Thinking Outside of the Box
Thinking outside the box, or in this case the enterprise software box, can benefit your organization by filling those gaps that are costing your company time, money and opportunity! The pendulum has swung from companies adopting best of breed solutions back to opting for large, enterprise solutions with lots of bells and whistles. The reason for this shift is not hard to decipher; software company consolidation and the resulting expanded application pool make these enterprise systems an easy choice for CIO's and the procurement folks. Less overhead to manage and one stop shopping.
While there are no doubt benefits from this trend, the business side of the house is often left with significant functional gaps that are not being filled. The one-size-fits-all model may be attractive to the IT and procurement decision makers, but the operational and back-office support teams can be short changed by these systems.
While this trend is here to stay for a while, companies do not need to operate in an either or environment. Complementary applications exist and co-exist with most enterprise solutions. And these "complementary" applications can bridge gaps that drive tremendous operational and economic value without the considerable expense and risk of customizing your enterprise "out-of-the-box" systems. Functionality such as vendor on-boarding, transactional vendor portals, AP automation, and complex business process management are a few of the areas where thinking outside of the box can deliver results. So don't get caught in the trap of thinking the only solutions to meet your business needs are inside of the box, look outside and I think you will be surprised!