Five research sources to consider when choosing an ERP solution

With so many solutions and so many resellers, it’s easy to see why there’s so many potential pitfalls in the ERP selection process.

But there are resources to help make that decision a little easier - here's what those resources are and how to find them.

1) Case studies and publications

Typically generated by vendors and resellers and published on their websites, case studies are published accounts of how a solution has been successfully implemented in a real-world business environment.

But not all case studies are necessarily published equal, as some may not necessarily reflect the solution as your business needs it. Looking at case studies within your sector will give offer insight into how a similar implementation might benefit your business.

Beyond case studies, resellers and vendors may also publish ebooks, guides and white papers – in addition to sharing third-party research regarding the effectiveness of ERP and the current state of the marketplace.

2) Blogs and third-party outlets

ERP solutions are powerful and complex. That means there’s plenty to talk about. It's no surprise, then, that there’s numerous blogs dedicated to ERP from which to glean information about solutions and the selection process.

Some may be independent publications, others by vendors and resellers looking to demystify the ERP implementation process for prospective customers and ensure existing users get the most out of their solutions.

3) Live online demonstrations

Even if you had access to your ERP system prior to purchase, you wouldn’t necessarily understand exactly how to leverage it effectively. Live online demonstrations help to bridge this gap – as they show you what the system can do with someone who knows exactly what that system can achieve.

Offered by both vendors and resellers, these online demonstrations typically include interaction with an expert of the system on show, giving you the chance to ask questions and explore your prospective ERP solution.

You should be able to register for these demos on the vendor or reseller's website. If not, contact them directly to find out how you can get involved in their upcoming presentations.

4) Seminars

Like online demonstrations, seminars provide an expert-led overview of your prospective solution – but one added benefit: face-to-face interaction. Other attendees will also be investigating potential ERP solutions. They, too, like you will have concerns and questions about solutions, resellers, tech supports and add-ons.

Seminars provide a rare opportunity to network with other ERP-seekers and, in effect, crowdsource information. Not only will the seminar itself provide you with an abundance of information and demonstrations, other attendees will provide information, too.

5) Online videos

Streaming websites such as YouTube can provide a hands-off overview of your prospective solutions. In addition to containing guidance and advice – from product reviews to tutorials – streaming sites can provide an insight into your reseller, vendor and product. Video content can range from product reviews and tutorials to vendor-held presentations and case studies – accessible at any time.

The more informed you are, the more informed your buying decision

There’s no shortage of information available to guide you through your ERP selection process. And with so much information available from so many sources, it may feel almost impossible to navigate and effectively use that information. 

But this sea of information can become a stream of knowledge on which you can base your ERP buying decision. Knowing what you don’t know will highlight the questions you need to ask – and so the more you know, the more you have to go on when making that final decision.

Want to know more? Speak to an ERP expert

If you're looking for information and guidance in the midst of your system selection journey, resellers such as Datel have business consultants on hand to help. Get in touch to find out more about Sage ERP, and how we can implement your solution to maximise its potential.