In the world of ERP, you can hear many war stories about upgrades and implementations gone wrong. Ask any given ERP consultant with a couple of projects under their belt, and you could probably spend a long evening listen to interesting failures on many levels.
I’m no different myself. I’ve had my share of challenges along the road. But one thing I have realized is that even when things go wrong, most consultants and companies are still able to deliver the project one way or another.
Although sometimes with significant overruns in time & cost and also quite often with a gap regarding meeting the customer expectations.
I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve worked with IFS Applications for most of my career. IFS Applications is relative easy to upgrade compared to other solutions. Even so, I often have meetings with customers who say, “We only want a technical upgrade.”
But in my opinion, there is no such thing as “just a technical upgrade.”
Yes, I know, I’m deliberately provocative, but stay with me...
Of course, there is a technical part of every upgrade, and it’s vital that system suppliers offer a technical upgrade path in any solution. But if the path is too complex and expensive to follow, it’s not going to be followed. Instead, customers will roll their existing modifications into the new product, often paying a lot of maintenance & support fees to have modification supported and then paying even more to up-lift the modification at the actual upgrade.
The reason for keeping these “customer specific requirement” modifications are often because there is no standard process or function to support this requirement. To be honest, sometimes the customer keeps the modification because they don’t want to challenge the current way a certain process is executed.
(I hope I didn’t burn too many bridges with that statement...)
But even in the simplest ERP upgrade, there are always discussions about how things can be done better. Data needs to be migrated—but where should it be stored? The new version of the ERP has a feature we’d like to use—what’s the easiest way to implement that feature?
So, how can we change this in a way so that we both can eliminate all modifications and at the same time offer substantial process improvements? The simple answer is to utilize a tool, a low code platform, that enables the liberation of your processes! Novacura Flow is the enabler that in the same process platform can make your process mobile, simplify your integrations and also promote collaboration. By combining Novacura Flow capabilities together with IFS Applications configurable objects we can deliver a modification free upgrade.
Anticimex, Floatel, and Teracom are just a couple of examples of companies that have used Flow to align future upgrades of their critical ERP solution. They have seen that by using Flow in combination with their ERP system, they can improve their processes (by utilizing more available functions in IFS Applications), achieve a higher level of digital transformation through a higher level of mobilization, and save money on future ERP upgrades (by removing expensive “customer specific requirement” modifications).
Like in sports, the mindset you enter the game with is forming your chances to actually succeed, and you can use this analogy in professional life and apply it, and of course remove unnecessary modifications and achieve substantial process improvements in an upgrade project.
So there you have it. In my opinion, there is no such thing as “just a technical upgrade.”
There's no such thing as just a technical upgrade
Östen Westman, Sales Director Business Solutions Nordics
Experienced Sales & Business Development Director in Novacura (since 2013). Previously independent consultant responsible for ERP systems implementations. Highly skilled in IFS – used to work in IFS as an ERP consultant for >13 years. Large understanding of business processes in different industries – especially Mining, Energy and Manufacturing. Strong business advisor with a solid technological background – a graduated BS of Computer Science in the Umeå universitet.