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IBM i ERP Migration—Exit with Caution

Posted on April 6, 2016 by Bill Langston

Many NGS customers run customized or internally developed enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Given how long many of these ERP systems have been in place, it’s no surprise that every year a few customers tell us they are actively looking for a new system or have already begun a migration that their company expects to complete in the coming year or two. 

With a few Google searches it is easy to find numerous articles and white papers on ERP implementation planning. The consensus seems to be that companies should be able to complete ERP implementation projects in roughly 18 months at a cost ranging from $750,000 to $5.0 million, depending on industry, size, and organizational structure. Larger enterprises can certainly spend much more. NGS doesn’t develop or support ERP software, but we do know customers, both mid-market and larger, with active projects that have now gone far past 18 months and who, we assume, have also exceeded their budgets.  If you are in this position, we are sorry your company has found its ERP migration so challenging, but happy you continue to need our software and support.

If your company is thinking about replacing its outdated ERP software, remember that the problem is related to the software, not the platform. IBM continues to roll out new generations of POWER servers (now at POWER8) and new IBM i operating system releases. Reliable sources indicate there will be yet another IBM i release in 2016. Every story surrounding that anticipated release suggests IBM and its partners will enable more programming languages, more databases, more development methods, and more applications to run on IBM i.

ERP consultants and vendors are in the business of convincing companies to change ERP software. Sometimes they are right. But when you are driving your business on an actively supported server platform like IBM POWER, a durable and regularly enhanced operating system like IBM i, and a high performance database like Db2 on i, exit with caution.

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