This article analyses responses collected from Panorama’s ERP Benchmark Survey (November 2018 and September 2019). The dataset includes 134 respondents who have selected or implemented SAP, Oracle or Infor ERP solutions for their organisations to automate their financial processes. The analysis is based on a variety of solutions offered by the four vendors (Panorama is in no way affiliated with SAP, Oracle, Infor or any other software vendor or reseller).
The vendors included in this report were chosen based on their market share and strong focus on enterprise-level organisations. These vendors will help provide you select the best ERP financial solution to your organisation.
SAP – ORACLE – Infor:
ERP Systems are very complex for most organisations and some providers understood that learning curve, although steep, could be eased with the right resources. As more companies adopt digital solutions as part of their transformation to intelligent enterprises, SAP’s introduction of SAP Enable Now Framework – an intelligent, product user assistance – is helping empower its clients to close the knowledge gap and build the skills needed to adopt cloud solutions. With learning preferences changing and the need for on-demand, real-time training increasing, SAP’s innovative and unique approach to enterprise learning provides companies with the right resources to allow them to operate at their full potential.
Having a fully operational SAP ERP integration can offer a significant edge on your competitors. The enterprise software is complex and requires a great amount of training and adaptation but its numerous features and its user assistance makes the process a lot easier than it use to be.
SAP continues to innovate and evolve in an increasingly competitive market. Over the last several years, SAP has increased its investment in innovations like in-memory computing, AI and cloud delivery.
Advantages of using SAP ERP
In addition to its product assistance, the ERP allows companies to have good visibility of their numerous and different activities associated with product development, operations, sales, human capital, manufacturing and asset management.
One advantage of SAP is its flexibility. It allows companies to create their own rules within the SAP structure. These rules set the parameters for acceptable and unacceptable transactions. Companies determine which employees access each area in the SAP environment. Only qualified personnel receive access to personnel data, such as wage rates. SAP also has the flexibility to integrate its data with a variety of databases. Users can download information into spreadsheets for further analysis.
The software has various analytical features, such as evaluating performance, reporting and decision making. SAP can analyse data from any source and conduct collaborative decision making. These features allow SAP to meet the needs of many complex businesses and government organisations.
Disadvantages of SAP ERP
Although SAP did introduce an intelligent, product user assistance, the ERP is still very complex to use.
SAP ERP integration requires a dedicate team with the capabilities to address glitches associated with the process.
Oracle ERP is an end-to-end solution for business management. Marketed as being designed for businesses of all sizes, this cloud-hosted software includes best practices and built-in standards to support businesses in streamlining their processes. Oracle ERP is created with scalability and simplicity in mind to help automate key business processes, including planning and procurement, reporting, financials, project planning, product lifecycle, compliance, governance and risk management among others. The ERP software is completely integrated and offers businesses a set of dependable applications to increase productivity, enhance control and lower operating costs. It leverages a connected approach with the support of cloud technology to help companies build a better foundation in IT, engineering, telecommunication, sales, consulting services, financial services, marketing, and other services.
Although the company is looking to expand its product to smaller companies, we believe Oracle ERP is more suited for medium to large enterprise.
Advantages of using Oracle ERP
Oracle Financial Cloud
Oracle ERP integrates a full-featured financial management framework that provides an innovative reporting solution. To support your external management and reporting, this module will produce a timely, consistent, and correct data. It also provides extensive support for businesses under different industries across the globe.
Risk Management Cloud
This tool allows companies to manage their financial compliance, and this module features a centralised and secured risk control repository. The goal of this module is to reduce the risks when it comes to financial reporting.
Overall Oracle ERP emphasis is on financial processes which is why it is often used in financial departments.
Disadvantages of Oracle ERP
High Maintenance Cost
The maintenance costs associated with Oracle are higher than the industry average, making this solution unaffordable for small companies.
Some of the default modules are not what a particular company needs, and this forces those companies to develop their own customised modules.
3. Infor ERP
Infor is best suited for manufacturing companies as the ERP solution has specific applications that aid manufacturers in accelerating their processes so that they become more productive without dropping their service quality. The system comes with intelligent functionalities that allow manufacturers to identify key challenges and tools to handle them.
Not to say that Infor cannot be used across a whole organisations including sales, purchasing, quality, finance, and even the maintenance department. Regardless of the industry, the solution provides organisations with great visibility and real-time data.
Advantages of using Infor ERP
The application can give all types of distributors and manufacturers the right push to enhance their productivity. It also provides them with the capability to quickly respond to changes. Infor ERP aids organisations to see even the smallest of issues for quick remedies, allowing them to keep smooth and unhindered operations regardless of whether they’re in the sourcing, selling, fulfillment or production industries.
Tools for better management
Infor ERP facilitates the achievement of a greater and faster return on investment by enhancing a company’s way of managing operations. It provides useful tools to manage efficiently the resource allocation, plan execution, and scheduling. Even if users are implementing complex supply chains, they will still be able to lower their expenditures as well as achieve deliveries on time.
Screen layouts are very clean, consistent and functional, even for novice users. Navigation can be tailored to only those programs that the user needs.
Disadvantages of using Infor ERP:
Infor ERP is a great stand-alone ERP system but add-on software packages are often needed to attain a greater level of detail. Notably, in relation to purchase-ordering and accounts payable.
Importance of best practice in ERP departments
For many years smaller organisations thought they were too small to reap the benefits of ERP given the magnitude of the required investment. Solutions designed to fit their specific needs now allow smaller organisations to leverage the power of these systems to attain the same benefits that larger firms enjoy. New approaches to structuring system architectures have greatly simplified implementation and use – and powerful solutions are now much more affordable to acquire and maintain. There are plenty of inexpensive software offerings that call themselves ERP solutions that are not “full-function” ERP’s. There are dozens of add-ons to accounting packages such as QuickBooks or Sage Peachtree software – a number of these run on an Access database but lack true ERP functionality and features and are not scalable. Comparing these packages to a full-function ERP solution is like comparing a wheelbarrow to a front-end loader.
Full-Function ERP solutions share certain characteristics that some of the lower products do not:
They have more than a dozen integrated modules that address the breadth of the organisation’s needs.
They contain a toolset that allows for user customisation.
They rely on a sophisticated, relational database with open access.
The vendor has a solid understanding of the market’s wants and needs and is committed to meeting them through its offerings.
The benefits of ERP’s have been proven by a number of studies.
The Aberdeen Group found the following quantifiable benefits from best-in-class ERP implementations:
22% reduction in operating costs.
20% reduction in administrative costs
17% inventory reductions (for manufacturing and distributing)
19% improvements in complete and on-time delivery
17% improvements in schedule compliance (for manufacturing and distributing).
Integrating an ERP systems into your financial operations can be an great strategy for reducing costs, optimising production processes, and significantly increasing the odds that your company will continue to grow and evolve longer term. The majority of businesses nowadays are finally prioritising “going digital” and all it entails. The fact is, ERP systems must continue evolving in order to fulfill businesses’ ever-changing needs for their financial services.