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Climbing to high altitudes needs sufficient acclimatization training. The body needs to get used to the change in atmospheric conditions so that it can cope up easily. Therefore, mountaineers climb to base camp before going on an Everest expedition. Similarly, one does not get up one fine day and start running a marathon. Sufficient training is required to build the stamina and endurance to cope up with long runs. Essentially in order to manage changed conditions one needs to get used to these gradually. Sudden changes without sufficient preparation can lead to severe problems.

Business life is no different. Disruptive and sweeping changes across the organization without sufficient preparation can lead to similar consequences. New competition comes in, government laws change, and customer expectations become higher- all compelling the companies to change. Those who adapt to new paradigms in time thrive. Those who are unable to keep pace with changing times perish. So what are these new paradigms?

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Good ERP implementation strategies pay adequate attention to organizational change management to prepare the organization for the quantum leap. But should it always be a quantum leap? There are many stories of large implementations getting aborted. There are also stories abound of implementations running into ages for projects originally envisaged to be up and running in few months. The reason is huge customizations as the users are unwilling to change. Does it always have to this way? Isn’t there a way to acclimatize organizations? Aren’t there any base camps or smaller peaks to be climbed before climbing the Everest?

Fortunately, there is a way now for Indian customers which were not the case a few years ago. The choices available were large monolithic complex and expensive ERPs at one end of the spectrum and few small accounting packages masquerading as ERP at the other end. Now there are choices available in the mid-market segment with “true” ERP functionalities. At the same time, these packages offer the flexibility to avoid disruptive changes and the resulting user resistance and discomfort. It’s important to understand their offerings a bit more in detail

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Introduction of best practices and new processes

These processes are mandatory and it’s my way or highway for the customers. Even the customers who implement these ERPs end up performing these processes outside in spreadsheets or some custom applications.

Few Indian ERPs like EPPS Infotech have realized this predicament and offer an ERP which “grows” with the MSME customer. On one hand, it provides all the benefits of automation and end to end integrated solution. On the other hand, they don’t impose new ways of working giving the customers the options to adopt these in future.

One argument the customers may have is that they implement ERP to introduce change in the organization. Isn’t it defeated with the above approach? And no one wants to implement a new ERP after few years. The answer is that the right mid-market ERP must have the best practice features available in their roadmap which can be introduced as the customers stabilize on the automation and integration levels. Once this aspect is validated during the selection process customers can have the best of both worlds. Happy acclimatized users and then the final expedition to Mount Everest.

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