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FreeBalance Weekly Update – Monday, August 13, 2012


August 13, 2012

What’s new at FreeBalance?

This weekly news update provides the Government Resource Planning (GRP) community with a brief overview of recent FreeBalance developments and relevant industry news.

Why do Systems Integration Firms Partner with FreeBalance?

FreeBalance has a good business. And, a business that “does good.” This FreeBalance “social enterprise” mandate where Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) may seem somewhat naive in the cutthroat world of large enterprise software vendors and global systems integration companies. Yet, this combination of FreeBalance company characteristics continues to attract new partners for us. In the past, global systems integration firms engaged FreeBalance primarily for tactical reasons such as a sales opportunity. This dynamic is changing: partners now see the value of long-term strategic relationships with FreeBalance.

What’s Best for Government? Government Resource Planning (GRP) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

It’s surprising how well major vendors are able to market solutions to government despite this lack of success. Perhaps there is so much marketing noise that it’s difficult for governments to uncover the evidence. Nevertheless, there is a significant amount of public information that supports anecdotal evidence. Some of the studies are dated – but if failure rates have been reduced by 50% in the last 5 years – that still means that 10% to 20% of all ERP implementations are a complete failure.
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Some ERP in Government Failure Anecdotes

Doug Hadden has been reporting on some major ERP failures in the public sector. He mentioned in the last entry about cost overruns in the US Department of Defense that this lack of success by major ERP vendors is an “open secret”. We don’t consider the FreeBalance Accountability Suite to be “Enterprise Resource Planning” because we don’t provide software to “enterprises” – the private sector nor do we provide software to more than one vertical market. (By definition, we sell to 3 sub-verticals: national government, sub-national government, international projects.)
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Bridging the Gap: How Official Financing Can Ease the Pain of Adjustment

As Nicolás Eyzaguirre steps down from his position as Director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, he shares some reflections on one of the central issues facing many countries—adjustment under fixed exchange rates. It goes without saying that these reflect a personal and not an institutional view. A lot of ink has been spent over the question of why you would lend money to a country trying to bring down its government debt and deficit. The answer is simple: to give the reforms needed to make economies competitive again time to kick in.

Surviving the Global Financial Crisis, or Not

In a recent paper, George Clarke, Gregory Kisunko and Bob Cull use data from firms in Eastern Europe, a region that was especially hard hit by the global financial crisis, to study which firms survived and how they did it. The first data source is a panel of firms from 23 countries that were interviewed in 2002, 2005, and 2008-9 as part of the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys (BEEPS). It allows them to document how financial constraints evolved over time and to see how firm and country characteristics affected those constraints during the crisis. The second dataset, from the Financial Crisis Surveys (FCS) that were conducted as follow-ups to the BEEPS in six countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Turkey) in 2009, allows them to look at how changes in access to financing affected firm survival rates during the crisis.
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