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Archive for May, 2012

Meeting the mid-sized co-passenger

My work demands a lot of traveling. If I calculate the hours I spend in flights and cars it will be much more the hours I spend in office or at home with my family. It is not that I am fond of travelling, but I have no option.

Like everything in life there is also other side to it. Though you cannot enjoy your family life as much you want due to your hectic travel schedule, the people you meet during your travel time brings unforgettable experience which cannot be achieved by sitting at our office or at your home.

Though I meet lot of interesting people as co-passengers, this particular person, who was sitting next to me during my recent trip to Saudi Arabia, was exceptionally interesting.

He was young like me and was in his forties. I am yet to figure out whether a charming person in his forties to be referred as young or mid-aged.  Anyway, as I also fall in that category let me address him as a young man.

He runs his own business, a manufacturing unit in Mumbai. Not so big not so small.  In technical norms we call it as mid-sized business. I am happy that thought I can’t refer him as mid-aged at least I have the privilege to refer his business at mid-sized.

I introduced myself as a person dealing with ERP technology.  As soon as he heard the word ERP he has become more curious. He started talking to me like a close friend who has been long-lost.

He has been well-fed about ERP technology. I could make out from the way he was presenting his case. Their company has been approached by almost all the big names in the ERP space and his company is in the final stage of finalizing one of them.

“So at last you have decided to implement an ERP system, that is good sign,” I said.

“No. That’s not right.  We have held a series of managerial meetings for the last couple of months after the evaluation of almost all these ERP systems and have decided which ERP system must not be implemented,” he said.

“Oh, I see,” I said. “Can you elaborate?” I asked him.

“We have thought of implementing SAP. As you know, SAP is the indisputable leader in field.  We have evaluated that SAP almost does every functions of a company and each version adds better help and functionality. But there is a problem with SAP. First of all it is very expensive affair. Also there is a belief that SAP delights in frustrating its users and wasting their time. The learning curve is probably this product’s other drawback,” he said.

“That’s really a problem. So what was your next option?” I asked.

“Of course Oracle,” he said.  “But there are also hurdles.  These kind of big brands are not handled by small ERP vendors. In reality, the mid-sized ERP vendors can better respond to their customers’ requirements than larger vendors. If required you can talk directly to the CEO of the companies to get your problem solved, which won’t be possible with these big brands. So we are little hesitant,” he said.

“I see, it seems that your management is having a difficult time in finalizing it,” I said.

“Yes, that’s true,” he said. “You see, there is MS Navision, Our last meeting discussed MS Navision in details.  It has been one of the best products available in the ERP market today. Why we are not so enthusiastic about the deal is, there is a common belief that the system appears very rigid with lot of data elements thus not making it User Friendly. Besides, it is expensive. Our management is looking for a system which will be affordable, sophisticated, and flexible and more importantly user friendly,” he said.

“I appreciate your stand,” I said and enquired “at last which system you have decided to implement?”

“Actually those meeting that were held till last week discussing which ERP systems are not to be implemented. We will have a series of meetings in the coming weeks to discuss which ERP system to be implemented.” he said.

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Categories: Sudheer's Blog