ERP is Dead? Seriously?! A Few Thoughts from Jon Roskill on the Bright Future of Cloud ERP Software

Jon Roskill | October 6, 2015

From the Oxford English Dictionary; we get this:

sage (2)

Syllabification: sage

Pronunciation: /sāj/

noun

A profoundly wise man, especially one who features in ancient history or legend.

The first part of this definition should not be confused with the software company of the same name. At the recent Dreamforce conference, Sage announced their partnership with Salesforce to offer a new online software platform called “Sage Life: Real-time Accounting and control of your business.” This "new" software platform provides Accounting and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in a mobile-enabled, cloud-based platform.

As part of their rationale for this product and partnership, both companies cited the failure of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and declared that ERP is dead. We couldn't disagree more. While we have all heard or read horror stories about ERP project failures, more often than not they have been failures in Project Management or business vision, not with the ERP software itself. More importantly, let's set the record straight; accounting software is not the same as ERP, nor is CRM software exactly equal to ERP!

ERP is Dead. Zombie ERP

Now, let's return to the definition of “sage.” While the first part of the definition does not apply, the second part, regarding one "who features in ancient history" might be right on target. To declare that ERP is dead would suggest that one is living in the past, and likely in denial about the history of Information Technology (IT) and the current trends.

Recent IT history shows us that companies as prominent as IBM and HP almost went under because they failed to recognize and adapt to seismic shifts in the IT landscape. Yet these companies have refocused and are prospering. And what technology have these successful companies refocused on? Why, Cloud Computing, of course. Even more recent IT history shows us the emergence of companies such as Amazon and Alibaba becoming fast-moving eCommerce dominators through the skillful and rapid deployment of Cloud Computing technology.

ERP, in fact is alive and well. As recently as April of this year we posted a blog citing a study published earlier this year:

The ERP market is experiencing evolutionary shifts in customer base, and the reasons behind these changes point to a revolution in ERP software industry. The 2015 Enterprise Resource Planning Software BuyerView Study from Software Advice, a consultancy that reviews ERP software, found that two-thirds of prospective ERP buyers do not currently use ERP software. These prospective customers are considering ERP software for the first time, and most are small or mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

Maybe what IS dead, or at least dying, are the companies who ignore this fundamental shift in the application systems software market by continuing to offer on-premises software only, or legacy solutions "dressed up" to look like Cloud solutions, as well as perpetual licensing arrangements which do not meet the needs of SMBs entering the market. Such companies may still be alive for now, but their days are numbered.

What is also certain is that the ERP software market is going through a revolution; a revolution  driven by the accessibility and scalability of Cloud computing platforms, as well as the needs and cost considerations of SMBs.

History gives us countless examples of revolutions born from the need and desire of people for change. Every revolution has leaders who recognize the conditions around them and adapt in order to succeed, and every revolution also has winners and losers. So join the ERP revolution and join a winner join with Acumatica—the true Cloud ERP solution.

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Jon Roskill

Chief Executive Officer at Acumatica. Passionate about sports, family, community and Cloud ERP with & thru the channel!

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