It’s another month, and another blog debunking commonly held myths about NetSuite. If you haven’t seen our other blogs in the series, the NetSuite Myths series is our take on some of the most egregious and incorrect statements made about NetSuite by vendors and resellers of competing software. In this series, we break down the myth, its history, the spread, and the verdict. In today’s blog, we explore the concept of user-friendliness and usability, two things that can impact end user adoption, the learning curve, and the overall success of an implementation.
As with our last debunked myth (suites are hard to implement), the tactics are similar—convince buyers that using their software is going to be easier to learn and use while positing that suites have a steeper learning curve and create additional challenges throughout the life of the product. Some will go as far as saying that because of this, some modules become “shelfware,” resulting in employees turning to unverified applications (Shadow IT) to get the job done.
The Myth: ERP Suites Have a Steep Learning Curve, Resulting in User Abandonment and Shadow IT
As with our other debunked myths, this is a commonly posited misconception used to pitch single-focus software as less risky. It plays on emotions and fears of failure, painting the picture in the mind of buyers that by selecting a suite, they are setting up end users for challenges learning and using the software.
This is an effective tactic—even if it is wrong. Their argument plays on three key fears held by decision-makers, IT leaders, and those throughout the business:
- By arguing that suites are hard to use, they create the notion that employees will hate the software so much that they will either ignore functionality and turn to alternative tools or start looking for the door.
- With this logic, they can say that “if employees start to use alternative applications, more risks pop up in terms of information security.”
- All of this allows them to sell you on the notion that their software is more likely to be a success because it’s more “user-friendly” and in turn, “less risky.”
The Verdict: Completely False
While the implementation myth received a “mostly false” rating, this one is a bit more egregious as it lies on multiple fronts.
- First off, it glosses over its own risks of “shelfware” and shadow IT.
- Second, it ignores the challenges that come when you have to bring in multiple vendors and resellers for training.
- Third, it really says something about a vendor when they tell you, “your employees can’t understand [x], maybe they should try a simpler, less functional alternative.”
- Fourth, it ignores the importance and value of a well-designed training plan that focuses on the unique roles of employees within the company and empowers them for success.
- Finally, it’s just plain wrong. We’ve worked with NetSuite for years and found it to be one of the most intuitive, user-friendly, and knowledgeable platforms that exists.
The thing about any ERP change is this. The training matters almost as much as the product, and the partner matters throughout the process. We can tell you how easy to use NetSuite is, our competitors can tout their vendor’s ease of use, but when push comes to shove, what matters is that you’re working with a partner who can deploy, implement, and support your software, providing the training and assistance you need for your unique business.
One of the biggest differences between a suite and a best-in-class application? When you choose a suite, you’re receiving training and support from one highly qualified partner across a variety of applications and modules.
Best-in-class ERP, on the other hand, is designed for one purpose and needs to work with other best-in-class applications to provide some of the functionality of a suite. This means that instead of getting one partner, one product, one in-depth training process, you will need to train users on multiple interfaces, likely working with multiple resellers to get the job done.
With the proper training and support, your employees will be able to do everything they need to do ranging from the simple to the complex—and they’ll be able to do the job on one familiar interface (this isn’t to say you can’t integrate with other applications, in fact, it’s just as easy to integrate NetSuite as it is to integrate many best-in-class applications).
As you look at the many ERP options available to your business, and the many potential implementation partners who work with them, it pays to work with someone who has the experience and expertise in your industry, the right chemistry to work with your team, and the readiness to help you.