How to Use the Brightwork Implementation Risk Ratings

Executive Summary

  • What are the Risks Measurements at Brightwork Research and Analysis?
  • Our Enterprise Risk Management Framework and IT Risk Assesment Template
  • Implementation Success Ratio
  • Our Work in Technology Risk Management and Implementation Risk Measurement

Introduction to the MUFI Ratings and Risk Calculation

Our MUFI Rating and Risk calculation is an estimate of implementation risk and technology risk management. It proposes an enterprise risk management framework and can be thought of an IT risk assessment template.

It is an analysis rate each application by it’s:

  • Maintainability
  • Usability
  • Functionality
  • Implementability

…or it’s “MUFI” rating. We also apply a risk analysis The risk analysis produces a likelihood of implement ability success. One of the largest shortcomings of software selections is that all the applications are treated as having a roughly identical likelihood of success.

Implementation Success Ratio

Our implementation success rate is based upon a combination of the risk profile of the vendor + the risk provides the actual application.

This enterprise risk management framework does account for the preparedness of the implementing company or the consulting firm. Most consulting companies misrepresent the knowledge of their consultants to clients. Therefore, the actual risk of implementation projects is normally greatly underestimated. This can be adjusted by a consulting initiative with Brightwork that we describe at the bottom of this page.

For these factors, it is necessary to engage with our services.

Vendor NameApplication
Big ERP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP ECC
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
EpicorMUFI Rating & Risk – Epicor ERP
SageMUFI Rating & Risk – Sage X3
InforMUFI Rating & Risk – Infor Lawson
Small and Medium ERP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Business One
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – JD Edwards World
ProcessProMUFI Rating & Risk – ProcessPro
RootstockMUFI Rating & Risk – Rootstock
ERPNextMUFI Rating & Risk – ERPNext
OpenERPMUFI Rating & Risk – OpenERP
MicrosoftMUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics AX
Financial Applications
IntacctMUFI Rating & Risk – Intacct
IntuitMUFI Rating & Risk – Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise Solutions
FinancialForceMUFI Rating & Risk – FinancialForce
NetSuiteMUFI Rating & Risk – NetSuite OneWorld
PLM
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP PLM
Arena SolutionsMUFI Rating & Risk – Arena Solutions Arena PLM
Hamilton GrantMUFI Rating & Risk – Hamilton Grant Recipe Management
Demand Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP APO DP
TableauMUFI Rating & Risk – Tableau (Forecasting)
Business Forecast SystemsMUFI Rating & Risk – Forecast Pro TRAK
Demand WorksMUFI Rating & Risk – Demand Works Smoothie
JDAMUFI Rating & Risk – JDA Demand Management
ToolsGroupMUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)
Supply Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP SNP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP SmartOps
ToolsGroupMUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply Planning)
Demand WorksMUFI Rating & Risk – Demand Works Smoothie SP
PlanetTogetherMUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant
Production Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP APO PP/DS
DelfoiMUFI Rating & Risk – Delfoi Planner
PreactorMUFI Rating & Risk – Preactor
AspenTechMUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne
PlanetTogetherMUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS
BI Heavy
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP BI/BW
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Business Objects
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle BI
SASMUFI Rating & Risk – SAS BI
MicroStrategyMUFI Rating & Risk – MicroStrategy
IBMMUFI Rating & Risk – IBM Cognos
TeradataMUFI Rating & Risk – Teradata
ActuateMUFI Rating & Risk – Actuate ActuateOne
BI Light
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Crystal Reports
QlikTechMUFI Rating & Risk – QlikTech QlikView
TableauMUFI Rating & Risk – Tableau (BI)
CRM
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP CRM
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle RightNow
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle CRM On Demand
InforMUFI Rating & Risk – Infor Epiphany
Base CRMMUFI Rating & Risk – Base CRM
SalesforceMUFI Rating & Risk – Salesforce Enterprise
SugarCRMMUFI Rating & Risk – SugarCRM
MicrosoftMUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics CRM
NetSuiteMUFI Rating & Risk – NetSuite CRM

Our Implementation Risk Analysis

We offer customized implementation risk analysis and technology risk management on a consulting basis.

