The Last Mile Challenge in Enterprise Software

Written by Harsh Jegadeesan on 12:01 PM

Enterprise Software - the software machinery that runs the internals of an organization- is a complex beast. The enormous complexity enterprise software is often accused of, is more to do with the problems it tries to solve than the actual recipe it provides for these problems. For starters, every industry, every company in an industry, every subsidiary of these companies, every LOB and every team within a LOB has unique needs, leading to their own flavors of business processes. Enterprise software has to support all these flavors - rather seamlessly.

In order to understand the last mile challenge in enterprise software, one has to understand how it is brewed and served to customers. Brewed in labs and development org. units - I call them the creators, it finds it way to the customer landscape through consultants and partners. Consultants from either partners or from another organization unit 'flavor' enterprise software for customer organizations, based on their unique needs - I call these consultants the deployers. The flavoring is needed as enterprise software is almost always a shrink-wrapped product.

This process of flavoring the software is what I call the last mile of enterprise software. The last mile is as crucial for enterprise software, as it is to a moon mission satellite entering the final lunar orbit. To me, the challenges in the last mile stem from the 'knowledge' levels of the deployers and lack of effective communication of product capabilities across the continuum from creators to the deployers. The magic pill is effective communication and collaboration between the creators and deployers. This leads to a successful deployment and usage of enterprise software.

  1. 1 comments: Responses to “ The Last Mile Challenge in Enterprise Software ”

  2. By christopher.young on January 16, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    Harsh, ironically, I was seeking an image for an email for my company, B2BSX, the customer to customer, custom SAP app exchange, the marketplace for last mile solutions. See If you send me your email I will send it to you.
    From your last paragraph, am I understanding you correctly to conclude you think custom last mile solutions would be unnecessary if the creators and deployers communicated effectively?
    Chris Young
    founder, B2BSX