Much like our presidential candidates, EDI software, data integration packages and enterprise application integration (EAI) solutions make many promises but can they deliver? And more importantly, are we holding them to their promises? There are so many solutions available and for the most part organizations have the right idea when going through the process of choosing their solution. Where they fail is in execution and post implementation evaluation.
I think what happens many times is that we have the best intentions. We put together a team comprised of individuals from multiple departments. Each department has their wish list and their pain points...what they would like to see from this candidate, er solution. The team comes together and decides on a short list. They see demos, they ask questions, they agree on their priorities and objectives. They may even have debates. At last a decision is made, money changes hands and they all look forward to that day when their lives get easier and those pain points are solved. And then that day never comes.
The problem is that once the team is disbanded, there is no one driving the car! Sure, the software gets installed and it's doing what it's supposed to do. Yes the POs are coming in and the invoices are going out, but all that automation that was promised never happens. Those "Wonder Twin Powers" that were supposed to change everyone's lives are never activated. So what now? A few years go by and everyone starts grumbling that the solution didn't do what it promised. It didn't follow through on its claims. So they start looking for a new solution and the whole thing starts over again.
My point here is that you can have the best EDI software on the market, the most powerful Enterprise Application Solution available but if you think it will save you by sitting on a server never to be thought of again, you are mistaken. Whether you buy the "blue" software or the "red" software is not the point, as either color is just fine. The point is whether or not you use your solution to its fullest capability and exploit its strengths. It's easy to sit in your cubicle and criticize...but it's much more effective to work with your solution and help it live up to its potential.