Systemhouse's new offering includes a comprehensive package of support, management, and maintenance that can be tailored to a customer's needs. Customers negotiate service levels with Systemhouse, the services arm of MCI WorldCom, which was recently acquired by IT services giant Electronic Data Systems. The acquisition is expected to be finalized next month.
Like many IT services companies, Systemhouse aims to make ERP project maintenance run smoother for midsized companies that don't have the information technology staff to support the undertaking themselves. ERP software systems are packaged application suites that automate many corporate functions such as general ledger, order entry management, and inventory management.
Market research firm International Data Corporation last year said the ERP consulting and integration services market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent, while the client-server segment will exceed 25 percent over the next five years. Training and education services, now a $770 million market, will grow more than 30 percent in the same time frame.
Competition in ERP-related business is leading companies, like Systemhouse, to repackage services they began offering years ago so customers can get them up and running more quickly and more easily.
"The idea is that we've developed a delivery model," said Pete Pedersen, product manager for EAM. Pedersen said these models will help customers save money and better plan for future needs.
Services fall into three broad categories: maintenance, which includes corrective and adaptive services, application upgrades, and minor enhancements; support, which includes application help desk, training, and operations and system administration support; and solution services, which includes application deployment.