But we provide the following:

  • Full implementation risk analysis based upon more specific information for a specific company.
  • We provide a full explanation for all the risk analysis.
  • We can support any project anywhere in the globe because we do not need to be on site.

For more information fill out the form at the end of this page.

Custom TCO Estimates and Consulting

  • Want Help with TCO for your Business?

    It is difficult for most companies to estimate TCO without outside advice. Vendors and consulting companies do not want their customers to know what they TCO is. Getting TCO advice from consulting companies leads to underestimated TCO. We do offer remote unbiased multi-dimension TCO estimation.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

Important aspects of risk estimation for IT are covered in this book.

Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

MUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant

MUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: PlanetTogether Galaxy APS (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

PlanetTogether has created a substantial portion of the overall applied innovation in production planning and scheduling over the past ten years. PlanetTogether is known as a production planning and scheduling software vendor. However, PlanetTogether’s Galaxy APS has a supply planning functionality that no other software vendor presently offers. This feature is of interest to buyers that manage multiple plants in a way that the plants feed one another as if the overall complex were part of a single “Superplant.”

Application Detail

Galaxy APS is not an easy application on which to write. This is because it contains so much functionality, and this functionality is so unique in its design. Even many of PlanetTogether’s current customers do not know what the application can do because its functionality is so deep that a buying company may only be deploying a small fraction of Galaxy APS’s functionality. The entry of PlanetTogether in our Software Selection Package for Production Planning covers the Galaxy APS functionality in more detail. However, some of the distinct Galaxy APS functionalities are the following:

  1. The only multi-plant planning applications (this means the ability to plan multiple plants as if they are one location) that naturally accounts for lead times between locations.
  2. Multi-User – any user can plan any plant or groups of plants that they have the authority to plan.
  3. A leading edge duration based optimizer – combined with the ability to prioritize almost any KPI (that is to adjust the duration optimizer by KPIs – including financial KPIs – meaning Galaxy APS is the only system allowing production to be optimized with throughput accounting principles. Galaxy has 30+ manufacturing based KPI, including cost & profit KPI that are tracked within and across any number of scenarios.
  4. Has functionality to use a “synchronous manufacturing” approach with strategic buffer management at key control points to protect against the inevitable variation of manufacturing’s reality.
  5. Galaxy APS not only has the best master data management and update capabilities in its software category, but it is also one of the best master data management and update capabilities that we have measured of any enterprise software application.
  6. Co-Pilot. Galaxy APS has developed an automated system for simulation that merely runs in the background when processing is available and comes up with improved solutions. This Co-Pilot functionality can run at any time – and may run intensively overnight testing many different combinations. This is we believe an entirely new concept – and is a vast improvement for the vast majority of companies that lack time to perform simulation through other approaches.

Galaxy APS is a compelling application for those buyers that wish to take a “production first” approach their supply planning. This tends to be disregarded when comparing supply-planning (and production planning) applications.

However, one of the most important distinctions between supply planning applications is how it treats production planning. Some applications, such as ToolsGroup SO99 and SAP SmartOps do not deal with production planning at all. Other applications, like SAP SNP, actually allow production planning to be incorporated into the supply plan through the introduction of production resources into SAP SNP. SAP salespeople present this as “accounting for production,” but in fact, this design places supply planning in front of production planning. The first step is to run the supply plan, which is then passed to the production planning application, where more detailed production planning takes place. I quote from the SCM Focus Press book Superplant: Creating a Nimble Manufacturing Enterprise with Adaptive Planning Software.

