Buy a solution to the problem, not just the product.
Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt is rather famous for saying, “People don’t want to buy a drill and a quarter-inch bit. They want a quarter-inch hole!” To bring this analogy into the business world: businesses spend money to solve a problem, to get a job done. No surprises there, perhaps, but what if solving a problem is no longer the competitive (or survival) advantage it once was? What if today’s businesses need more than a short-term problem-solving tool? Buying an ERP includes several facets to consider.
Looking beyond the hole
At Silverware, we’ve long understood the fact that companies only spend money to solve problems—and we’ve built our business on finding solutions to complex business problems. But lately we’re beginning to see an exciting shift in the paradigm. Companies are starting to look beyond solving short-term problems; they want tools and guidance that can adapt and be repurposed to add value for the long term.
We believe that, going forward, businesses won’t buy financial and accounting software only for the holes it drills or problems it solves, but for the long-term insights it provides. To put it another way: businesses want software that helps them pinpoint where and when they should drill the hole in the first place. When buying an ERP, businesses need to take into consideration how it solves problems.
Missing the mark
Forrester reports 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29% are actually successful at connecting analytics to action. Actionable insights appear to be the missing link for companies that want to drive business outcomes from their data.
These firms bought the drill and the bit, and may even have drilled that first hole, but they have no reliable way of knowing where the next hole should go. They bought accounting software to solve their business challenges, yet the challenges are a moving target. What went wrong? We’ve said it before, today’s cloud financial management solutions are all pretty good, and they all provide many of the same transactional capabilities. In a sea of parity, then, where does one look for differentiators when buying an ERP?
Zeroing in on the mark
While many accounting applications claim to provide actionable insights, Sage Intacct backs up the claim with some of the most powerful data analytics tools available. Sage Intacct’s intuitive dashboards, preconfigured reports, and drag and drop report customizations allow companies to turn data into insight. Actionable insight. Profitable insight. And new predictive analytics, visual analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities increase the value of the solution with every new version.
In addition to its data analytics tools, Sage Intacct supports a growing ecosystem of complementary functionality—something like an entire home improvement store that offers more than just drills and bits. The product’s tight integration with Salesforce is at the forefront, but the Sage Intacct Marketplace is packed with hundreds of add-on solutions designed to extend the functionality, reach, breadth and longevity of the solution.
Measure twice and cut once
Sage Intacct is a solution capable of helping you hit the mark, but you’ll increase your success rate if you combine the software with a partner who can help you discover and leverage the capabilities within—and apply them to your unique business processes. Something of a belt and suspenders approach or a pencil and pencil sharpener. (Okay, we’re done with the analogies.)
What are your thoughts? Are you seeing the same shift we’re seeing? Is your company starting to look beyond short-term problem solving toward long-term value and insight? We’d love to join your conversations—let’s get in touch.