That is exactly the question we asked ourselves as we worked to define our priorities for 2020. What shifts and challenges are our customers facing, what is the future of the technology we are responsible for helping them to deploy, and what are the implications for us, an ERP value-added reseller (VAR) serving industrial machinery and manufacturing customers? Helping customers looking for field service and manufacturing ERP solutions since 1985, we’ve tasked ourselves with this question often. Following are a few highlights of what we considered important for 2020.
ERP at The Center Of Digital Transformation
The 4th Industrial Revolution is creating new demands on businesses as digital technologies transform the way companies communicate, distribute, transact and measure. To keep up, businesses, including our customers, are faced with working through what is being referred to by many as a “digital transformation”. As referenced by one of our ERP providers, Infor, in Making Digital Transformation Part of Your DNA, CIO defines digital transformation as “the acceleration of business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact in a strategic and prioritized way.” For us this means that the ERP solutions we deploy for our customers are not only the mechanism by which the needs of today’s business are met, but also must be ready to support the transforming of their business for tomorrow. As their ERP VAR, along with implementation and services excellence, for our customers, we must be ready to bring leadership, vision, and project management to this iterative technology-driven strategy.
4th Era ERP
Not only is the role of ERP changing, the way organizations deploy it is also undergoing a shift. The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing the 4th Era ERP, as coined by Dennis Torii in Gartner’s CIO’s ERP Success Guide. Per this report, with business value at its heart, the concentration of resources associated to ERP will increasingly shift from large deployments to smaller, more flexible ones that are personalized and optimized to the specific business. Affecting more than the technology itself, these shifts are forecast to impact processes, approaches, governance, and required skills. As an ERP VAR, it is important that we understand our changing role in this process and what this means for our delivery of services.
With more than thirty years field service experience and Infor CloudSuite Field Service as one of our core ERP offerings, in addition to monitoring ERP trends we also work to stay in front of the field service industry. There are several trends that we believe are currently impacting what our field service customers need from their ERP VAR. This rapidly expanding industry is seeing the impact of AI and other technologies necessary for the delivery of connected smart services as well as build content and automation around improved and expanded customer value. Data is an ever-present opportunity as well as a growing risk and knowledge building and knowledge transfer will be key to success for many. As a trusted VAR, we recognize that we must help our customers realize the potential of their field service ERP and associated technologies to address these challenges and opportunities.
These highlights for 2020 tell us that we and our Infor CloudSuite Field Service and Infor CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline) customers have a journey ahead of us. We see continued work towards being customer-driven and expanding automation, focused and specialized work within hyper-vertical segments, and the need to ensure our team is ready to do the human work of connecting the potential of technology to its business value. We’re excited about what 2020 will bring and just as we have since 1985 we remain committed to continuing to advance and evolve the role of an ERP VAR.