“Supply Planning First” Two-pass Approach

In the sequential “supply planning first design,” cross-plant interactions are only observed and planned in the supply planning system—in this case, SNP. The supply plan is passed to PP/DS. PP/DS then creates planned orders from the first time bucket in the planning horizon out until the end of the production-planning horizon. While this production-planning horizon can be set to any value, in practice, it tends to be a matter of weeks. As such, in this design the supply planning system is in control of most of the combined supply and production-planning horizon, and essentially gets the first crack at processing the demand. Remember that most companies will have SNP use production resources, so SNP is creating the initial production plan. However, PP/DS will adjust the initial production plan provided by SNP for what are two to four weeks of the PP/DS production horizon, and detailed scheduling is performed down to the level of detail of the hour.

Galaxy APS creates both the supply planning recommendations and the manufacturing recommendations in a “single pass” or a single optimized planning run. Galaxy APS can either run MRP after the optimization—which would be two-step or multi-pass planning. But it can also run MRP during the optimization. The setting for controlling this is shown in the following screen shot.

Optimize wih MRP

Galaxy APS uses MRP to actually create the purchase requisitions and stock transfers—but this is based upon the optimizer output and can be set as part of a single planning run.

This approach can be superior to the sequential approach (where supply planning releases its results to production planning) in several ways. First, a combined run can allow an application to do things like multi-plant planning (such as compare all the alternate paths, including those that span a plant). Secondly, the supply plan is accurate right off the bat, and does not have to be passed to a production-planning tool for adjustment. This eliminates disconnects between the supply planning system and the production planning system, which are described in this article.

There are, however, trade-offs between two-pass and single-pass planning. Which approach is a better fit depends upon the objectives of the specific client. Most supply and production applications do not provide the option of either a single-pass or sequential processing, so in most cases the issue cannot even be brought up.

Single Pass Versus Sequential Processing

Single-pass Planning with PlanetTogether

Galaxy APS can combine supply and production planning into a single run. The steps are described below:

  1. The user clicks “Optimize.”
  2. The plan and schedule are created from independent demands all the way down through production scheduling and purchasing in one shot.

Hopefully, this has explained that PlanetTogether Galaxy APS is necessarily an easy decision when the orientation of the buyer is to place production planning as a primary focus of the supply planning process. It takes much more that merely including production resources into the supply planning system to adequately account for production. For those buyers that want to manage their production plants as part of an integrated whole, there is no other application that can do this, and account for the all of the interactions between the locations outside of Galaxy APS.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of Galaxy APS have every possible advantage working their direction. Galaxy APS is one of the highest rated applications we have ever rated. It is a rare situation where a buyer has the opportunity to purchase software that is both the functionality leader in its category, along with being highly implementable and user-friendly.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only implementation issues that a buyer of Galaxy APS can expect the fact are the traditional issues that face production planning and scheduling projects. PlanetTogether has tended to be implemented by smaller companies – the only reason being they do not have the brand recognition of being associated with a primary software vendor. As such they have become acclimated to having their software implemented in clients with quite limited resources. However, they have recently completed a 28 plant implementation, and this has demonstrated PlanetTogether’s ability to handle larger clients.

We predict PlanetTogether will eventually be recognized for its excellent software and will become a significantly bigger company and will be implemented by larger buyers, buyers with much more resources. A Galaxy APS implementation is one that any project manager should look forward to, as it has a high likelihood of adding significant value to the buyer.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Supply Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether Galaxy APS.

References

Brightwork MRP & S&OP Explorer for Tuning

Tuning ERP and External Planning Systems with Brightwork Explorer

MRP and supply planning systems require tuning in order to get the most out of them. Brightwork MRP & S&OP Explorer provides this tuning, which is free to use in the beginning until is sees “serious usage,” and is free for students and academics. See by clicking the image below:

Software Selection Book

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information

What the Book Covers

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.

Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.

This book is connected to several other SCM Focus Press books including Enterprise Software TCO and The Real Story Behind ERP.

