When you are considering implementing a new IT business solution to increase functionality and facilitate growth for your business, you must consider the key characteristics of the IT business solution and how it can increase your business's functionality.
Of course, you must also make your decision based on the IT landscape that best suits your business needs. ERP and CRM software can increase productivity for a wide spectrum of industries. The question is how easily can each solution be implemented and what is its adaptability as your business grows and changes into the future.
Two IT business solutions that are often compared, because of their popularity, are Salesforce and SAP ByDesign. It is important to understand the subtle and substantial differences of these two solutions in order to make an informed decision. The biggest consideration is how each IT solution integrates internally through various functions. By examining these differences, you move closer to choosing and implementing the solution that’s right for your business.
Platforms and Ease of Use
Underpinned by Netweaver, SAP ByDesign's platform allows its users to create composite applications through SAP. Although some have made the case that SAP Business ByDesign is more complicated for the mid-market company, it's integration between business divisions and front end (CRM) and back end (ERP) functions easily and seamlessly when properly implemented. It's important, however, to ensure that all the pieces are working together in sync. A knowledgeable consulting firm should be able to help you get started without any trouble.
On the other hand, Salesforce's Application Stack makes ease of use for applications admirable, but the actually platform, Force.com, is still complicated to navigate and its execution leaves something to desired. With Salesforce, although application development is easy, the applications actually create the IT landscape to make IT function correctly.
With SAP OnDemand's modular packaging, ByDesign's landscape is already functioning and addressing your business's needs without the need for frenetic application development.
Customization and Integration
SAP ByDesign is not customizable, but it IS highly configurable. The software is highly adaptable to application development and changes to the IT landscape. Also, it's integration capabilities are what make SAP stand out. The entire suite is integrated, making compliant apps, CRM and ERP processes travel through the entire application.
While Salesforce is technically customizable, that’s only achievable through lengthy upgrades. The CRM is created with the intent of easily integrating with an outside ERP, but the two are not inherently integrated. This goes back to the need for Salesforce to continually develop applications to create the suite and make it integrate throughout different functions of the company.
The Future of IT Business Solutions
In addition to the four considerations above -- platforms, ease of use, customization and integration -- you must also take into account what these considerations mean to the future of IT business solutions.
Saleforce's strength is their ease of application development while their weakness is their platform's actual functionality and integration capabilities. In the past, before modular packaging like OnDemand, it was seen as useful.
But OnDemand has changed the landscape. Business ByDesign already integrates all facets of business functionality in a centralized system. There is no need for application development to integrate with a third party. This is arguably the future of IT business solutions -- an already functioning and integrated landscape that can easily develop and adopt applications, as opposed to development application ease of use that creates a functioning and integrated landscape.