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Welcome to ERP Showdown! Infor SyteLine vs. Exact Software Macola ES vs. QAD Enterprise Application

Written By: Larry Blitz
Published On: June 23 2008

Welcome to ERP - Distribution Showdown!
ERP Showdown: Infor SyteLine vs. Exact Macola ES vs. QAD Enterprise Application

I'm Larry Blitz, editor of TEC's Vendor Showdown series. Today we present another head-to-head discrete enterprise resource planning (ERP) comparison, featuring Infor SyteLine vs. Exact Software Macola ES vs. QAD Enterprise Application. We hope you find this Showdown helpful and informative, and invite your comments and questions at showdown@technologyevaluation.com.


Introduction

Today's ERP Showdown pits Infor SyteLine vs. Exact Software Macola ES vs. QAD Enterprise Application, all aimed at medium-sized businesses in the $250 million (USD)—plus range. Once again, we used TEC's ERP Evaluation Center to look at all eight standard ERP modules. To eliminate bias and to ensure a level playing field, all 3,600 functional criteria that make up the modules and submodules in our ERP Evaluation Center were given equal weight and priority. The results in this Showdown are based on the most recent data supplied to us by the three vendors, indicating their level of support for each of these 3,600 functional criteria. In other words, no area of functionality was rated as being more important than any other.

Chart 1. Overall rankings.

Results

As you can see in Chart 1 above, straight out of the box, QAD Enterprise Application finished first, barely nudging out Infor SyteLine in second place, with Exact Macola ES placing third. Overall scores are based on the average level of support the vendors offer across the entire ERP spectrum.

As the chart below shows, QAD finished first in four of the eight modules, Infor finished first in three of the modules, and Exact Software finished first in one module.

Chart 2. Rankings in the eight ERP modules.

However, as with most aspects of enterprise software, it's not that simple or clear-cut.

Rankings, either overall or by module, do not tell you everything you need to know. What they do provide is a basic, high-level view of the general strengths and weaknesses of vendors' solutions right out of the box. However, the fact is, few businesses, if any, can use an ERP solution straight out of the box. Businesses have special needs and priorities that need to be supported by any ERP solution they use.

For example, your business may require an especially robust human resources (HR) functionality. Even though QAD finished first overall, Exact ranked first in HR by a significant margin, and may therefore be a better choice for your organization. QAD has a low score for the HR module because the vendor does not offer HR functionality in its discrete ERP solution. In other words, the solution would have to be provided by a third party. Accordingly, if you want a separate best-of-breed HR solution that integrates into your ERP system, QAD may represent the best choice.

The same applies within individual modules, where the top-ranking vendor may not necessarily be the right one for your organization's needs. Although QAD was first overall in Purchasing Management (Chart 2), Infor was strongest in Requisitions and quotations., as shown in Chart 3 below. If that's a critical area in your organization's operations, Infor may be a better choice than QAD.

Chart 3. Rankings in Purchasing Management module.

Conclusion

Given that out-of-the-box rankings rarely, if ever, reflect the real-world needs of an organization, and that rankings can shift depending on what area of functionality you look at, how do you determine which ERP solution is best suited for your business?

The fastest, simplest way is to do what we did to produce the results you see here: use TEC's ERP Evaluation Center. We got our results in 20 minutes, as opposed to weeks—or even months—of struggling with huge Excel spreadsheets.

TEC's ERP Evaluation Center allows you to set priorities that reflect your organization's business model and special needs at every level of functionality. At the modular and submodular levels—even down to the individual criteria—you can tell the system which business processes are critical, important, or not important to your organization. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor responses to produce a shortlist of solutions. You get a custom comparison—one that ranks vendor solutions not on out-of-the-box functionality, but rather on how well that functionality matches your business requirements.

It's the best way we know of to evaluate ERP solutions, and we invite you to give it a run-through. Simply click on the link below to visit our ERP Evaluation Center and conduct your fast, free custom ERP comparison. After all, there's no other organization quite like yours.

For a free, custom comparison of ERP solutions, click below.

Find out which ERP solutions are best suited to your company's particular requirements and type of business.

 
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