By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Buy Now

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process

MUFI Rating & Risk – Arena Solutions Arena PLM

MUFI Rating & Risk – Arena Solutions Arena PLM

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

Arena Solutions is highly concentrated in the high tech industry where it provides a solution that can be leveraged to tie together companies, with their suppliers, subcontractors, and their contract manufacturers.

Application Detail

Arena PLM is a SaaS-based system that has a very sophisticated set of functionalities that enable collaboration between people inside of a company as well as between people inside the company and outside, in fact, it is the best collaborative application that we have reviewed. It is also one of our top-rated user interfaces. Arena provides a very fine level of control of the participation.

Arena Files Associated

Arena PLM allows the user to get to wherever they need to go quickly. For instance, there are easy to use tabs and drop downs along the top of the user interface. The main work areas have a large number of links, that can take the user to what they are looking for. There are breadcrumbs along the top, allowing the users to move anywhere in the sequence of the process.

If a company wants to collaborate with an outside entity, it does not have to provide access to the entire bill of materials with that entity. Instead, the entity will typically only see the portions of the bill of materials that are pertinent to them. For instance, there may 20 suppliers that supply 65 parts and subcomponents for what is a finished good to the customer company. However, when each supplier logs into to Arena PLM, they will only be able to see and work with their parts and subcomponents, they will not be able to see other suppliers or other components that make up the finished good.

Because of Arena PLM’s archival capabilities, it allows companies to manage their BOM as a true strategic asset. Many new products that a company introduces are not new at all but are based on older products, with some slight alteration. The easiest way to begin the design of a new product is to copy over an old product BOM, and then make changes to the parts of the product BOM (which may be a very small subset of the overall BOM) that will make the product considered a “new” product. This BOM copy can be performed quickly in Arena PLM, and all of the associated data is copied as well, including the suppliers for each BOM, costing, etc. Maximum reuse of this nature allows a company to introduce new products at minimal effort. Companies can choose to use the application fundamentally or too deeply analyze the application for historical information. Arena Solutions sees their software as having the potential to be used in the following way.

Over time, Arena becomes the repository for institutional knowledge: records of how certain design challenges were solved, how iterations of innovative technology were developed and how the product development process was handled. – Arena Solutions

Arena Revision Cross Out

Notice the revisions above. This shows the user what has been changed, the old number, along with the revised number.

­Version control is one of the most important aspects of BOM management. A good BMMS not only keeps all the BOM information in synch but can also alert people when their BOM has changed.

Indented BOM

Through Arena’s redline functionality, you cannot miss a change and inadvertently order the wrong part. You can easily compare two revisions of a BOM and see how they differ. “3 Tips for Effective Product Revision Control and Communication,” Arena Solutions, 2011

Arena Review Board

Even when an OEM has an internal engineering change order procedure, the CM is often not involved early enough to respond efficiently to the change. For small and medium-sized manufacturers, the conventional method to communicate BOMs and changes is still manual, utilizing phone, fax or e-mail. The fact that these manual ECOs are so arduous often drives people to cut corners in the documentation, communication, or gathering input to evaluate the impact of the change.  “Collaborative Tools for Product Development: A New Approach,” Arena Solutions, 2011

Indented BOM

This is of course incredibly important. It’s much easier to review changes that are made apparent to the user than asking them to catch what has changed by looking through a list. Many engineering and design projects had run into snafus because someone missed a critical revision when they were scanning many line items looking for what had changed. With this capability, users don’t miss changes and get the wrong part as a result. BOM revisions can also be compared.

Engineers are often asked to release designs earlier and earlier even when they are not ready. They must work hard to pass the right and correct information to manufacturing so their design can become a reality. With a complete and accurate engineering bill of materials, the hand-off to manufacturing will be made much smoother.  – Engineering Bill of Materials: The Ins and Outs – Arena Solutions 

In addition to the benefits noted by Arena Solutions, I have observed other benefits, which I have listed below:

  1. A quality BMMS reduces the BOM management required for both ERP systems and external planning systems if a BMMS is not in place.
  2. A quality BMMS manages BOM information in a far superior way to any ERP or planning system. Primarily, all changes are made in order with excellent BOM management data functionality and then copied over to the ERP and planning systems.
  3. A well-controlled EBOM, and by extension a BMMS, helps prevent errors from reverberating down the line.

