Implementing enterprise-grade software, like a new ERP or supply chain management system, can transform a business for the better — but only if the right implementation partner and strategy are in place. Otherwise, the project will become costly and high-risk.
A failed project will ultimately cause substantial losses — sometimes in the millions of dollars, per CIO — for an organization and force it to confront potential issues ranging from supply chain breakdowns to incorrect employee paychecks. Finding the right partner is essential to avoid such problems.
Why is it so important to select the right implementation partner?
Implementation failures are often characterized by difficulties with traditional system integrators (SIs). An SI might lack the technical expertise, industry knowledge and communication processes needed for realizing an organization’s ERP vision. Indeed, Gartner once estimated 90% of organizations didn’t have partners and strategies suited to implementing modern ERP solutions.
As business requirements evolve and the demand for enterprise software increases — the ERP software market alone could expand 7% in 2021— the stakes for proper partner selection will only rise. Let’s look at five qualities to prioritize when seeking a partner that can guide your next implementation in this landscape.
Experience, verifiable via references
Great implementation partners have a long and referenceable record of success. Previous customers should be able to clearly attest to the quality and timeliness of the partner’s work, and to demonstrate their general trust in that partner. When speaking with references, it’s typically useful to ask about how long the implementation took, what it felt like when working with the partner, how the project budget played out and the overall satisfaction with the results.
If a potential partner will implement a solution like a set of Oracle Cloud modules, that company should have corresponding domain knowledge and expertise. Relevant certifications and demonstrable implementation experience are both critical in this regard, as is the partner’s underlying relationship with Oracle itself. It’s important to ask for vendor references in addition to those from customers.
Ability to deliver on time and within budget
Completing an implementation on time and within budget takes a special skill set. More specifically, the partner should have the capacity to help align the project’s scope and budget upfront, set milestones and lay out plans for the most potentially challenging aspects of the project, like data migration. A good partner will have the right technology, processes and people to deliver an on-schedule and on-budget solution.
Some implementation partners choose to specialize in particular industries, such as medical device manufacturing and consumer packaged goods. Accordingly, it’s advisable to look for a partner that not only promotes itself as an expert in your particular industry, but also has a history of successfully working with individual companies similar to your own. The partner should also have a proven ability to select specific solutions that fit each customer’s unique business needs and fill the most important gaps.
A dedicated implementation team and plan
It should be easy to understand what the partner’s implementation team looks like, and how it will operate, before the project even begins. What certifications do its members have and what roles will be included in the team? Is there a clear plan and timeline that team members intend to follow? The partner should reliably answer all of these questions.
AVATA is a best-in-class Oracle Cloud partner with a repeatable success model for customers. Our expertise in Oracle ERP and SCM implementations, managed services and cloud transitions sets us apart from pure SIs. Learn more about how we can begin planning your next Oracle project with a free Cloud Readiness Consultation.