Discuss readiness and resourcing needs.

Call #3: Discuss the capabilities and application inventory.

Call #4: Discuss requirement gathering and prioritization.

Call #5: Go over SoftwareReviews and review draft RFx.

Call #6: Discuss evaluation tool and evaluation process.

Call #7: Discuss preparation for implementation.

Workshop Overview

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Activities

Organizational Strategic Needs

1.1 Review the business context.

1.2 Overview of the EAS Landscape

1.2 Assess EAS project readiness

1.3 Determine the members of the EAS selection team

From Capabilities to Requirements

2.1 Map business capabilities

2.2 Inventory application and interactions

2.3 Gather requirements

2.4 Prioritize requirements

Vendor Landscape and Your RFP

3.1 Understanding product offerings

3.2 Build a list of targeted vendors

3.3 Build RFP

3.4 Build vendor response template

How to Evaluate Vendors

4.1 Run a RFP evaluation simulation

4.2 Build demo script

4.3 Establish evaluation criteria

Next Steps and Wrap-Up (offsite)

5.1 Clean up in-progress deliverables from previous four days.

5.2 Set up review time for workshop deliverables and to discuss next steps.

Deliverables
  1. EAS Readiness Checklist and remediation plan
  2. List of members in EAS selection team
  1. List of key business processes
  2. Inventory application and data flow map
  3. Prioritized EAS requirements
  1. Draft RFP template
  2. Draft vendor response template
  1. Draft demo script template
  2. Draft vendor evaluation tool
  1. Completed RFP template
  2. Completed vendor response template
  3. Completed demo script template
  4. Vendor evaluation plan

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

Select an Enterprise Application preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

10.0/10
Overall Impact

$8,889
Average $ Saved

7
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation 1: Build alignment and assemble the team.
  • Call 1: Scoping call to understand the current situation.​
  • Call 2: Discuss readiness and resourcing needs.​

Guided Implementation 2: Define your EAS.
  • Call 1: Discuss the capabilities and application inventory.​ ​
  • Call 2: Discuss requirement gathering and prioritization.

Guided Implementation 3: Engage, evaluate, and finalize selection.
  • Call 1: Go over SoftwareReviews and review draft RFx.​
  • Call 2: Discuss evaluation tool and evaluation process.​

Guided Implementation 4: Prepare for implementation.
  • Call 1: Discuss preparation for implementation.​

Author

Hong Kwok

Contributors

  • Corey Tenenbaum, Head of IT, Taiga Motors
  • anonymous contributors
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