Arena PLM is an easy decision for any buyer unless they work with recipes and not bills of material. For those buyers, typically in the process industry, a recipe specific solution like Hamilton Grant will be a better fit. Buyers that choose Arena PLM can expect a fast implementation, and software that has a high ROI because it not only improves areas like engineering, but it enhances the data management for any system that uses a bill of materials, which is quite a few systems.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of Arena Solutions Arena PLM have every possible advantage working their direction. Arena PLM is one of the highest rated applications we have ever rated. It is a rare situation where a buyer has the opportunity to purchase software that is both the functionality leader in its category, along with being highly implementable and user-friendly.  Finally, buyers can expect leading process consulting from Arena Solutions, so the implementation not only has a very high likelihood of being successful, it has all of the potential to completely change how the BOM is used within the buyer for the positive. Arena PLM tends to be implemented in mid-sized companies, but as the functionality leader in the space, it can be implemented at the largest companies. This means that Arena PLM can open up a tremendous amount of value that is currently poorly served by the BOM functionality within SAP and Oracle tier 1 ERP systems. Furthermore, Arena PLM has an almost perfect combined application and software vendor risk rating. This means that almost all of the risk comes from the buyer’s environment, not from Arena PLM.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only implementation issues that a buyer of Arena PLM can expect to the fact are the traditional issues that face PLM/BOM management implementation projects. Arena Solutions has tended to be implemented by smaller companies – the only reason being they do not have the brand recognition of being associated with a primary software vendor. As such they have become acclimated to having their software implemented in clients with limited resources. We predict Arena Solutions will eventually be more widely recognized for its excellent software and will become a significantly more prominent company and will be implemented by larger buyers, buyers with much more resources. An Arena PLM implementation is one that any project manager should look forward to, as it has a high likelihood of adding significant value to the buyer.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the BI Light software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Arena Solutions Arena PLM.

MUFI Rating & Risk – Hamilton Grant Recipe Management

This is one of the only independent ratings available on Hamilton Grant Recipe Management. 

  • This research along with all of our honest vendor ratings can be purchased at this link.
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  • Keep this tab open and refresh this page after making the payment and this page will then show the research.

MUFI Rating & Risk – Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise Solutions

MUFI Rating & Risk – Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise Solutions

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise Solutions (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

Intuit was the originator of the standalone financial system and has been fabulously successful. It has very high client satisfaction level. Quickbooks is the go-to financial application for the majority of small to smaller mid-sized businesses. It has gradually increased its scope of functionality over the years, and can even serve manufacturing entities. Quickbooks now has a point of sale application with comes with a barcode scanner, receipt printer, credit card reader and cash drawer. Customers can also hook up various physical inventory scanners for use in a manufacturing facility or a warehouse. Quickbooks is extremely easy to use, which is why so many companies cling to it when it is time to move on to a full-featured system.

Application Detail

Quickbooks Enterprise edition can track 100,000 combined names and items, and hundreds of thousands of employees and partners.

QuickBooks Reports

Quickbooks has decent built-in reporting capabilities.

Quickbooks has primarily been included in this section because it serves as the standard for easy to use financial applications, and in our TCO research, customers are always interested in how a financial application stacks up against Quickbooks, even though most of our customers have outgrown Quickbooks. It has very lightweight functionality, yet it is enough for so many companies. Quickbooks is so easy to implement; it’s hard to call making Quickbooks live within an organization an implementation. More of the implementation comes down to integrating Quickbooks to other application rather than configuring the Quickbooks functionality.

Overall, Quickbooks has sort of barely “enterprise” functionality, and it contains more functionality that it may first appear because it seems that there is no way it could support the size of companies that we see using it, yet it is enough for so many companies. One of the ways that Quickbooks does this is with applications or apps.

