EOS = ROI vs. ERP - Page 1

Oct 15, 2004

Chris Egizi

Even as they struggle to make due with limited staff and financial resources, many IT departments are faced with a new dilemma: looming end-of-support (EOS) deadlines on aging ERP systems.

To solve this problem do you divert precious resources away from projects with strong ROI and dedicate them to a project that offers little or no ROI; or do you pay exorbitant maintenance fees to continue support on their outdated system; or do you take the risk of losing support altogether?

Pointing Fingers

When it comes to dealing with the "rock-and-hard-place" reality of the end-of-support (EOS) deadlines, it's easy to point fingers at the ERP vendors who are often accused of trying to replace lost software revenues by pressuring customers to upgrade.

In fact, according to an AMR Research survey, 38% of respondents were so angered by the deadlines that they planned to train their internal staffs to handle technical support, while 12% planned to stop paying maintenance fees entirely.

The problem for most companies, however, is that bringing support in-house or taking a stand against maintenance fees simply aren't viable options. Very few have the capability to fully support the software, and most can't afford the risk of an unsupported ERP system.

Besides, it's unrealistic to expect ERP vendors to continue providing support for systems installed up to six years ago.

Since then, multiple versions of core products have been released, yet few companies have taken advantage of them -- even though it's been nearly two years since the first critical EOS deadlines were issued.

Outsourcing the Solution?

While some IT managers are finding ways to complete upgrades with existing resources, many are turning to outsourcing or staff augmentation, which allow the internal staff to remain focused on core responsibilities while still meeting EOS deadlines.

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