Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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

@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.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Archi...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
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 keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
JetBlue Airways uses virtual environments to reduce software development costs, centralize performance testing, and create a climate for continuous integration and real-time monitoring of mobile applications. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer performance engineering case study discussion examines how JetBlue Airways in New York uses virtual environments to reduce software development costs, centralize performance testing, and create a climate for continuous integration and real-tim...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The purpose of this article is draw attention to key SaaS services that are commonly overlooked during contact signing that are essential to ensuring they meet the expectations and requirements of the organization and provide guidance and recommendations for process and controls necessary for achieving quality SaaS contractual agreements.
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...