Intuit App Store

Intuit has copied the platform approach of AppExchange developed by Salesforce.com, and this explains how Quickbooks can be easily extended. We tested quite a few of these apps and found they could be installed very quickly.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise are well positioned to have successful implementations. The only real risk factor with an Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise implementation is related to software functionality. Many buyers that currently use the application are actually too large and have too many functionality needs, and should move on to one of the other applications on this list. This is a compliment to Intuit in that they have built such a useful and “sticky” application that they are used in situations where they really should not be. We rate Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise as having only average functionality when compared to other applications in this category – which we realize is not entirely fair. However, this is in fact where Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise is often implemented.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

There are no special risk management considerations with an Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise aside from matching the application to the proper environment regarding company size and desired functionality. However, if it is implemented in companies that are too big for it, buyers must expect to have to perform some “workarounds.”

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Finance & Accounting software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.

MUFI Rating & Risk – Intacct

This is one of the only independent ratings available on Intacct. 

  • This research along with all of our honest vendor ratings can be purchased at this link.
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  • Keep this tab open and refresh this page after making the payment and this page will then show the research.

MUFI Rating & Risk – FinancialForce

MUFI Rating & Risk – FinancialForce

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: FinancialForce (Select For Vendor Profile)

This software category is blessed to have two of the top scoring software vendors of all the software categories that we cover. This should easily defeat the flawed logic that one must purchase a complete ERP system rather than combining best of breed applications. Interestingly we have presented this argument frequently, and it is by people that have never compared the functionality in Intacct and FinancialForce to other uses. They are simply lazily relying upon the conventional wisdom that all companies must have ERP systems.

Application Detail

FinancialForce, like Rootstock (which we cover in our section on Software Selection Package for Small to Medium ERP), benefits from being part of the Force.com platform by Salesforce, which makes accessing and integrating to other Force.com applications extremely smooth. This means that FinancialForce can be brought up more quickly than almost any other stand-alone financial system of equivalent scope (FinancialForce is, of course, part of the Force.com platform, so calling it stand alone may seem to be an oxymoron. However, FinancialForce can be purchased separately from ERP modules.).

FinancialForce is very well regarded among accounting users. It is quite competent at managing sales as well as banking – the latter being a rarity in enterprise software.  FinancialForce develops a strong word of mouth within companies, and as is the hallmark of a good application, once it comes into a company, it will frequently grow in usage. Unlike the financial applications in ERP systems, people that use FinancialForce finds that it makes their jobs much more comfortable – making user adoption straightforward.

FinancialForce is easy to use application, with reporting being a strong point. FinancialForce requires little user training. Support is also excellent. As with all Force.com platform products, FinancialForce is a cloud-based solution. Some companies are reticent to use cloud-based financial applications, however, with the excellent customer feedback on both FinancialForce and Intacct, and the general frustration with the financial systems provided by many ERP systems, many companies, should at least evaluate these applications to see what they are missing.

We grade FinancialForce as more appropriate for mid-sized companies – and of course is an excellent fit for companies seeking to use any other applications in the Force.com platform. FinancialForce is entirely built on the Salesforce platform, so while it could be used for companies that do not use any other Force.com applications its value would decline. A natural choice for FinancialForce customers would be Rootstock – our number one choice for mid-market non-process industry companies — and together this would provide a complete ERP solution, and at one of the lowest TCO values. If a company were to combine FinancialForce, Salesforce, and Rootstock, this would take care of many of the requirements of a company and could be brought up quickly.

