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ERP 2019
Performance in the Cloud

author - Tanya Egbert
Tanya Egbert
author - Lois Krotz
Lois Krotz
April 5, 2019 | Read Time: 7  minutes

In the traditionally stagnant market of ERP (HR, finance, and/or supply chain), aging on-premises solutions are giving way to several cloud options now on the table. Given the significant lift required to move to a new ERP system, many organizations contemplating the cloud are taking the opportunity to consider all vendors, not just their incumbent. To help in this search, KLAS interviewed provider organizations who are currently live with a cloud ERP solution to find out how the solutions perform overall, what kind of support and relationships each vendor offers during implementation and beyond, and organizations’ plans for the future.

Workday and (Lesser-Known) Premier Lead in Overall Performance; Cloud Solutions from Infor, Oracle Struggle

overall score vs product scoreWorkday’s market-leading overall performance is due in part to the quality of their user-friendly, native cloud solution, a two-time Best in KLAS winner. The HR component is viewed as a mature, complete module. Reported HR challenges are generally related to complex needs, such as healthcare payroll requirements. The finance module is developed but less mature. Supply chain is currently the largest gap. Some customers have procurement and inventory components; broader functionality is being implemented in some organizations but was not live in time for inclusion in this report. Despite finance and supply chain gaps, customers report optimism that Workday will follow through on development promises. Premier customers describe the supply chain module as an intuitive, innovative tool with strong capabilities, and the finance module has enabled some customers to achieve financial gains. In general, customers would like more guidance on how to fully leverage the solution’s robust functionality, and a couple would like the finance tool to be given more priority. Premier is less often thought of as an ERP player, partly because they lack an HR module and partly because Premier offers a wide range of other healthcare solutions. Premier has historically been adopted by organizations with under 500 beds but has recently seen growth among larger organizations.

current module adoptionThe cloud ERP products from Infor and Oracle are newer to the market, have fewer live customers, and receive much lower product ratings. While Oracle’s cloud customers feel the module has most of the functionality they need, some describe it as complicated or unintuitive and report several small bugs. Oracle ERP customers—who tend to be large, more complex organizations—often have multiple Oracle products, and some who have adopted the financial tool report that optimal use can be a challenge without expertise in Oracle’s BI tool. Customers do feel Oracle is working to address the product’s challenges. Infor customers (v.11 and above) struggle in almost all aspects of the customer experience. Multiple customers who use the supply chain module reference issues with the EDI. Another pain point is the lack of mobile functionality. The few who have implemented the HR module have not had a consistent experience: two are satisfied and feel the platform is strong for healthcare and intuitive for end users; others report major challenges, with one reverting to their previous solution.

Third-Party Implementations: Expectations for ERP Vendor When Third Party Is Involved

Product success is often heavily influenced by implementation quality. While the vast majority of interviewed organizations (with the exception of Premier customers) used third-party implementation services, they still expected a certain level of support from their software vendor. Common expectations include the following:

background involvement resources expertise ownership of customer success2

Several Clients Feel Infor, Oracle Disengage during Implementations

Those customers disappointed in Infor’s implementation involvement view the vendor as reactionary and feel they had to force Infor to get involved. A few also feel Infor didn’t have the right resources or expertise. A couple of more-satisfied customers report that their customer success manager (a new Infor initiative for cloud customers) stayed connected during the project. Oracle customers with unmet expectations often describe the vendor as uninvolved during implementations and apt to fault the services partner for post-go-live issues. Additionally, some are dissatisfied that more robust training (beyond the free online resources) costs extra. Other Oracle customers feel their expectations were met or exceeded—some mention having a helpful, knowledgeable assigned representative; some did not expect strong involvement from Oracle. All interviewed Workday customers who engaged a services partner report that Workday met or exceeded their implementation expectations. Most also report that Workday took ownership of their customers’ success and proactively kept in touch during the implementation.

