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• ERP complexity demands expensive, external engineers - in-house IT teams cannot cope

• Test claims Agresso supports business change faster and at lower cost than rival ERP providers

July 14 2008 – In-house IT departments face stretched resources and mounting external support costs due to the majority of ERP software not being able to easily cope with the changing needs of business.

A study by Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC), comparing the software architecture of leading services sector ERP vendors demonstrates that ERP rigidity is the root cause of spiraling costs.

The study compared Agresso with SAP and Oracle. It found that Agresso Business World users can apply more than 95 percent of the required changes to their ERP solution themselves. On the other hand, SAP and Oracle require application development conducted by (external) IT department staff to support most (more than 95 percent) changes.

In today’s competitive market, businesses and public sector organisations are living in a constant state of change. However, most ERP solutions seem to be falling short in accommodating change, leading to higher support costs and impacting business efficiency.

An IDC Survey, conducted in February 2008 amongst 250 companies worldwide, reports that 47 percent of ERP users say that their financial applications costs exceeded their planned budgets by as much as 100 per cent. TEC tried to find an answer to the question: what are software vendors doing right and wrong to facilitate post-implementation change?

In order to discover how adaptable various ERP systems really are in the post implementation phase, TEC took three global vendors – Agresso, Oracle and SAP – that provide offerings to the services sector. Multiple customers as well as internal specialists from each vendor were interviewed and asked what technology methodology they required to support business change in the five primary areas of change: new (government) regulations, reorganizations and restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, business processes change and financial management-driven change.

Each respondent said that change was supported in one of two areas:

• graphical user interface (GUI): a display on the desktop that enables the user to quickly move, merge, and display data through various windows, icons and mouse movements
• application level: a programming level that requires IT department staff to integrate similar files, tables and application data sets.

The results speak for themselves. Both SAP and Oracle require application level support for nearly all (respectively 100 and 93 per cent) of the required change scenarios. On the contrary, Agresso Business World allows users to apply more than 95 per cent of the changes themselves using a GUI (with the exception of integrating non-native applications), via its drag-and-drop functionality.

“Change that is made at the application level generally requires different resources. It takes a lot of time and effort to specify requirements, to design, to develop and to test - and on top of that to manage the project”, said Ton Dobbe, Vice President Product Marketing at Agresso. “Few organisations have these resources in-house, and therefore they will need to source them from third parties. This means that the post-implementation agility of Agresso Business World does not only save rapid changing organisations a lot of cost, but also time.”

“If your organisation’s industry segment or business model is highly dynamic, Agresso should be on the shortlist of vendors to review. Especially when you take into account the increasing rates that developers charge and their increased market shortage”, Dobbe added.

About Unit 4 Agresso

Unit 4 Agresso is a leading international producer of business software for public and private sector organizations. The group has 3500 staff in 19 countries across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and sales activities in other countries around the world. With 2007 sales of €321 million, Unit 4 Agresso is headquartered in Sliedrecht, the Netherlands and publicly traded on Euronext Amsterdam (Symbol: U4AGR).

Contact:

Marc Ambasna-Jones
Monument PR
Tel: 01225 747214
Email: marc@monumentpr.com

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