How ERP will be Sold, Deployed and Supported in the New Decade

April 22, 2010

Speaking as someone who is involved in the global SME ERP Industry through Enprise NZ and Enprise Software, involved in the Cloud Control Panel & Hosting industry through EMS-Cortex and involved in the Business Messaging and Social Media Industry through Datasquirt; here is my prediction of how ERP Software will be sold in the new decade that we are now entering;

Sales Process

  • Firstly, the prospective customer will search the Internet for an ERP Solution and ERP Reseller that look suitable for their type of business. This will involve the use of a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo and would include searches of web sites and various Social Media including Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Facebook and others.
  • The prospective customer will then contact the ERP Reseller via Email, Instant Message, Voice Call or Social Media Tweet, asking for more information and a demonstration of the ERP solution.
  • An initial consultation/discussion will follow via Email, Voice Call, Social Media etc to determine whether the fit between the ERP Solution and the customer requirements is such that a product demo is warranted.
  • The ERP Reseller will then set up a temporary demonstration ERP solution in the Cloud using their own portal in the Cortex Cloud Control Panel. The demonstration system would be a clean installation of the ERP demo, complete with its own clean virtual database server and (optional) desktop environment. The exact solution, including add-on industry vertical components and temporary user accounts can be selected and configured in the Cortex portal. This demo system would be provisioned, up and running within minutes of being requested on the portal and would be set to last for a predetermined duration for the purposes of the demonstration.
  • The ERP Reseller would then either visit the prospective customer and demonstrate the ERP solution on-site (geography permitting) using a computer connected to the Internet or will demonstrate via a web meeting tool such as GoToMeeting or WebEx.
  • The prospective customer might then want to spend further time trying out various aspects of the demonstration system after the ERP Reseller has finished demonstrating it. If the ERP Reseller agrees to this then they can arrange for the demonstration system to be kept alive in the Cloud for a longer duration to enable the prospective customer to continue with their own trial use of the system.
  • If/when the prospective customer decides to purchase the ERP system, the ERP Reseller would go back into their portal on the Cortex Control Panel, delete the demonstration system and configure a new live ERP system. The company and user names would be entered into the Cortex portal and also any additional up-sell items would also be included, such as Exchange Email accounts, SharePoint, Blackberry, VOIP accounts, Backups, Firewalls, Hosted Desktops (eg XenApp, XenDesktop), Payroll Access etc.
  • Application licensing information would be sent via Web Services to the respective vendors (eg Microsoft, Citrix, SAP, MYOB etc) and licences would be generated and applied back to the new hosted system via web services.
  • The Cloud-delivered ERP solution is now live, up and running. The ERP Reseller’s consultants can now access the system to configure the ERP Solution to the requirements of the customer.
  • The ERP Solution is now live in the Cloud and can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet. This includes all the branch and home locations of the customer as well as the ERP Reseller and the ERP and other software vendors.

Applying Upgrades and Patches to the ERP System

Prior to a new upgrade or patch being applied to a live ERP system, it must be tested against the individual customer’s data and processes to ensure that the software changes work correctly and cause no disruption to the business.

To enable this testing process, the ERP Reseller will go into their portal of the Cortex Control Panel and request a temporary test copy of the live ERP Environment. This enables the ERP Reseller’s consultants, in conjunction with the customer’s staff, to test the new software version and identify any possibly reconfiguration issues on the test system.

Once the testing process is completed and signed off, the ERP Reseller can go back into their portal of the Cortex Control Panel and apply the upgrade to the live system. They can also delete the test system when they are finished with it.

Support

Support of the ERP System by the ERP Reseller and the ERP Vendor is a lot easier, more efficient and less costly under this new model for the following reasons;

  • Because the ERP System and its virtual operating environment was provisioned by Cortex, it would be done the same every time, using best practices, using the correct program versions and configuration. These things are therefore known to the support personnel and not subject to variation.
  • The support personnel have quick and easy remote access to the hosted ERP solution (subject to permission from the customer to access their system and data).

The model works better for everyone involved in the ERP system sale. The customer, the ERP Reseller and the ERP and other software vendors.

The Customer gets:

  • Extended Access to a Demo System
  • Reduced Capital Outlay
  • Faster Implementation
  • Reduced management overhead of looking after local server & infrastructure

The ERP Reseller gets:

  • Up-sell opportunities
  • Faster Implementation – freeing up time to sell more!
  • Repeatable Cookie Cutter implementations
  • Easier to Support

The Vertical Solution Vendor gets:

  • Opportunity to list solutions on the Cortex Portal
  • Easier Support on a Known Environment

The ERP Vendor gets:

  • Faster Implementations = More Sales
  • Easier & Less Expensive Support
  • Better Product Performance in a Correct Known Environment

One Response to “How ERP will be Sold, Deployed and Supported in the New Decade”


  1. My name is Brett Beaubouef and I am a 20-year ERP veteran. I created an independent blog (ERP Done Right!) to share ERP knowledge, selection strategy, implementation experience, and tools with others. This blog is aimed at enterprise architects, development leads, project managers, business systems analysts, business systems owners, and anyone who wants to implement ERP software effectively. If the reader is a customer looking to implement ERP/COTS software in the future then this blog will provide a strategy to maximize their investment. If the reader is in an internal IT role and find that their internal software development methodology doesn’t quite work for an off-the-shelf business software package then this blog will provide the reader with perspective on how to adjust their approach. If the reader is an implementation partner looking to minimize the blood, sweat, and tears shed with implementing ERP/COTS software then this blog will be a guide to filter out obstacles and enable implementation focus.

    Blog location: http://gbeaubouef.wordpress.com

    I also published an ERP implementation strategy book that reinforces principles defined in my blog (http://gbeaubouef.wordpress.com/maximize-erp-cots/).

    Appreciate your consideration! I know that these resources will add value to your readers. Also want to see if I could link back to your site or blog.

    Best Regards,

    G. Brett Beaubouef, PMP, CISA
    Cell: 303.562.4896
    Email: Beaubouef@hotmail.com
    Linkedin Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bbeaubouef
    Blog: ERP Done Right!


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