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What are the roles and responsibilities of ERP vendors?

First and foremost, the vendor should supply the product and its documentation as soon as the contract is signed. Only after the software is delivered, can the company develop the training and testing environment for the implementation team. The vendors are responsible for fixing any problems in the software that the implementation team encounters. So the vendor should have a liaison officer who should constantly interact with the implementation team.

Another role the vendor has to play is that of the trainer - to provide the initial training for the company's key users, people who will play lead roles in the implementation of the system. These key users are the one who will define, together with the consultants, how the software is to serve the company. In other words, it is these in-house functional experts who will decide how the functionalities are to be implemented, as well as how to use or adapt the product to suit the company's unique requirements.

So it is very critical that these key users are given a thorough training on the features of the package. Vendor's training should achieve the goal of showing the key users how the package works, what are the major components, how the data and information flows across the system, what is flexible and what is not, what can be configured and what cannot, what can be customized and what should not, what are the limitations, what are the strengths and weaknesses and so on.

The role of the vendor does not end with the training. The vendor also plays an important project support function and must exercise quality control with respect to how the product is implemented. It is the vendors who understand the finer details and functions of the product and can make valuable suggestions and improvements that could improve the performance of the system.