I’ve never been on the buying side of the table when it comes to PeopleSoft (or any ERP product for that matter) – only on the selling side, so I’m interested in our readers and customers view points on this.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about.
The decision to implement an ERP product is a long-term and strategic path in many ways. Customers are intelligent and conduct plenty of due-diligence exercises such as demonstrations, presentations, reference calls and in many cases, very large RFIs and RFPs. This is all very meticulous, time consuming and expensive. And, in some cases, it can be career-changing for those who engage in the project. So, here is where I’m confused.
You’ve chosen the best – PeopleSoft HCM, Financials, Supply Chain and Asset Life Cycle Management. All the bells and whistles needed to run a corporation efficiently and in an integrated fashion. The Product Strategists at Oracle/PeopleSoft have invested hours upon hours of R&D to enhance the product suite for today’s business environments. You’ve chosen a partner, say MIPRO, who has the knowledge and the experience to implement this integrated product to best fit your workflow and processes. Most of our customers want a ‘vanilla’ implementation with minimal customizations and in line with best practices. So far, so good!
Enter niche product. Even though PeopleSoft has a recruiting application which integrates with all the other HCM modules, niche looks better to some folks. Even though PeopleSoft has an ePerformance module, some again choose niche. Now, let me say, I sincerely appreciate sales folks out there whose job it is to market and sell these niche products. In some cases, a niche/best-of-breed product may appear to be more robust or have a slicker user interface. But, if PeopleSoft already has 80%–90% of the functionality why buy it again and go through yet another implementation effort and now add the complexity of integrations?
This path, when chosen, negates the desired ‘vanilla’ implementation of the ERP solution. It skirts some best practices and guarantees external integration work, which as we know, becomes fragile as upgrades and new functionality are added. The niche solution is now customized itself, not integrated fully and more expensive long term.
If you have chosen a niche product over an application that’s part of an integrated solution (PeopleSoft, SAP, whaterver), I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m genuinely interested. Let me know in the comments or drop me an email.
MIPRO Consulting main website.