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SAP HANA, Infor CloudSuite, Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Oracle Cloud: Comparison

There are numerous ERP systems that are available to the businesses that want to go onboard on the digital transformation. Although, there are major four big Tier-1 ERP vendors, namely SAP HANA, Infor CloudSuite, Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Oracle Cloud that are leveraged than others.

In the market, there are “n” number of vendors in order to select from; however the above-mentioned four dominates other vendors in terms of functionality robustness, scalability as well as capabilities’ breadth.

About the Companies –

SAP – Expensive, but instant payback –

This ERP vendor with biggest market share is much expensive to deploy. It stands at second to Oracle. Additionally, according to the research it has been found that SAP customers have realized least potential functionality as compared to other vendors. Though, the best part is SAP implementations provide instant financial payback instead of others. It suggests that even with low functionality and comparatively high price, customers are experiencing great benefits by implementing software. Additionally, the implementation duration of SAP is quite low as compared to peers that is next to Infor CloudSuite.

Infor – Low rate, but predictable outcomes –

Infor might not get short-listed via potential customers as often other Tier-I vendors; however when they are short-listed or selected at high rate, next to SAP. It suggests that it has work to perform in order to be top-of-mind for ERP buyers as feasible Tier-I alternative to the MS Dynamics, Oracle and SAP. Although, the implementations of Infor are most predictable as far as actual vs. planned implementation cost as well as duration is concerned. It suggest that customers are not satisfied. Additionally, customers of Infor experience low operational disruption as compared to other vendors in the study.

Microsoft Dynamics – Long implementation, but low ownership cost –

The implementations of Microsoft Dynamics take longer to implement as compared to the Tier-1 counterparts. It can be partially credited to fact that Microsoft Dynamics has high customization rate of four systems that leads to the long implementation durations. On the contrary, the overall implementation costs are low among the customers of Microsoft Dynamics as compared to others. Additionally, MS Dynamics is considered as one of the most flexible options among Tier-I peers.

Oracle – Unpredictable and expensive implementation costs, whereas high success rates-

In a normal size of company, the implementations of Oracle (such as eBusiness Suite and JD Edwards) are most expensive among all. Additionally, costs and customer implementation durations are unpredictable as well as experience the high deltas in between actual and planned numbers to other Tier-I vendors. Besides, the implementations of Oracle have high success rate as far as customers’ self-assessment or they felt the deployments were successful. Also, eBusiness Suite and JDE customers realize high functionality degree from the implementations as compared to MS Dynamics and SAP.

Here are some of the ways that explain the differences in between them –

Implementation Duration

In the last couple of years, it has been observed that real results from the ERP on Cloud implementations across the world has average implementation time that is steady for around eighteen months. Although, the Infor CloudSuite is implemented within less time in around 16 months that is two months less and complete three months less as compared to average duration of all the vendors. Therefore, in this section, the winner is Infor CloudSuite.

SAP-HANA-CloudOverall Ownership Cost

For a few organizations, time is the major factor even more than the implementation cost. The Microsoft Dynamics ERP possesses edge at average of USD 1.7 million price. It is around 40% less than Oracle (the most costly option). It is noticed that the category consists all the costs that are associated with adoption and implementation of system like maintenance, software, third-party consulting services and hardware upgrades. Hence, the winner of this category is Microsoft Dynamics ERP.

Functionality Achieved

At last, many businesses are deploying the new systems in order to receive sort of measurable and quantifiable business advantages in order to improve the businesses. Oracle Cloud wins edge with the solutions. Also, it includes eBusiness Suite and JD Edwards. Majority of the Oracle customers, around 74 percent reported receiving over 40 percent of the functionality that is 10% points of second vendor, Infor CloudSuite and 24% points above SAP. Thus, Oracle Cloud is a clear winner in this category.

Implementation Risk

Most of the executive teams and CFOs are obsessed with handling their implementation risks rightfully. The risks are measured in negative operational disturbance when going live and the Infor CloudSuite take a lead in this. A minority of around 47% organizations have experienced material operational disturbance at the time of going live like not able to boat the product or close books. The number might seem high; however, the level of risk for Infor is around 30% less than high risk option – Microsoft Dynamics ERP. This category winner is Infor CloudSuite.

Payback

CFOs majorly look at the return on investment. Lastly, it is discussed that it is the most important factor for any organization, which is about to board on the ERP implementation or digital transformation. SAP HANA Cloud Services realized the business advantages of paying for investment within just 9 months. It is unevenly one-third of time that is needed to get ROI on long-payback option, which is Infor CloudSuite. The decision of ERP software includes the tradeoffs as well as silver shot solution, standing at first position in every category. Owing to this, it is important to prudently evaluate the options as well as understand tradeoffs in between each. Winner of this category is SAP HANA.

