SOURCE: UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software

June 27, 2013 11:01 ET

New Evidence: Microsoft and SAP Can't Match UNIT4's ERP Change Options

VICTORIA, BC and MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwired - Jun 27, 2013) -

  • For 5 common business events, UNIT4 Agresso ERP requires IT help in only two of 46 categories
  • Users say Microsoft Dynamics AX needs recoding in 32 of 46 areas; SAP Enterprise in 46 of 46 areas

UNIT4 Business Software, the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, the global leader in software that supports business change, today released new user-based evidence collected by technology management consulting firm Eval-Source ( proving that its UNIT4 Agresso enterprise resource planning (ERP) architectural capabilities continue to provide substantial advantages to rapidly-changing organizations. The evidence, collected from Microsoft Dynamics AX, SAP Enterprise Suite and Agresso customers who each certified that they "clearly understood the nature of the questions," statistically showed substantial architectural differences between the newest ERP offerings of the three vendors.

The new Eval-Source Market Comparison Report: "Which ERP Architectures Best Handle Business Change" is available for downloading:

The three-vendor comparison was undertaken to evaluate whether the newest enterprise software releases of some of the world's largest technology companies are making it easier for businesses to handle commonly recurring business change events. Specific areas evaluated included: governmental regulations and compliance (GRC), reorganization and restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, business process change and financial management-driven change. A total of 46 change requirements were evaluated to determine if the changes could be made by business users via their graphical user interface (GUI), or if IT intervention/resources were needed for software application recoding.

Only one of the three ERP software providers, UNIT4, dominantly kept the "change power" in the hands of business users: Only two of the 46 total change needs could not be applied by business users. Conversely, Microsoft AX required software recoding and IT expert help for 32 of 46 areas; and SAP required application recoding for each area of change.

"The UNIT4 Agresso application enables business users the flexibility to execute changes via drag and drop functionality, which minimizes IT and additional resources to facilitate system change(s)," says the independent Eval-Source report. "This single point of entry into the system minimizes errors, reduces organizational risks, lowers costs, decreases business disruption and simplifies change. Changes are propagated and preserved without the need to reconfigure business processes, workflow configurations, security data and dependencies. The single point of entry at the GUI layer for change management is one of Agresso's key differentiators in the enterprise ERP space."

The Eval-Source report also graphically presents the three vendors' architectures and provides explanations as to how change functions are, or must be, performed for each vendor.

Agresso's change management approach

UNIT4 Agresso's VITA architecture has been reviewed by many members of the enterprise technology analyst world and has been the subject of dozens of reports attesting to its unusual foundation. One of the unique characteristics is the fluid and common information model across all modules, which supports continuous one-step propagation of data and business processes, and facilitates a single version of the truth for reporting/analytics requirements. UNIT4 Agresso virtually eliminates the need for application code modification to support on-going business change, which is the reason why most ERP solutions are so costly to maintain after deployment.

UNIT4's competitively different VITA architecture, has also allowed it to introduce a completely built out multi-tenant cloud solution with multiple advantages around security, portability, elasticity and accident forgiveness.

"There have been a number of high profile marketing launches by the industry's largest ERP providers, including SAP and Microsoft, attesting to key new advances and advantages, but these have largely to do with technology interoperability and mobile device support," says Ton Dobbe, Vice President of Product and Product Marketing at UNIT4. "These are great topics for the CIO, but what about the business user, or the CFO and business department head who are trying to keep ERP budget costs in line? As this report clearly shows, if you are a customer of Microsoft Dynamics AX or SAP Enterprise Suite, you are going to have to pay a large amount for the ERP deployment, and then pay again repeatedly to keep it up to date with your changing business circumstances."

The difference between application versus GUI change

The Eval-Source report explains to non-technical users the difference between supporting business change events by using a graphical user interface or by application recoding. GUI changes can be made by business users and they do not often include additional resources to perform them, whereas application change requires:

  • creation of functional and technical specifications;
  • business process mapping;
  • additional resource to execute functional, technical and programming changes;
  • testing of business specifications from a systems and user standpoint; and
  • employing a project manager to oversee the new (change) project.

"Organizations with dynamic business circumstances that must comply with governmental regulations, integrate new locations and entities, and/or facilitate growth, are under enormous stress on change factors alone," said Dylan Persaud, co-founder of Eval-Source and one of the report authors. "What these organizations don't need is the additional cost and disruption stress tied to systems that need to be continually recoded to support these change circumstances. Our advice is that organizations need to do a closer investigation of the application framework of ERP solutions before they purchase. For companies who are in continual flux, which is most organizations these days, the chart in this report shows just how often you will need to plan for additional cost resources and downtime to support change events."

About UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software is the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, a $624 million global business software and services company that creates, provides and supports software for Businesses Living IN Change -- delivered via the cloud or on-premise. It offers solutions that help these fast-changing public, private, non-profit and higher education 'BLINC' organizations embrace business change -- simply, quickly and cost-effectively. UNIT4 Agresso, the company's flagship Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite and UNIT4 Coda Financials, its best-of-class financial management software, are used by 6000+ organizations in more than 100 countries. For more information visit our website or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and our company blog.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:

    Margaret Bonilla
    Birnbach Communications
    Phone: (603) 548-0693
    Email: Email Contact
    Twitter: @Marg_Bonilla