Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Michelle Drolet, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Paige Leidig

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, Web 2.0, Open Web, Cloud Expo

Java: Article

This Is Not Just ERP, This Is Two-Tier ERP

ERP now has the chance to come of age

The rise of Big Data and the monolithic systems that are now being built on increasingly cloud-based data models is a reality we cannot ignore.

This reality has popularized discussions relating to the core component mechanics of many firms' IT stacks.

Key among these technologies is ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning to afford it its full moniker. The term can be taken to be a relatively broad expression as it encompasses software applications that oversee the management of suppliers, customer service, order tracking and all manner of demand and supply-related indicators...

... or to put it more simply, ERP systems look after companies' "systems of record" data.

"Indicators" being the operative word, as key performance indicators (KPIs) are used by organizations to appraise and evaluate the accomplishment and success of a particular business activity in which it is engaged.

So far inside the brief history of Enterprise Resource Planning there haven't been too many upsets. Most of the mega brand IT vendors from IBM to HP to SAP to Oracle all have a finger in the ERP pie and Microsoft is even in there too with its Dynamics product.

But for CIOs and the software application developers who connect the synaptic nerves of new deployments, a new subset of ERP (or extension perhaps) is surfacing.

SaaS-focused business management software company NetSuite is creating something of a new paradigm in the ERP space by rolling out a "two-tier" version of ERP that integrates with Oracle. The new offering works to amalgamate on-demand services with on-premise transaction systems.

The two-tier model is intended to allow customers to preserve on-premise ERP investments in Oracle (or indeed in other systems), while equipping global subsidiaries with what is promised to be a more flexible cloud-based ERP/financials system. The end result (in theory) then gives headquarters the real-time visibility it needs, at a lower price.

Given the heavyweight maneuverings going on over at SAP inside its ERP mothership, it is interesting to see NetSuite take what appears to an arguably more deft approach to coupling technologies in this space to augment and expand upon current offerings rather than simply trying to compete on the basis of speed, processing power, performance and general all round rocket power.

The firm is essentially bringing its OneWorld and SuiteCloud Connectors to Oracle and using connectivity technologies from IBM Cast Iron, Informatica, Dell Boomi, Celigo and Pervasive Software.

The concept behind the two-tier ERP twist is that it (in theory) enables subsidiaries to tailor ERP to their own special needs and support their local accounting requirements. It is also supposed to ensure that a remote subsidiary doesn't end up with a burdensome, hard-to-maintain on-premise ERP deployment.

Here's the developer proposition: keep the investment in the existing Oracle E-Business Suite system at the corporate level, but empower subsidiaries and divisions to innovate with a second ERP system that gives them more agility and better total cost of ownership.

NetSuite asserts that this two-tier approach has the advantage of being able to cut deployment time (and costs too) instead of installing on-premise ERP in each smaller division or subsidiary company.

Of course, NetSuite's major shareholder is Larry Ellison so it is also interesting to see the company playing this subtle two-tier approach rather than the usual Oracle "absorb, acquire, assimilate" approach.

Craig Sullivan, VP & GM of international at NetSuite, argues that a new era is dawning in this space and that ageing ERP is a drag on business agility. "The web enables business to go global instantly - reaching many millions of customers in a year or two, whereas it used to take a decade or more to make that type of progress."

Sullivan points to Groupon as an example of the kind of disruption that the Internet enables. The "fastest-growing company in history" grew to revenues of $700+ million in 2010 from $30 million in 2009 - a stunning growth rate of 2,241%.

"This would have been unthinkable just five years ago," says Sullivan. "With the dramatic growth in emerging markets, businesses are looking to quickly tap opportunities in the space of months, not years - before their competitors get there. Outdated ERP, unable to react to and take advantage of change, restricts the agility that is crucial in our increasingly online world."

This new (and it is comparatively) new approach to ERP comes at an interesting time. NetSuite contends that modern demand for real-time information and "boundless flexibility" point to just one answer: the cloud.

As cloud-based intelligently managed and intelligently separated (let's be polite here and say "tiered" rather than separated) ERP now has the chance to come of age, will we grasp this opportunity inside corporate enterprises? Will new cross-functional workflows and reporting processes come about as new sales channels are added and firms are suddenly able to enter new markets as they improve collaboration between internal and external systems?

NetSuite (and Larry Ellison) thinks so. Don't dismiss it without proper analysis.

This post was first featured on CIO Enterprise Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Are you interested in accelerating innovation, simplifying deployments, reducing complexity, and lowering development costs? The cloud is changing the face of application development and deployment, with enterprise-grade infrastructure and platform services making it possible for you to build and rapidly scale enterprise applications. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Gene Eun, Sr. Director, Oracle Cloud at Oracle, will discuss the latest solutions and strategies for application developers and enterprise IT organizations to leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy modern business applications in the cloud.
Hybrid cloud refers to the federation of a public and private cloud environment for the purpose of extending the elastic and flexibility of compute, storage and network capabilities, in an on-demand, pay-as-you go basis. The hybrid approach allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. Hybrid cloud environments involve complex management challenges. First, organizations struggle to maintain control over the resources that lie outside of their managed IT scope. They also need greater infrastructure visibility to help reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their company data and resources are properly handled and secured.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise), cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. At NuoDB we're involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., will cover experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Understanding the future of Big Data is crucial in the early stages of decision making around Big Data architectures. In the enterprise, what stands out is the need to integrate Hadoop smoothly into your existing data warehouse architecture, while taking advantage of existing skills and investments. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marty Gubar, Director of Product Management at Oracle, will present a strategy for enabling integrated data management using both Hadoop and relational technologies. In particular, he'll look at how SQL, long the standard for the data warehouse, is increasingly being used on Hadoop. The real prize, though, is Smart SQL processing, seamlessly integrating the data warehouse and Hadoop into a single, Big Data Management System.
The time has come for humanity’s first interstellar trek to Terranuvem, the cloud planet, and Chief Engineer Cyrus Agarwal has been chosen to ready a ship for the voyage. He must make the right architectural choices to transform the ship for the long journey and be prepared for the unknown. He will be tested and overcome challenges during the mission. Join Cyrus and the crew of the Stratus at Oracle VP Rex Wang’s Day 2 Keynote at 14th Cloud Expo for a unique, sci-fi movie experience while learning key success factors for your own journey to cloud.