With enterprise resource planning obstacles such as cost and lack of buy-in to consider, it's more important than ever to see how software will deliver benefits.
If you are an IT manager or executive trying to make the case for new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, you may be facing an uphill battle, if stakeholders are cautious about getting on board.
Many companies are concerned about hidden costs, extra services, and the internal resources involved in implementing new systems. Therefore, experts say, it's critical that your company takes a full evaluation of the resources involved in such a move.
SEE: Top 10 ERP vendors (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
The trend in 2020 is moving toward combining IoT with business intelligence, according to a new report––IoT can, for instance, send alerts when machinery needs maintenance. The sector is also continuing to move to the cloud.
In the report from Panorama Consulting Group, a number of software vendors were compared across functionalities to help businesses determine which is the best fit for them. The report also looks at when organizations should seek outside expertise, such as independent consultants.
The report finds that most vendors "are dedicating a strong focus to e-commerce and CRM functionality." And clients are opting for out-of-the-box solutions, rather than customizing their current systems.
Building a strong project team, getting stakeholders on board, and determining the requirements for new software should be top goals for IT professionals, if they want to make the move to a new vendor.
Here are the top 10 ERP vendors, in no particular order, according to Panorama:
SEE: Securing IoT in your organization: 10 best practices (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Based in Waldorf, Germany, SAP has been a frontrunner for large enterprises. Although the implementation process can be lengthy, it is often well-tailored to any given organization, according to the report.
SAP S/4 HANA (High-performance ANalytics Appliance) "uses in-memory, column-oriented, and relational technology to speed data retrieval. It acts as an intermediary between software requesting data and the databases themselves," according to TechRepublic's Smart Person Guide. By doing this, it can free up IT resources.
SAP also has cloud solutions like Aribra and Hybris that can help consolidate the system landscape. And its Business One & SAP Business ByDesign, ideal for small and midsize companies, "provide comprehensive functionality for financials, sales, operations and customer relations," according to the report.
2. Oracle ERP Cloud
Oracle is a top name for large enterprises in the ERP business, and especially with its acquisition of NetSuite, has been successful in offering a platform that can deliver add-on functionality, as harnessing NetSuite's SaaS tools.
According to the report, Oracle "provides an integrated and comprehensive suite of financials, procurement, project management, risk management and enterprise performance management powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence."
It "led the Magic Quadrant for cloud core financial management suites for large, midsize and global enterprises for the third year straight," according to Panorama.
In particular, Netsuite "excels in IPO, fast-growing and midsize businesses," and "provides pre-configured workflows, dashboards, functional roles and KPIs, enabling rapid implementation."
For businesses that are already using Microsoft's technology, choosing Microsoft for ERP could be a smart idea. Microsoft offers robust products for small and mid-sized organizations, and is becoming a growing force, looking towards larger organizations as well.
According to the report, Microsoft "has a strong ecosystem of ISV channel partners providing 'last mile' functionality."
Its Dynamics 365 Business Central, for instance, offers the following features, according to the report:
- Targeted for the small and midmarket space.
- Recently rebuilt in Azure technology, making it a pure SaaS model with other deployment options.
- Based on best practices of NAV, GP and SL.
Medium and large companies, both national and global, should consider Infor, which is an emerging solution for the enterprise, offering a set of applications specific to particular organizations.
The Infor M3 can offer help for "after-sales service providers, distributors and a variety of manufacturing verticals," the report states.
Infor Cloudsuite Distribution can allow wholesale distributors to "detect trends and monitor inventory demand," as well as offer organizations a way to "maintain a lean supply chain and implement new digital strategies."
And Infor Cloudsuite Industrial which is ideal for the manufacturing industry, offers an "open source technology stack, which allows for more flexibility to refine manufacturing processes" and is "designed with features for repetitive manufacturing and capabilities to simplify implementation."
Crafted for industries such as aerospace and defense, utilities and resources, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing and service industries, IFS has "robust end-to-end functionality," the report states, and is well-suited for "large consumer packaged goods organizations with a global footprint."
The report highlights IFS' ability to handle the following domains:
- Enterprise Resource Planning
- Enterprise Asset Management
- Service Management
- IFS Applications
- IFS Maintenix
- Enterprise Operational Intelligence
- IFS Cloud
Workday, which provides HCM for medium and large enterprises, has recently grown into a full ERP solution, offering a flexible product and expanding its ecosystem. With its focus on financial management, the report notes, "the Workday solution is a robust SaaS product that is growing into an end-to-end ERP."
The report highlights Workday's success in the following fields:
Energy and Resources
Media & Entertainment
Professional and Business Services
Retail and Technology
Small and medium enterprises should look to Epicor, which has put resources toward R&D, and recently partnered with Microsoft. Epicor 10, its original offering, is suited for manufacturing, and also "provides multiple deployment models, including a SaaS offering, as needed," the report states.
Prophet 21, a "built-for-purpose distribution application...is a leader in supply chain optimization." And Epicor's Eagle N Series, a retail application, offers PoS and omnichannel capabilities, the report states.
The abas ERP system can assist small and midsize manufacturers in "the assemble-to-order, make-to-order and engineer- to-order environments," the report states, offering to tailor the service to customers' needs.
Abas "provides multiple deployment options, including on-premise, cloud and hybrid," as well.
Here are some areas where abas can help your business:
Advanced Planning & Scheduling
Full Financial Accounting
Flexible Product Costing
Returns, Service and Repair
CRM & Sales Management
Deltek, which is experiencing a period of expansion, offers options for small to large enterprises "with flexibility in their basic versus advanced functionality," the report states. This vendor can also "resolve the operational and regulatory needs of discrete manufacturing firms," and help industry-specific accounting, invoicing and materials management with performance management, client management, and financial management tools (Maconomy) as well as services for architecture and engineering firms (Vantagepoint).
Reporting & Business Intelligence
CRM and Pipeline Management
Accounting & Financial Management
10. Sage Enterprise Management
The report notes that Sage's ERP, which can work with customers across the globe, from public companies to startups, has strong end-to-end functionality, as well as an "intuitive user interface"––leading to high adoption rates.
Together, Sage Cloud X3, Sage 100Cloud, and Sage300Cloud offer financial management, customer service, sales, distribution, and manufacturing, as well as inventory and business intelligence functionality, the report notes.
- How to become a CIO: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- How to develop your IT team's capabilities (TechRepublic download)
- Policy pack: Workplace ethics (TechRepublic Premium)
- ZDNet's top enterprise CEOs of the 2010s (ZDNet)
- 6 ways to delete yourself from the internet (CNET)
- Best to-do list apps for managing tasks on any platform (Download.com)
- CXO: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)