Poacher turned gamekeeper, I have worked in the ERP and business management software industry for over 10 years in sales, marketing and project management roles. During this time I have worked with most of the major brands such as Microsoft, IRIS, Sage, SAP and Infor either directly representing their applications or providing complementary solutions which expand and increase their functionality.
I have completed over 40 successful ERP deals in my career, covering a number of vertical markets and ranging from £10k to £250k in size. I was personally responsible for project managing the implementation of more than half those sites.
My extensive knowledge of the ERP market means I can provide a realistic approach to what can be achieved and I have an awareness of the underlying pitfalls associated with system and process change.
Using this knowledge, in December 2008 I started Recenseo with a trusted colleague /PQ Accountant to deliver consultancy service to authors, resellers and end users alike regarding the various ERP options available today.
Recenseo is a business consultancy providing a range of services including:
- ERP Systems - search and selection
- Marketing and sales consultancy
- Interim financial management
- Pre sales and sales support to resellers and authors
- Financial report writing skills
- Proposal/RFI/Requirements analysis - preparation
We work with suppliers and end users alike to help them achieve their business goals and become more efficient through the improved use of software solutions.
Cameron - Whiter than Daz?
I have to say that when I saw David Cameron lecturing about moral right and wrong I was disgusted.
We're on his watch and he is the legislator. If he doesn't like it he should legislate against it, but please, do not rely on moral compass to guide people where money is concerned. As this post proves, when you ask the people what they believe you will always get a real mix of opinion and morals - not saying that anything written above is right or wrong you understand.
Therefore you cannot rely on the moral compass of the individual.
Two key points above:
How many of his cabinet chums and donors fall foul of this? When the answer is 0 I will support the moral outrage, wholeheartedly.I really like the point about 1% of a shed load is probably more than the rest of us pay so is it the % or the value that is wrong?
...and Paul Scholes - Is it wrong to envy someone for being at the top of their game and being remunerated handsomely for it? Is Jimmy Carr not just a one man business which generates huge amounts of income for other businesses; such at the venues he performs at and the retailers that sell his gear.
...and would I like an extra (legally earned) pound or two in my pocket - absolutely and I dont care who knows it! Yes I am comfortable, but would I like to put more away for retirement or my children? - YES. Please, what is wrong with that?
Glad I could help
Let's face it...
...we dont like these schemes because we dont have enough cash of our own for it to be of benefit ourselves and so our 'dislike' is actually jealousy - I dont mind admitting that.
As per usual though I am absolutely 100% sure that the owners, editors and contributors to the Daily Mail are all squeaky clean, church going, law abiding citizens whose tax is bang up to date - which puts them in prime position to dig into others affairs.
As for Jimmy Carr, the bloke is hillarious and maybe some of the AW community could do with letting their hair down and going and having a good giggle at one of his shows!
I dont think costs need to be mysterious and the SaaS market is much more open to making subscription costs available publicly.
There are obviously going to be various factors which determine the ultimate price per user, such as level of access, reporting requirements etc. but I believe the standard Aqilla model is around £50-£60 per user per month. There is an initial set up cost which is a few hundred pounds. This tends to be the top end of the user licences too.
There is an extended reporting solution with Sharperlight which has a different pricing model but it is akin to Aqilla and well worth it too!
Implementation again will vary from project to project but I would suggest a basic configuration would be up to 10 days with a handful of reports, training and configuration.
As this is likely to be read by a myriad of companies/industries I have to caveat the above to say that this is based on my knowledge of Aqilla and the OP, and is not a one size fits all estimate for services. I strongly recommend you speak to Aqilla or one of their partners for a formal estimate and to get an exact picture of subscriptions.
Hope this helps.
It's Oil and Gas
Richard Willis wrote:
the size or complexity of the accounting requirements. If Sage has been OK up to now I guess that they are not TOO massive.
Richard - the likeliehood is that whilst not extremely complex, Oil and Gas is likely to have some more advanced requirements that need a good core financials solution rather than simple 'accounting software'. For instance correct allocation of costs to exploration and production and correct presentation of income and forecast production are key - Shell have been caught out on this even!
Whilst Sage has probably coped until now, reading between the lines the OP is clearly hitting some of the obvious boundaries Sage will imply.
If you want all the benefits of SunSystems but not the overbearing infrastructure and cost then try Aqilla (www.aqilla.com). It is very similar to Sun in terms of unified ledger, true multi currency, excellent reporting, multi level analysis and excellent financials. Prices are subscription based so much cheaper than on premise and no hardware either!
With all due respect to Kashflow etc. Aqilla really is true multi currency like SunSystems and not 'lipstick on a pig' I.e. putting a currency symbol infront of the figure but actually still doing everything in sterling or base currency.
Being web based it will support an international business. Like SunSystems it is functional more than it is attractive but I guess from the comments you make you would rather a good core financials system than pretty fisher price icons.
Speak to Hugh at Aqilla if you want to go direct or Elliott at West Sussex Business Solutions (www.wsbusinesssolutions.com) if you want an implementation partner that has experience of Aqilla and Sage.
I highly recommend this if you like Sun.
