The last year was a pretty dynamic year in the ERP software market, with some of the largest manufacturers like SAP ERP growing, while maturing startups have taken market share away from other companies. Overall, the ERP market size is predicted to reach $41.69B by 2020 according to Allied Market Research.
Awareness as a trend
One of the biggest ERP trends that has been noticed recently by companies in industries with an average of 100 to 200 employees, is that the ERP they’ve deployed does not solve all the problems that they need it to.
From the software vendor’s point of view, it is frequently the case that these companies are focused on addressing concerns about the feature set that ships or is customized for the customer before and during the design and implementation phases of a project. And yet, customers with legitimate money-saving or ROI growing ideas are coming up with needs for features after they have used ERP systems for a while.
This disconnect is leaving the door open for ERP in the coming months for savvy consultants and rival vendors to address areas like internal cost accounting that may not be tuned to the level of granularity that a client needs.
Federation continues in the ERP market
Another trend is creating more synergy within a trading group’s enterprise resource planning systems. It may be nice to set up a piece of software that creates coverage of all materials flowing through your own company warehouses, plant floors, and retail areas, but at a certain point, you may lose the analytics on products that are second sourced from an outside supplier.
The federation trend is one where Fortune 500 companies are looking at including frequent suppliers in a trading group and porting data from their ERP to their own ERP to create a workflow and process that is seamless internally. The additional data that they receive allows management to control costs just as they do with products that are manufactured or sourced completely in-house.
Competitive advantage in cloud implementations
A third area that remained at the forefront of discussion among ERP clients this past year was ensuring that implementations of their ERP system are ported to the cloud.
The rationale behind this is two-fold. In the first place, as the attack on Sony showed, keeping your company data and applications infrastructure in the cloud at a very secure data center can make a difference in how vulnerable your company actually is to an outside attack.
The second reason to look at cloud implementations as the ultimate solution is that they make co-locating or porting your data to another country much easier. As users of Oracle e-business suite and Infor have reported in Europe, for example, it is nice to be able to use European data centers exclusively for their data because the United States security complex that was created for the war on terrorism has become quite invasive of company’s data.
For software vendors, being able to secure their clients’ work in locations that are not exposed to oversight from several different agencies can often mean the difference between making a sale and not making a sale.
Start-ups continue to create opportunity
Looking forward, companies look to close the gaps between their existing implementations or lack of an implementation and the feature sets that are coming onto the market because open source startups are being funded. It would appear that for smaller firms, there will continue to be a lot more ERP solutions than there were several years ago – being able to get started with an ERP implementation at a reasonable price.
For larger firms, the fact that there has been market share change over the past year indicates that there is still room for product improvement that can lead to further gains for ERP vendors. The largest battle, however, will probably take place among medium-sized firms. Able to articulate specifically what they want and yet remaining budget-conscious, they’ll continue to be prime prospects for both the largest ERP manufacturers and a variety of new companies.
Leaders in the ERP Market
Epicor ERP 10, Sage ERP X3, Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Infor ERP Syteline, SYSPRO 7 and SAP Business ByDesign all ranked highly in the latest edition of the SelectHub ERP Leaderboard. These top systems scored highest amongst 60 top ERP solutions – showing their meeting the critical requirements identified by organizations seeking an ERP system.
If your firm is looking for an ERP solution that will allow you to use big data or workflow analytics, start with our interactive ERP software requirements template that helps you understand which ERP are most likely to fit your specific needs.