ERP – What is in store?

What is next in ERP is a frequently asked question. My take on this question –
globally and in India

Globally, I see four trends

1. ERP has to extend “beyond enterprise” (incidentally I teach a course
on Extended Enterprises”), to encompass Supply Chain (on the supply side) and
Customer Relationship (on the demand side). Also, everyone needs SCM & CRM,
not those in the Auto industry alone. Practically everyone needs extended ERP.
2. While ERP came with a promise of “process view” and “break the chutes
of functional kingdoms”, ERP, SCM, and CRM software became chutes themselves!
in the process, you created a whole new “integration industry” under EAI (Web
Methods, Tibco…). I see ERP II seamlessly moving across the entire extended
3. The term “best of breed” is much abused; it might be great for vendors
like i2, Siebel and PeopleSoft to talk of them being the “best in class” in
SCM, CRM and ERP respectively. But the integration pain is so much;
enterprises would be happy to stay with a “single solution” that seamlessly
addresses the applications across the extended enterprise.
4. When Microsoft and others introduced Office Suite in early nineties,
many users thought it was a way to save cost of selling individual boxes; in
fact, what Office Suites did, was to emphasize the fact that integration of
Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Database and Presentation (and later Web Design,
Project planning…) was a dire need. I do expect that some one (could be
Microsoft), would bring an Integrated Enterprise Suite (ERP, SCM, CRM, and
more importantly Web’ifying applications, Portals and Exchanges) as a seamless
application suite. That would be the real contribution. If it comes from
PeopleSoft nothing like that!

Specific to India, there are again four issues

1. Indian CEO’s have a feeling that they have “duped” into ERP; they do
not see the benefits. As Enterprise Software vendor you need to address the
“measurable” benefits.
2. You need to work with consultants like E & Y, IBM, KPMG to evolve a
methodology for post implementation assessment to give the comfort to end
users. Indian enterprise software induction exercise puts all energy on
“procurement” and practically no emphasis on “utilization”
3. You need to educate consultants like me to get the message that
PeopleSoft is NOT a mere ERP software vendor that too focused on HR function.
The consultants’ ignorance cost you business!
4. Banking sector alone in India would invest about a Billion Dollar in
the 18 months. You should focus on this segment, particularly when you can
boast of Marquee clients globally. Most banks are focusing on Core Banking
products alone; they need HR functions too. Who can be a better bet than
PeopleSoft, particularly if you can offer it a “hosted mode” (I am NOT using
ASP because it has become a bad word in business!)

(Talk given at “PeopleSoft India Heads of Practice” Conference in Bangalore
on January 13, 2004)

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