As should be obvious we are very high on both Intacct and FinancialForce, and it’s difficult to go wrong with either one of the applications. Many companies that could benefit from switching to Intacct and FinancialForce are stuck using dated ERP financial systems because of their legacy ERP investments.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of FinancialForce have every possible advantage working their direction. FinancialForce is one of the highest rated applications we have ever rated. It is a rare situation where a buyer has the opportunity to purchase software that is both the functionality leader in its category, along with being highly implementable and user-friendly.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only implementation issues that a buyer of FinancialForce can expect to the fact are the traditional issues that face financial/accounting projects. FinancialForce has tended to be implemented by smaller companies – the only reason being they do not have the brand recognition of being associated with a major software vendor. As such they have become acclimated to having their software implemented in clients with quite limited resources. We predict FinancialForce will eventually be more widely recognized for its excellent software and will become a significantly more prominent company and will be implemented by larger buyers, buyers with much more resources. A FinancialForce implementation is one that any project manager should look forward to, as it has a high likelihood of adding significant value to the buyer.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Finance & Accounting software category. Or goto this link to see other analytical products for FinancialForce.

MUFI Rating & Risk – Delfoi Planner

MUFI Rating & Risk – Delfoi Planner

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Delfoi Planner (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

Delfoi is based in Finland. Delfoi started out as a operations research consultancy that would perform work like developing simulations for its clients – and over time Delfoi entered the packaged solution space. However, Delfoi’s technical consulting background makes them an exciting provider in this space.

Application Detail

Along with PlanetTogether, Delfoi is the only other production planning, and scheduling vendor we are aware of that can perform multi-plant planning – although it is still enhancing the functionality, whereas PlanetTogether’s functionality is more mature application overall. However, one of the major selling points Delfoi versus all other production planning, and scheduling vendors is that for buyers interested in receiving customized multi-plant planning, Defloi could adjust its application to these specific needs.

Delfoi has a decent user interface. It has easy to navigate tabs on the top and the bottom of the application as well as a series of time-saving functions. While still developing, the interface has potential. We found it superior to any all of the applications in the space except for PlanetTogether. The user interface between Delfoi Planner and AspenTech are not comparable as AspenTech provides a layout view instead of a Gantt chart. Delfoi’s application is just a few years old, and we expect it to grow into some interesting directions in the future. An example and explanation of the main Delfoi user interface are shown in the following screenshot.

Delfoi Scheduling Board

This is the Delfoi Planner scheduling interface. 

The Delfoi Planner is an interesting application that deserves a look. It is particularly appropriate for buyers that are looking for the following:

  1. Customization Intensive Buyers: For buyers that have customized requirements, as there is a reasonable likelihood that Delfoi could customize the application to the buyers’ needs. Buyers get the benefit of not starting from scratch – as Delfoi has an application already, but the buyer gets an experienced custom software development vendor. As Delfoi has a background in numerous analytical/exploratory projects, Delfoi can be engaged to both perform a discovery of the customs requirements, and then present how the Delfoi Planner could be implemented and customized to meet specific customized requirements.
  2. Cost-Sensitive Buyers: Delfoi is currently the cost leader in the production planning and scheduling space – something which should be considered in light of the fact that Delfoi offers custom capabilities – it is unusual for both of those features to be in the same software vendor.
  3. SaaS Buyers: While we expect this to change, currently Delfoi is the only software vendor that offers a SaaS solution for production planning and scheduling. This fits with point 2 above, as Delfoi can provide a fast implementation timeline and their SaaS solution, as with all application comparisons we have performed is less costly than the on-premises alternative. However, apparently, if Delfoi Planner is used as a SaaS. The solution, buyers will not be able to take advantage of Delfoi’s extensive customization capabilities. However buyers may begin with the SaaS version, and then migrate to an on-premises solution which is very customized – this allows the buyer to go live quickly, get their planners acclimated to the software while driving towards a longer-term solution that accounts for the specific customer requirements.

