SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

February 05, 2007 10:19 ET

Less Than One-Third of Companies Calculate the ROI for Their EMA Solutions

But Companies That Do, See a 109% Greater Return

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 5, 2007 -- Investment in ERP, and the broader category of enterprise management application (EMA) suites, provides many opportunities for ROI calculation, both in estimating returns and actually calculating them at the end of the project. A new report published by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), confirmed that whether companies are justifying the purchase of an application, an upgrade, or customization, less than 25% of them are consistently estimating ROI prior to action, and 20% or less measure the actual costs and gains to calculate ROI.

The report, "Realize the Returns from Enterprise Management Applications: Make the ROI Calculation Speak to the Financial Value of EMAs," concluded that best-in-class companies are, on average, 88% more likely to estimate ROI before initiating projects and 130% more likely to measure ROI after project completion. As a result, these best performing companies produce, on average, 93% more improvement across a variety of metrics such as cost reductions, schedule performance, headcount reduction or redeployment, and quality improvements.

"Companies reaping the most financial value from enterprise management applications (EMAs) are less burdened by outdated technology, are more likely to deploy existing applications across the enterprise, and are more likely to integrate disparate business applications," said Cindy Jutras, Vice President and Service Director, Manufacturing and ERP Research, Aberdeen. "Best-in-class companies are less dependent on spreadsheets and ad hoc reporting and rely more heavily on the reporting capabilities of the installed applications and integrated analytics."

Companies should evaluate their processes to ensure they effectively accomplish the following:

--  Make ROI calculations standard operating procedure (SOP) in order to
    both justify projects upfront and confirm value at project completion.
    
--  Include all associated costs in your ROI projections and calculations;
    do not overlook internal staffing costs as these represent a very
    significant portion of the total cost.
    
--  Eliminate dependency on pen, pencil, and spreadsheet; utilize the
    reporting capabilities of the applications themselves and supplement with
    portals, analytics and business intelligence, and event management for real-
    time performance monitoring.
    

This study is made available to the public by the following underwriters: Hitachi Consulting, Lawson, and Plexus Online. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3861

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information -- Opportunity -- Insight -- Engagement -- Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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