Since the auspicious beginning, trends in the ERP industry are rapidly moving toward cloud technology, big data, machine learning, and business intelligence–but also toward mobility that enables business users to perform their jobs and impact the performance of the business regardless of where they are. Additionally, the blurring of lines between productivity tools, business applications like ERP and CRM, business intelligence, collaboration technologies, and mobile applications, present a huge potential and at the same time a significant technology and change management challenge. “Avanade and Microsoft focus on making the customer’s life easier by aligning IT with business objectives and simplifying the integration of applications, maximizing ROI,” says Francois Matte, Executive-Global ERP Lead at Avanade.
While mega trends are making ERP systems more complex as they integrate related applications and processes such as CRM—cloud technology is simplifying ERP implementation and management for the customer. “Traditionally, complex ERP ‘systems of record’ were on client premises and highly customized, making them difficult to adapt to changing market constraints and costly to maintain. With cloud technology, those mission critical systems are now benefiting from the cloud model, simplifying upgrades and the installation of new releases for the customer. This enables faster initial implementation timelines and better TCO,” says Matte.
In one of the instances, Avanade enabled a client from the manufacturing space, an early adopter of Dynamics 365 for Operations, to transform their inherited siloed business applications into a lean business model using Avanade’s agile ERP implementation approach based on industry best practices.
Avanade and Microsoft focus on making the customer’s life easier by aligning IT with business objectives and simplifying the integration of applications, maximizing ROI
“This transformation however requires that the client is ready to buy into a project governance driven by the willingness to adopt the standard cloud ERP proposed by Microsoft and the industry best practices proposed by Avanade,” says Matte.
CIOs and business owners understand that the risk to the investment in a cloud ERP transformation is not just a technology risk; the transformation must impact the business performance in a positive way. This means they must consider the business processes and people elements of an ERP transformation as well. Avanade recognizes that to fully reap the benefits of a cloud ERP implementation—it is crucial to avoid spending 80 percent of the project resources on building custom code on top of the ERP code—the best approach is adoption of ERP business processes that have emerged as a best practice.“The emergence of functionally rich cloud ERP offers a new incentive for businesses to adhere to an implementation method that will allow them to stay closer to the standard product. That is why we have invested in methods, tools and business process models to enable a streamlined implementation based on industry best practices,” says Matte.
“We believe the next notable steps ahead in the ERP space will include the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (Cortana Intelligence for instance), machine learning—at the very heart of transactional business process, specifically in all areas where predictive analysis will surpass current decision making processes,” says Matte. “We are already piloting this sort of things in our innovation centers. The Microsoft Common Data Model underlying those technologies makes and Avanade and Dynamics 365 uniquely positioned to address those future areas.”