UNIT4 to UK Public Sector ERP Users: Look at Us!

It is not surprising to hear that enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not particularly beloved by their users. Indeed, companies are not exactly infatuated with their pricey enterprise system “toys” the way some consumers love their tablets or smartphones (not to mention the unconditional way my 5.5-year-old loves her teddy bear). So the recent InformationWeek piece on users being frustrated with their ERP purchases could have been just another article on that theme. But, what caught my eye here were the words “the UK” and “public sector.” Reportedly, more than 60 percent of IT decision makers in British local government feel their ERP investments haven't delivered, according to a recent poll.

Given that UNIT4 is known for its solid track record in that market segment, I wanted to hear the vendor’s side of the story and its take on these findings. The study or survey in case was sponsored by a local UK competitor, Advanced Business Software (formerly COA Solutionsa.k.a., Cedar). UNIT4 agrees with the findings based on the amount of currently installed ERP systems it is replacing, and this dissatisfaction with current ERP installs is backed up by its own research (see here and here).

In addition, government ERP buyers’ unhappiness coincides with a big push to rationalize the sizeable Oracle and SAP ERP estates and to look toward implementing more cost-effective but equally functional cloud-based solutions, such as UNIT4’s Agresso ERP (see more details here). The company had been steadily replacing and beating the large ERP solution set in government deals in Europe throughout 2012. With a number of potentially game-changing capabilities slated for release in 2013, UNIT4 expects more of such replacements and new wins news down the track.
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