Knowing your customer is about knowing his business.
ERP and Tech companies around the world, today, more than ever, claim industry specialization. ERP verticals and purpose-specific apps (as micro apps) are the current trend and ERP moguls are leveraging on that in order to strengthen the interest of potential clients and increase their market/industry penetration.
The fact is that Vertical Software is a very unique and different “game” and ERP generalists can not adjust their strategies from the ERP-for-all concept to … the specific-ERP.
1. ERP Generalists have an extended network of Sales Agents, Consultants and Partners that promote, sell and support each ERP.
A true Vertical Software Vendor -as a Solutions provider- cannot have an extended network of partners and sales agents. Industry-expertise and technology should be matched and bundled as a solution, hence generalized consulting services and technology cannot efficiently communicate, support and deploy ERP as Solutions. Vertical Software Vendors use mainly organic development and the principle of: One Vendor, One Software, One Consultant … lifetime support and updates.
2.Quotations and/or Proposals sent to their Clients are based on Time & Material where most (if all) of the risk is mitigated to the Client. The reason is simple: There is no gain share on potential software (ERP system) enhancements and all Change Requests are treated as unique, distinct, industry-agnostic cases.
A true Vertical Software Vendor -as a Solutions provider- treats (and welcomes) change requests, as NEW features, enhancing its software (breadth and width). Vertical Software Vendor will be reusing these features to other similar/same Clients. On the other hand, proposals are good estimations of Time and Material required to deploy a system, based on hundreds (or thousands) of similar implementations within the same industry. Proposals (Technical and Financial) have limited-to-none risk as all parties are fully aware that are entering into a partnership, trustfully.
3. Database migrations, integrations with third-party software, connectivity with other systems are always a challenge to ERP generalists. As an example, data structure, taxonomies and categories cannot be generalized and differ significantly from industry to industry. As per the third party systems’ integration, systems are usually treated as No Man’s Land. Integrations and ready APIs should be in place to facilitate data-exchange. Both data migration and integration are essential to create ONE SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH.
A true Vertical Software Vendor -as a Solutions provider- recommends (based on universal practices) the right taxonomies and categorization for all business entities. During migration process, specific templates are provided and data migration process is enhanced with data cleansing, acknowledging that well-organized data is the basis for process consistency and information management. Third-party systems are known! APIs are in place and are treated as extensions in almost all cases.
4. Customizations and Integrations require “speaking” the same language. Understanding the terminology used per industry, the peculiarities of the everyday processes whilst seeking common grounds of understanding and gaining the trust of the users is a mandate. Supporting everyday user’s work and rewarding users by seeing tangible benefits on everyday activities trengthens their trust.
A true Vertical Software Vendor -as a Solutions provider- knows the ins and outs of the processes and by engaging with the users -as a servant/assistant- can facilitate the smooth transition into the system and assure the investment of the company to the new ERP. Localization, both in terms of system-language and speaking language, should be considered an essential part of the system’s adoption process by the Organization.
We, DANAOS, acknowledge that Enterprise Vertical Software requires the right blend of technology and industry-specific knowledge.
With 30+ years leading the Maritime and Construction Software industry -trusted by hundreds of Organizations globally- We have proved that DANAOS is the right partner for your digital transformation journey providing end-to-end, customizable and fully supported Vertical Solutions.
We, DANAOS, are the specialists in a world of ‘vanilla’ technology generalists, aiming to Digitally Disrupt the world of Maritime, Construction, Engineering and Facility Management.