Yesterday I was asked my opinion on what would be the best ERP system for a specific medium-sized company. I'm clearly biased, but for a variety of reasons, they thought I could credibly give them some insight. I was nearly struck speechless when I was told that they had received the advice of a consultant who recommended they buy and implement an on-premise, outdated version of SAP Business One.
My first reaction was to tell this executive to imagine he was going to see a doctor. In order to be thorough, he asked another doctor to get a second opinion. Obviously, two consulting physicians could have different ideas about diagnosis and therapy. They could both be right and their opinions could both be valid, even if they differ. But if one of the physicians recommends antibiotics and the other recommends leeches and bleeding, you should probably discount the medieval medical man.
Melodrama aside, recommending an SAP Business One for a distributed company with less than 50 users in today’s day and age is bold in its backward thinking. Let’s look at some of the problems.
These are just the problems that occurred to me in a matter of minutes. I’m sure there are more. I had to wonder why anyone would make this kind of recommendation. I try to believe that people, at heart, are less malicious than it would sometimes seem from the outside. In that vein, I figure that this is somewhat akin to the expression “to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” The consultant is an SAP consultant and so they recommended the tool they were aware of and comfortable with; no malice involved.
I do think though that anyone out there making a recommendation on a system has a responsibility to educate themselves. The market has changed way too much in the past five years to be offering old tools in a new world.