KPMG does ERP for the midmarket

Midsize businesses now have a faster, cheaper way to implement tier one ERP software with a new offering from KPMG Consulting Inc. KPMG's R2I Express is designed to get customers up and running on the Oracle E-Business Suite in less than twelve weeks. "R2I Express is the next generation of our R2I methodology which was first introduced in 1996," said Larry Settles, managing director of enterprise solutions for McLean, Va.-based KPMG.

R2I Express includes preconfigured applications, industry-specific setups, best practices, product and training documentation, and project and change management tools. "About the only thing that takes time is training and converting data from your old ERP software to Oracle's," Settles said. "If you are a startup company you could be running your business with Oracle Financials the next day."

Anna Danilenko, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass., said rapid implementation of ERP software involves certain tradeoffs. "You might have to give up a frontend strategy assessment." said Danilenko. "Also the setup work is usually done remotely over the Web. This might be fine for a company that is fairly tech-savvy, but for less sophisticated customers it could be difficult."

Settles confirmed that the setup for R2I Express is done over the Web. After that the customer has several options. "We can ship the box with the software directly to the customer," Settles said. "Or we can send it to their ASP, run it ourselves as the ASP, or have it installed at"

R2I Express is a fixed price offering. Prices have not been announced, but Settles said if you just want Oracle Financials prices start at less than US$200,000.

Danilenko also pointed out that these kinds of fixed fees are a step down for consulting companies such as KPMG that typically make large profits from longer engagements that are priced on time and materials. Settles agreed that R2I Express will not produce big profits. "If this were all we did it could put us out of business, but this helps us to get into smaller markets where we traditionally have not played. These customers then don't have to spend all their money on ERP, and we can offer other consulting services."

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