The Five Requirements of an Adaptive ERP

ERP solutions have also undergone multiple metamorphoses over the last few decades. They have adapted to the changing customer requirements and evolved over a period of time. Along the journey, there have been a lot of players who couldn't survive the onslaught of their own competitive environment and have either been acquired or perished.

Here are five requirements of what I would call an Adaptive ERP:

An Adaptive ERP is one which allows the customers to connect with the vendors. It should be open to talk to the customers systems thus enabling the 'real integration'.

An Adaptive ERP can be implemented fast. Generally SMB organizations can't afford to spend more than 3-5 months to implement any business application.

An Adaptive ERP should be easy to use. End user acceptance is key to success of any ERP project. Executives instinctively know that their employees are their most valuable asset. Indeed, in many industries - such as Financial Services and Real Estate-the employee population is the most critical asset and manageable cost. The nagging issue is how an ERP can create a more efficient work environment and unlock the value of these employees. Unfortunately, many well known ERP products are cumbersome and difficult to use by the employees and thus projects fall flat on the ground.

An Adaptive ERP should be flexible to change with the business requirements. In industries like Retail, for many developing countries like India is still <5 % organized. The industry is in nascent stage but the CAGR is exponential. An Adaptive ERP should help the retail player to constantly innovate and accommodate the changes in the ERP systems to enable their business. Imagine, I wish to launch a new promotion scheme for my customers but my system doesn't allow me to do it fast. I end up losing the key opportunity as my ERP system was slow to react and rigid to change.

An Adaptive ERP should present the lowest TCO ( Total Cost of Ownership). I was going through the total revenues of the one of the largest ERP player. More than two third of their revenue comes from existing customers in terms of services and maintenance. I am scared. Would the ERP vendor charge me more as I move further? Considering this from SMB's perspective, it is simply impossible to implement a large company ERP as the total costs would escalate over the time.

Considering the plethora of ERP players around, Microsoft Dynamics presents a better proposition in terms of user friendliness, ease of implementation and all this resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

It's hard to beat the user friendliness of Microsoft Office and if an ERP looks like Microsoft Office, one would have one of the smooth and successful implementations. SAP may be good looking in features but still scores low when it comes to SMB requirements - Ease of usage, quick implementation, Adaptability to changing requirements, and a lower Total cost of ownership.

Source - SMB Guide - The Road to ERP by Raman Dhooria and available on

Raman Dhooria works with Microsoft Dynamics in India and takes care of key partner ecosystems. Prior to Microsoft, Raman worked in South East Asian and the UK markets on SAP, Oracle and BaaN. Raman has an MBA in marketing and a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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