Imagine two dental offices. One has software specifically for dental offices and one buys software for a generic business use.
While both dental offices will be able to do the same basic tasks, the one with a customized application for their office will find that they’ll get more done and with a shorter learning curve using the application specific to their business.
Instead of them having to conform to the software, the software confirms to them.
I’m sure various forms, terminology and methods for a dental office are unique to it and not to every other business. Hence the importance of not only using technology, but technology (especially software) that is customized for the dental office.
Take this a step further and think of vertical applications for other industries within the public sector, financial services, utilities/telecom and retail/wholesale industries.
In this respect, Oracle recently announced that IT analyst firm, Forrester, recognized it for providing high vertical vertical specialization capabilities for small and medium businesses (SMBs) in its Oracle Applications.
Oracle’s press release reads bring complete, easy to own, industry-focused solutions to small and medium businesses and small and medium governments. Key to Oracle Accelerate solutions is the availability of pre-packed application bundles that can be quickly implemented by partners and provide a wide range of industry-specific functionality. As part of Oracle Accelerate, Oracle provides partners with Oracle Business Accelerators, which are rapid implementation tools, templates and process flows to enable customers to realize immediate benefit from Oracle Applications. With Oracle Accelerate, customers can take advantage of Oracle’s enterprise applications, including integrated business flows across front office, back office and industry-specific processes. Additionally, customers can benefit from automated upgrades, which can significantly reduce the complexity and risk associated with migrating to updated versions.
If you are looking for software solutions for your growing business make sure that the solution is as customized for your industry as possible. You don’t want to have to buy a product and then hire a programmer to do hours and hours of programming.
The application should work as best as possible right “out of the box” and be right for your business and industry. Oracle’s Accelerator program, reminds me of IBM’s Express line of products.
I asked Mark Johnson, the VP of Marketing for SMB two questions:
Besides specific applications like Salesforce.com and smaller applications like QuickBooks, what should small businesses look for in an ERP solution?
Small and medium businesses face many of the same business challenges that larger enterprises do, and require many of the same sophisticated ERP capabilities. But with fewer resources, SMBs can’t afford timely or expensive customization projects, and need a solution that can meet their needs quickly, at a competitive price. SMB’s should look for an ERP solution that is not a watered-down version of an enterprise-level ERP solution offering generic functionality. Instead, they should consider a solution that offers out-of-the-box, industry-specific functionality built on best practices, and a robust and flexible infrastructure so they can scale and adapt their systems as their business grows. Out-of-box vertical specialization is especially important, as SMBs often don’t have the technical resources to configure the software for their specific industry.
With the rise of hosted applications, does Oracle see a preference for hosted or software based solutions among SMB ERP customers?
Oracle offers both hosted and traditional on-premise solutions to SMBs. We have many customers selecting both deployment methods, however, the majority still prefer the on-premise method of deployment for core ERP and supply chain capabilities. The market for on-demand CRM applications is more mature and is growing more rapidly than the demand for on-premise.