A new AMR Research report outlines key first steps customers can take to achieve the benefits of enterprise commerce management (ECM). The blueprint provides guidelines for investments in enterprise resource planning (ERP), e-procurement, CRM, supply chain management (SCM) and other business applications.
"We developed the ECM concept to provide a roadmap for companies to put strategy and structure around the broad range of applications they have acquired, how best to deploy them and how to maximize the benefit received," said the author of the report, Bob Parker. "ECM is not an application that users have to buy or a software market in and of itself. Rather, ECM unifies the whole universe of enterprise applications and provides technical standards for software vendors to meet to determine their level of ECM compliance."
Parker delivers recommendations for companies looking to optimize their significant IT investments through the adoption of an ECM model:
• Assess compliance.
Most applications today meet few, if any, of the ECM requirements. Companies need to honestly assess how close their specific applications are to compliance and evaluate upgrades and new investments on their level of ECM compliance.
• Stabilize the existing environment.
AMR Research advises companies to complete mission-critical projects, but put other technology investments on hold until they can evaluate them within the ECM model.
• Invest aggressively in a PTX platform.
AMR Research believes that the private trading exchange is the most important technology investment a company can make in the next 18 months.
• Evaluate vendors on ECM criteria.
The closer vendors come to compliance, the smaller the cost of maintenance and the greater the potential for business benefit for applications within a corporate environment.
"The ultimate goal of ECM is to put users back in control of their systems," said Parker. "The inherent message to technology providers is that they need to re-examine how they are developing and delivering applications, and to encourage them to design new software with the end users' needs in mind."
* Enterprise Commerce Management: The Blueprint for the Next Generation of Enterprise Systems, by Bob Parker, who will lead the strategic initiative for AMR Research under the newly-created title of vice president of ECM.
About AMR Research
AMR Research, founded in 1986, is headquartered in Boston and has research centers in London, Atlanta and Irvine, California.