2012 ERP SURVEY RESULTS:
Taking the Pulse of the Oracle ERP User Community
by John Hoebler, Managing Director, MorganFranklin
Over the past three years, MorganFranklin has conducted annual surveys at the Oracle community Collaborate Conference to analyze the business benefits of enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations and upgrades—as well as their impacts on organizations. The ERP survey is conducted to determine how industry trends, new products, and external factors influence behaviors of the Oracle ERP user community.
Nearly 1,500 conference attendees have responded to the survey over the past three years. Almost half use Oracle E-Business Suite to support financial operations, while 26% use Oracle JD Edwards, 19% use PeopleSoft, and the remaining 10% use other products. Of those surveyed, MorganFranklin gained the following insights:
QUESTION 1: What is one problem that you are currently facing with your ERP?
The most common ERP issues centered on integration with other systems, planning, and executing upgrades. Most survey respondents had little or no record of customizations, and their ERP systems were underutilized and involved extensive manual processing. Other factors adding to the challenge were lack of archiving, insufficient training and documentation, and applications that were not current on bundles and patches.
QUESTION 2: What are your future plans for your ERP investment?
Of the survey respondents, 58% indicated that their organizations were planning to expand their Oracle footprints by upgrading or enhancing their applications, installing new modules, or buying additional products in the Oracle family. This marks a 12% decrease over the 2011 survey, indicating that current economic conditions may be forcing organizations to place software expansion plans on hold. The results may also indicate that organizations are holding off on expanding their software footprints in order to focus on maintaining current systems.
About 25% of the respondents expected to upgrade to a new ERP version within the next 12 months. Another 25% were maintaining the status quo—up 1% from last year’s survey. Only 4% planned to conduct wholesale replacements of their legacy ERP applications—a figure that has remained constant when compared to previous years. This can be attributed to a variety of factors including product satisfaction, product inertia, or lack of a business case to convert to a different platform.
QUESTION 3: Do you know which ERP features you have available but are not using?
Only 10% of the respondents had full visibility of their product utilization. A total of 36% had good knowledge of which features they were currently using—a 5% increase over last year's survey. Unfortunately, more than half of the respondents only had knowledge in some areas, generally did not know which features they were using, or had no idea. These results, while discouraging, are consistent with the previous year’s survey responses.
To improve this metric and derive more return on ERP investments, organizations should utilize tools such as MorganFranklin’s ERP Feature FinderTM Tool to become aware of which ERP features are available but not in use. This unique tool mines the PeopleSoft transactional and configuration data tables to determine the various features/functionalities that are currently being utilized within installed modules. The tool does not impact existing processes, requires no special training or configuration, and can be set up and run quickly to reveal untapped resources.
QUESTION 4: Do you know all of the customizations that have been implemented within your ERP?
About 62% of the respondents reported having great or good knowledge of the customizations in their ERP systems—a 7% increase over 2011. However, 38% had limited or no knowledge of customizations. Not knowing about customizations can increase the impact during upgrades and limit an organization’s ability to apply bundles and feature packs.
As a first step before planning an upgrade or applying bundles, organizations should create and maintain an inventory of all customizations for the future code migration path to production. The inventory should be updated whenever an object changes in the system due to production support tickets or enhancement requests. By combining the customization inventory with the data gathered by a tool like Feature Finder, any organization will be able to estimate the level of effort and cost of an upgrade and/or expansion activity.
Who is MorganFranklin?
MorganFranklin is an execution-oriented business consulting and technology solutions company. We deliver financial management, performance improvement, and national security solutions to industry and government clients. Our professionals work hard to help clients achieve peak performance and mission success. www.morganfranklin.com