MUFI Rating & Risk – Rootstock
MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability Vendor: Rootstock (Select For Vendor Profile)
Rootstock is an extremely young company, started up in only 2008. Considering the size of Rootstock, its application accomplishments are quite impressive – and indicate high developer productivity. Rootstock has one of the greatest potentials to grow of any ERP software vendor that we cover.
Rootstock is part of the Force.com platform, and this means that it inherits all of the platform’s capabilities, including functionalities such as chatter. This is a way for internal parties to stay up to date on objects, as well as allowing external parties such as suppliers to comment. Rootstock can also very easily connect to other Force.com applications, with the ability of a company to bring up Rootstock, FinancialForce (the two combined make up one complete ERP system) as well as other applications such as a FexEx shipping application. This is shown in the screenshot below.
This ease of setup and quality functionality is why Rootstock is our recommended ERP system for mid-sized companies and down – that do not work in process industry manufacturing. Rootstock presents a similar question to companies as Process Pro in that it is one of the few ERP systems to have a competent production planning and scheduling system. As with Rootstock, for companies with more simple production planning and scheduling problems, Rootstock’s functionality could be used instead of purchasing a separate advanced planning product. Rootstock is a good option for buyers that are serious about manufacturing efficiency. This is because many ERP vendors say that they can perform production scheduling when in truth they provide functionality just good enough to impress executives during the sales process, but not good enough to use. In fact, of all of the ERP systems that we cover, only Process Pro and Rootstock meet our standard in terms of having basic functionality for production planning and scheduling. Most of the ERP applications work off of simple MRP for production planning and scheduling combined with a simplified scheduling screen which is underpowered to perform the type of planning and scheduling that manufacturing companies need. However, MRP is only designed to create the initial production plan, and at the very least production planning and scheduling software should have heuristics. (for instance, Rootstock has a scheduling algorithm). This is described in the quotation from Roostock below:
“The first step in the scheduling algorithm is to establish the first work order’s operation’s schedule start date. If the work order has as not yet been started and the Work Order Production Release Dates is later than today’s date, the first operation’s scheduled start date is the Work Order Production Release Date. If the Work Order Production Release Date is less than (or equal to) today’s date, then the first work order’s operation schedule start date is set to today’s date. If the work order has been started, then the first work order operation’s scheduled start date, not as yet completed, will be set to today’s date.”
We will now check the invoice for this shipment, which again will be “within” Rootstock, but which will punch out to FinancialForce.
With the SalesForce platform, each application has to be configured to work as desired, but the customer does not need to spend time, money and effort to integrate the applications. Just this basic connection to the FedEx application would be, in the on-premises ERP world, a big accomplishment. First, the ERP vendor would try to convince their customer to use their dated shipping application (sometimes this functionality is part of the ERP system, but sometimes it is part of another non-ERP product that the ERP vendor is selling). Then the vendor would grudgingly allow the external shipping application provider to connect to their system. Several months later the systems would be integrated—all on the ERP software vendor’s terms of course.
The SalesForce platform is not like that at all; it offers a far more efficient model. The platform provides pre-integration without anyone application ruling the roost and declaring itself the center of the universe. In the future, these integrations will be prebuilt by the software vendors and companies will be able to pick and choose (mix and match) the functionalities that they like. In this environment, it will be difficult for ERP vendors to lock their customers into mediocre functionality. This is the entire business model of the Tier 1 ERP vendors. Rootstock has a very positive upside for companies looking for good value, a fast implementation timeline, and integration to some best of breed applications on the Force.com platform.
All scores out of a possible 10.
Vendor and Application Risk
Rootstock is one of the simpler ERP systems to implement. First off, the application is not only SaaS-based but is part of the Salesforce platform, which means it can be co-implemented along with other applications that are truly pre-integrated to one another. All that is necessary is to make the configurations of the other applications selected on Salesforce compatible with one another – there is no actual integration as long as the other application is native to the Salesforce platform. Aside from this feature, Rootstock scores very well in implementability, as well as implementation speed.
Likelihood of Implementation Success
This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.
Risk Management Approach
There are no special preparations that are required for a Rootstock implementation regarding risk management.
Finished With Your Analysis?
Brightwork MRP & S&OP Explorer for Tuning
Tuning ERP and External Planning Systems with Brightwork Explorer
MRP and supply planning systems require tuning in order to get the most out of them. Brightwork MRP & S&OP Explorer provides this tuning, which is free to use in the beginning until is sees “serious usage,” and is free for students and academics. See by clicking the image below:
Software Selection Book
Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information
What the Book Covers
Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.
Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.
This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.
By reading this book you will:
- Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
- Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
- Understand what motivates a software vendor.
- Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
- Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
- Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
- Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
- Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
- Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
- Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
- Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
- Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
- Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
- Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process