how well vendors met expectations for implementation involvement

Workday Excels at Partnering; Money's Worth Drives Premier's Value

Workday’s phone and web support is satisfactory, but it is their executive involvement that lifts up the relationship experience. Customers describe Workday as an involved, responsive partner who sets proper expectations and then follows through. Premier customers are more satisfied than other vendors’ customers with the money’s worth they receive. A handful commented on the product’s expense, but others talk about the many opportunities within the tool, especially in reference to the supply chain module. There are some complaints about nickel-and-diming, but these mostly reference problems that happened in the past during the implementation.

value vs relationship
cloud quote icon

Workday has a cool culture. I have received calls from the executives. The executives have referred me to good resources. Most places just have the frontline representatives do that.
—VP of Finance

infor and oracle relationships on premises vs cloud

Infor and Oracle Taking Steps to Improve Historically Poor Relationships

Poor relationships from Infor and Oracle compound product issues and lead to low perceptions of value. One positive note is that cloud customers of Infor and (to a lesser degree) Oracle report higher relationship satisfaction than their on-premises counterparts. Much of the increase in Infor customers’ satisfaction is due to their customer support managers, who are able to escalate issues and provide faster resolutions. Still, many customers feel communication from Infor is lacking, with poor transparency around development and inconsistent issue follow-up. Executive involvement at times feels distant. Oracle has taken steps to improve their historically rocky customer relationships by providing “platinum service” for their cloud customers, though no interviewed customers mention it, and the majority still report challenges with the frontline support, including lack of expertise and lack of communication regarding open tickets.

cloud quote icon

We can easily escalate things at Infor. We have a pretty clearly defined path for escalating issues. If the support processes fail or communication breaks down, we can escalate issues. We have many calls each week with our customer success manager and other representatives from Infor. Those calls help a lot with making things happen.” —Director of IS

cloud quote icon

"Many times, we have escalated an issue, usually about the support, to our salesperson. We have a really fantastic relationship with that person, who has been phenomenal and brings Oracle leaders to our meetings. However, even when Oracle's people are involved, we don't necessarily get better results." —HR Director

Oracle and Infor Customers Plan to Stay, but Many Would Not Buy Again

Though customers don’t feel the Workday solution is currently complete, 100% would buy the product again and plan to stay with it long term. All or nearly all Infor and Oracle customers plan to stay with their vendor, though over 40% report buyer’s remorse. Infor customers are frustrated by the previously mentioned product and relationship challenges; in addition, they report poor implementations, negative sales experiences, and vendor overpromising (one-third feel Infor doesn’t keep their promises). Oracle customers who would not buy again also mention implementation problems and don’t feel Oracle has done enough to help them overcome these struggles.

would you buy again vs part of long term plans
cloud quote icon

We have been extremely disappointed with the product we got. . . . Infor told us that it would do certain things, but we haven't seen the functionality yet. . . . Currently, the product isn't meeting a lot of our needs. The jury is still out on whether the Infor system is part of our long-term plans. I believe my satisfaction will probably decrease. But we have sunk a lot of money into this solution, so we might be stuck with it for some time. I am bracing myself for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that we have dumped into the product. In the end, I don't know whether we will be totally satisfied, but I am hoping that we will be able to rectify our issues so that we can stay with the product.”—CFO

Workday and Infor Most Considered for Cloud

Organizations considering the cloud are most likely to look at Workday and Infor. Those interested in Workday like the product offering, including the integration between the modules, and often reference Workday’s reputation in the industry. Organizations that are hesitant about Workday cite concerns about supply chain immaturity. Infor and Oracle have large bases of on-premises ERP customers, and a large number of their considerations come from these organizations. While organizations have expressed interest in Infor’s new cloud solution and broad suite of tools, the cloud solution’s lack of a proven track record gives some organizations pause. The Oracle system is seen as having robust functionality. Some organizations rule it out due to price. Premier has comparatively lower mindshare but is considered by organizations who use Premier’s other software or services. Potential customers cite the lack of an HR component as a downside.

who is being considered for cloud erp and why

What to Expect from the Cloud: Benefits vs. Challenges

benefits gained by moving to the cloud
author - Jess Wallace-Simpson
Jess Wallace-Simpson
author - Sydney Toomer
Project Manager
Sydney Toomer
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.