We know, it sounds too good to be true. But, the fact of the matter is a quiet revolution is building in the software business revolving around “data connectors.” Cutting through all the technology psycho-babble, Microsoft, (which still owns 80% share of the business software market) is writing codes—called data connectors—specifically for manufacturing companies. These data connectors allow them to hitch their existing enterprise system to existing Microsoft applications to improve business flow and day-to-day operational processes which translate into more EBITDA almost immediately.
Microsoft is also designing the data connectors to be “corporate agnostic,” which simply means these connectors automatically migrate from your enterprise database to Microsoft Office and Outlook applications, giving you unlimited ability to import and export data through your existing systems at no additional retooling cost.
Why is Microsoft, a firm not known for their generosity, being so generous by building and programming all these added value connectors? Simple: to ensure you relicense their software. Think of their investment as competitive insulation strategy: they are also making themselves more valuable to larger firms by reducing capital outlays for new software application and programming costs, while smaller firms can reduce/eliminate initial investments in custom software installation.
Best part for you, the PE owner/investor, is that you don’t need to become a technology aficionado. You simply need to ask your Portfolio Company “Five Key Questions” to ensure their dashboards deliver the “needed” growth metrics.
Do my enterprise applications take full advantage of the data connectors built into the latest Microsoft Office Suite?
Do I deploy modern, robust applications that are metrically proactive and contain task-driven exception systems that will support my current business?
Do I have transparency into the “critical” costs of running my business?
Can I customize dashboard metrics to my specific company size and needs?
Why haven’t my IT people told me about these new possibilities?
You may need a bit more to discuss the data connectors intelligently with the management of your manufacturing investment. As a member of the PIP family, we are happy to provide a complimentary, no obligation consultation.
When a new enterprise system is implemented, the efficiency of business operations will decline. Plan for it, operationally and financially.
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