The future of ERP: Why the ‘big ERP’ approach is dead

November 23, 2009 from InfoWorld – …“With ERP, you can’t do a one-size-fits-all,” Read says. “The corporate office of a $10 billion organization just has different needs than the local operations in Australia. And if you try to deploy [SAP or Oracle] everywhere, you’re effectively going to be deploying an enterprise solution in a midmarket company, and the costs are going to explode.

Could there be a resurgence in “best of breed” app strategies for vertical-specific business areas — whether that’s on-premise or in the cloud — without all the integration headaches of yore? AMR Research Chief Research Officer Bruce Richardson thinks so. “The Burger King approach — ‘have it your way’ with SaaS, on-premise, BPO,” Richardson says, “is going to force vendors like SAP, Oracle, and Infor to get very aggressive in offering other deployment models…

Industry consultant Reed sums it up this way: “‘Empower me. Give me the tools to create differentiating processes that allow me to define myself from my competitors. And make sure that it’s easier for me to do, so I don’t have to hire 100 programmers. Give me the building blocks to put that together quickly, so that it’s just humming in the background, and leave me free to focus on what makes us better than other companies.’ That’s what customers are expecting now and really want.”

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180 View – Large organizations often want their subsidiaries to adopt the same system in all the local countries. There are advantages including visibility of information such as inventory across the organization and all the subsidiaries. Other advantages would include intercompany transactions, consolidation, reporting and the forecasting process. As well, if the organizations are similar, it should be possible to leverage existing business processes and templates. But there can also be problems in forcing one of the high end ERP systems on a subsidiary, which may experience increased costs, complexity and delays. Once again, a business case is recommended to determine the best course of action.

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