Unlike internally-built solutions, this is a web-based service that’s built to reach out across partners and can be delivered as either on-site software, Software as a Service (SaaS) or outsourced service. FOUR MODULES TO CHOOSE FROM:
But with choice comes complexity. Not only must IT managers carefully analyze their business scenarios, they also must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the available products. There are many new hosted solutions, but most don't integrate well with the market-leading packaged solutions or with legacy systems. These so-called Software as a Service (SaaS) products also have a wide range of capabilities for customization and standards compliance. Vendor stability and reliability also are important issues. With consolidation inevitable in the market, users need to choose vendors wisely.
Several trends are emerging in the mid-market for ERP systems: Rather than develop a mix of best-of-breed solutions, most midsize firms are looking for providers whose systems offer broad functionality, from basic backroom financial capabilities, to operational tasks such as sourcing, product development, and logistics. ERP systems can no longer be purely internal IT tools. They must allow companies to extend their supply chains to link with customers, suppliers, service providers, and all other transaction partners. Midsize companies prefer to work with IT companies that have specific expertise in their industry, and consequently, most providers in this space tend to specialize functionally, such as in manufacturing or distribution, or vertically, as with food or chemical industries. Midsize companies will definitely seek ERP applications configured with industry-specific functionality. Many midsize firms, especially at the smaller end of the spectrum, are turning to providers that offer hosted on-demand systems or software as a service (SaaS) packages. This approach allows for a wide range of ERP capabilities without large up-front investments or big IT staffs.