With fifteen years’ experience supporting companies using Infor / Lawson, RPI understands the evolving ERP landscape and helps organizations navigate the inevitable challenges.
Migration to the Cloud is driven largely by the increasing complexity of the business application footprint in most organizations and the challenge of recruiting and retaining in-house expertise to support the various technologies. Keeping up with IT standards, from HIPAA to security protocols, is another set of responsibilities companies are increasingly happy to delegate, and large providers like Amazon Web Services make that easy and affordable.
The ERP is now the beating heart of an increasingly complex ecosystem of IT business applications
“The original concept of an ERP was to have a single platform for all your business applications. The reality today is that organizations have adopted best of breed products for requirements surrounding budgeting, time entry, expense tracking, or other some customer-facing solution specific to their industry, none of which would necessarily be on the same development platform as their ERP,” says Keith Wayland, Managing Partner of RPI.
This history presents inherent challenges in migrating ERPs to the Cloud. These are large, complex systems not originally designed as hosted web based applications and vendors are still catching up to this business model. They tend to have many integration points and tools.
RPI effectively tackles these challenges in three ways: through a focus on the RICE components of the ERP (Reports, Interfaces, Customization and Extension), on managing the size of application data that is being migrated, and on change management.
RPI believes that Infor has unique advantages during this time of transition. “Infor understands that migrating numer¬ous best of breed solutions to a single platform is highly inef¬ficient. They are instead focusing on delivering Cloud-based industry-specified solutions that are highly integrated and provide a unified end user experience” says Wayland. Cloud migration has prompted Infor to embrace the value of the consumer-grade user experience, replacing disorderly interfaces and complicated screens with a consistent and intuitive UI.
In addition to the movement to the Cloud, another significant trend is towards Managed ERP Services. Managed ERP services are no longer limited to “keeping the lights on.” In fact, RPI sees clients migrating to the Cloud who also sign up for Managed Services. This is because “RPI’s Managed Services extend into value added activities such as deployment of new functionality, super user training, and process improvement. We see this as a real differentiator today, but believe this will be a trend across professional services,” says Wayland.
In terms of a roadmap, RPI intends to expand its capacity to deliver process improvement services around ERP applications and to focus on value add Managed Services. RPI will also continue to expand its services around Enterprise Content Management (ECM).