This is a question that I have raised before, and anecdotal evidence indicates that many ERP resellers are not happy with their ERP principal. However, from the blogs I follow I get the impression from other countries that ERP vendors are better are working with their partners and developing business than they are in South Africa.
Our two vendors are SYSPRO and Microsoft. Colleagues in the company have recently been complaining about SYSPRO’s bureaucracy and lack of flexibility in dealing with customer issues. The advantage for us, however, is that as SYSPRO is a local company we can escalate issues up the executice chain. They also have in-depth knowledge of local conditions and market expectations and have in many cases been more than ready to accommodate requirements from prospects, in particular.
Microsoft is a different case. Other colleagues in the company are nearly at the stage of telling Microsoft Dynamics to get lost. So what does Dynamics lack in SA? Firstly, stable long-term management; four different heads in four years does not provide stability for partners or continuity of strategy. Secondly, I my opinion (and as I have said before), the local team are very much execution-bound, meaning that strategy, planning and decision-making gets done in Europe by people who don’t have in-depth knowledge of local conditions and market expectations. Thirdly, again in my opinion, Microsoft is too process-bound to be flexible enough when they need to be.
Instead of operating the SA unit as a sub-division, I think Microsoft could learn a lot by studying how Bidvest and Murray and Roberts, both SA success stories, allows their subsidiary companies a great deal of latitude and flexibility while at the same time focusing on some core financial, market and customer metrics.