In a recent interview, “Are you ready for ERP II?” Gartner vice president Bruce Bond outlined a more collaborative model for enterprise resource planning (ERP), conveniently named ERP II.

Bond is research group director for enterprise and supply chain management at Gartner, an IT consultancy based in Stamford, CT. (TechRepublic is a subsidiary of Gartner.) His comments prompted a great deal of e-mail on the concept of ERP II. While most members agreed with a number of his ideas on the subject, others believe that ERP II is just more snake oil. Here are some of the responses from TechRepublic members.

The market is coming to terms with ERP’s limitations
Americo Yabar: “Interesting concept. I think the market has stopped to ask the hard question due to the demand from the user community. In part, this change in mentality has evolved from the business change generated by e-com.

“In the old days (three to five years), the best of breed were complex ERPs such as SAP. The reality now is flexibility and how fast we can accommodate our business to the e-business, so the ball is back on the software companies’ court to come with more nimble products.”

ERP is only partially dead
A couple of readers said that Bond was on the mark about the need for a more collaborative approach to ERP, but they disagreed with the statement “ERP is dead.”

Antonio Sobalvarro: “I agree with Bruce Bond partially about ERP being dead. Without any doubt, the Internet is changing the way we collaborate between ourselves in the market, but there are still many companies that need to implement ERP and understand how automation of processes benefit their companies before they get into e-business.”

TechRepublic member Jerry Kurtz agreed and disagreed. “Is it possible to agree and disagree? ‘ERP is dead.’ That’s a very bold statement, considering that companies across the globe still need ERP solutions—and are still looking.

“However, I agree with the fact that the ERP model does need some restructuring, especially if an established company is looking to enhance their system. If ERP vendors are selling to their user base, they definitely need something new (and sparkling) to offer. If they are looking for new sites, the ERP vendors need to have all the bells and whistles of their competitors….Bottom line—companies still need to run their business.”

ERP II is more snake oil
Some members voiced their concern that ERP II was just a fad, based on media and analyst hype, as well as another way for vendors to justify their existence.

TechRepublic member trfreedotcom posted this comment to the moderated discussion hosted by Bond: “Today’s snake oil. Only problem this time around is that there ain’t anyone left that hasn’t been snake bit.”

ERP is the backbone for e-commerce
Other members said that there is still life in the ERP market. “I totally disagree with Bruce Bond’s comments…,” James S. Mallory said. “I agree that ERP is evolving with the integration of supply chain and e-commerce technologies, but I disagree with the notion that ERP is dead. Small companies that are growing still need ERP software. Start-up companies need ERP software to manage their internal processes. Further, there are still millions of antiquated programs and homegrown ERP systems that need to be replaced with newer technology to facilitate e-commerce. ERP is not dead. ERP is the backbone for collaborative e-commerce.”