How to Choose the Right Cloud ERP Implementation Partner

The overall ERP market is projected to reach $42 billion by 2020, according to an Allied Market Research report called, “Global ERP Software Market-Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities, Growth and Forecast, 2013-2020.” Much of that growth is being fueled by the adoption of cloud ERP solutions in the small to mid-size market. Software vendors first focused on large companies when they introduced ERP solutions years ago. Now there is a trend to bring cloud ERP to the SMB ecosystem to help them bring their technology into the modern world.

SMBs need business process efficiency and transparency to compete in an ever-changing world. Both are things that the right cloud ERP system, implemented well, can bring to the table. Today’s executives need their data to be available within minutes – not days or weeks like in the past. The right cloud ERP software can produce insights for decision making in real-time or near-real-time. ERP has evolved from just running back-office functions to a way to integrate different functions, information, and resources within a company to facilitate strategic business decisions.

Migrating to a cloud ERP system is not a decision a company should take lightly. The key is to make sure you choose the right implementation partner to ensure the success of the project. It’s not a coincidence that companies implementing their first ERP system say choosing the right ERP software with the right features is the most important thing influencing their decision.

Companies embarking on migrating an existing ERP system say choosing the right partner is the most important thing influencing their decision about the project.With that sentiment in mind, here are some key things to consider when choosing an implementation partner for your cloud ERP migration;

Experience in your industry

Make sure to choose a cloud ERP implementation partner with a strong track record within your industry. Each industry has different requirements. Picking software that fits the workflows you already have will mean less cost and less time to implement. An implementation partner with knowledge of your industry will also be able to recommend the particular features of the ERP software that will work best for your business. Additionally, they will be in a better position to accommodate your industry standards and to train you on how to use the product in the best way.

Partner Responsiveness

It’s key to have a partner that responds quickly to your requests. Check out a potential partner’s reputation by reading online reviews and talking to their existing customers. It’s important to know how your cloud partner works and how they manage their projects. Find out what project management processes are in place and how they plan to communicate and manage the project. Make sure you’ll have a way to find someone who is qualified to quickly deal with your issues as they come up. It’s essential to the success of the project that you can rely on your partner to respond in a timely manner and resolve problems in a way that works well for you. If you want onsite support, you’ll need to be sure that your implementation partner can provide that to you.

Relationship with the ERP vendor

Finally, your potential cloud ERP implementation partner should ideally have a good and established relationship with the ERP vendor they resell. They are the intermediary between you and the software company. Therefore, any issues that arise with the software or changes you need to make will be better if there is a good communication channel between your partner and the software vendor. Check for partner certification with the vendor and other things such as awards the vendor may have given the partner for signals about the relationship status.

Now is a great time to migrate your ERP system to the cloud. By taking a measured approach to choosing the right partner upfront, you are increasing your chance for a successful project and setting your business up for sustainable growth.

by Greg Vargo, Circle City Software Solutions

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