When the time comes to change an existing financial or business management software solution, companies can often find themselves daunted by the prospect of such a large undertaking.
A couple of questions that companies need to ask themselves before they begin are:
- Are you sure you really need to change your existing system?
- Have you really outgrown it, or are you simply under-utilising it?
Some of the main reasons for a systems change include: the company requires a business solution that is able to respond to changes in business processes and procedures; there’s a need for greater integration with other systems; the existing solution no longer meets the business needs. Something to consider about the next business management system you select is the importance of upgrading regularly to avoid downtime, data loss and increased costs. Old versions are often incompatible with new operating systems, so it’s important to stay up to date.
As with any upgrade or system change, thorough testing and team training are paramount to the success of the project, so this should be taken seriously throughout and tested thoroughly before deployment to the live environment. In addition to the above, as a client who is paying their annual support and maintenance, you are usually entitled to the latest versions of the software as part of this contract. Upgrading your business management solution will also allow you to generally take advantage of the latest version of MS Windows, MS Office, MS SQL and other commonly used business platforms. These can significantly improve data security, controlled accessibility and speed.
Therefore, if you are not upgrading when full new versions come out, or you are a substantial number of patches behind, you could be denying yourself business benefits that you are already paying for with your maintenance renewals. In conclusion, it’s important to remember that projects of this nature are a joint responsibility between the supplier and the customer, so the amount of effort required by your company should not be underestimated.
Do not be afraid to ask the questions of your support partner account manager, support team and on their online forums. It is also a good idea to check the author’s websites and customer portals for reviews of the new versions posted by other users and to engage with authors and partners teams at the regular user events and groups.
It should be relatively easy for you and your team to carry out fairly detailed research, when deciding to upgrade your business management system. In the case of SAP Business One, there is a wealth of free material available on the web.
Taking the above approach to planning and executing an upgrade will save you money in the long run and give you a better understanding of the best time to upgrade so you can realise maximum returns and deliver additional value through your software solution in future.
About Sapphire Systems
Sapphire Systems offers comprehensive implementation, consultancy, training and support services of business management systems, most notably, SAP Business One, Infor10 Financials Business (SunSystems) and Infor10 Enterprise Asset Management