If Software Vendors Were Thanksgiving Dinner

Written By: Brian Potts
Date: November 25, 2020

The time has come. We have our sweat pants out and we’re ready to go for arguably the best day of the year - Thanksgiving. Although our plans may vary this year due to the restraints COVID has put on our plates, there is one thing that remains the same, the meal. Whether you’re at home, at your parents, or at Uncle Joe’s house, you know there will be a turkey dinner awaiting your arrival and leaving you bloated, sleepy, and most importantly, grateful.

There are many sides and fixings that make your family’s Thanksgiving meal unique, but there will always be the staples that fill the spread. These are the items that are rarely substituted, similar to the common, go-to software vendors that many companies review and implement as a part of their digital transformation.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at a few of these leading software vendors and how they may compare:

1. Oracle

What’s the focal point of Thanksgiving Dinner? The turkey, of course! Just as Turkey has built its reputation as the staple of Thanksgiving, Oracle has built its reputation as one of the leading contenders in the ERP software industry, and for a reason. A turkey is big enough to feed the whole family, and large organizations with complex needs often find themselves integrating Oracle or Oracle ERP Cloud to help streamline operations. One of the biggest strengths you’ll find with Oracle Cloud is its level of flexibility. You can fry it, bake it, or smoke it, bolting on unique functionalities that other ERP providers aren’t generally able to provide with one, all-in solution.

Oracle is also well-known for their ability to integrate with third-party systems, creating a more cohesive approach for many companies who choose to implement. For example, suppose you would like to explore the best of breed solution for a specific segment of your company. It’s likely that you will be able to integrate these smaller, more custom fit solutions seamlessly with Oracle. Do you like turkey smothered in gravy? Awesome. Turkey with mashed potatoes and cranberries on top? Delicious. It will work no matter how you dress it.

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2. Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has different versions that can fit the needs of different businesses, including F&O and Business Central, each one being a better fit for different sized companies. Just like potatoes, be they mashed or baked, and gravy, both F&O and Business Central fall under one umbrella menu item, but they taste a bit different and feed different appetites. F&O is oftentimes best matched to larger organizations with more complex needs, which could match a fully-loaded baked potato, with the option of adding sour cream, green onions, cheese, salsa, chickpeas, bacon, and the list goes on. It can be a complete meal and is customizable. Business Central, on the other hand, is a great fit for the smaller to mid-sized organizations, like mashed potatoes. You can serve the amount you need and is a bit more straight-forward for basic business. Try to add salsa or chicken and it can get too complicated.

MD365 is also known for its flexibility, however, we’ve seen this nimble element become a liability in some cases. Just because you want more potatoes doesn’t mean you should have it, right? Actually, we disagree, you should have it. And as a bonus, you can add gravy, or Dynamics CRM to either option!

3. Netsuite

Netsuite is obviously the sweet potatoes of the party, and not just because of its name. Sweet potatoes are good one way - sweet. Marshmallows - sure. Brown sugar - a must. But gravy? That’s a hard no. Sweet potatoes are meant to be paired with sweet things, and they don’t go as well with the savory items you’ll find on the rest of the Thanksgiving table.

As a SaaS solution, Netsuite is the same way. They have built their software one way, and many companies that utilize Netsuite as an ERP solution have hundreds of users using the exact same version. If you want to standardize processes and keep common business operations across the company, then your organization will fit seamlessly into the Netsuite system.

4. Odoo

Implementing an ERP solution oftentimes seems intimidating, but Odoo makes it easy. Their system is structured in a way that a company can integrate module by module as your company expands. Just like making cranberries when you have no experience in the kitchen - it seems like a mystery until you realize that it’s incredibly simple. You just buy canned cranberries and call it good.

Odoo is an open-source ERP system that has made our top 10 list for 2021, and we’ve seen many small-medium sized companies adopt the software into their operations with great success. The downfall is that it requires a very hands-on implementation. Don’t leave the cranberries unattended over the burner, you have to continue stirring. If you don’t have the dedicated personnel to manage it, then it could turn into biting off more than you can chew.

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There are many other important dishes not mentioned here, just as there are tons of ERP software vendors we didn’t review. Make sure to consider a broad selection of systems that fit the needs of your company before diving into your final decision. Just like Thanksgiving dinner, you want it to be perfect once it comes out of the oven.

If you’d like to review your digital strategy or discuss ideas around your digital transformation, please feel free to contact me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board to help set you off in the right direction. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

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