When choosing an ERP implementation consultant, there are many to choose from. With the various system integrators, value-added resellers, independent ERP consultants and solo 1099 consultants available in the marketplace, finding the right one can be a challenge. Given the fact that most ERP consultants contribute to ERP failures, are more concerned with the interests of the ERP vendors they partner with, and/or don’t have a robust methodology, choosing the right firm can be more complex and risky than navigating a battlefield of landmines.
Deloitte Consulting is one of the largest ERP consulting firms in the world, and as such, one of the firms most considered for companies’ ERP implementations. In our industry experience, we have found that Deloitte is especially prominent in the world of Oracle and SAP implementations. Below is a brief snapshot meant to help clients compare Deloitte to other ERP consultants (full disclaimer: although the below analysis is objective, we often compete with them for implementation business):
Strength in numbers. Deloitte is a huge consultancy, with 44,000 consultants across the world. Our larger, multi-billion-dollar and global clients tend to like the global reach of the firm. In addition, the company also provides tax, audit and a host of other complementary consulting products. While their breadth of services might suggest a lack of focus or depth in any one area – including ERP consulting – some organizations are drawn to the appeal of services.
Focus on SAP and Oracle. For companies looking for narrowly focused technical consultants to assist with their SAP or Oracle implementations, Deloitte can be a viable option. The company is a SAP Global Partner and an Oracle Diamond partner so they clearly know these two ERP software solutions fairly well. We have not come across the company when dealing with solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics, Infor or Epicor but they have pitched their system integration capabilities related to the two leading Tier I systems to our clients on a number of occasions.
Track record of high-profile ERP failures. One of the concerns with Deloitte in recent years has been its abnormally high rate of ERP failures – many of which either led to or are currently in litigation. Many high-profile organizations in both the private and public sector have run into problems with Deloitte, including firms such as Marin County, Levi Strauss, Southern California Edison, Los Angeles Unified School District, State of Florida and State of Massachusetts (click here to read a recent article about recent Deloitte ERP failures). In addition, our ERP and SAP expert witness practice has been involved in a number of other confidential litigations involving Deloitte, further underscoring the challenges the company is having with its ERP implementation client base.
Imbalanced independence and innovation model. Like many large, “big 5” consultancies and system integrators, Deloitte doesn’t position well when evaluating two important criteria for successful ERP consultants: independence and innovation. Organizations benefit from independence because it ensures their consultants aren’t peddling products or services that benefit ERP vendors over the client. Innovation benefits clients because it ensures that consultants aren’t using the same, tired processes, approaches and methodologies that have led to the extraordinarily high failure rates over the last twenty years. Deloitte’s deep partnerships with SAP and Oracle, along with their methodologies dating back to the 1990’s, suggest that they are lacking in both areas.
Just like any ERP consulting firm, Deloitte has its strengths and weaknesses and the importance of each will depend on what is important to you and your organization. When considering Deloitte compared to other ERP implementation consulting options, it is important to ask some key questions. For example, how unique are their strengths and are there other consulting firms out there that have similar advantages? How important is their spotty track record when it comes to the success of your project – and ultimately, your job stability?
There are many other questions to ask when considering alternatives to Deloitte. For example, how important is a focused, robust and award-winning methodology? Are there other firms that can provide the same strength in numbers and global reach to support your ERP initiative? Are there other firms that provide the independence and innovation required to make your ERP implementation successful? Even if you know you are going to implement SAP or Oracle, which are both in Deloitte’s wheelhouse, chances are that there are other good options on the market as well.
Learn more by downloading our white paper, Guide to Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner.