The Professional Services Erp Solution Of The Future


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The Professional Services Erp Solution Of The Future

  1. 1. ArticleThe Professional ServicesERP Solution of the FutureBy Jan Bultinck, Sales Manager, Deltek BelgiëFor many years, analysts, management consultants and clients havepinned down the importance of focusing on individual verticals,encouraging ERP solution providers to develop and deliver solutionsfor specific industries.Business and Industry Focus ERP solution, but rather perceive it as a “bread-and-butter”When a project-focused organization starts looking for a new ERP tool. They recognize the need for a system and the systemsolution, there are some crucial steps it needs to take: Analyze must function properly, but they fail to understand the potentialthe industry focus and product strategy of a potential vendor, in streamlining processes or realizing measurable businesslook at the vendor’s client references and examine whether the improvements through the use of ERP technology. Meanwhile,solution really has the deep industry-specific capabilities the pragmatic investments and a positive ROI are in higher demandsupplier claims it has. Some of the vital industry trends we see than ever. I am convinced that tomorrow’s winners in the ERPthese years are: market are effect-oriented ERP providers with proven track records delivering measurable improvements to their clients.• Increased focus on streamlining the sales process and managing client relations – integrated to project A Role-Based, Process-Oriented Solution management and customized for the unique challenges and It seems patently obvious that an ERP solution deployed demands faced by project-focused organizations to support the processes of an organization should be process-oriented. However, we still see many solutions with• Strong interest in improved capacity and resource planning – a fundamental focus on features and functionality. We do integrated to project management and project planning acknowledge that ERP solution providers are starting to talk more about role-based and process-oriented solutions. Having• Greater demands for proactivity and usability – for instance delivered role-based, process-oriented solutions for more than by having a solution that actively notifies and alerts users on a decade, we have seen what a tremendous difference this their pending actions via web portal, e-mail or SMS makes for the actual use and usability of the solution. It is of vital importance for a project-focused organization to have aROI by Realizing Measurable Improvements role-based, process-oriented ERP solution, since all employeesMost organizations today are fairly mature when it comes normally use the solution, but where vast internal differencesto utilizing their finance system to manage their company- exist in frequency of use, skill levels and attitudes toward thewide accounting and financial management. However, many ERP solution among different types of users.businesses still haven’t realized the potential of a full-blown1
  2. 2. Article The Professional Services ERP Solution of the FutureSmart and Flexible Business Intelligence “App-ification” of the ERP SolutionA growing number of project-focused organizations are starting Mobile “app”-focused platforms such as iOS and Androidto realize how valuable it is for them to develop their capabilities have shown how high availability and simplicity can create ato make forward-looking analyses and decisions based on user-friendly experience and more efficient use of informationproactive planning and forecasting. sources and systems. Apps developed to access narrowly To combine simplicity and the total cost of ownership defined and limited functionality in an ERP solution clearly showrelated to proprietary reporting technology with the strength how you can achieve high user efficiency and related businessand flexibility of specialized Business Intelligence solutions, improvements. We also see a distinct trend toward a morewe decided to enter into an OEM collaboration with SAP general “app-ification” related to traditional interfaces whereBusiness Objects a few years ago. Enabling best-in-class narrowly defined and limited features and information fromBusiness Intelligence at a very affordable cost, this strategy the ERP solution can be accessed via “widgets” directly on theaddresses the following crucial challenges in project-focused computer desktop or as “embedded apps” in other systems ororganizations: interfaces. An example of the latter is dedicated Web Parts for time capture or project reports embedded in the organization’s• Today Business Intelligence is in high demand at all levels SharePoint portals. of project-focused organizations. The BI solution needs to enable role-based reporting as well as smart, efficient report Integration to Other Systems and Tools within distribution and accessibility (scheduled reports distributed the Company via e-mail and accessed from mobile devices, flexibility in For most users in a project-focused organization, the ERP formats – web, PDF, Office etc.) solution will never be their central tool during a regular workday. They spend much more time on the phone, checking e-mails• The ERP solution and the BI solution need to be seamlessly and updating their calendars, using Office applications, internal integrated to manage rapid changes and display past, and external collaboration tools etc. Nevertheless, many of these present and future trends. daily tasks have (or should have) a direct or indirect impact on the organization’s ERP solution. As a business solution supplier• The increased complexity of businesses and the use of a we realized a long time ago that an ERP solution must be growing number of key figures, operational measures and integrated to the existing technology, systems and data sources KPIs make it vital to present information intuitively and at the organizational level. visually appealing to decision-makers. However, I don’t think all of our competitors are fully aware that the same approach should be used at the end-user level.• While many industries use key figures with standard definitions, In a future-proof role-based, process-oriented ERP solution, it there are great variations in how project-focused companies is not essential for the end users to use the actual interface of define vital key figures such as yield, resource utilization, the ERP solution – the ERP solution merely provides process debit rate/billing rate, average hourly fee, project margin etc. optimization, business logic and control. To realize business2
  3. 3. Article The Professional Services ERP Solution of the Futureimprovements based on ERP technology, the users might justas well interact with the ERP solution indirectly via front-end/back-end systems, Outlook, Office applications, mini-apps,mobile platforms, SharePoint or other portals and collaborationtools. However, that requires an ERP solution with a service-oriented architecture as well as open and consistent integrationcapabilities.Back to the FutureERP solutions can be considered a fairly mature technologytoday. But in my opinion, ERP solutions for Professional Servicesorganizations have yet to mature. Bearing the rapidly changingbusiness world and the higher demands from new and existingclients in mind, developing and delivering ERP solutions is anextremely interesting, challenging and exciting endeavor. I lookforward to re-reading this article in 2020 and reflect on thedevelopments of the past decade.This article was originally published in Engineeringnet Magazine,May 20113
  4. 4. ArticleDeltek (Nasdaq: PROJ) is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms andgovernment contractors. For decades, we have delivered actionable insight that empowers our customers to unlock their business potential. Over14,500 organizations and 1.8 million users in approximately 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek to research and identify opportunities, winnew business, optimize resources, streamline operations, and deliver more profitable projects. Deltek – Know more. Do more.® deltek.comDeltek, Inc. 13880 Dulles Corner Lane, Herndon VA 20171 US & Canada 800.456.2009 UK+44 (0) 20 7518 5010 AUS +61 8 8112 1200©2011 Deltek, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Pricing subject to change without notice.071111-v14