Systems that allow businesses to achieve their objectives, cut costs and simplify operations – those are top priorities in the Australian market right now. Tough economic conditions are pushing companies to become leaner, more flexible and more resilient. 

Choosing the right platforms is crucial to helping businesses thrive in tough conditions, says Datacom’s Associate Director - Core Platforms, Dave Payne.  

“When we implement solutions, we start by understanding a client’s future plans and objectives,” says Payne. “Then we look at whether a platform will align with their goals, and whether we can deliver a return on investment for them with prioritised value delivered early. It has to make sense for the business strategy and the budget.” 

Photograph of Dave Payne, Datacom’s Associate Director - Core Platforms
Choosing the right platforms is crucial to helping businesses thrive in tough conditions, says Datacom’s Associate Director - Core Platforms, Dave Payne.

But beyond fitting into the budget, what are customers looking for when they’re choosing a platform? We asked the Datacom team what customers are prioritising:

1. Automation that cuts long-term costs

Businesses are ready to invest in reducing their ongoing costs, says Payne. By automating and optimising their systems, companies can adapt more rapidly to fast-changing market conditions.  

“Companies want to know, ‘How do we use technology to get the maximum return on our investment without needing to enlist an additional highly skilled workforce to maintain it?’,” he explains. “When we implement systems, we try to make sure they can be largely supported by an established inhouse team that is focused on delivering results against business objectives and does not require deep technical skills.” 

This is driving the growth of platforms like ServiceNow, which has recently announced Datacom as part of its Australian Partner Programme.  

“Platforms like this provide best practice templated workflows for business processes,” says Payne. “Any user who can operate a laptop can make changes to workflow within pre-defined guard rails to ensure alignment to an agreed roadmap. We have had a talent shortage in Australia which has made it expensive to employ a big team of skilled IT professionals. The right platforms make it possible for businesses to create a swim lane behind the scenes where anyone can make changes, so the business can pivot with ease.”

2. Simplified ERP in hot demand

Many enterprises are still using different platforms to solve their finance, human resources and employee portals. But single-purpose apps can be cumbersome and time-consuming; without integration, it’s common for customers to be grappling with transferring data from one app to another, and all the errors that can crop up during that process. To tackle this, companies are turning to more capable solutions that deliver across multiple areas of a business.

Workday has been among the most popular, and Datacom was recently announced as one of four Workday Services Partners in Australia, after building a successful practice to serve New Zealand.

“We see strong demand from customers for a full ERP [enterprise resource planning] solution that simplifies their business, which is why we’ve seen Workday grow so quickly to become one of the ERP platforms of choice,” says Payne.

3. Highly configurable solutions that don’t need deep customisation

Out-of-the-box solutions are more cost-effective than custom software, but in the past have often lacked the customisation that businesses are looking for. Now customers are getting the best of both worlds: platforms that can be tailored to fit within a broad (although not limitless) range of parameters.  

Workday, for example, is designed to be user friendly and highly configurable. It’s created with a single code line, so functions are already embedded and just need to be turned on, rather than being added or built. This makes it flexible across a range of industries and enterprises.  

“Workday has developed a unique composable ERP that prioritises business objectives over a set technology framework requirement meaning we can deploy it in a modular way that not only aligns to priorities but also time/effort/cost considerations says Payne. “Clients can have one comprehensive system for payroll, finance and HCM [human capital management]. Or if they already have one or two of those systems, we can bring together the missing pieces into one end to end experience.”

4. Globally recognised platforms with regular updates

Corporate customers are also looking for globally recognised platforms that have the scale to keep pace with new market developments – and an existing track record of success.  

“By choosing well-known solutions, companies can benefit from a product roadmap that is already laid out, and regular updates that help keep them up-to-date with marketplace trends and cyber security threats.”

5. On-time, on-budget implementation

While there’s never been a time when customers were happy for projects to blow out, in today’s challenging market there is no room for overruns. Organisations are being more cautious than ever about the tech partners they choose to work with and the solutions they choose to implement. Datacom has a reputation for on-time, on-budget implementations and that is a big driver for solutions partners and clients alike.  

“Datacom is known as a partner that works collaboratively with customers and solution partners to ensure implementations are successful and that businesses get the best possible return from their technology,” Payne says. “We deliver solutions that make sense, within a budget that fits the customer, and we stick to what we say. We win together as a team and are as committed to and invested in our customers’ business success as they are.”

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