GST Provider

How the GST Will Change IT Set-Ups in Organizations

The Goods and Services Tax or GST is expected to be a game-changer in the Indian tax system. As expected, there are bound to be many changes within the IT framework in businesses for this tax to be implemented. The main idea behind the GST is to do away multiple indirect taxes such as VAT, luxury tax, Sales Tax, excise duty etc that would have to be paid on goods. Now, only a single tax will be imposed on the goods or services used. So, the GST seeks to bring about uniformity in the taxation system, removing multiple tax barriers and revenue collection problems that were taking place between the states and the Center.

The GST will include the CGST wherein revenues are to be collected by the Center, SGST where state governments will collect revenues for the intra-state sales, and the IGST levied by the Center for inter-state supplies. In view of the fact that as many as 3.5 billion invoices will be processed each month by the GSTN or the Goods and Services Network, it is expected that technical problems would arise. In case the GSTN fails to function seamlessly because of technical glitches, it would turn out to be a cause of grave concern for the whole industry.

So, it is important to apply security patches to the sensitive data which is dynamically generated. Accounting systems have to be regularly updated to ensure a seamless transition to the GST. IT systems have to be upgraded accordingly and the IT systems and staff need proper training to guarantee a smooth shift to the GST regime.

How businesses can become GST-ready:

The GST will be driven vis-à-vis an online platform and this necessitates a robust infrastructure which can update data in real time. Since there will be huge volumes of sensitive data involved, it is important to have a stringent IT architecture that can comply with the security needs. The GST-ready set-up must also adhere to the compliance requirements prescribed by the GOI.

Accordingly, the ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning systems will also have to be remodeled, with rows added or deleted where entries are made. These changes will ensure that things are aligned to the new tax regime. IT personnel will therefore need time to update the accounting software or ERPs to make them align with GST specifications.

Besides the time needed by the IT sector, the trials and tests of the newly created software, like the new ERP systems have to be carried out to prevent future problems. The IT organizational set-up may also need to get new hardware for such development and testing purposes.

The ERP systems in organizations have to comply with the GST rules. This is necessary because the ERP will directly influence functions in every other department. So, at enterprise levels, ERP systems must be tested. The GST bills are going to affect the ways in which businesses run because all the tax related documents and processes have to now match the GST rules. When the companies register to get a GST identification number or the GSTIN, it will include the service tax registration, excise registration and also VAT registration. So, the tax processes will change completely to imbibe the new tax.

Transactions have to be started afresh. Partially open transactions and pending transactions must be closed or shifted to the new system. ERP firms such as the SAP has come out with GST related software to enable you to implement GST with SAP-certified cloud providers.

Since the GSP is digital, businesses must get rid of the manual vouchers and ledgers. There must be a shift to digitalizing records and conducting automated transactions. The SAP will extend ASP pr Application Service Provider services; it will offer the necessary interface for uploading invoices in the GSTN. It will work as an ASP within the GST environment. So, all GST-registered organizations will have to connect their business SAP to the GSTIN.

With the GST, business functions are also slated to undergo major changes. The tax computation processes have to be reconfigured and tweaked to comply with the new rules. All tax-related inward and outward business processes must be refined. Sequential numbering for the outgoing invoices must be adopted. Businesses have to adhere to the newly introduced printing and reporting structure. These lists of requirements will vary from one enterprise to another, depending upon the industry to which it belongs to, the legal entities which are involved in that business and the degree or complexity of business functions.

GST Triggers New Challenges in ERP

GST Triggers New Challenges in ERP

While the GST or Goods and Services Tax have been designed to unify the tax regime, consolidating many taxes into a single tax, there are bound to be new challenges. A single tax is meant to lower costs for businesses since it will lessen overall tax burdens. But IT teams have to now get down to making changes in their Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP systems to make it GST ready.

The changes which the IT professionals may have to introduce for revamping the ERP could be very simple like simply updating the ERP software version. But, in some cases, the task is likely to be complicated. To bring about any changes in ERP, the cooperation among different department, IT and tax departments is required. In case of the GST however, the requirements are found to be constantly shifting. In the recent past, many businesses have begun to redesign and upgrade their ERPs in preparation for this landmark change. But the entire process takes a lot of time and is highly expensive. Systems are far from being ready for the GST because it not very clear as to what the GST requirements are.

Understanding taxes and their effect on businesses is something that everyone knows. But implementation dates have been pushed back and every time it is missed, there is some new change to the law. On the whole GST is expected to trigger businesses into rethinking and redesigning their sales modules, procurement modules, and financial management modules. Perhaps the most important challenge which ERP is going to face with the GST is widening the tax base since now almost every good is becoming taxable.

