Ramco to Its Customers-Let's Get Personal! Part Two: Commitment and Recommendations

Ramco Commitment to the North American Market?

Approximately one year ago in Las Vegas, Ramco Systems Limited (www.ramco.com), a global provider of enterprise solutions with HQ in India, unveiled a new vision for enterprise applications at its annual user group conference. This year Ramco came to show its customers continued commitment to its joint success, delivery on last year's promises, and strong North American leadership.

Ramco has had a presence in North America since 1996 but has always enjoyed a far stronger presence in other geographies. While Ramco has gained a stable base of customers in North America, what it considers to be "critical mass," it is still small in its North American presence compared to the major enterprise application vendors and systems integrators. Of over 1,000 installations worldwide, less than 20 percent of those installations are in North America. Now that the vendor has acquired the "critical mass" that it wished to achieve, Ramco reported it is ready to make a renewed commitment to the market.

The most evident factor in Ramco's commitment to the North American market is expanded presence and leadership based in the United States. Ramco has attracted new talent to the leadership team that has significant experience with selling and implementing enterprise applications in both large and small companies.

In addition to the leaders that were already in place, Ramco added a strong CEO for the Americas. Mike Taylor brings strong sales and marketing leadership from his experience with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and former process manufacturing and distribution division of SCT Corporation (now Agilisys Process). In addition to Taylor, Ramco added COO Denis Mulder, who has significant experience in penetrating the North American market as the president of Fygir, a former supply chain planning company that was later acquired by SCT.

Both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Mulder bring strong marketing and sales backgrounds to complement Ramco's current capabilities and reputation as a strong, delivery-oriented provider. The road ahead for the North American management team is not an easy one, but the investment in experienced talent shows Ramco's commitment to the market and a renewed focus on growth in North America.

This is Part Two of a two-part note. Part One detailed the event.

Recommendations for Users

Companies that see themselves as early adopters of technology should evaluate Ramco to validate the potential breakthrough benefits. We suggest a pilot project with Ramco may prove to be a very good investment. Companies that have unique requirements that are not well met by standard, off-the-shelf software packages should consider assembling a solution using VirtualWorks.

Companies in dynamic business environments, such as financial services, should consider the value that model-based architectures can provide so that applications can adapt more rapidly to new or changing business needs. Companies who are looking for new or replacement systems should not ignore Ramco, which has proven its products, technology and services, and should challenge the other competing vendors to match Ramco's value proposition. A strong point of the offering appears to be the combination of application function, technology, and offshore development.

Existing Ramco customers should continue to follow Ramco's product path. They should evaluate the new products and technology with an eye towards moving forward with Ramco. Companies with both process and discrete manufacturing segments to their business should particularly place Ramco on their short list. Multisite and multinational corporations and/or their divisions should consider the Ramco's value proposition, being cognizant of competitive offerings. The verticals that would likely benefit the most from evaluating Ramco are:

  • Batch process industries—food and beverage, cement, specialty chemicals, plastics, and textiles

  • Asset-intensive industries—aviation, utilities, and mines

While Ramco covers most of the world its regional capabilities and industry focus may vary. Potential clients should conduct a thorough preliminary research on local industry expertise and reference sites when Ramco is included in the selection process.

Recommendations for Ramco

Continue to publicize success stories to the customer base and the market to increase acceptance of the VirtualWorks platform and the value of the model-based architecture.

While selling the benefits of personalized and assembled applications, present the tangible value that the product can offer with pre-assembled solutions, particularly to companies that want to get a system up and running quickly, without up-front custom development.

Look for underserved markets with unique and dynamic requirements to avoid competing directly with the larger, more visible and more viable enterprise vendors.

Ramco should consider partnering with specialty solution vendors that are trapped on older architectures so that it can leverage the niche provider's domain expertise to create new components to be assembled with its standard components. Lower 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 4s should consider partnering with Ramco.

Continue to address the visibility and brand recognition challenge in North America. Ramco is still not a household name, although it has acquired many customers who are household names.

Delivering Personalized, Assembled Applications

Will Ramco be able to deliver on its vision of personalized, assembled applications? Time will tell, but the indications are good. Ramco faces a crowded and consolidating enterprise market, but has shown patience and realistic expectations for its growth. The Ramco customers are satisfied because they know that they have the option to take advantage of the new technology, and that Ramco will continue to support its existing applications for some time. Ramco has high ambitions, and will be a company to watch as further evidence of its approach to enterprise applications is tested in implementations as well as in the market.

Very detailed information about Ramco Enterprise Series 4.0 is contained in the ERP Evaluation Center at http://www.erpevaluation.com/ and in the CMMS/EAM Evaluation Center at http://www.eamevaluation.com/.

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