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Podcast: Eric Kimberling of Panorama on SAP Implementation Trends and Project Success Factors

To get a better handle on keys to SAP project success (and how to avoid failure), as well as the impact of SaaS and the key skills ERP users should be cultivating, I invited Eric Kimberling of Panorama Consulting to join me and share Panorama’s findings with listeners. I also put him on the JonERP hot seat and asked him to make his own recommendations for SAP’s future direction. During this twenty-five minute podcast, we also talk about the value of Twitter for ERP users and why Eric’s experience as a popular ERP “Tweeter” has showed him that Twitter is for more than sharing classic rock music playlists.

I was really impressed with Eric’s informed takes on SAP from his vantage point studying the ERP market as a whole, so I wanted to share this podcast with SCN listeners. 

Eric’s surveys of more than 1,000 ERP customers have yielded some really interesting results on perceptions of SAP projects – some I did not expect. I should also mention that Eric’s company has a laudable commitment to openly sharing their ERP survey data, often in webcast format, so I recommend tracking his work. He also has some field-level insights into the purchasing traction of SaaS in ERP environments.

Here is the podcast in the Quicktime player:
(If for any reason the player doesn’t work, you can download the podcast using the “download media” link on the right hand side)

(Trouble downloading? if for some reason it’s not playing in its entirety for you, check out the version on in the meantime.)

Podcast Highlights

1:10 Panorama’s broader ERP focus – they serve all ERP products and provide aggregate data to their clients on where the ERP market is headed.

2:25 Eric’s firm doesn’t shy away from giving away a lot of valuable data. What would he say to skeptics of this approach?

3:43 How Panorama’s “Freemium” model helps them to close deals by building trust.

5:00 kind of benefit does Eric get out of Twitter in his ERP work, and what would he say to those who question whether Twitter can impact your business?

7:40 Digging into Eric’s research and broader view, I ask Eric what his findings show about SAP’s strengths and weaknesses.

10:35 Eric’s take on the relevance of SaaS in SAP environments.

12:34 Are new ERP installs considering pure SaaS installs? Is it impacting the ERP purchasing process?

14:20 Project failure remains an issue for ERP customers, and SAP is no exception. What is Eric’s take on ERP project failure?

17:00 The “human side” of an SAP implementation is crucial to manage to avoid project problems. So what is the Panorama view on ERP skills and their importance to project success?

18:50 Many SAP customers are either evaluating or moving to ERP 6.0. What lessons has Panorama observed in terms of the SAP upgrade process?

20:25 Everyone talks knowingly about knowledge transfer. But what are the keys to ensure that it doesn’t become a bogus catch phrase and actually happens in real life?

22:14 I put Eric in the JonERP hot seat and asks him if he were a member of the SAP Board, how would he change or improve SAP’s direction?

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