Customizing SaaS ERP – Part III

December 22, 2009
By djohnson

An article in CMS by Eric Kimberling inspired a part III to our customizing SaaS ERP posts. In Part I, we looked at the question of whether to customize a SaaS ERP deployment. In Part II, we examined the sources of SaaS and customization savings and advised flexibility. Now we look at some percentages and recommendations.

Eric Kimberling in his article “ERP Software Customization: The Ulitimate Sin of Enterprise Software?”, provides an interesting fact from a 2008 ERP Report.

“Only 23% of organizations implement vanilla ERP software with little or to no customization. The reaminder of organizations in our study customized their software, with 34% indicating heavy customization.”

“Every company is unique and no single ERP solution is goign to meet 100% of a company’s requirements.”

The post includes tips on how to mitigate customization problems, including defining requirements, understanding configuration versus customization, and controlling your ERP project.

Our Addition: As Eric mentions, some customizations are inevitable. So, buy software that allows you to separate customizations from core business logic. This will allow you to port changes to your next deployment and easily eliminate customizations if you change your business processes later. SaaS vendors have made it standard practice to develop in this way because they have to pay to upgrade customers. Unfortunately, many SaaS vendors limit the customizations that you can make, so as we said in Part II, remain flexible!

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