Public Sector, ERP, & the Cloud: An Introduction

In our latest weekly blog series, Joe Hoover, RPI's National Director of Public Sector Services, and Barbie Hunley, a Senior Project Manager, are going to explore a range of topics around ERP in the public sector. They will focus on how cloud technology is moving the public sector forward, allowing government agencies to better serve constituents and maximize the value of your ERP solution.

Joe has over thirty years of experience in the Infor Lawson space and has spent the latter half of that working with ERP implementation in the public sector, typically focusing on complex cross-platform, cross-team, multi-vendor strategic projects for municipal, county and state organizations. He has personally overseen three successful statewide implementations, in addition to many smaller-scale projects.

Barbie is highly skilled at empowering team members and end users to creatively solve problems and reach collaborative, effective solutions. She has proven herself an invaluable asset to school districts, public utilities, as well as a host of other governmental organizations.

Why would a government entity care about ERP?

Barbie HunleyI think of governments as parents, parents of hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of people. They have a lot of individuals relying on them and to ensure that they are using taxpayer dollars appropriately.

Oftentimes, an auditor will come in and conduct a risk assessment. A lot of times it'll come out that we need to refine access to data. We need to make sure that there's greater visibility, cross-functionally into data. We want to make sure that there's an auditing system behind the scenes to see who's changing records. All of these capabilities are something that an ERP can do, but probably most importantly, there's a lot of visibility offered within ERPs to data access. 

When you do pair a government agency with a larger ERP company, I really think of that as a safety net. You're able to go to your stakeholders and say, hey, I don't have a hodgepodge of homegrown systems anymore. I have an integrated ERP and I have a large partner who is with me through the whole process and really acts as that safety net, which Joe is going to offer a little bit about how Infor helps in this space, especially as we're talking about the cloud.

While the core mission of government hasn't changed, the tools and technologies supporting that mission have. How does Infor ERP help you perform this mission better?

Joe Hoover: Well, Infor ERP helps the government perform better by streamlining the business processes. If we take a step back and talk about ERP, it's a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities, right? It's designed around accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, and compliance supply chain operations. From an ERP software solution perspective, it helps streamline business processes. The typical business benefits from an effective and efficient ERP system, which includes improved business outcome analysis, lower operational costs, enhanced collaboration, common UI, user experience, and reduced risk through improved data integrity and financial controls, and most importantly, lower operational costs.

Those are kind of the key elements of how an ERP software solution can help. It also consolidates a homegrown system into one integrated solution. There's a common database, a common set of transactions, a common UI, user interface. It allows the organization as a whole to be more efficient and more effective in its business operations. So those are some of the key aspects that ERP can help a business and a government work better.

Barbie Hunley: Joe, I think along with the enhanced end user experience as well, there's a build-out capability for self-service and the access that individuals have to their own data. So they don't have to call the payroll department or the benefits department to say, hey, what plan am I enrolled in again? Or what did I get paid last pay period? They're really empowered the employees to go in and find that information on their own. So that's really for internal customers and external customers. You can have the ability through the procurement and contract cycle for external users to also have visibility to perhaps where they stand in a contract or RFP process. Again, I really think that usability of the system and that full integration really, really helps the end-users and decreases that customer service need on that government entities behalf.

RPI's Public Sector Offerings

About RPI Consultants

For more than 20 years, RPI Consultants have been helping organizations like yours get the most value from your ERP solution. A full-service system integration firm, RPI is a CloudSuite Specialized, Infor Alliance Partner, and a mainstay in the Infor Community. Our consulting staff of full-time, entirely US-based experts are recognized as some of the most important thought leaders in the space. We invite you to reach out to us to see how we can help you and your vital mission to service your constituencies and strengthen your communities.

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