Enable Systems https://www.enable-systems.com Powering local governments for over 30 years Wed, 26 Feb 2020 00:59:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lawn Tennis Association Chooses Enable https://www.enable-systems.com/lawn-tennis-association-chooses-enable/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:03:00 +0000 http://www.enable-systems.com/?p=3968 The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has selected Enable to assist in the implementation of their Unit4 Prevero solution. Enable consultants will be working with the LTA team to design, build, integrate, support, and test the Unit4 Prevero solution. The Unit4 Prevero corporate performance management (CPM) platform delivers flexible, powerful reporting tools. These tools integrate seamlessly with existing systems, empowering staff ...

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The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has selected Enable to assist in the implementation of their Unit4 Prevero solution. Enable consultants will be working with the LTA team to design, build, integrate, support, and test the Unit4 Prevero solution.

The Unit4 Prevero corporate performance management (CPM) platform delivers flexible, powerful reporting tools. These tools integrate seamlessly with existing systems, empowering staff while decreasing support requirements.

The Enable team brings decades of experience designing, delivering and supporting enterprise solutions. We’ve worked with hundreds of customers. Our unique approach provides the veteran guidance to project teams needed for successful projects. We help our customers to build confidence and gain experience with any software solution.

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A safer approach to ERP procurement https://www.enable-systems.com/safer-approach-erp-procurement/ Mon, 02 May 2016 11:00:00 +0000 http://109.199.115.33/~enablesystems/?p=467 In their efforts to eliminate risks from ERP procurement, local governments often end up with systems that are outdated before they are fully implemented. Although most local governments have made major investments in their enterprise systems over the past decade, the fact is that the underlying technology stack of these systems is 20 (or more) years old. In many cases, this is due to ...

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In their efforts to eliminate risks from ERP procurement, local governments often end up with systems that are outdated before they are fully implemented. Although most local governments have made major investments in their enterprise systems over the past decade, the fact is that the underlying technology stack of these systems is 20 (or more) years old. In many cases, this is due to a procurement process that is more focused on purchasing software that is “proven” than on the actual value delivered by the solution.

The typical procurement process usually involves selecting a reputable consulting firm to execute the following process:

  1. Review functional requirements
  2. Issue RFP to “qualified” vendors
  3. Attending scripted demonstrations
  4. Visiting selected installations
  5. Negotiating contracts

In this model, the selection process can easily take 18-24 months and the implementation of the solution from 1-3 years in addition to any delays due to vendor availability. In all, it could easily take 5 years for a government ERP system to be fully operational. This means anyone purchasing a “proven” system (installed in more than 100 sites) is probably getting a technology stack that was assembled in the 1990’s. In order to make these systems appear modern, they have been augmented with numerous add-ons for user interface, data access, and archiving. It all adds up to a maintenance nightmare that is typically more expensive than the system being replaced. While it is not controversial to follow this common approach, there is a better way.

Organizations that want real value from their enterprise systems should be willing to undertake ERP replacement in phases and begin each phase with a small pilot project. This approach is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, it reduces risk. With an all or nothing approach, the stakes are much higher. Second, it is less disruptive to the organization because the scope of the change is reduced. Third, it improves the organization’s ability to manage the project and change. During each phase, the project team (and organization as a whole) has the opportunity to adjust the project scope and implementation approach based upon their experience.

Web service integration between all components should be a fundamental requirement for any solution considered by the organization. Well-designed, modern systems incorporate web services that allow them to seamlessly exchange information with any other system. This means that the General Ledger system from one vendor should function well with the Payroll/HR system from another vendor. Additionally, they provide a means to achieve integration between new and old components in a phased approach and “future proof” the solution by ensuring that modules can be swapped out if needs change in the future.

Using this approach, you can have “best of breed” functionality and great integration while reducing cost and risk. The organization is able to address immediate their needs with a solution that is built on a modern technology stack.

An enterprise system made from modern component parts built on new technology is better than a legacy system built from corporate acquisitions. It is also the best way to avoid getting stuck with a system that’s out of date before the ink is dry on its multi-million dollar contract, while providing freedom from oppressive maintenance practices of the “proven” vendors.

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We have landed at GMIS 2015! Come find us at booth 19. https://www.enable-systems.com/we-have-landed-at-gmis-2015-come-find-us-at-booth-19/ Mon, 24 Aug 2015 18:15:42 +0000 http://109.199.115.33/~enablesystems/?p=432 Enable is attending the GMIS International Annual Conference in Newport, Rhode Island on August 23- 27, 2015.

