Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Bernard Golden, Roger Strukhoff, Carmen Gonzalez, Sandi Mappic, Esmeralda Swartz

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Big Data Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Change in the Air with Cloud ERP

ERP in the Cloud is fueling an innovation burst that’s changing vendor capabilities along with customer & investor expectations

The gap is widening between legacy ERP and cloud ERP as traditional on-premise solutions are shifting toward delivery of applications over the Internet. Put your ear in the air to hear the rumblings. ERP in the Cloud is here to stay.

Recent earnings reports from several web-based business software providers along with a significant increase in the number of announcements pertaining to new cloud ERP providers are signaling a clear trend in the direction of a rapidly changing business environment for software vendors and business customers alike.

One Version of the Truth
Enterprise resource planning (ERP), despite not being the most exciting thing in the world, still remains a vital element in the efforts of many companies and organizations to stay competitive in an increasingly tough economic climate. This underlying foundation continues to drive demand for innovative new approaches in delivering one source of information or "one version of the truth" that these enterprises rely on to compete.

The sudden growth spurt for ERP in the Cloud is largely driven by the vast cost savings resulting from the increased productivity and efficiency that characterize the move to web-based business applications.

Industry insiders have recently begun to draw attention to the upsurge in new ERP developers as an indication that the competitive landscape has shifted, and that long established players will need to adapt to in order to maintain their market share in the years ahead.

As a result, many long established entities like Microsoft and SAP have been seen ramping up their cloud offerings as they prepare to take on the new players in the space. Whether or not these current leaders will be able to maintain their positions at the top is uncertain as they are faced with not just a new platform, but new paradigms in marketing, pricing, support, organization structure and infrastructure reflected by the newer ERP in the Cloud solutions.

An Innovative Surge
Some industry analysts have pointed out that the current leading ERP software vendors and their systems implementation partners are finding the transition to cloud-based offerings difficult since business processes native to ERP in the Cloud tend to require much less time and expense to implement than the on-premise equivalents they've traditionally deployed. However, this is one of the elements of ERP in the Cloud that is most attractive to established (and new) clients and users.

Legacy on-premise ERP offerings tend to be geared toward Fortune 2000 companies that can afford the effort and expense of having armies of implementation consultants working on their sites for months or even years to get the software tuned to meet their so-called "unique" requirements. Not only is adoption slow, but subsequent upgrades are even slower since the original business case for the initial implementation is not there, and the appetite to spend sometimes millions of dollars on a technical upgrade with no obvious functional or business impact is also missing.

What is increasingly being seen from several of the new cloud-based ERP providers are approaches that are more externally aware and less reliant on implementation consultants to tune and tweak (and test) the software.

The newer breed of ERP solutions tend to be simpler and more focused on a specific market need so that "plug-and-play" really means what it says and are not just empty words on a PowerPoint. In other words, the new solutions have been designed from the ground up for the cloud and for mobile and are not simply pouring old wine into new bottles.

Users still have a challenge in identifying which new innovations spurred by the increased competition will allow them to hit the ground running as they move to adopt ERP in the Cloud going forward. They still face challenges with any change in systems and processes at the heart of their business as is the case with a new ERP, such as data migration, business process refinement and organizational alignment and education.

On the other hand, any of the new ERP players may find it difficult initially to match the information depth and maturity of established legacy ERP providers.

Just when it becomes far more critical that ERP software works "out of the box" (since the army of implementation consultants toiling over bugs and fixes for many months is a thing of the past) the vendors who are at the forefront of the market do not have a customer-base numbering in the thousands or tens of thousands to fall back on.

New ERP suppliers tend to also lack the added value of experience in aggregating and evaluation provided by legacy integrators just at the time when they, not the legacy on-premise ERP providers, have the option to aggregate and seek value out of so much more data across a potentially vast customer base.

What Is the Solution?
Are we seeing the best and latest ERP applications from newer upstarts being combined with the maturity and financial depth of legacy ERP providers to provide something that is of compelling value for money even for smaller businesses? No.

Instead, the entrenched legacy ERP providers are acquiring cloud-based point solutions and either attempting to bolt them onto unproven or failed cloud-based offerings of their own, or simply offering up siloed standalone cloud-based applications stitched together, leaving the ultimate pain of holding everything together to their long-suffering customers and their customers' well-paid consultants.

The bottom line is that ERP in the Cloud is fueling an innovation burst that is changing vendor capabilities along with customer and investor expectations. But we are not sure if the legacy ERP providers will keep up. Only time will tell.

More Stories By Richard Minney

Richard Minney is co-founder of iBE.net,, a developer of business management software for SMEs. He has nearly 20 years of ERP experience as a developer, consultant and project manager. Previously he was executive VP for Product Innovation at HCL-Axon, responsible for the company's successful ERP add-on solutions business. Before that, he was co-founder of Feanix, a $20m SAP systems integrator with clients like Sikorsky Aircraft and Pratt & Whitney. He spent nine years at U.K.-based Druid Group plc, building SAP’s first industry add-on solution for aerospace and defense. He began his career at Ford and Rolls-Royce. He has a Masters in computer integrated manufacturing from Cranfield University, and a MA in engineering from University of Cambridge, Oxford. You can reach him at [email protected]

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.


@CloudExpo Stories
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff hap...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...