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ERP Makes a Comeback

Dan Tynan, writing for CIO.com:

For the past decade, ERP has been the poster child for IT projects that overpromise and underdeliver. It was notorious for painfully complex rollouts that took years to implement, required massive customization, and were often only partially realized. Billions of dollars were spent just trying to get ERP systems to work as advertised.

Now ERP is back — and not just for big enterprises looking to refresh legacy systems. According to surveys by Forrester Research, roughly one out of four SMBs and enterprises plans to either upgrade their existing ERP solutions or implement a new one over the next 12 months.

We see this too. Every day.

What’s different? Isn’t ERP’s sometimes-broken promise giving way to the new promise of SaaS and cloud computing? Not just yet — ERP has been around forever, and in that time companies have learned a great deal. They now fully understand what works, what doesn’t and what mistakes to avoid. They’ve gotten their technology down, integrations minimized and streamlined, and they’ve tied smart business processes to their operations.

In short, they’ve grown up. Learned a thing or two.

Our clients tell us that while they’re looking at cloud apps, they have too much tribal wisdom wrapped up into their existing applications and business processes. Many of our clients have just now put in their first real cut at business intelligence and are using that information to make actual, real-world, daily business decisions.

Their ERP systems may be old, and they may not look as shiny as some of the new cloud platforms offered up by Oracle and other vendors, but they work. And organizations understand them completely. That’s why they aren’t afraid of expanding or upgrading their ERP systems — because finally, they’re delivering the promise that they whispered years ago.

In short, they’re finally humming.

It takes a brave soul to scrap something wholesale that is finally working in favor of something that, in essence, represents a great deal of starting over.

What’s your take? Does Tynan’s article sound like you?

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