In enterprise resource planning systems, the P in ERP signifies a search for a view of the future. Monolithic legacy apps like MANMAN may need add-ons like McConnell Chase’s FD7. In-house systems can be a good match for that kind of app, although the app’s price creeps into the seven figures in cost. Cloud computing promises to bundle such services.
Adding planning power is a multi-million dollar bet in the old 3000-era strategy. There are, however, a few aspects of cloud computing where the old-era model continues to beat newer designs.
The software experts at The Support Group implemented the Kenandy ERP solution to take over at HP 3000 MANMAN sites. Kenandy runs on the architecture of Salesforce, cloud IT supplier to millions of sites. In cloud IT, a company buys a subscription to an application. Rather than seeking a third party-created tool like FD7 that can access Kenandy, the cloud model delivers forecasting as an option on the bill of fare.
Forecasting is not a built-in MANMAN module, Terry Floyd of TSG notes. His son David Floyd executed TSG data integration work at Disston Tools in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Kenandy stepped in for MANMAN at Disston. Cloud ERP can bring essentials like forecasting within reach for such sites. Terry Floyd wrote archiving software for MANMAN during the 1980s, for example. His product was sold and added to MANMAN sites. This sort of software can be a part of a cloud ERP solution like Kenandy’s. A cloud subscription option like forecasting can be as quick to integrate as adding a tier of TV channels to a cable subscription.
Where clouds fall away
Cloud services can still lag behind legacy choices. For example, the Floyds say archival storage can be tricky to cost out in the cloud. Storage may cost more in a cloud solution. Holding 5 to 10 years of company transactions in the cloud might be a questionable choice. Cloud-based history can be costly. Local storage of history—that familiar disk array sitting beside an in-house host—still is at least as inexpensive as cloud, and often cheaper.
Other legacy choices still stand strong. The data extraction ability of Minisoft’s ODBC has helped David Floyd at the Disston project. Other tools on the non-3000 side of the migration do transformation and loading. The same software, used in 3000s all over, is cost-effective and powerful enough to move Disston’s data into and out of 3000s. ODBC’s standard error-handling facilities are up against a Salesforce tool in Kenandy, though. Data Loader is a graphical tool to get data into Salesforce objects like the ones in Kenandy.
The MANMAN replacement learning curve can be worth the investment for companies able to let go of their app and 3000s. In the meantime, believing in legacy’s advantages gives migration projects time to mature.