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Ovum Evaluates: ERP

Simon Bragg, Gisela Wilson and Laurant Lachal
4 installments
August 98/February 99/April 99/July 99
more than 500 pages
See order form for price!


Selecting your company's ERP system

ü Get it right, and your investment will more than pay for itself within 12 months.

û Get it wrong, and you will lose much more than time and money...

...you have missed the opportunity to benefit from...

Ovum Evaluates: ERP

* Baan * J.D Edwards * Oracle * PeopleSoft * SAP * Acacia * Glovia * IFS * Intentia * JBA * Mapics * MK * Protean * PSI * QAD * SSA
Which one is right for your company?

Take the risk out of product selection and choose the right system for your business... and quickly

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are an expensive investment for any company – up to 3% of your turnover. Failure to thoroughly investigate an ERP system before implementation could have serious implications for your business. Read Ovum Evaluates: ERP to ensure you optimise your search for a system that suits all the users in your company.

Make sense of the differences between products

Vendors are starting to tell you that there is little difference between the major ERP products. Read a few pages of Ovum Evaluates: ERP and you will quickly discover that this is far from the case. Important differences do exist between products. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and simply choosing the market leader is not always the best bet.

We evaluate the products on their ability to solve real world problems. These are problems that can cause managers to customise their system, sometimes to the extent that it becomes too expensive to upgrade.

When selecting your ERP system, you need to base your decision on two broad sets of criteria; what can the system do for your company, and who are you buying it from? Your evaluation team needs to strike a balance between these criteria. What a waste of your time and money if they draw up a shortlist of appropriate products, but from inappropriate vendors!

In our publication, you will not only benefit from our expert evaluations, but you are shown how to pick, organise and direct an efficient evaluation team, how they should implement the new system, and how to secure top management commitment.

Expert advice to accompany our evaluations

Save time and money on product and vendor research by using advice from the experts to help you compile a shortlist of the most appropriate systems for your company. Ovum Evaluates: ERP includes:

  • Guide to advanced functionality – brings you up to date with a clear explanation of what is state-of-the-art. This enables you to adopt the report's easy-to-use evaluations to compare one product directly with another. You can also use this guide to score your existing in-house system.
  • Evaluations of 16 leading products – so much more than just a standard checklist of functionality, enabling you to draw up the right product shortlist quickly.
  • Company profiles – you save months of background research and don't waste any more time on vendor presentations than necessary.
  • Training guide – ensure your entire evaluation team is talking the same language and appreciates the issues influencing your company's other departments.
  • Implementation explained – understand why those who will implement the system should also choose it, and how to secure top management backing throughout the entire implementation period.
  • Market analysis – avoid implementing a system which will be obsolete in 5 years’ time with in-depth analysis of current market dynamics, plus market forecasts to 2003 in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

Key Benefits

By investing in Ovum Evaluates: ERP, your evaluation team will:

  • Choose the most appropriate system for your type of business;
  • Save many people-months of skilled work checking out each possible vendor and product in detail;
  • Accelerate your evaluation exercise, enabling your company to gain the benefits of the system at least 3 months earlier;
  • Sell ERP to the board – securing top level commitment to your project;
  • Define key objectives and build consensus to support those objectives, by creating informed interdepartmental discussion;

Evaluation criteria


1. Financial performance – what’s their financial track record?

2. Company character and direction – discover whether you really want to partner this company

3. Operational coverage – is this a local developer or a truly international organisation?


4. Range of business applications – what departmental functions does the vendor support?

5. Functionality – ERP products are implemented for many different solutions. We test each one against the following:
Engineer to Order – evaluates the project management functionality
Assemble to Order – evaluates the functionality that enables you to mass customise your product offering
Make to Stock – evaluates standard MRP II functionality, by investigating how the system handles difficult problems
Repetitive – evaluates the appropriateness of the system for Just in time manufacturing environments
Process – evaluates how well the system copes with the special problems encountered by the process industry
Supply Chain Management – evaluates how well the system manages stock in the distribution chain
Customer Order Management – evaluates how well the system handles customer’s orders

6. Architecture – modern network-based client-server relational design or an old host-based modular structure with a face lift?

7. Information retrieval – to what extent does this system support improved decision making?

8. Flexibility – once implemented, how easily can you change the system?

9. Ease of implementation – will it take 3 weeks or 3 years to implement?

Answering your 7 key questions

Q1 How can I justify my choice of system?

Q2 Do I want to enter a long-term partnership with this vendor?

Q3 Does the product support workflow?

Q4 Can I integrate 3rd party legacy applications?

Q5 Do I need to buy from a niche ERP player or is the functionality from a major ERP vendor sufficient?

Q6 How do the systems really differ from each other?

Q7 What impact will enterprise-wide and ERP-integrated solutions have on the other operational systems in my organisation?

