Cloud ERP: Avoiding ‘FrankenCloud’ and moving from transactional to strategic systems

In this episode, we talk with Tom Brennan from Rootstock. Tom discusses the pitfalls of ‘FrankenCloud’ (multiple cloud systems roughly connected). He also digs into the role of the data-driven CFO and shares how companies can move from a transactional to a strategic approach.

FrankenCloud – 3:45
Tom: People are adding more clouds, and we’re in a ‘FrankenCloud’ stage where you’ve got multiple clouds and on-premise. You try to draw inferences about that customer and it’s very difficult to do.

Andrew: I agree. I’d argue it’s probably the number one problem that we see.

Managing Acquisitions and Mergers – 6:32
Andrew: These disparate systems are often the results of acquisitions. I often feel like there’s not enough time, energy, or money that’s being spent to think about that as a part of the acquisition strategy.

Tom: Yeah. You know, some companies will replace their ERP system wholesale and move everything to one cloud to solve the problem… [Or] they can put in another ERP system such as ours alongside Salesforce pretty easily. Because if they have Salesforce in place, they’ve already got a cloud stack, and they already know how to administer users, they know how to write reports, do workflow, use chatter… So adding another piece-system is not as intrusive as it would be otherwise, where you’d have to put in a brand new stack, new skillset, new everything. So if people want to get there incrementally, they can, they can add on an app like ours into their Salesforce environment.

Artificial Intelligence in ERP – 9:06
Tom: … I think AI, in particular, provides the ability to triangulate all this information that we have about a customer and to predict what’s going to go on. And so you’ll be able to look easily — and especially when it’s all in one platform —  across maybe outstanding opportunities for the customer, across quotes… And then look at service cases and activities in your call center. Then maybe look at shipments made or returns that have happened… things under warranty, uh, credits that have happened, where they are in their payment cycle, how good of a payer they are…

Early Warning Signs – 10:37
Tom: This is one way to get an early warning sign as to what’s really going on. The customer may be ordering a lot of things, but returning a lot. There’s a lot of credits on it after rebates and things like that. And they’re not profitable. So you really need all of what’s in ERP and all of what’s in CRM to get that view.

The Data-Driven CFO – 12:18
Tom: [We’ve] been looking at how finance pros can move beyond doing the day-to-day transactional things and into a more strategic role. One of the critical underpinnings to making that move is data. These CFOs are “data masters.” They’re able to provide more insight as to what’s going on as opposed to just saying, here’s your P and L.


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