Unearthing ‘The ERP Innovator’s Dilemma’


pieces of Tier 1 coverage


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Our challenge

Boomi makes business data work harder.

Boomi’s technology allows organisations to connect their huge data silos and transform them into processes which reduce time spent on manual tasks, giving organisations the opportunity to gain an edge over competitors. It’s a market predicted to be worth over $12bn by next year.

One of the critical areas Boomi helps with is making Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a requirement of every major business on the planet, work harder.

It sounds complicated. It is. Boomi has proven expertise and thought leadership regarding the challenges organisations face with ERP technology, but nobody knew about it. Boomi challenged Positive to create and execute a research campaign which positioned Boomi as experts in ERP modernization.

Our response

A rarely considered and often neglected cohort, Enterprise Architects (EAs), face the tough day-to-day challenges involved with keeping business technology working. These are the firefighters of day-to-day technology problems. Positive suggested surveying these day-to-day IT experts, rather than the more common CTO and CIO job roles, to accurately take the temperature of how ERP modernization projects are faring.

To help create a well-aligned survey instrument, Positive set up a focus group of Enterprise Architects and hosted a live discussion to understand the issues they face day-to-day. Positive then extracted the core issues and validated them against earlier social listening research, and crafted a survey instrument based on the themes identified.

Once the field research had been completed, Positive analysed the entire data across 13 countries and crafted narratives and news releases for each of the countries as well as core assets for the campaign.

The results

When analysing the survey responses, the Positive team had a lightbulb moment, realising the EAs surveyed faced a very similar problem to the ‘innovator’s dilemma’, laid out by the late Clayton M Christiansen in his seminal work, The Innovator’s Dilemma.

The breakthrough insight from the research found that, in the case of complicated and expensive ERP systems, modernization and innovation are more daunting than ever – a vital and unintuitive finding.

‘The ERP Innovator’s Dilemma’, as Positive named the campaign, presents a stark choice:

Do they invest in cloud-enabled ERP and join the disruptors? Or do they delay and risk falling behind the others?

It might sound down in the weeds, but it’s a matter of business survival.

With such a strong narrative, Positive gained permission from The Harvard University Press to use the titular term ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ in all elements of the campaign including the core research asset which Positive wrote and designed (pictured). This was to avoid any copyright issue which may stem from not asking for permission.

Overall, ‘The ERP Innovator’s Dilemma’ campaign was hugely successful for Boomi.

Positive launched the figures to core media in 13 countries, which gained 16 pieces of high-ranking coverage in the UK alone and a further 30+ across EMEA.

Positive has just completed the second tranche of this project, but now on a global scale.