Over the last two months, we have facilitated a number of our ERP Boot Camp sessions to train clients how to select and implement ERP software in a world-class fashion. One of the topics that consistently stimulates great discussion is when we look at executive and employee satisfaction for the leading ERP systems. This data, which is pulled from our 2010 study of over 1,600 ERP implementations across the globe, illustrates the percentage of organizations that are at least somewhat satisfied with their ERP software once it has been implemented.
As outlined in the table below, when it comes to executive satisfaction, approximately 76% of executives report that they are at least somewhat satisfied with their recently implemented Oracle EBS solution, while only 65% of users of Microsoft Dynamics say the same. However, the opposite is true for employee satisfaction. Nearly 77% of employees express satisfaction with Microsoft Dynamics, versus 60% for Oracle EBS. Overall across all software vendors, these metrics equate to roughly 71% for executive satisfaction and 67% for employee satisfaction.
In addition to the two ERP vendors being quite different from one another in these areas, the two sets of data also represent the high and low ends of the ranges when compared to other ERP software packages. In other words, Oracle EBS rates at the high end of the scale for executive satisfaction and on the low end for employee satisfaction, while Microsoft Dynamics is the opposite – high on the scale for end-user satisfaction and the low for executive satisfaction.
Our presentations of this data very often leads to a key question: how can one vendor score so high with executives while at the same time scoring so low with end-users, and vice versa? The intent of this data is not to illustrate that one vendor is better than one or the other, but it does lead to two important conclusions.
Two Conclusions from ERP Software Satisfaction Ratings
1. Executives care very much about business intelligence, reporting, and analytics. Executives usually care about total cost of ownership, business benefits realized, and return on investment, but those results often have less to do with the functionality of the software itself and more to do with the way the software is implemented. Reporting, business intelligence, and analytics, on the other hand, are also very important to executives and are different for different vendors. In the case of Microsoft versus Oracle, we have found that many of our clients think more highly of EBS’s reporting and BI capabilities than that of Dynamics, which may explain the differences in the two results.
2. Employees care more about navigation and look and feel. Reporting may also be important to end-users and employees, but what they really care about is the overall look and feel of the software. Of course, the software also needs to work and meet their functional needs, but navigation and ease of use has one of the most direct impacts on end-user satisfaction. Since Dynamics ERP has the classic Microsoft look and feel that so many of us are accustomed to, it is not surprising that many end-users are more comfortable with its software. In addition, the robust and sophisticated nature of Oracle EBS, which also has inconsistent user interfaces with some of the many acquisitions Oracle has completed over the years, can make it harder for end-users to navigate without sufficient training.
So what’s the lesson here? First, don’t forget about reporting. Many companies put this off until near the end of an ERP implementation, but as this data shows, you may not have very happy executives if you do so. Second, don’t forget about organizational change management and training. No matter how great the software, your end-users are not going to be very happy or satisfied with the ERP software if they have not received the proper training, communications, and other key organizational change activities.
Learn more about our 2010 ERP report by downloading a free copy in our ERP Resource Center.