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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.
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Visit the TEC store to compare leading software solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of May 21st, 2012
SOFTWARE SELECTED, IMPLEMENTED, AND PUT TO GOOD USEHorticultural tools distribution business goes live with Sage ERP X3Industry tags: wholesale and retail

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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail

We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.

Get free sample report
Compare Software Solutions

Visit the TEC store to compare leading software by functionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.

Compare Now

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TEC 2012 ERP for Services Buyer's Guide


ERP for services solutions are changing the way professional services companies do business by combining powerful project- and resource-management tools with essential back-office functionality. Learn all about these solutions in TEC's 2012 ERP for Services Buyer's Guide. Plus get detailed product comparisons, a comprehensive vendor directory, customer success stories, and thought leadership from industry experts.

The scope of this guide makes it practically impossible to describe all the software requirements and offer existing solutions for services organizations of all types and sizes in an extremely diversified and highly specialized market. But the good news is that there are some commonalities among services-oriented companies, and the software solutions that address their needs can be suitable for a broad range of services-based organizations. The majority of services-based businesses, regardless of their market niche, will find their typical business processes covered in this guide. We will discuss the business challenges and pain points that services organizations face in fulfilling their objectives and the need for a specialized enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system to help them address these challenges and enable better decision making.

The primary audience for this buyer’s guide is services organization managers, business subject matter professionals at all levels, IT managers and experts, and consultants in the software selection market space who are directly or indirectly involved in corporate software selection processes, or, at least, influence those who make such decisions. This guide addresses the software needs of services-based companies that fall under the following example categories:

  • Managerial and/or specific consulting services companies
  • Financial services and auditing firms
  • Research organizations
  • Law firms
  • Advertising, public relations, and marketing agencies
  • Customer-specific software development companies
  • Recruitment and staffing companies



Table of Contents


Preface

2012 ERP for Services Buyer’s Guide

Definition of a Services Company

Business Challenges of Services-Oriented Companies

The Need for ERP for Services Software

Conclusion

Product Comparison

TEC Resources

Casebook

Counter-economy Factors Driving North American Steel Fabricator: While Landscape of Energy, Abundance and Employee Competition Defies Prevailing Market Trends, Waiward Steel Taps UNIT4 ERP/Business Change Support to Add $700k (5%) New Annual Profits

IFS Customer Success Story Todd Pacific Shipyards Chart a Course for Success with IFS Applications

Project Insight Customer Success Story NFI Industries

Epicor Customer Success Story Portenntum de Mexico Uses Epicor to Help Streamline Business Process

Thought Leadership by Epicor Increase Enterprise Visibility to Provide a Competitive Edge in Professional Services

KeyedIn Solutions Customer Success Story Pharmaceutical and Health Care Leader Solves Project Control and Health Problems at Division and Country Level


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 ERP Buyer’s Guide for services.



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Business Challenges of Services-oriented Companies


The services provided by services-based organizations as described above are commonly referred to as professional services. Consequently, the software market segment that caters to such businesses and provides specific application products is known as professional services automation (PSA). Another cluster of software packages is very similar in design—project portfolio management for professional services automation (PPM for PSA). This type of software is intended to support business activities similar to those addressed by PSA; it usually originates from a simpler project portfolio management (PPM) system that is expanded with the addition of billing, time tracking, and other PSAspecific activities. Usually PPM for PSA systems lack or do not offer extensive support for back-office processes—financial management of the entire organization, human resources management, purchasing, and so on—as these systems are more focused on project delivery to clients. ERP for Services software, on the other hand, is a broader type of solution that includes support for both project delivery business procedures and backoffice processes that are not visible to clients but are still essential for running a company.

Because of the project-based and people-oriented nature of services organizations, this business segment requires software applications that are capable of supporting servicesoriented business processes and adequately handling multiple internal challenges that are intrinsic to this industry.



Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 ERP Buyer’s Guide for services.

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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of April 30th, 2012


SOFTWARE SELECTIONS @ DEPLOYMENTSEuropean manufacturer of construction chemicals selects IFS Applications Industry tags: Process manufacturing, mining "Polish corporation Atlas Group, which operates 18 business entities and 5 mines in Poland and internationally, has selected IFS Applications as its corporate-level ERP system. The first areas slated for implementation will be financials

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AribaLIVE 2012: What Was Jolly Good (and What Could Improve) - Part 2


Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the positive impressions from my attendance of the AribaLIVE 2012 user event. Still, while it might appear that Ariba is firing on all cylinders, as is typically the case, Ariba is not all things to all people and no company is without issues. Thus this post will discuss some challenges and related rooms for improvement. To date, Ariba has been

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Epicor Insights 2012: Old Epicor + Old Activant = New Epicor


The recently held Epicor Insights 2012 user conference was the very first one to combine former Epicor and Activant customers. Reportedly, there were 4,000 attendees, including 3,000 customers and 400 vendor partners. It appears that prior to the merger Epicor was innovative and growing globally, but profits were often elusive and the product quality had some issues. For its part

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Research Note: CRM Technology Value Matrix-First Half 2012


Many companies are evaluating additions, upgrades, and changes to their core CRM solutions because of the innovations vendors are driving in areas such as social collaboration, mobile access, and analytics. In turn, vendors are accelerating the pace of upgrades and new functionality delivery. The Technology Value Matrix evaluates the usability and functionality of solutions that support sales, marketing, and customer service. Get details.

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Logility Connections 2012-Focus on Supply Chain X-Factors


In today’s fast-paced world, companies and their supply chains need to outperform their competitors and remain in business. Logility’s focus on supply chain X-factors can help them do just that. In this latest article, TEC principal analyst Predrag Jakovljevic gives a rundown of the vendor’s recent user conference and how Logility’s broad supply chain management (SCM) solution suite provides the capabilities to enhance your business.

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SAP to Acquire Ariba, Expand Cloud Presence - First Impressions


SAP and Ariba apparently have good poker faces, since during their recent user events, AribaLIVE 2012 and SAPPHIRE NOW 2012, there was no inkling of this development. At first glance, this is a good fit, as a plethora of large SAP customers use both Ariba Network and Ariba’s procurement, sourcing, contract management, e-invoicing, etc. software (in fact, in the early 2000s, the name Ariba was

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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of June 4, 2012


*************************************************** SOFTWARE SELECTIONS ***************************************************UNC Charlotte selects BRG and Syclo Industry tags: public sector, education, facilities management "SAP’s recent acquisition of Syclo reportedly did not play a role in the selection of Syclo or BRG for this project. UNCC was an ARCHIBUS IWMS customer that already knew BRG as

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TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of May 14th, 2012


SOFTWARE SELECTIONS @ IMPLEMENTATIONSGirl Scouts of the USA selects NetSuite ERPIndustry tags: Non-profit organizations "Shifting software systems to the cloud is a current trend for organizations of many types, especially for non-manufacturing and service management organizations. Girl Scouts of the USA is a great example of such a move. Dispersed across the country, the organization needs to

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Trends in Customer Experience at TIBCO TUCON 2012


I have attended several enterprise software events in recent months that discussed trends and changes in IT, with big data, mobile computing, social collaboration, and cloud computing at the top of the list. For instance, at its recent SAP Retail Forum North America, SAP announced the availability of a retailing solution built on SAP NetWeaver Cloud (part of the SAP HANA Cloud platform) that

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