Putting it in simple words, there’s a huge difference between ERP software installation and implementation.
A software installation is a pretty basic step, which includes just the installation of the software through a CD or downloading it from the internet. It takes little time (not more than an hour, mostly) and does not involve any complexity. Implementation, on the other hand, is a comprehensive process which can take even months (and sometimes years) to get finished. It is much more complex, as it involves reviewing the current business processes and mapping them in order to ensure that the resulting ERP system supports the business fully. It is a critical part of a successful ERP project. A vendor has a huge role to play in the implementation process, as well as after implementation, by helping the clients learn how to use their new ERP system for maximum benefit.
While purchasing a new ERP software for any business, the customers usually pay attention to the software functionalities and ensure that it is the right fit for their business. However, a step that usually gets missed out is giving a good look at the vendor’s understanding of their business and capability to implement — and not just install — the software successfully. Many get confused between the two terms. Keep on reading the blog, to understand the difference between both the terms and their significance to your business.
Defining – Installation and Implementation
Installation can be defined as a process where the equipment, software, hardware or any other computer program is put into a correct position and made ready to use, whereas implementation is the step-wise process of putting a decision into action. It is a procedure that follows the preliminary thinking in order to make something actually happen. It requires a systematic workflow of plans to get executed.
Installation merely isn’t enough; implementation as well is necessary – rather integral
Installing the software and using it isn’t the only correct method for businesses to manage activities using an ERP software. Often potential customers wonder why the implementation time and cost vary so drastically amongst different vendors, why installations are cheaper than implementations and what should they prefer – just installing the software or actually implementing it. Only installing the software may lead to project failures as the vendors may not review the business processes, involved in the mapping of business processes and developing an understanding of how the various processes connect or provide training and support to the customers. You purchase or download the software, install it on your computer and run it the way it has been designed.
But implementing an ERP, on the other hand, focuses on reviewing the business processes and improving them to manage the business efficiently. It helps eliminate the pitfalls and increase operational efficiencies.
So, how to decide? What parameters should be considered? Is it worth implementing a software or will it be enough just to install it?
The answer to these questions is simple – do your research, understand your business processes and identify the key challenges facing your business that an ERP can address.
Know what you are being quoted for – an implementation or an installation?
Don’t get dazzled by what the vendor is saying or “selling”, rather identify your core business requirements, ask the vendor how they can fit your business requirements into the ERP software, and get a good account of the services and offerings they will be providing.
Differentiating between these two terms can help us reach a conclusion.
| Basis of comparison
|On the basis of process
||A very simple process
||A complex process
|On the basis of objective
||Focuses on installing the ERP software or hardware into the system.
||Focuses not just on installation, but reviewing the current business processes and leveraging the software to improve business efficiency
|On the basis of functionality and customer support
||Nothing more than downloading the software, turning it on and leaving it to the customer to figure out how to use it and where to go
||Involves proper training and support to the users so that they can use the software easily with better business insights from the software
|On the basis of time
||Does not need a long time. It could at most range from few hours to a day
||Takes longer time as the process involves thorough research, understanding, and commitment to bring out the list of tasks to perform in order to make ERP implementation successful
|On the basis of innovation
||A basic platform is created that is to be used only the way it has been made
||Broken links between the different business processes are rectified and fixed; software gets customized and innovated with new business management system
|On the basis of steps
||No steps involved, just acquire the software, install the setup and run it on your system
||Involves a systematic sequential strategy. Ongoing support helps with resolution of all the queries
|On the basis of scope
||Installation has a very narrow scope, which involves installation of setup file onto the machine
||Implementation has a broader scope which involves deep research, business process mapping, and analysis
Conclusion: Irrespective of the business size, be it a large-scale organization or an SME, each business has its own distinct way of functioning and unique requirements to be met out of an ERP. Although ERP system implementation process is a little complex one, but a right ERP vendor makes it worthwhile, smooth and effective by helping businesses address all the challenges and streamline all the business processes in an integrated structure.
BatchMaster offers a wide variety of ERP implementation solutions to all types of organizations. We ensure implementing software within realistic timeframe along with offering the required training and support. Our aim is to streamline all the critical business operations and also, to provide business intelligence tools for better growth and efficiency of your business. For more information, log on to www.batchmaster.co.in or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.