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Enable is attending the GMIS International Annual Conference in Newport, Rhode Island on August 23- 27, 2015.

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Enable to attend GMIS 2015 Annual Conference August 23 – 27, 2015 https://www.enable-systems.com/enable-to-attend-gmis-2015-annual-conference-august-23-27-2015/ Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:52:53 +0000 http://109.199.115.33/~enablesystems/?p=417 Enable will be attending the GMIS International Annual Conference in Newport, Rhode Island on August 23- 27, 2015. Navigating the Seas of Technology’s aim is to network with IT industry peers, hear from leadership experts, engage with state-of-the-art vendors and exchange ideas. This years conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Newport at 1 Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island, ...

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Enable will be attending the GMIS International Annual Conference in Newport, Rhode Island on August 23- 27, 2015.

Navigating the Seas of Technology’s aim is to network with IT industry peers, hear from leadership experts, engage with state-of-the-art vendors and exchange ideas.

This years conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Newport at 1 Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island, 02840.

We’re always delighted to speak with anyone interested in what we’re doing, so please come and say “hello”, we will be at booth #19. If you would like to arrange a meeting with Chris at the event, please contact us.

More information:
Official GMIS Information
Hyatt Regency Newport

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Getting the most from your ERP investment https://www.enable-systems.com/getting-erp-investment/ Mon, 16 Feb 2015 19:02:39 +0000 http://109.199.115.33/~enablesystems/?p=398 Despite spending millions of dollars over the past decade, most local governments are not receiving the benefits that they expected from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The fact is that most systems available today are more a result of the financial consolidation of companies than they are a result of an integrated systems design. We would argue that these ...

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Despite spending millions of dollars over the past decade, most local governments are not receiving the benefits that they expected from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The fact is that most systems available today are more a result of the financial consolidation of companies than they are a result of an integrated systems design.

We would argue that these systems are more fragmented than they were in 1990 when each system was built on a proprietary platform. The major benefit of these “modern” enterprise systems seems to be the ability to write a single (large) check to a vendor with an impressive balance sheet.

While these large vendors are in no hurry to adopt open standards and web services that would greatly improve their systems, Enable has a solution that can greatly enhance and extend your ERP and actually deliver the enterprise data view that you need for better decision making and planning.

We can implement the “middleware” necessary to allow every module of your system to be more accessible to all other parts of your enterprise. We can also use middleware to virtualize all of your data to allow all of your enterprise information to be available through a single view.

If you are considering replacing your enterprise systems in order to achieve better access to your data, you should talk with Enable. In most cases we can get better results, quickly, for about 10% of the cost of replacement.

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How SaaS should change the way you approach your next ERP upgrade https://www.enable-systems.com/how-saas-should-change-the-way-you-approach-your-next-erp-upgrade/ Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:09:29 +0000 http://109.199.115.33/~enablesystems/?p=145 Now that we have a growing number of companies offering cloud-based software, it is a good time to consider a new approach to procuring these systems. Over the past decade, more and more agencies have tried to combine all of their software requirements into a single procurement effort. The idea is to develop a single RFP and ask for the ...

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Now that we have a growing number of companies offering cloud-based software, it is a good time to consider a new approach to procuring these systems. Over the past decade, more and more agencies have tried to combine all of their software requirements into a single procurement effort. The idea is to develop a single RFP and ask for the “moon” and then settle for the closest solution that you can find from a single vendor or a large system integration firm. Given the fact that the companies that offer a comprehensive solution and a track record, are highly invested in proprietary technologies, you may be missing-out on the best solutions available.

The fact is that any modern software solution should be easy to integrate with other modern systems. When a vendor charges $10-20K for an interface to an appliance or to mobile technologies, this should be a “red flag”. The time has come for customers to demand that industry leaders make their systems more open. You should avoid any vendor that does not provide Web Services integration that is available to any 3rd party.

Buying software as a service (SaaS) should provide you with the ability to “test drive” a system before making a multi-million dollar commitment. Any vendor that requires you to purchase a minimum number of ‘seats” or make a long-term commitment is not serious about SaaS. They are simply taking their license model and allowing you to spread the cost over a longer term. Remember, you don’t own SaaS so you shouldn’t pay as much as if you were purchasing a license. If the monthly charge is simply the purchase price divided by 36 (with a minimum 3 year term), you are buying the software and you will be forced to buy in again after 3 years.

