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ERP HEADtoHEAD 2018 - a look back at the UK’s leading ERP showcase

Datel's Executive Chairman, Alan Simpson, reflects on the ERP HEADtoHEAD showcase, Datel’s presence at the event, and representing Sage X3 Enterprise Management.

ERP HEADtoHEAD is an ERP showcase organised by business management consultancy, Lumenia. At the event, Datel presented Sage X3 Enterprise Management: a mid-market ERP solution used by thousands of businesses around the world.

“Lumenia did a fantastic job of bringing together the 50 or so organisations in the process of selecting a new ERP system,” Alan says of the event. “It was the perfect opportunity for attendees to compare 12 solutions and the 12 resellers representing those solutions.”

The event featured solutions by vendors such as Sage, SAP, Microsoft, EPICOR and Oracle. Each solution was represented by a single reseller, who kicked off the event with a four-minute ‘elevator speech’ - an opportunity for representatives to convince attendees their solution was worth further investigation at the two-day showcase.

Two days, twelve systems, one elevator speech

Alan’s speech sought to challenge the preconception that Sage solely provides solutions for small businesses, as evidenced by their mid-market and enterprise-level solutions, such as Sage X3 Enterprise Management.

He also posed the question, “What word would you traditionally use to describe Sage software?”

His answer? “Boring.”

“It’s a preconception many people have about Sage,” Alan says on his choice of words. “They think of small businesses, accounting and boring processes, but it’s a preconception that’s wrong. We have a UK-based global software author at the forefront of business management technology.”

He also spoke about the Sage Business Cloud and how Sage is investing heavily in emerging technologies such as AI, bots and blockchain, “What Sage is achieving with the Business Cloud is blending business solutions with new technologies, with Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management (Sage X3) at its heart.

“Sage certainly isn't just for small businesses, and it’s certainly not boring.”

Why Alan chose to represent Datel

Even with over 170 employees at Datel, Alan chose to spearhead the company’s presence at the event as the company's executive chairman - something not every reseller opted to do.

“I was excited to be part of the event, and hope it’s a sign of assurance to businesses making ERP decisions,” Alan explains. “It’s about establishing personal connections with attendees and expressing my confidence that Datel can deliver the system they need in the way they need it.

“Because we were the sole representative of such a transformative solution, people came to us for expertise and guidance on what that solution can do for them. Datel was careful to select a team who could best discuss Sage X3 Enterprise Management and its capabilities with attendees.”

But this wasn’t the only aspect to the event. ERP HEADtoHEAD also gave resellers the opportunity to deliver two live demonstrations of their respective solutions.

Not your typical ERP solution

In the two demonstrations at the event, Datel presented the benefits and capabilities of Sage X3 Enterprise Management’s financial and procurement capabilities. They highlighted system functionality, ‘What if?’ scenarios, and discussed real-world deployments of the system.

“Sharing those real-world win stories helps prospective users understand what the system can do, and how it can be applied to their industry,” Alan explains. “It’s not theoretical or a sales pitch. They’re evidence the system really achieves results in live environments.”

Datel’s presentations were helmed by Sage X3 Enterprise Management product specialists Ian Mowbray and John Loftus, who both possess extensive experience in demonstrating the capabilities of ERP systems - including Sage X3 Enterprise Management to businesses across a range of industries and sectors.

Insight into the ERP buying process

What’s more, exhibitors were allowed to attend other reseller’s seminars. Alan took the opportunity to see SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“Having previously fallen for the ‘grass is greener' syndrome, I was pleasantly surprised by how comparatively fresh and modern Sage X3 Enterprise Management appeared to be,” he says. “I was impressed by the balance our solution struck between breadth of functionality and sensible price point.”

For many, the end of ERP HEADtoHEAD doesn’t mean the end of the ERP buying process - or Datel’s events for the year. With itSHOWCASE London set for May 15th, Alan and his team at Datel will continue to guide UK businesses in their system selection journey throughout 2018 and beyond.