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By 19 January 2015 | Categories: Software

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An ERP system that is not sufficiently flexible to meet changing business demands is an anchor not a sail, holding the business back, not driving it forward. This is according to a Gartner report that now defines legacy as 'any system that is not sufficiently flexible to meet changing business needs'.

Local business solutions provider Palladium Software stresses that many business executives are concerned about the lack of flexibility in their business applications portfolio yet tend to do little or nothing about it due to a reluctance for change.

Organisations that are not bound by specific manufacturing or supply chain demands are beginning to take advantage of the greater opportunities to obtain a better functional fit and the process flexibility offered by modern applications. However, this shifting toward newer and more agile technologies will not necessarily result in better cost-value outcomes for many organisations.

Few organisations would say that they are achieving real business value from their ERP systems. Yet many of these same organisations are making the assumption that cloud will automatically provide more agility at lower cost, therefore, increasing value.

Palladium Software managing director Stephen Corrigan does not believe in the traditional 80/20 fit principle. "We realise that in today’s age, companies need to have a 100 percent fit in order have the edge over their competitors and the days of software vendors dictating how companies should run their businesses with prescriptive software, is drawing to a close.”

“We have always believed in our software offering clients the ability to add defining features to their business process, right from our Acumatica Cloud ERP to our Palladium Software range, even for the startup businesses. In addition to this, all our products are Microsoft Certified, using the latest in technologies and ensuring the highest standards at all times," he explains.

Palladium offers custom development for clients at a nominal fee, allowing it to extend its development resources. All features are developed in such a way that they are incorporated into the main application that benefits all clients. This philosophy has aided in Palladium extending its core development team from 2 to 6 developers.

"The features we’ve developed range from temporary customer credit limits to the automated sending of outstanding customer invoices on-the-fly from sales document processing routines. They are really limitless and extensive and I would go as far as saying that 75 percent of our development in our 2015 edition has been client requests that have changed the business," he explains.

Evaluation of ERP solutions must become even more rigorous, organisations will find that the hybridisation of ERP requires greater focus on aspects that were taken for granted in previously integrated monolithic 'out of the box' ERP solutions.

As vendors begin to understand and adapt to the hybrid world, their offerings become more complex and their commitment to provide easy-to-use integration for the hybrid environment will both require critical examination. Long-term sourcing arrangements are likely to require greater flexibility in order to cater for changing integration requirements.

"In terms of ERP, our Acumatica Cloud ERP Acumatica application ships with a complete development toolkit allowing it to be fully modified by the client in structured environment. In addition, it ships standard with a customisable Wiki for help as well as a complete set of web-services on every form for any form of direct integrations,” he adds.

Corrigan believes this is the new generation of software that has been created to be fully adaptable. “Standard features include user rights that are granular down to field level. We also have definable literals that allow users to process in the language of their choice. Using Google Translate this process is now straightforward and really bodes well for our country with the 11 official languages."

As alternatives to monolithic on-premise ERP and as enterprise applications continue to mature, CIOs and application leaders must take action to address the fast-approaching reality of legacy ERP and its implications for their business in the postmodern world.

“We have seen a great adoption of our philosophies and technologies and this demand has resulted in us recently opening an office in Cape Town. In summary, the days of an accounting software vendor dictating how a client should run their business, due to the inherent software limitations of the application, are dead," he concludes.

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