Long Range Production Capacity Planning

Delfoi is as of this writing developing a very interesting high-level capacity functionality into their application. It essentially uses the Delfoi Planner to provide a unique view into capacity. This is interesting to use because most capacity planning is either at an intermediate level – and merely the output of the supply and production planning system – or is more of an S&OP type of analysis at a very aggregated level. Generally packaged software does not meet the high level and long-term capacity planning needs of buyers – and we have participated in several consulting projects where we tried – unsuccessfully to reverse engineer extremely complicated capacity planning spreadsheets that took extracts from ERP systems, but built them up into the capacity view that the buyer needs to make their capacity decisions. This has been a long-running problem for companies, and we have found this issue at the client using multiple applications from different software vendors.

We think this application could be of interest to quite a few companies that are presently trying to solve this same question with a combination of planning system output and Excel. The product is currently being developed, and we will have pricing and other analysis of the application in the future.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Delfoi is normally not going to be a standard packaged software implementation. Buyers drawn to Delfoi will be looking to solve custom requirement, as such, it is difficult to present general recommendations regarding risk management. In effect, buyers that have more custom requirements have in effect managed their risk by selecting a software vendor that is well versed in customizing their application.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

There are no special rules regarding managing the risk of a Defloi Planner implementation.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Production Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Delfoi Planner.

MUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne

MUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: AspenTech AspenOne (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

AspenTech is one of the most industry-focused enterprise software vendors that we cover (the other being ProcessPro, which is similarly focused on the process manufacturing industry). Here we are profiling AspenTech’s planning product, but they have quite a variety of manufacturing software that has been built up over decades.

Application Detail

AspenTech creates very detailed modeling software. The user interface of its software shows the actual resources of the production process, and it looks like traditional simulation software. The user builds a model, or takes existing template models and can change them. AspenTech has a template for just about any model in the process industry – and their many years of experience with so many clients are demonstrated by the specificity of these models. A few examples are shown below:

Aspen Models

AspenTech has some prebuilt model templates, which can be used as a starting point to model various process industry environments. The specificity of the models to be selected is impressive. If we take the first, it is producing methylchorate through a process of esterification of chloroacetic acid with methanol. Because the model is so specific to this process, the settings that are included means that there is minimal actual configuration required when compared to other applications. Most applications just provide software that can be configured and there are very few templates of this type used in any production planning and scheduling application – in fact; there are very few templates of this type used in supply chain planning applications overall. Instead, the predominant approach is to have the model developed from scratch during the implementation. As soon as a model is selected, the specifics of that model are brought up as shown below:

AspenTech Specific

This is a model for a three-phase reactive distillation application. This model is a particular configuration, which is designed for this manufacturing process. This is one of the real strengths of AspenTech – that for oil and gas industries it has such specific standards that can be applied and can control the model.

It is the detailed modeling with specific preset standards all customized for process industry manufacturing that is appealing to software buyers. AspenTech’s software encapsulates decades of implementations and knowledge of how various process manufacturing operations work. Not only are the processing rates for different process resources available within the application, but also the template models are based upon standardized process manufacturing operations, meaning even though the manufacturing process may be complicated, it can be modeled, and the system brought up quickly. There is not much like this on the discrete and repetitive manufacturing side where models tend to be setup from scratch.

AspenTech is an easy decision for heavy process industry manufacturing. AspenTech has the best software for a wide variety of process industry manufacturing environments that simply can’t be found anywhere else. AspenTech is one of the few vendors to achieve a perfect functionality score in our ratings. However, as our vendor profile indicates, we have some concerns about AspenTech’s management and their internal direction.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

An implementation of AspenOne combined the implementation of a highly specialized and functional application with a dysfunction software vendor. This means staffing the project heavy with buyer resources. AspenTech consulting resources tend to be of good quality, but organizational issues will prevent them from being as effective as they could be.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

AspenOne is a skillful application and can perform production planning and scheduling of some process industry-manufacturing environment that no other application can. However, a risk with AspenOne implementations is that the implementation can develop a configuration that is difficult to maintain post go live. Slicing the overall implementation into mini-go lives can moderate this risk so that the buyer can become acclimated to running AspenOne in production sooner rather than later.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Production Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for AspenTech AspenOne.