Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Ian Khan, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sheng Liang to Keynote at SYS-CON's 19th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1-3, 2016 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...