States and Localities Explore Alternatives to Big ERP

September 30, 2010 By David Raths

“The smallest ERP system known to man.” That is what Anand Dubey, Alaska’s director of enterprise technology, calls the homegrown alternative to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application he created and dubbed the Virtual Manager.

ERP is often defined as an architecture that supports the distribution of enterprisewide information across all functional units of a business or service organization. Dubey is on a mission to get officials in his state to rethink the traditionally expensive and complicated ERP implementation in favor of a system he created for less than $100,000 to track his Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) Division’s service catalog and personnel costs.

“States can do $200 million ERP implementations and not know whether they are lowering their total cost of ownership or offering better service,” he said. “There is a real danger that you have acquired a monster asset that is bleeding you dry. What good does it do to automate if you aren’t necessarily providing better service or saving money? All you are doing is converting file clerks to programmers and IT support people.”

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