About 10 years ago I sat on a plane between Madrid and Barcelona. In front of me I had two consultants from one of the Big 4 chatting away about ERP Systems and the fact there was no future in this market. It was dominated by one German company, and all other ERP vendors should just “throw in the towel and admit defeat”. Since then I have heard similar statements several times, and just recently through a post on LinkedIn. This could not be further from the truth.
The market continues to grow in size year by year, and more importantly new players enter the market. Some of these new players have disrupted the market in such a way that more traditional vendors are finding it hard to keep up. Some of these new players started as niche solution resolving a very particular business problem. Leveraging the cloud as a deployment platform providing their customers with very low TCO and high user acceptance they managed to grow quickly. Today some of these solutions offer full end to end ERP capabilities, and in some cases they have moved beyond their more traditional competitors. Their technology and architecture allows for incorporation of third-party products in a seamless way creating very powerful best of breed capabilities.
Now, all is not just about new players. Customers are expecting more from the systems today, and they consume technology in a different way than before. ERP traditionally has been focused on transacting data, but today it is much more around analysing and making sense of the data for decision making. Dashboards, work-flow capabilities, non-source code customizations, quick upgrades, and much more are now a must to stay competitive. On top of this it has to be mobile! Software vendors who very early on understood the importance of this have been able to keep up, or they have been able to stay ahead of the rest. In other words, they understood the importance of innovation.
There is an abundance of data to prove that ERP is not dead, but continues to grow and evolve. However, like in other industries, such as the mobile phone market for example, you have to innovate to survive. Look at Nokia… Who thought Nokia was going to lose its +30% market share in just a few years? From my perspective the ERP market is going through one of its most exciting periods in its history. Technology is changing fast and new concepts such as IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud have opened up new dimensions.
Let’s remember why companies invest in ERP systems – they see value through increased efficiency. Companies must innovate and improve to stay alive in today’s markets, and investment in a modern and agile ERP system is one of the tools at their disposal. Technology will continue to drive this change as will the need to interact with an ERP system in new ways.
I am certain it will continue to change over the next decade and beyond. New players will enter the market and old will fade away. This market is all but dead, and the ones that understand the importance of innovation will most likely be the winners.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
General Manager, ERP Solutions at Precise Business Solutions.
Hans Engert joined Precise in 2012 and has been instrumental in defining the strategy for the ERP Division that has taken the organization on a very successful growth path. In his current role he oversees the ERP Division that includes Sales & Marketing, Consulting, and Support.
Prior to joining Precise Business Solutions, Hans held senior leadership positions with several world leading ERP Vendors such as Microsoft AX and IFS. With close to 20 years’ experience in the sector Hans has delivered ERP Solutions to a wide range of industries including General Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Retail, Distribution, Professional Services, Construction and Contracting Services.
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