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February 07, 2011

Southwest One to Invest in ERP Software

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

Southwest One, a joint-venture partnership, was formed in 2007 between IBM (News - Alert), Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, and Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Recently the U.K. shared services body has made investments in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from SAP and Oracle.

According to Ian Conner, chief procurement officer for Southwest One, ERP is now used to raise requisitions and orders from across its operations. He also noted that this move is aimed at helping the body to achieve cost reductions. Conner added that cashable savings are "ramping up by half a million a month,” while its procurement team has contracted or identified further cost cuts.

Recently TMC (News - Alert) reported on Gartner’s new study indicating that sales of business management software like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is set to witness remarkable increase. The new analysis report published by Gartner (News - Alert) highlights the fact that across the globe ERP software revenue will soon shoot upwards to $253.7 billion. This is an increase of 7.5 percent when compared to that of 2010.

Jaclyn Allard of TMCnet recommends that before committing to an ERP software solution and a vendor, one must recognize the challenges that implementing an ERP system into their organization can bring. The key is to derive the most benefit and minimize the risks of project failure. The aim of ERP software is to deliver tangible business benefits: cost reduction, productivity improvement and measurable bottomline results.

Michael Krigsman, president and CEO of Asuret, a consulting firm focused on helping companies improve the outcome of IT projects, told PC Magazine that he prefers to use the more ominous metaphor of “the Devil's Triangle” to describe the three-fold factors – customers, vendors and implementation teams – in large, problematic ERP implementation. He also told the magazine he sees no quick and easy answer. “There is no magic bullet,” noted Krigsman. “The magic bullet is to change human nature, to make us wise and all-seeing.” So be practical and implement a checklist before implementing an ERP system and software solution, especially a large one like Southwest One’s.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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