Current situation/On Premise Software - I assume the reason (or one of them) Access is not good for eCommerce is because you ultimately have to have a content management system in between the software and the website for SEO, extended descriptions, related products and pictures; so you end up keeping data in multiple places. If this is the case then you will find that to be the case with most traditional mid sized, on premise ERP systems such as Access, Exchequer, Sage 200 and SAP B1. If your wish is for on premise then I am afraid you will have to live with this fact as the product data they hold is mainly for sales/stock purposes and not for online SEO/eCommerce purposes.
The upside to these kind of systems is they are designed for your size of company, work well with multi company set ups, most handle Mutli Currency well and will provide you with the accounting and reporting you need. I have direct experience of IRIS Exchequer working with eCommerce businesses and it works well, but in every case there is a CMS in between. It is virtually live in terms of stock levels, customer details and order receipt and once received the orders benefit from a very good distribution system.
Some details here: http://www.cornerstone-mis.com/accounting-software/iris-exchequer/iris-e...
Web/SaaS/Cloud solutions - Being web based there are obviously a number of benefits to integrating with web shops and eCommerce solutions (same platforms/languages) and many have been set up to specifically meet this need e.g. www.brightpearl.co.uk. However, the potential downside to these is the quality of the back office functions for a larger business. Multi currency and multi company, in my experience, are rarely well catered for and show signs of immaturity or box ticking i.e. we can do it...but.
Also many are designed for small-medium online businesses and I question whether you would be happy putting a £17m turnover business onto some of the main players if you are growing rapidly. Excel reporting in any greater detail than simply getting data 'spat out' in a .xls file, will leave you wanting.
Netsuite is probably the most mature of the web based offerings and will address some of the back office issues I have mentioned above. I have however, heard concerns about price for this, although I cannot say I have direct experience to support that view and I also dont know how much you want to spend, so it may be irrelevant.
Summary - Sorry there is no killer recommendation here but from my experience of the market I am not sure there is one - right now. I think you may find a system that is good for eCommerce but leaves you wanting on back office or vice versa. I would suggest that if you want good back office functions then go with a mature on premise solution and suffer the CMS issue; but if web is driving your business then choose a good ecommerce/stock management only solution and maybe consider integrating it to a strong core financials product that meets your business management needs. Otherwise, wait a while as the web based market is developing rapidly and the landscape may be very different in 12 months or so.
We provide requirements based search and selection for business management systems and would be happy to talk to you in more detail if you wanted to run a basic RFI style search of the market. www.recenseo.co.uk
Dont forget Data Protection!
I am sorry to turn up late to the party but scanning through on a Friday afternoon and thought I should add something to this post. This is crucial and so even if it is not wholly relevant to the OP, it may be of use to others for research purposes.
If you are holding any data which is deemed to be sensitive or you are registered with the Information Commissioner for Data Protection ACT (DPA) purposes you need to know where your data ultimately resides when using hosted systems.
Kryton rightly points out that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are the biggest players in the world but therein also lies their downfall. Under the DPA your data must reside within the EU AT ALL TIMES. If you happen to host anything with the big boys you must read the small print on the contract as in many cases their hosting service will not offer this gaurantee. When you are Microsoft, Google or Amazon you have to 'load balance' and this means moving data between servers as demand requires. So whilst these big boys do have massive data centres within the EU (mainly all in Dublin in fact), they sometime back up to servers outside of the EU or may temporarily move your data out of the EU for maintenance purposes or load balancing purposes. Therefore they cannot say that 100% of your data is in the EU 100% of the time. By ignoring this, YOU may be in breach of DPA laws in the event something nasty happens.
There is a useful story here for reference: http://www.stranet.com/cloud-computing/should-we-use-cloud-storage/
You should also look up the major news article of 2011 about the outage of services which affected the MS and Amazon data centres in Dublin. Some services were down for days.
I am a Cloud evangelist so please dont get me wrong, hosting is the way forward, but you must understand how it might affect you before signing up.
If you have already looked at Xero then you are clearly not against a SaaS/Web solution and so on that note why not consider an integrated accounting, stock and ePOS solution from Brightpearl?
We work with Brightpearl to help implment the solution for companies in the Midlands, South and East and have put it in to a number of companies similar to the one you have mentioned.
We are not resellers, we just help clients configure the system for best use, but if you would like a brief demo or chat through some of the specifics, by all means give us a buzz on 01243 214175 or contact Brightpearl at www.brightpearl.co.uk
Xero - Expensive?
Digby - I am amazed that £12 a month for Xero is classed as expensive and that you only keep it for your 'larger clients'. Apologies for not knowing the general size of your clients but these 2 statements contradict everything I know about Xero.
Can you not create a wrap up service offering for your smaller clients which includes the use of Xero - which would be removed if they ceased to work with you? If you forego the margin which is about 30-40% I am sure you could provide a package which swallowed £100 a year surely?
Whilst this idea proves contradictory to my earlier post regarding recommending software that helps you primarily, I believe products like Xero are great for 'first timers' or those that have only used spreadsheets to date.
In terms of your bigger clients, do some of them not need a little something extra, a bit bigger than Xero? As you say, one size does not fit all.
Happy to have a chat if you would like some advice on right solutions. We can even work with you to provide client services if this is of interest.
Regards -[email protected]