Canadian Government Grants Help with ERP System Costs

A few months back I came across a grant program offered by the Federal government to help small and medium sized businesses implement business software solutions. The program, called Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP) offered by The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) has the objective to help businesses acquire digital technology to increase productivity.

As of April 2013, funding for the program has been already allocated to small and medium enterprises across Canada. These companies will enjoy the financial help to plan, implement, and support business management software like ERP, CRM, EAM and manufacturing software. Speaking with a local representative of the program, I learned that the government’s hope is to accelerate the rate in which businesses across Canada adopt technology to ensure they remain competitive in the global marketplace.

The program is purposely broad, with the intention of covering most industries. To qualify, companies would come into contact with IRAP to discuss how adopting new business technology could increase their productivity. An increase of productivity can be as simple as reducing paperwork, improving communications, or any other procedural improvement that generates productivity gains among employees.

The main hurdle that Canadian small and midsized companies face when exploring technology investment avenues is understanding the scope of the project and the full value in returns for the organization. The program aims to demystify some elements involved with implementing major technology, basically getting companies to not focus on the price tag, but look at how acquiring digital technology will change the company for the better in both the short and long term.

Funding from the program is available for three key, but often overlooked, portions of technology projects.

Planning Stages
Funding is available for the planning stages where companies review their needs & requirements, and scope what tools and software solutions exist that could help improve productivity.

The process of implementing new technology can be daunting. Funding from the program helps reduce costs associated with this transition by being allocated to project managers and risk management.

New technology is of little use without personnel that is capable of taking advantage of it. Funding available for adoption includes all training, training management, and support to assist users in transitioning to new technologies.
Future funding for the program is currently in limbo as the Federal government evaluates the results of the program’s three years of existence. Whether or not it will be available for companies to apply for up until April of 2014 will depend on federal budget decisions and the rate of success of the program. Check back on the government website to see the status of future funding.