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Thursday, February 23, 2006

ERP's learning curve

"Agencies taking on enterprise resource management projects often find themselves in over their heads, and they are are beginning to turn to government centers of excellence for help.

Doug Bourgeois, director of the Interior Department's National Business Center, knows the drill. 'Invariably,' he said, 'the question that such agencies ask when they approach us is, 'This is bigger and more complex than we thought it was going to be. Can you take it over for us? Can you manage it? Can you host it for us?' NBC provides ERP services to 'between 20 and 30 agencies,' Bourgeois said, several of which have had troubled ERP projects and asked him for help.

He said that, in several cases, he has had to turn down the appeals. Even though his center runs more than 600 servers, taking over the ERP functions of some agencies could involve adding as many as 200 more.

ERP systems form the back-office sinews of federal agencies.

Properly functioning ERP systems provide agency leaders with accurate, detailed financial data quickly, but faulty systems invite management disarray - and punishment by overseers in the Office of Management and Budget, Congress and other agencies. "

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