In any technology project, there are two axes of control: cost and risk. In the ERP world, we know that there is a high risk of failure and a high cost of implementation for both the underlying software and the services that accompany it. Meanwhile, a SaaS model reduces both risk and cost, but still represents real risks at the project level. KaaS is the only model that lowers risk and cost at the same time:
Buying knowledge is much cheaper than renting or migrating software; at cumulusIQ (previously SpinAct),
for example, subscribing to a SAP Helpdesk service that includes knowledge
FAQs and the ability to get on demand answers starts at a modest $2,000/month whereas even a simple SaaS CRM can cost you ten times as much in an enterprise context. Further at cumulusIQ entrprise customers control their own spend on knowledge and services and pay directly for performance.
Buying knowledge also poses lowered project risk, for a couple of reasons. The first is that, when end users already know something about a technology or a methodology, they are better prepared to manage on-site consultants and to guide the success of a project. In ERP projects, one of the underlying problems is that the people who are going to use the technology don’t have the least idea of how it works, at either the technology or business process level; for that reason, it’s easy for SIs to overcharge clients and easy for the end users to become dependent on consultants whenever anything goes wrong (which it will).
The premise of KaaS is that knowledge A)reduces the risk of a project going wrong and B)costs less than paying for someone else’s expertise. Sure, you may still need services, but going into an engagement armed with knowledge can let you cut down the number of hours you need from consultants, and can also let you have a say in the project methodology your own company needs to succeed.
KaaS doesn’t replace on-premise software, SaaS, or services; think of KaaS as a kind of motor oil that makes the whole ERP machine run faster. By making end users smarter, for a lower price point, KaaS reduces later reliance on overblown SI projects and questionable methodologies.
Checkout what your peers had to say about the impact of “Knowledgeable in-house staff” on ERP project success from this recent LinkedIn Poll we conducted.