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ERP Implementation Services

December 1, 2009
by root
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In an environment of smaller projects requiring specialized skills sets, a few consulting firms have adapted and excelled.

KLAS says: Providers' demands for today's financial enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation services are significantly different from what they were just a few years ago. Projects are now smaller, the consultant's role is less extensive, and the skill sets are more specialized. The landscape for this arena is changing as new modules are coming online and the definition of financial ERP is expanding. Some consulting firms have adapted and excelled, while the software vendors have struggled to adapt their approaches and to deliver the needed expertise.

The choice of which firm to use for assistance is really a choice of a partner. Providers want someone who not only has the necessary skills for the job, but also someone they like to be around and, most importantly, someone who is committed to their success. Providers are asking, besides my ERP vendor, who is providing ERP services? Am I better off going with a consulting firm or with the vendor? Does the consulting firm I am considering have the experience and expertise I need? Who are the top performers and why? (The top five are represented here.) What are the keys to a successful engagement? Can I get the performance I expect at a lower price? The demand for answers to these and other related questions led to this study on ERP implementation services.

“KLAS' Bottom Lines”

ACS - ACS has adapted well to the current ERP environment of upgrades, modules, and smaller projects. They have shown strong competence across product offerings and in many modules. ACS needs to balance strength in HR, payroll and Lawson security with areas that now seem to lie within the ERP realm, such as mobile supply chain and business intelligence.

CIBER - While CIBER was once near the top of the ERP category, they now fall near the bottom. CIBER often wins deals through a strong sales presentation and the right price. Lack of flexibility with the contract, timelines, and approach can lead to a gap between the sales presentation and the delivery of an untailored installation approach. While more tactical than strategic, strong project management often brings projects in on time and within budget. CIBER has stronger application knowledge, but is weaker when it comes to financial healthcare knowledge.

CSC - As the top-performing firm in this study, CSC is a strong option when it comes to ERP implementation projects. This firm has solid project managers and good healthcare experience, and gets high marks for application knowledge and expertise. CSC demonstrates solid performance in large, multi-facility rollouts and in smaller upgrades and modular work. Some feel that their rates are high and that contracting can be challenging with this large firm.

FUJITSU - Fujitsu provides a disciplined approach to projects, as well as good product knowledge and expertise, but some of their consultants lack healthcare experience. They have skilled and personable consultants that are able to roll up their sleeves and go to work. Fujitsu focuses exclusively on Oracle.

ISH - ISH knows how ERP fits in operationally with the rest of the hospital and how to optimize Lawson during upgrades. ISH is reported to leave good tools behind for providers when it comes to test scripts. They need to pay attention to project management resources to ensure that they are able to get the work done right.

Healthcare Informatics 2009 December;26(12):12