Benefits of the Single Stack – Part 1

 Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When an enterprise invests in technology, the ideal situation is to take a holistic approach. The “dream” scenario would include the foresight to implement a leading ERP that could address your business needs end-to-end. From employee portals to Procurement/Purchasing, HR, Projects, Financials and Business Intelligence, a single system that is natively integrated would provide significant benefits, including:

Ease of use:

  • Employees have a consistent user experience as they perform tasks, update profiles, make purchases and do their daily work. No longer will they suffer from the disorientation of jumping from one solution to another.

Reduced cost:

  • Efforts to integrate disparate systems are eliminated.
  • On-going maintenance is greatly reduced. Upgrades can be done more efficiently when working on a single platform.
  • By making a bulk purchase, the enterprise realizes a volume discount rather than buying separately and paying a premium on each purchase.

Greater flexibility:

  • Features in one module are often dependent on an adjoining module. Cross-component features are designed by the vendor with the assumption that the customer will be using a single stack. The single stack approach empowers you to leverage the maximum functionality.

Influence:

  • ERP roadmaps are influenced most heavily by larger customers and those who are customers of multiple components from a single software vendor.

Sounds wonderful, does it not? Every company should be implementing a single system. But the reality is that companies grow, organically and through M&A, and have not been able to adhere to the best practice of a single stack of core applications. The typical Fortune 1000 company is not living in this technological nirvana. They often are customers to more than one of the big enterprise providers (Oracle and SAP) and have a healthy showing of medium size applications thrown in there. You will find redundancies; running Oracle Financials in the Americas and SAP Financials in EMEA, for example. No matter where you look, you find the home-grown systems – nobody can remember when they were built or by whom, and they have been in maintenance mode for years.

As enterprises continue to search for opportunities to reduce costs and drive efficiencies, more and more are launching initiatives to implement the single stack. The money lost by keeping dozens of disparate systems connected can be redirected to the replacement of niche tools with true enterprise components that are compatible with their primary systems. As they get closer to the unified vision, tenuous integrations are replaced by native connections across modules. Previously unusable features can be turned-on and efficiencies are gained.

Nirvana is no longer a fantasy, it is a vision on the horizon.

 

About Author

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Author Peter Parks

Peter Parks is Chief Operating Officer of Provade Inc