It is also important to determine how much experience the ERP vendor or Systems Integrator has when implementing across multiple geographies. An implementation organization must know how to navigate not just the IT challenges, but the human factors of a diverse implementation.
A successful selection and implementation also requires that the implementation methodology used supports a phased implementation approach. Global ERP is typically not implemented all at once. Individual countries or sites are implemented in steps to reduce the disruption of the enterprise. Your enterprise software partner must not only offer software that is flexible enough to do this, but needs to be capable of planning your entire global implementation in advance so that you arrive at a successful global instance even though you will be rolling out one phase at a time. Your implementation partner needs to guide you through the process so that you do not implement one or two sites and then find that your configuration is incompatible with subsequent sites. It is imperative that the implementation plan address the entire project holistically going in to avoid false starts, rework and cost and timeline over-runs.
Selecting an ERP application and implementing a global single instance can be challenging, but the benefits and return on investment can be considerable.
Rick Veague is Chief Technology Officer with IFS North America, and is based in the Itasca, Ill. headquarters. In this role, Veague provides direction for IFS' use of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and works with IFS Applications leading users throughout North America to leverage SOA to provide state-of-the-art ERP.
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