How gamification makes ERP software better

Has work really become that boring that people really need to be congratulated for work they should be doing? The term gamification refers to such needless recognition. Gamification is defined as is the use of game design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts. Gamification enables people to do otherwise boring tasks and jobs so that’s there is interaction for engagement of duties.

One advantage that gamification has is the ability to simplify many mundane tasks. Using this technology allows companies to engage their employees more quickly and aids in training. This has allowed ERP and other enterprise software to become easier to use and understand. By simplifying these many tasks and duties user adoption also increases which lowers your chance of IT failure.

ERP systems mainly were typically difficult to use and end users had a hard time releasing and using the data within the system. It is this shift that is unlocking data and allowing users to view and edit information within the system. Gamification is used in such areas to simplify usage in workflows, social activity streams, integrated collaboration, internal and external portals, configuration and business agility. The business agility factor may be unlocked from legacy type data and databases by configurations that are easier to use that do not require vendor interaction to make changes to the system. Gamification has made it easier for customers to do their own modifications and offer very graphical user interfaces to allow building or workflows, editing of data, enhanced reporting and easier data entry are all areas in which gamification has helped ERP and enterprise software in general. Previously, these changes required additional coding and often vendor intervention, now organizations can do it themselves.

This revolution has spurred ERP and other enterprise software vendors to rewrite their architecture and make the software more user-friendly. This trend has carried over into other softwares. The influx of new social business vendors has accelerated the movement and has given ERP vendors a kick in the pants to respond to more social applications. For customers that already have ERP systems in place new add-ons and tools can easily be integrated through API’s, direct integration or middleware as is the case with INFOR ION. The use of this type of middleware has added the agility, integration and now extra configuration abilities for customers to DIY.

The demand for social applications has forced ERP and other enterprise software vendors to give the customer more options and reduce reliance on the vendor. This new model is leading new application development and encouraging vendors to listen to customers more closely than previously; they were slow to react to changing market conditions and often took forever if they responded at all. The vendors that will succeed are the ones that quickly adapt and deliver what the customer demands without breaking the bank to receive the features and functions required that aligns the business needs to the technology. The rise of social business software use has inspired ERP vendors to closely examine their interface and to their credit have made changes to keep up to their social business brethren – although they are still slightly behind. A major step forward is the use of activity streams which has become more prevalent in all software types we have researched recently. Social streams manifest in one form or another but within the context of the software be it for collaboration, updates, self-serve customer service or whatever reason it is used within the software.  These DIY configuration options, business agility and ease of use gamification aspects of UI design has advanced ERP interfaces and made them easier to use and understand. 

Eval-Source is a consulting firm that provides enterprise software selection and strategic consulting services for organizations to achieve success in their IT initiatives. Our Tru-Eval selection system allows organizations to avoid IT failure, receive greater ROI and provide accurate decision support for enterprise software. Our strategic consulting practice encompasses cloud computing services, cloud and on-premise software evaluation services, strategic technology planning and business process optimization. Eval-Source is an industry leader in the analysis of software technology and our thought leadership has placed us in the elite of consulting/analyst firms.

Tags: business agility, gamification, enterprise software, DIY, workflow, integration, reporting, BPM, business intelligence, customer service, portals, selfserve customer service, collaboration, middleware

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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