Who should read this report?

Managing Directors who want to increase their competitive advantage by using their assets, inventories and people more efficiently and more effectively

CIOs and MIS Managers who see the possibility of transforming their business through the superior management of information

Production Directors who want a robust ERP system that supports their manufacturing environment

ERP vendors who want up-to-date information on their competitors' products and market developments.

Contents (Provisional)

You will receive Ovum Evaluates: ERP in 4 quarterly instalments from August 1998, including evaluations of the leading 16 ERP systems and their suppliers, plus feature articles on related issues. If any product included in the report alters significantly during the course of the year, you will receive an updated evaluation in your next instalment.

First instalment (August 1998)

Introduction to the service

What is ERP?
ERP vs. manufacturing execution system (MES), process control system (PCS), and material handling equipment (MHE). Types of manufacturing: process industries, discrete repetitive manufacturing, and discrete non-repetitive manufacturing. Integration of manufacturing, logistic, and customer order processing: supply chain management.

Guide to the evaluations
We evaluate the product and assess the vendor. We explain how the evaluation criteria have been established and how the products and vendors have been assessed.

Products evaluated:
* Baan * Oracle * PeopleSoft * SAP

Further instalments

12 further products evaluated:
* Acacia * Glovia * IFS * Intentia * JBA * Mapics * MK * J.D Edwards* Protean * PSI * QAD * SSA

Market Forecasts
Market scenario. Technology trends. Electronic commerce, the Internet and intranets. Integrated versus best-of-breed vendors. Marketing agreements. Mergers and acquisitions. Geographic analysis.

Implementing ERP
Critical success factors. Setting objectives. Learn from others’ experience. Project planning. Business process re-engineering. Product selection. Evaluating the systems. Assessing the vendors. Implementation. Big bang or step by step?

The Future of ERP
Functionality and technology trends. Supply chain management: move to the virtual company. Implementation, support and pricing. Channels and (vertical) markets evolution.

You are not alone

Hundreds of companies world-wide invested in the previous edition of Ovum Evaluates: ERP. Take a quick look at the sample below. Some are your competitors – and have already reserved their copies of this brand new report.


* BBA Group plc * Daewoo Information Systems * Daimler Benz * Unipart Group * Lucas Rists Wiring Systems * Volkswagen – Gedas


* De la Rue Fortronic * Vero Electronics * Alcatel Australia * NTT Data Corporation * Samsung SDS Co * SK Computer & Communication * STET * Telkom SA * Telstra * AIPS Electric * Teba Gunkol AS * ECI Telecom Inc * France Telecom * NV Motorola SA * Rank Xerox


* Chloride UPS Division * ARCO Chemical Group * Glaxo Wellcome * Hempel’s Marine Paints * Pfizer

Food and Beverage

* Douwe Egberts * Kiwi Co-operative Dairies * New Zealand Apple & Pear Marketing Board * Nutricia * The Cheese Company* United Distillers * Whitbread * International Distillers & Vintners


* Marley Building Supplies * CIC Video International * Diebold * Mack Molding Co * Marker Deutschland * Sabroe Refrigeration * Toms Fabrikker A/S * ABM Plastics Pty * Baker Refracteries * Crisplant A/S * James Hardie Industries * Duralay * Micromeritics * SISU Corporation * Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co * Tableros De Fibras SA * The Lion Group * Triada

Shouldn’t you be among them?

Warning: The Perfect ERP System does not exist. Do not search for it . . . you will seriously waste your team’s time and budget.

The Perfectly Adequate ERP System does exist. To help your team find it quickly and cheaply, use Ovum Evaluates: ERP

Written by an independent panel of experts

Simon Bragg is a Consultant at CATN Cambashi with 12 years’ experience in engineering and international market research. He is responsible for CATN's research and services in ERP. He was co-author of Ovum’s 1997 report, Ovum Evaluates: ERP for Manufacturers.

Gisela Wilson is president of Cambashi’s US office, with a specialist interest in the emerging integration of MCAD and ERP to provide mid-sized companies with a complete development and back office solution. She was director of primary research at Advanced Manufacturing Research, and director of International Data Corporation’s vertical applications programme.

Laurent Lachal is Editor of Ovum Evaluates: ERP and Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems. Laurent has researched and written a large number of market research reports, including Object Oriented Systems, Groupware, Client-Server, Globalisation, and Workflow. And as a former Editor of Ovum’s European Software Markets Service, he has a comprehensive knowledge of the European IT market place.

Ovum Evaluates research is entirely funded by Ovum. We do not write to please vendors, we do not rely on them buying our reports, nor did they commission this report. We write to inform prospective buyers. We give our frank opinion, backed up by facts. Our sole aim is to help you pick the ERP system that is most appropriate for you.

Related reports:

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