Introducing ERP software in organisations is always a risky activity. Implementations can fail. And operations can be disrupted, especially direct after the GoLive. Recently, German ERP vendor SAP quietly introduced an entirely different form of risk. The ERP giant decided to take a continuous street with her cloud ERP solution Business ByDesign. Leaving roughly 10.000 customers in over 140 countries in big trouble. Important question to you: what are the continuity prospects of (the version of) the ERP system that you are currently using?
Business ByDesign was introduced in 2007 as SAP’s first ‘native’ cloud based ERP solution. At the launch, SAP promised that companies could use this solution to reduce their ERP operating costs by up to 90 (!) percent. However, the product came onto the market 2 years later than planned. Market acceptance was much lower than expected. Both partners and customers were confused by the positioning because Business ByDesign overlapped with other SMB offerings like All in One and Business One. Since the ambitious sales targets were not achieved, product development has already been on the back burner since 2013. Now the curtain is definitely falling: SAP takes its hands off the product completely.
SAP’s Indian service partner HCL technologies is made responsible for the delivery of the bare minimal form of support: security patches and legal updates. But in today’s world, this ‘support’ equals a technological standstill. So these customers are forced to select and implement new software as soon as possible! At least, if they can afford it. And the question is: will they do business with SAP again?
This case once more teaches us the crucial importance of continuity. After all, what good is a well-fitting software solution that is no longer actively supported after some time?
Here are some lessons for everybody involved in ERP software selection processes:
- NEVER trust sales and marketing professionals just for their friendliness
- Structured research of continuity expectations deserves more attention
- Continuity has many different aspects. In the end, the continuity of your internal information provision is all that matters!
Conclusion: by thoroughly questioning and understanding the future of your favorite ERP solutions during the selection process, you will increase the chance of long-term successful use!