Ramco Ramco Systems - Diversity Marshaled Through Flexibility
3: Challenges and User Recommendations
Although throughout its short history Ramco Systems has built its
business through the size and strength of its India-based development
organization, it has long lacked the sales and marketing skills and references
to leverage its strengths, especially in the highly contested and fastidious
North American marketplace. Its market awareness outside Asia is limited,
and possibly aggravated by only a handful of offices outside Asia. While
a good product functionality and technology bundled with a reasonable
price tag and short time-to-market should create a powerful value proposition,
poor marketing and sales execution may significantly undermine it.
details on how Ramco Systems is building its business and the Market Impact
of its decisions, see Part
One and Part
Two of this three-part note.
company has also long lacked focus, having gone after many diverse markets
(within both the realms of applications and tools) with no clear point
of attack. Lately though, there have been some sweet spots of crystallization,
such as the maintenance (EAM) arena where the company has achieved both
sound functionality and references.
ongoing sales partnership agreement with reputed global reference clients
such as Boeing (a recent win), may prove to be vital steps in Ramco's
strategy to improve market penetration and eventually become a market
leader in selected vertical segments. Ramco should also pursue similar
partnership efforts and identify global corporate clients and leading
consulting organizations with specific expertise in selected industry
segments including manufacturing (chemicals, metals, foods), human resources
and continuous process industries (utilities, cement, refineries) to become
a vital player in the relevant market space. The company will have to
balance the rapid growth of partnerships with a reasonable commitment
of resources though.
effectiveness of remote applications components development with partners
in a "back-and-forth" fashion can be questioned as well in some instances.
Also significant is the need for a firmly instituted structure for making
such new functionality available worldwide, which would preempt the work
duplication of reinventing the wheel. Ramco should make aggressive attempts
to promote the best-practice offerings of their local partners within
the entire partners community, particularly by certifying the products
and/or partners, and by providing a repository with centralized information
about solutions availability.
will also be highly challenged to deliver the planned major architectural
and functional product enhancement within the current economic climate
and with its limited resources. The key enhancements to the product architecture
will be adaptive n-tier architecture (that partitions data, business logic,
presentation and transport into distinct layers to provide the much-needed
segmentation to implement the system in a platform-independent and technology-transparent
environment, and to provide stronger physical & geographical workload
distribution), and support for multiple platforms including Microsoft,
Unix/Oracle, and Java. The magnitude of the above undertaking, which is
needed in order to boost the product scalability and the market opportunities,
would give a pause even to much bigger and wealthier competitors.
Multi-site and multi-national corporations and/or their divisions in the
up to $200 million-a-year revenue range, should consider the Ramco's value
proposition, but avoid selecting it without looking at what the other
vendors have to offer. We generally recommend including Ramco in the long
list of vendors considered for an enterprise application selection by
the mid-sized companies, which are rapidly growing and agile, but have
a limited IT budget/staff, a less risky IT strategy, and a need to quickly
and inexpensively gain e-commerce capabilities.
Ramco covers over 15 industries in six areas (Aviation Solutions, Corporate
Solutions, Discrete Manufacturing, EAM Solutions, Process Manufacturing,
and HRMS), its regional capabilities and industry focus may vary dramatically
though. Therefore, potential clients should conduct a thorough preliminary
research on local industry expertise and reference sites when Ramco is
included in the selection process. The verticals that would benefit the
most likely from evaluating Ramco are:
Process Industries - Food & Beverage, Cement, Specialty Chemicals, Plastics,
- EAM Intensive
Industries - Aviation, Utilities
tier system integrators/consulting companies that lack the expertise and
resources to quickly and effectively deliver component applications and,
consequently, to make themselves competitive against the likes of Big
5's should consider partnering with Ramco.