Many factors go into your company’s decision to invest in a financial management or ERP solution, not the least of which is whether the solution can deliver an adequate return on investment (ROI). For the past several weeks we’ve been writing about the importance of seeking long-term value achievement from your ERP application. We considered the case for patience in awaiting an ROI; we also revealed some secrets to achieving long-term ERP success and we even questioned if you’ve been defining ROI incorrectly all along. Here we share our thoughts (and a few truths for the fact-checkers among you) about how long-term ERP value might be better termed continual or progressive value because the rewards begin from the start and build continually.
Cloud ERP Throws the On-Premise ROI Model On Its Ear
Remember the “old days” of on-premise ERP where you expended a big chunk of money to purchase the software, and then expected a rapid ROI based on all the pretty pictures in the brochure and a salesperson’s promises? One couldn’t be faulted for thinking that way, as in that perpetual license model, you’re buying a static product that might be updated once a year (along with a cost of services to help with the upgrade). What it does when you buy it might be all it ever does for you, particularly if you add customizations that limit your agility.
Of course, in reality, publishers of on-premise ERP did (and do) update the software, but updates were fewer and further between. Since customers paid for each update, publishers were reluctant to put out too many of them in short succession at the risk of making customers feel nickel-and-dimed. Instead, publishers released (at most) one update per year (not counting interim bug fixes…). The updates would then contain many features—often more than a company could easily incorporate into its workflow without disruption and extensive training. This led to the situation where very few companies purchased every update. They would continue running on whatever version they purchased until something compelling enough was included in a new update—or until their version was no longer supported. With technology changing so significantly, being a few years behind the curve is a silent killer of ROI.
The result of this static ERP model? Any ROI you were going to get was there for the getting from Day 1 and may actually decline over time.
The situation is entirely different with Cloud ERP solutions like Sage Intacct “sold” on a subscription model. You’re not buying a static monolithic product. Instead you’re investing in a solution with an onward and upward trajectory. In fact, companies now shop less for features (since in all honesty, the feature sets for most mid-market ERP applications is quite similar), and more for the technology platform and the promise of continual innovation.
The result of this dynamic cloud ERP model? You’ve got ROI potential today, next quarter and the quarter after that, and on it goes.
5 Ways Sage Intacct Continues to Add Value Over Time
Sage Intacct has powerful capabilities today and gets better four times a year as quarterly releases are revealed. There are at least five ways this model serves to add continuing value and ROI.
- Each release boosts the value of your investment—think of it as getting paid a “dividend” every quarter.
- New releases are seamlessly introduced into the code base without disruption to your operations.
- With a shorter list of features included in each quarterly release, you have a better opportunity to understand and take advantage of each and every one. Internal Super Users and partners like BT Partners help ensure you know what you’re getting and how you can put it to best use.
- More frequent updates increase the number of easy wins that are achievable. With new functionality being introduced quarterly, there are destined to be gold nuggets among them: features that dramatically speed a specific workflow, for example, or reduce the need for a third-party application. These easy wins are good for everyone’s morale and are a perfect way to demonstrate your continuing ROI to the C-Suite.
- You’re always running the most current version of the software. Any company who’s faced a massive upgrade will understand the value of this.
Investing in a modern cloud ERP like Sage Intacct boosts your ROI potential, taking it from a static, fixed commodity to an annuity—continuing to deliver benefits over time. Our customers tell us they selected Sage Intacct in large part because of the continual investment and innovation, and that they haven’t been disappointed yet.