As revealed in our 2008 ERP Report issued earlier this week, ERP implementations are not always a slam dunk success. Choosing the right ERP software is the first step to success, while implementing it effectively is the second.

Our Panorama Consulting team is currently analyzing detailed data from our study of over 1,300 ERP implementations across the globe, and the initial results are interesting. The exhaustive study confirms and quantifies the hypothesis that ERP implementations usually take longer and cost more than expected. However, the duration and cost of an ERP implementation is largely driven by which kind software is chosen.

I always assumed that Tier I packages such as SAP or Oracle can take longer and cost more to implement because organizations implementing them often tend to be larger and more complex. However, our data shows that even among companies comparable in size and scope, there is a material variation in the time and cost required to implement different software packages.

In fact, these findings helped us include a precise risk factor in our recommendation to one of our ERP software selection clients this past week. On the surface, two software packages on the client short-list looked comparable. However, a risk-adjusted comparison told a different story.

In addition, the business benefits and satisfaction realized by clients who implement ERP software vary widely between packages. This data is also being analyzed and summarized as we speak.

Stay tuned for Part II of our 2008 ERP Report, which will outline these and additional key findings from our global ERP study.

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