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Choosing the right Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a significant decision for any business. Before diving in, it's crucial to understand the distinction between an ERP publisher and an ERP partner. We'll break down the differences between the two and explore various approaches to ERP implementation.


ERP Publisher

ERP publishers are the creator and owners of the software and its code. They maintain and update the software, often offering it in a SaaS environment. Implementation of the software is usually "self-implementation" or via a consulting firm. Here's what to expect when working with an ERP publisher:

    •  Ownership and Maintenance: The publisher owns the software and handles all updates and maintenance. Occasionally, updates can break customizations you've made, and fixing these issues will fall on your in-house technical team or a contracted third party.

    •  Limited Support: Publisher support is typically limited. If you implement the software without an ERP partner, you'll need internal resources to manage the implementation and work directly with the publisher for case-by-case support.

    •  Transactional Relationship: The relationship with an ERP publisher is primarily transactional, focusing on sales and essential support. They are unfamiliar with your business needs, as their main focus is improving the ERP software.

    •  Cost Considerations: ERP publisher often offer competitive pricing and various licensing options. However, you'll likely pay primarily for the software and limited support. You'll need to consider the cost of in-house or contractor resources required to implement the software.


ERP Partner

An ERP partner provides a holistic approach to your business, working closely with you to understand your needs, select the best products, implement your ERP, and continue supporting and maintaining the software. While they don't own the software, they often have close relationships with one or a few ERP publishers and their own team of product experts. They may also offer their own ERP add-ons to enhance the software they support. Here's what to expect when working with an ERP partner:

    •  Consultative Engagement: ERP partners start by understanding your business processes, challenges and goals. They offer tailored recommendations to maximize the value of your ERP system. A partner with industry experience can be invaluable as they will recognize requirements you might not have considered.

    •  Long-Term Relationship: The relationship with an ERP partner is ongoing. They provide continuous support, training, and updates, ensuring your ERP system evolves with your business. This fosters a deeper understanding of your organization over time. At VistaVu, we are proud of the success of our clients and aim to support them through their growth. Read more about our recent 10-month S/4HANA Public Cloud implementation with the Brenda Strafford Foundation.

    •  Holistic Approach: Partners look at the bigger picture, managing change and ensuring your team is fully equipped to leverage the new system. They often provide extensive training materials and support long after the initial implementation. As an ERP partner ourselves, we've built an extensive library of free training videos and materials to help our customers with new features and processes long after their initial implementation.

    •  Value-Driven Investment: Partnering with an ERP consultant is an essential line-item cost within the overall package of a successful implementation. While this may involve higher upfront expenses, the consultant's role is integral to the overall cost, success, and return on investment (ROI). A properly implemented system ensures that the investment in the software is not wasted, providing tailored approaches and continuous support that leads to greater efficiency, reduced downtime, and enhanced overall performance.


Deciding on Your ERP Strategy

Knowing that working directly with an ERP publisher means you handle most of the research, implementation, and ongoing support compared to an ERP partner who offloads those responsibilities, what are your options for implementation? There are three main paths:

    1.  In-House Implementation: Choose your ERP vendor and software, and take responsibility for implementation, customization, and ongoing maintenance. This requires significant internal resources. This could be more cost-effective if you have the resources already in place and a strong management team that will compel the project through to completion.

    2.  Select Software First, Then Find a Partner: Conduct your own research to identify the ERP software that best fits your business, then find an ERP partner who supports that software. This approach lets you start with a preferred solution and secure expert help for implementation and support.

    3.  Choose a Partner First, Then Select Software: Prioritize the value added by your ERP partner. Find a partner with experience, excellent customer reviews, and extensive support. They will guide you to the best software for your business and provide continuous support, ensuring a tailored solution that fits your needs.


Making the Right Choice

So, how do you decide the best path for your business? Consider these factors:

  •  Complexity of Business Processes: If your business has unique, complex processes, a tailored approach from an ERP partner may be more beneficial, as they can design a solution to fit your needs.

  •  Budget Constraints: For organizations with limited budgets, working directly with an ERP publisher might offer a more cost-effective start, though with less support down the road.

  •  Long-Term Vision: Consider the long-term implications and potential for growth. A trustworthy ERP partner can provide ongoing support and scalability as your business evolves.

  •  Internal Expertise: Assess your internal expertise for managing and optimizing the ERP system. An ERP partner can fill in gaps and provide specialized knowledge.

  •  Knowing the Software: If you had a positive experience with specific software and want to use it again, you'd look for a partner supporting that software. However, if you need help determining which solution would be best, look for a partner who can understand your business and create a personalized solution to meet your needs.


In the end, both ERP publishers and ERP partners play crucial roles in the ERP ecosystem. While an ERP publisher (generally using remote, offshore teams) might be a more cost-effective option for initial implementation, an ERP partner provides comprehensive, long-term support, ensuring your ERP system continues to be optimized through updates and business growth. By carefully evaluating your business needs and strategic goals, you can make a choice that sets your business on the path to operational excellence and sustained growth.

At VistaVu Solutions, we bring over 20 years of experience as an ERP partner specializing in wholesale distribution and manufacturing. We pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional customer experience and are committed to optimizing your ERP system through every product update and phase of your company's growth. Leveraging our extensive industry experience, we've developed SAP ERP add-ons Resolv for wholesale distribution and manufacturing, and FieldVu for field service management and equipment rentals. These tools extend the functionality of your ERP to meet your specific needs. Our recent GROW with SAP certification underscores our ability to quickly deliver solutions while adhering to industry best practices, regardless of your company's size and growth trajectory.

Let's kick off your ERP journey together. Contact us today!

Post by Admin
June 25, 2024