Should You Look for an Alternative to SAP Before Moving to S/4HANA?

    1/29/20 10:00 AM


    A little background first…

    I want to start by telling you a little bit about my background because I believe it will give some context to this blog. I proudly represent Infor ERP products and have been at Visual South since 2002. Five years prior to coming on board here, I was an SAP consultant. My specialty was the sales/distribution module, along with the variant configurator. I was part of quite a few full implementations in a variety of industries, taught training classes, and helped with presales efforts. My first implementation was on R/3 version 3.1G and my last was on version 4.6.

    I think SAP is a wonderful product and I know that almost anything is possible from a functionality standpoint. But many SAP customers are being forced to migrate to SAP S/4HANA, which is SAP's ERP for large enterprises and the successor of SAP R/3. Depending on your organization, this may not be the best move.

    Is SAP still the right solution for you?

    If you are reading this, it is likely that your company is currently running SAP; and if you are doing so somewhat successfully, then you should be congratulated because running any ERP software successfully is difficult. But if you are struggling with SAP, it may be time to think about what your alternatives are before migrating to SAP S/4HANA.

    Did you choose the SAP product 20 years ago?  If so, you’re not alone—I distinctly remember a mentality that if you were in doubt about what ERP to purchase, you went with SAP because it was the “safe” choice (but almost never the least expensive one). This led to some small to midsize companies overbuying and struggling under the “weight” of maintaining the comprehensive SAP system. There were other ERP solutions available for small to midsize companies back then, but perhaps they were perceived as too much of a risk or were a little light on functionality. Nonetheless, a lot can happen in 20 years and there are many more viable ERP options now that offer robust capabilities at a fraction of SAP’s cost.

    Should you look for an SAP alternative?

    In short, yes…you should look for SAP alternatives. It is always worth the time and effort to research whether there are better technology options available in the industry, especially with something that’s as big of an investment as an ERP system. And even though your company is likely scheduled to transition to S/4HANA in 2025, the time to start thinking about SAP alternatives is now. I suggest you begin to research ERP solutions as if you are starting over (if you aren’t sure how to do this, check out this eBook we wrote on how to evaluate ERP).

    If you are a manufacturing company, you should consider Infor ERP. Why? Infor ERP is designed for manufacturing companies. Believe it or not, SAP is not designed for manufacturing companies; it is designed to be configured to meet the needs of manufacturing companies, and there is a big difference between the two. Infor’s solutions can be deployed either on-premise or via the cloud, and our team at Visual South can walk you through the pros and cons of either option.

    Related: Infor ERP: Everything You Need to Know

    Related: Infor vs. SAP: Why Visual South Chose Infor

    In Conclusion…

    There aren’t many opportunities to step back and evaluate whether the ERP you are running is the right one for your company. Migrating to SAP S/4HANA will undoubtedly cause some disruption and cost money to implement, so hit the pause button and reassess your needs. It makes sense to ensure that your time and effort are spent implementing the product that works for your company now, not the one chosen 20 years ago. 

    Would you like to talk with someone who has a ton of experience in the manufacturing industry and is NOT a salesperson to get some objective advice on your situation?  Click here to set up a free, 30-minute discussion with Jack Shannon.

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    Topics: ERP selection

    Bryan Foshee

    Written by Bryan Foshee

    Bryan is a Regional Manager at Visual South and has been working with the company since 2002. Prior to that, he was a consultant and implemented SAP in manufacturing, distribution, and service industries.