When the VAT had been earlier introduced, there were three main rates namely, 12%, 1% and 4%. However, there rates are not the same across states today. Every time there is a change in the rate, it becomes a major ERP event. The IT staff has to get down to building new codes for the taxes and also update data about products. So, businesses that were hitherto involved only in provision of some specific supplies will ensure that all of their ERP processes are taking into account the taxes. You need to review the current process and how the business operates to be able to understand how this tax could change these. When there is a question of goods supply between two units belonging to the same business, this change may be from 2% CST to 18% GST. A change like this will automatically affect the way in which orders are taken or goods are received.

To comply with taxes, the ERP must generate data for use in creating correct entries in the GSTN for both internal and external transactions. It has to ensure that valid tax invoices are produced. Since data must be uploaded to the GSTN, the IT needs to have access to accurate tax data to include in the ERP instead of waiting to fill this information later on. The ERP must have this relevant data and it can fill in the missing information while the process is going on prior to compliance. When businesses try to produce this data at the time when compliance is scheduled, it may lead to a lot of discrepancies and mismatch in data.

So, the tax teams are expected to do this on their own or get advisors if the nature and complexity of business so demands. They need to determine which processes will remain unchanged, which may be optimized under this new tax regime and which can be done away with as they are irrelevant. The results will then be made available to the organization which will then decide how the IT department and tax department will collaborate in implementing and testing the plan.

Every aspect of the ERP software needs to be properly maintained. This means that when the GST slowly stabilizes, the IT and tax departments will feel more pressure to keep updating and testing the processes. So, any strategy for ERP migration will have to take into account greater time to assess the processes for a minimum of 18 months post-GST. Alternately, instead of designing and testing the ERP solutions, the tax data can be centralized and stored in a central location. This way the tax system can easily offer tax data to the ERP. The maintenance team will focus on the aspects at which ERP excels, like processing management and workflows whereas the tax system will look after computing and compliance. This will ensure that the sensitive ERP tasks are never disrupted because of government changes and compliance changes.

Although businesses may have to initially spend more to become compliant, in the long run it is cheaper than being non-compliant. The time has come for business owners to realize the value of this tax reform they must equip their businesses properly to be able to deal with tax compliances. When you can automate for GST reforms, you are likely to enjoy long-term benefits; the ERP system will offer businesses a helping hand to address GST-compliance challenges.

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How to Empower Yours by ERP Complying with GST Tax Bill

How to Empower Your business by ERP Complying with GST Tax Bill

India is poised to witness a historical tax reform at the dawn of July 1st 2017 as the nation welcomes new Goods and Services Tax bill that will transform the existing fragmented market into a singular and unified entity.  GST will usher a new economic era to help simplify complexities of the current tax system.

Organizations can look forward to a multitude of benefits, although tax professionals and finance executives are required to burn midnight oil as the nation prepares for the historical tax reform called as Goods and Services Tax bill.

Since Enterprise Resource Planning platforms serve as the solid foundation for operating a myriad of business applications, one must ensure that the ERP system complies with GST so that the organization can easily sail into the new waters of GST regime.

Vital areas of ERP to be influenced by GST
Goods and Services Tax bill will impact a wide spectrum of business processes as well as organizational departments. The biggest impact will be felt in the tax related procedures that will have to get aligned with GST regulations. There will be considerable revisions in terms of vendor invoices, goods receipt, billing related documents, and documentation associated with stock transfer, just to name a few.

Sales invoices will have to be assigned unique sequential numbers and the master data will have to be revised for incorporation of new requirements as per GST regulations. You will have to make necessary changes in customer master charts of accounts, and vendor master. The registration numbers of GST will be required to be stored and maintained in case if all customers as well as vendors that are already registered or are going to be registered in future.

Registration of GSTIN
It is compulsory to register and procure GST Identification Number or GSTIN because it will cover all current registration numbers including VAT, Service TAX, and Excise. If the enterprise is operating from different states, then it will have to obtain separate GSTIN registrations in those states. One GSTIN will be sufficient to cover IGST, CGST, and SGST, the three principal variants of Goods and Services Taxes.

Procedure of taxes
There will have to be complete revision of tax procedures for incorporating GST structure, which is entirely different. Unique GST associated changes can be listed as compulsory monthly tax returns, separate defining of IGST, CGST, and SGST in case of MM as well as SD. Additionally, there will be changes in SAP ERP systems, which will have to be moved to TAXINN from TAXINJ.

Migration of open transactions
It is obvious that in any business organization there will be multiple transactions that would be partially open. The transactions must be reversed or closed before the onset of GST regime on July 1st 2017. One must address the spillover of unfinished transactions that may be associated with transit goods, goods returned after GST deadline but purchased before the beginning of GST system, and so forth.

Patching and upgrades
Evaluation of the existing ERP platform is essential to plan patching and upgrading in order to build a GST compliant system. Benefits of GST can only be exploited by getting all systems and processes ready to accommodate significant changes that need to be adopted before GST.