From IT to ERP: How MSPs Can Break New Ground in Enterprise Resource Planning

From IT to ERP: How MSPs Can Break New Ground in Enterprise Resource Planning

By Contributing Writer
Stuart R. Crawford

With the growing importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite in modern enterprises, a burgeoning opportunity exists for Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) to expand their service offerings. As companies, particularly medium-sized enterprises, increasingly lean on ERP systems, the need for expert administration of these platforms has never been more evident.

Moving into the ERP administration space might be the golden ticket for MSPs looking to diversify revenue streams and cement their roles as comprehensive IT partners. We dive into the possibilities, the challenges, and the industry insights from experts Jeremy Kushner (BACS Consulting Group), Robert Giannini (GiaSpace), and Glenn Kemp (Clear Concepts).

Uncharted Waters: The ERP Opportunity for MSPs

ERP administration is not just about overseeing a software solution; it's about understanding its alignment with business objectives, ensuring optimal performance, and foreseeing potential pitfalls. The ERP becomes the linchpin as businesses lean more on technology for operations, sales, and data-driven decisions.

Jeremy Kushner from BACS Consulting Group shares, "The ERP landscape is complex but immensely rewarding. For MSPs, it's not just about adding another service to the portfolio. It's about becoming intrinsic to a company's success."

The Revenue Potential

The financial implications for MSPs venturing into ERP are noteworthy. It provides a steady stream of income from ERP administration contracts and offers opportunities for consulting, custom module development, and system integrations.

Robert Giannini of GiaSpace opines, "Diversifying into ERP is more than a value-add; it's a substantial revenue stream. Companies double their income projections once they've effectively integrated ERP services."

Transitioning from Managed IT to ERP Administration

The move from traditional IT services to ERP isn't a mere switch; it requires a strategic approach.

  • Understand the ERP Landscape: Familiarize yourself with major players like Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, SAP, and Oracle. Know the pros and cons of each, their ideal user base, and industry applications.
  • Build or Acquire ERP Expertise: Consider hiring ERP specialists or providing extensive training for your existing team. This expertise is vital in offering value to your clients.
  • Develop a Consultative Approach: ERP is more than software; it's about aligning with business goals. MSPs need to be part technologist and part business consultant.

Pitfalls and Lessons

Like any new venture, there are challenges MSPs should be prepared for.

Glenn Kemp from Clear Concepts advises, "It's a mistake to approach ERP like any other software. It's nuanced, with each module potentially transforming business operations. MSPs need to invest time in understanding not just the software but the industry it's being implemented in."

Giannini adds, "MSPs must avoid the 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Customization is key. And remember, constant communication with your client ensures the ERP solution evolves as their business does."

Conclusion: A New Era for MSPs

With the digital transformation era in full swing, MSPs have a unique opportunity to redefine their value proposition. By integrating ERP administration services, they can unlock new revenue streams and position themselves as essential partners in their client's business growth journey.

As Kushner aptly concludes, "In the world of IT, being static is not an option. MSPs must continuously evolve, and ERP offers a promising horizon."

The future looks promising and prosperous for those MSPs ready to embrace this challenge.

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