Another factor is the implementation cycle. If your new SaaS system won’t be in full production for 18-24 months, why would you purchase “seats” for everyone who will ultimately be using the software when only the project team needs access during the transition. Managing “seats” is a great way to avoid risk and to minimize overlap in costs of the new system and the software that is being replaced. As the “seats” increase on your new system, there should be a corresponding decrease in the maintenance on your old system.

Finally, anyone considering the replacement of an ERP system, should immediately start looking for 3rd party support. Once you have determined that a vendor is no longer strategic to your organization, the focus should shift to the most economical means of maintaining this system as you invest in a replacement. Im many cases, 3rd party support can save enough to cover the cost of a “pilot” for a replacement. This also preserves your options should the new system not meet your expectations. When customers make a large up-front commitment to a new ERP, they are usually stuck with that system for at least five years. Most agencies don’t litigate and vendors are experts at placing the blame for a failed implementation on the customer.

Hopefully, the availability of true SaaS solutions and better integration will allow customers to try some of the new companies that provide better value and more responsive services.

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Improving the RFP Process https://www.enable-systems.com/improving-the-rfp-process/ Mon, 20 Jan 2014 00:09:58 +0000 http://109.199.115.33/~enablesystems/?p=147 Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the low success rate of government software projects. While the statistics say that over 75% of the projects either fail outright or don’t meet promised objectives, We think the real rate of success is actually much lower. Despite all of the money spent on consultants and “methodologies”, the systems are simply ...

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Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the low success rate of government software projects. While the statistics say that over 75% of the projects either fail outright or don’t meet promised objectives, We think the real rate of success is actually much lower.

Despite all of the money spent on consultants and “methodologies”, the systems are simply not meeting customer expectations. While one could certainly point to the practices of big software companies who are more concerned about profit than customer success, we think the real problem is with the procurement process that emphasizes conformance to outdated specifications over the ability to perform on a given project. We once delivered a presentation about the future of software to a large group of county IT officials. After the presentation the group went on a “rant” about their current vendor. After the fourth complaint about this vendor we asked “If you continue to use the same RFP that requires 20 installations in your state, do you expect a different result?”

The fact is that delegating responsibility for RFP’s to consultants has only resulted in the same consultants using the same RFP processes to select the same vendors. The most successful vendors are not those with the best products or those with the best results, the most successful vendors are those who have built their business model around compliance with RFP requirements. This is why the same small group of companies continue to be selected and why they deliver the same poor results.

Many vendors with great solutions have tried to break through the “glass ceiling” of the RFP process with new software with little success. Even with a proven track record, any new product is at a tremendous disadvantage.  It absolutely amazes us that customers will spend millions (up front) for a system with absolutely no guarantee of results…simply because a lot of other organizations have selected that system. So what can be done?  We have developed some suggestions for an RFP that would encourage competition and place the emphasis on the issues that are more likely to determine success.

Here are are our suggestions for a better RFP:

1. Eliminate the functional specifications.

The attempt to reduce a complex software application to a 150 page list of functions is highly ineffective. While some vendors diligently analyze each feature, others simply find some way to interpret each question in the affirmative. A feature that seems critical in one system design, may be totally unnecessary in a more modern system. The scoring and weighting of these specifications is totally subjective and the scoring has absolutely nothing to do with the ability of a given system to produce results. Allow each vendor to provide the detailed specifications that show the advantages of their system.

2. Don’t ask for a fixed price for services.

The fact is that the services required to implement a given software solution are more a function of the culture of the client than the complexity of the software. I’ve seen clients who can implement a payroll system…on their own in 6 weeks and others who are still not ready after 6 years. Some vendors will make a legitimate effort to identify all costs while others will simply “lowball” and skillfully up-sell services once the contract is signed. Requiring a fixed price on services is not realistic.

The best way to understand implementation costs for a given system is to obtain the actual costs from the references provided by that vendor. Find out what successful customers have actually spent and if that amount was within the project budget and ask for rates only.

3. Ask for diverse references.

No two organizations are alike. Ask for references that demonstrate the ability of the system to adapt to different requirements. Don’t be too narrow in what you are willing to accept. Be open to new ideas.

We have prepared a sample RFP that we think would increase competition and improve results. We would strongly recommend that you conduct meetings with prospective vendors before your RFP process.
The decline in software project success seems to parallel the formality and objectivity of the procurement process. More openness can only improve the results.

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