What really matters to public sector organizations when choosing software?
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What really matters to public sector organizations when choosing software?

from  September 11, 2020 | 4 min read

A recent IDC report confirms that Unit4 lives up to the buying priorities of public sector organizations, rating us a Major Player in the cloud ERP market, writes Mark Gibbison, Unit4’s head of public sector.

Market analyst, IDC, recently published a report on what really matters to public sector organizations when they’re choosing enterprise software. The report, IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Medium-Sized/Midmarket Business ERP Applications 2020 Vendor Assessment, confirms that Unit4 lives up to buyers’ priorities; states what IDC considers Unit4’s strengths to be, and shows why the analyst rated us as a Major Player in the cloud ERP market.

Designed for the sector

The first thing that public sector buyers look for is software that’s designed specifically for the public sector. As IDC said, buyers are “looking for ERP applications with a deep reservoir of functionality related to their vertical market… There are industries such as government where business processes and reporting requirements differ greatly.”

Unit4 specializes in people-centric sectors like public services. Our consultants are specialists with deep knowledge of how things work and our software is tailored to public sector business processes.

We offer standard modules that reflect public sector best practices so you can start getting value out of the software quickly. You can customize these modules easily if you need to and integrate them with the other systems you use.

Adaptive to change

The pandemic has shown us how vital it is for public sector organizations to be able to react quickly to unforeseen events. The IDC report recognizes that in responding to COVID-19, organizations “have found they need cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) software to run their businesses effectively”.

Unit4 software is cloud-based and delivered on a SaaS model, which means two things: it can be accessed anywhere, including working from home; and it can be scaled up and down easily if demand for services suddenly rises or falls.

Our software is low-code/no-code, which means very little programming is needed to configure it or make changes. It’s easy for users to set up projects, assign people and budgets, and configure reports themselves without having to call in external consultants. As one of our customers, Robin Wishart, Director of Corporate Support, City of Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, Canada said, “Having Unit4 on the cloud has been a very positive change for the city. We have reduced our costs, improved our security and greatly increased our insight.”

The whole experience matters

IDC observed that user experience has become a major factor in software purchasing. But this doesn’t just mean the experience of using the software – the whole experience of working with the supplier counts. “Easy-to-use user interfaces, more flexibility in configuration… even implementation process will factor into the overall user experience,” the report says.

Unit4 prioritizes the People Experience in the way we design software and the way we work with customers. To us, a good People Experience makes work enjoyable and satisfying. It improves employee engagement and drives up productivity.

We build business processes around the way people actually work in the public sector, rather than making people work the way the software does. And we follow an agile, iterative implementation methodology which recently got us voted number one for vendor support in the Infotech Software Reviews 2020 report.

IDC cites customer support as a particular strength of Unit4, saying: “Several respondents noted they enjoyed the customer service and support from the company. It was straightforward and answered their questions.”

Superior features and functionality

IDC’s recent SaaSPath Survey found that “the second most important attribute when evaluating ERP technology is superiority of features and functionality. Organizations need to know they have business processes with intelligence embedded into them.”

Unit4 software uses AI and digital assistants to improve how people do their work. Our digital assistant, Wanda, understands normal everyday language and uses AI to perform tasks automatically. She learns from the user’s behavior, noting preferences, recognizing patterns and anticipating needs.

Public sector employees can use this digital assistant to raise purchase requisitions, submit timesheets automatically, approve or deny expense requests, and process workflow tasks.

The IDC software buyer’s report recognized Unit4’s strength in innovation, stating: “Unit4 already has its chatbot Wanda and is now focused on changing up the workflows with AI and machine learning. Some intelligent workflows exist now, but more are on the road map into 2021.”

The most important thing is trust

IDC’s SaaSPath Survey revealed that the most important factor when evaluating ERP vendors is a trusted brand: “Trust comes from transparency, building innovative solutions together, and providing exceptional value beyond the sales cycle.”

Unit4 has been helping public sector organizations to succeed at digital transformation for the past two decades. According to customer reviews on Raven Intel, Unit4 projects are planned 33 percent more accurately, and delivered on-time 12 percent more often – and on budget 10 percent more often – than the industry average.

If you’re still in any doubt that Unit4 is the right choice for public sector ERP, get in touch for a chat.

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