Are you on JD Edwards World or EnterpriseOne and planning a foreign rollout? Choosing the right JDE implementation partner can help ensure smooth and efficient overseas rollouts. But how can you be sure you’re making the right choice?
In this article, we’ll discuss what to look out for, the types of partner to consider and the questions to consider when developing a shortlist.
Due in part to increasing globalization and shareholder demands, many businesses are expanding internationally by entering new markets and/or acquiring new divisions to maintain growth levels.
For those running Oracle JD Edwards as their ERP, merging or rolling out new instances of JDE in different regions can require localizations to deal with country-specific laws and regulations. Successful localizations typically require a specialist provider with experience and skill in your selected region(s).
Sometimes overlooked, but crucial to success is that local end-users are involved in implementation projects. Whichever partner you choose, make sure they can communicate effectively with end-users in foreign countries and understand any potential language and cultural differences.
How many locations will be included?
The choice of partner you make largely depends on the number of sites to be rolled out. If only rolling out in one country, the hybrid model can be a good solution.
We recommend choosing a partner who is active in all the locales when multiple countries are involved. Not only will the team have local knowledge and experience with international rollouts, but by avoiding multiple individual local partners, you won’t have to enter into multiple contracts.
Is a standardized project methodology used?
The success or failure of a rollout is largely dependent on the chosen methodology and tools. For a successful implementation, the parties concerned must work with the same Document Management System (DMS), Issue Management System (IMS) and Ticket Registration System (TRS).
If you are working with multiple local partners, the easiest solution is for them to adapt to your internal methodology. It is not advisable to work with a different methodology in each country as it can cause miscommunication and inefficiency.
- Initial JD Edwards partner
Employ the partner who performed your company’s initial JD Edwards install. The main advantage being that they are familiar with your business, its processes and working method.
However, if the partner has no presence in the new countries, will they have sufficient insight and understanding of local requirements? Their knowledge of the laws and regulations may be limited. If there are significant language and cultural differences, communication with end-users and the local IT team could potentially pose problems.
- Local JD Edwards consultants
Engage local ‘on-the-ground’ companies to fully implement the entire rollout in each country. The main advantage of this option is that local parties should be familiar with the laws and regulations of their countries and speak the end-users’ language(s). Being local, expensive travel and accommodation fees may be avoided.
The disadvantage is the local company’s minimal knowledge of your organization and its original rollout. Consider also if employing different local partners in each region will be draining on your own time and resources, from a cost, methodology and project management point of view.
- International JD Edwards partners
Consider outsourcing the rollout of Oracle JD Edwards in multiple sites to a global partner. Typically, these providers have branches in several countries with JD Edwards consultants specialized in international rollouts and localizations.
Good international partners share their knowledge internally. Experience from the first rollout and any relevant business information can be distributed and used strategically in subsequent foreign rollouts. In addition, local consultants should have a good knowledge of the local laws and regulations and speak the language of the end-users. Apart from the obvious benefits of local consultants, it also means that travel and accommodation costs can be reduced.
- Hybrid model
Lastly, use the original implementation consultants and supplement them with local partners. They bring their knowledge and experience to implement the rollout and can call in one or more local consultants to help with local requirements. This way, knowledge accumulated when the “core model” was rolled out in the home country, is applied.
A potential disadvantage of this model is that “your” consultants may not speak the local language or be familiar with the culture. It can be really valuable when you sit down with end-users to find out what they want to do with their ERP and how it can help them. This is a “soft” skill where having local knowledge, insights and language is important.
How do I find partners?
Once you have defined your criteria, draw up a longlist of potential suitors. Google can help with that! But it is worth consulting with Oracle’s JD Edwards team in Denver. They know their partner network inside out and are best placed to advise on suitable specialists.
What are the points of focus when evaluating the longlist?
For a true and accurate comparison between potential partners, the following points can help avoid any potential for ambiguity.
i) Perform a thorough review and analysis of the correct references. Ask for specific references in the countries you plan to implement the rollout. Partners may talk about their experiences in a mix of countries but not in the specific country where rollouts will take place.
Request references for the modules and correct Oracle JD Edwards ERP version which you need localized. Rolling out financial modules in JD Edwards World is a very different project to rolling out manufacturing modules in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2.
ii) The daily rate is not the only cost item that you need to consider. Pay attention to travel and accommodation costs. It is a good idea to ask in advance whether you will be charged these fees. A consultant who flies back and forth every week, staying 3 nights in a hotel can easily cost an extra 1,000 euros per week. In many countries, that is equivalent to approximately 1 day of consultancy.
iii) If you have visibility of the project timeline, we recommend when requesting CVs, asking the partners to allow for availability. This helps prevent any unpleasant scheduling surprises.
We hope the insights in this article will get you on the path to deciding what type of partner you need, and how to shortlist suitable organizations. If you are still unsure, click here to contact our team and we’ll be happy to guide you.