My Take on ERP at Customer Speed
Having been lucky enough to be part of the FinancialForce.com team since its inception, it is exciting for me to see today’s announcement describing the next chapter in our growth. Here are some of the reasons I see why FinancialForce ERP applications, built natively on the Salesforce1 platform, are giving companies the tools they need to serve their customers who are more demanding, more informed and more connected than ever before. – ERP at customer speed is built around the customer and embedded within the CRM. Today ERP has to support all engagement with the customer to drive higher levels of customer satisfaction and provide a single, coherent view of the customer for the entire business. In old ERP, transactions were kept separate from the systems of customer engagement, reinforcing inflexible departmental boundaries and causing fragmented levels of service. – ERP at customer speed means that a customer with a question is no longer bounced around from department to department before finding the one person who has the access to the required system. Nowadays customers who get that treatment are having their loyalty tested and they are not shy in making their feelings known. – ERP at customer speed means transactions can now automatically participate in employees day to day activity stream, highlighting exceptions and key events and driving company responsiveness. Old ERP transactions were separate from day to day communication and exceptions had to be discovered via routine reporting. – ERP at customer speed is an enabler of agility within an organization. In the past ERP systems were a barrier to change and their inflexibility prevented new initiatives and adoption of new technology and processes. Now new processes that touch multiple departments can be configured via point and click common workflow engine and rapidly deployed via familiar mobile, tablet and browser apps. – Conversations are now captured around ERP transactions leading to improved understanding, faster decision making and shrinking the cost of audit. In old style ERP conversations occurred outside of the transactional systems and months later auditors could be hunting high and low to find an explanation of why a particular decision was made or transaction approved. – ERP at customer speed changes the way implementations are tackled. Now ERP implementation projects are highly targeted at solving specific business problems, have durations of hours and days rather than months and years, and are focused on quickly providing value. – Upgrades for ERP at customer speed are eagerly anticipated, pushed automatically and quickly adopted . Old style ERP upgrades were often skipped or delayed as long as possible to avoid the painful fire fighting of broken processes and repairing brittle integrations. Social, mobile and cloud technologies have dramatically shifted the balance of power between business and customers and now the customer is setting the tempo that companies are challenged to match. Salesforce.com provides the vehicle for customer engagement that makes this a possibility but it is now time for ERP to stop being the lead weight in the back slowing things down and instead jump into the front seat and apply the gas.