Alliance aims to curb ERP budget/implentation blow outs

Manufacturing companies frustrated by excessive implementation times and budget blow outs associated with ERP installations are the target of an alliance between IBM and QAD.

The two have joined forces to create the PowerSystem range of solutions, which claim to guarantee on-time, on-budget, Y2K compliant, Windows NT-based enterprise solutions for the mid-size manufacturing market.

"When we started this work with IBM, we did a survey of 500 mid market manufacturers ... and we said 'what are your key concerns? What are you looking for and why would you buy it if we were to put it together?" said QAD's global alliance manager Mike Mansbach. "The first three reasons were: it has to be simple, it has to be a solution that contains the software, hardware and services for a single point of contact, and it has to be quick to install. So what we're talking about is three to four implementation cycles for our clients, backed up by an implementation guarantee."

"The real clincher here is the fact that the implementation time frame is guaranteed. Therefore, prior to a customer's purchase, a client will be walked through a three day 'business modeling session'. At the end of that session, the client will know exactly what risks they will have: here's the exposure from the software perspective; here's the exposure from a hardware perspective and here, for the first time, is exposure from an implementation perspective. And we guarantee it will be done by X time, end of story."

The look and feel of PowerSystem vary from region to region, Mansbach said, and as such, the looming arrival of a goods and services tax (GST) have been "factored in" to the solutions for local manufacturers.

Mansbach said three Australian companies have so far purchased "a like solution" prior to the alliance being announced, but the names of these organisations were unavailable by press time.

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