Businesses are making ERP systems open to external users
Larger organisations need to open their ERP applications to authorised outsiders and the degree to which they were doing so was examined in Quocirca research conducted a few years ago. 50% of the enterprises surveyed were allowing external users to access their ERP systems, putting it third behind supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM). In the past this may have been done using electronic data interchange (EDI) but it is now usually accomplished by web-enabling the application – that is, allowing secure external access via a web browser.
While SAP has the largest marketshare for ERP applications, there still leaves a lot of share for other suppliers, the names of which may not trip off the tongue. It can be hard to find out where the applications of some of the smaller players are being used.
Tying down ERP market share is tricky. Large enterprises also buy mid-market products. That is not to say they ignore the big players, but they select certain products to fit niches that SAP and Oracle do not serve well. SearchManufacturingERP.com gives the example of French company Areva using Infor SiteLine for site operations alongside SAP for its financials. It felt the Infor product was more cost-effective and easier for its employees to learn to use for that particular purpose or group of users.