This article will help business owners and top level managers to understand the current technology trends that are shaping the user requirements expected from today’s ERP solutions. Reading this article will help you make better informed ERP buying decisions, or at least gather enough background to do further research.
Today, four major technology forces are driving change not only in the ERP industry but also in the entire application software landscape: Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud. They are so prevalent that a new acronym is conceived: “SMAC”.
4 Technologies impacting the ERP solutions in 2016
Social – Public social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter…) and private (ERP-connected) social collaboration tools are highly spreaded means of communication these days.
Mobile – Mobile device market penetration is unstoppable, and ERP vendors are responding by moving to a “mobile first” development paradigm. Today accessing your ERP solution from any mobile device, is a must have feature.
Analytics – Business intelligence and big data are moving into a new generation of enterprise software tools. Modern ERP solutions include powerful analytics tools that not just report what’s in the system but also provide intelligence and predictions. This helps managers and business owners make better informed business decisions.
Cloud – This is another must have feature that every modern ERP solution should provide. The availability of cloud services on all levels (infrastructure, platform and software) is making it possible for organizations of all sizes to access powerful computing resources.
As we mentioned before, the social impact should be observed from two angles: external or public and internal. Thanks to the current proliferation of the mobile devices, social networks play a large role in the public persona of an organization. This creates an additional ”headache” for the organizations, because now they’ll need to manage their public social presence. One tweet that goes viral can be more damaging to a company’s image than a bad batch of products sent to a customer.
From an internal angle, social networking and collaboration tools are brought into the ERP solutions to enable better communication, providing greater benefits than the most common collaboration tools: email or Skype. This internal social networking tools allow ERP users to “follow” a significant business process, event or project and collaborate on it as it unfolds.
For example, VIENNA Advantage ERP solution provides users with collaboration tool where they can manage user details, various notifications and alerts. The user profile is a record of user-specific details like User ID, Role, Tenant, Organization, Warehouse etc. The ERP system improves both the user’s and the company’s overall productivity because the user has a full over to all important workflow activities, notices, requests, appointments, tasks, notes, KPIs, and documents from a single window. Each time a new alert is placed, it will notify the user with a pop-up bubble.
The “Follow Ups Section” keep users informed about transactions they have subscribed for. In order to work, the user should first subscribe to a particular transaction. Once subscribed, all messages in that transaction would be displayed in the Follow-Ups Section. Furthermore, the user can write its own message or unsubscribe from a message.
Mobile devices sales now far exceed those of the desktop devices by factor more than 7:1 according to Gartner. People are spending more time on mobile devices than on desktop devices and this is creating a shift for the ERP vendors. Today, every ERP solution is expected to provide mobile access functionality. This is especially important for your field team. When they are in a middle of a selling conversation they must have updated content at the point of interaction, not at the end of the day.
VIENNA Advantage ERP and CRM is accessible from any mobile device. With our mobile application your team will be up-to-date with any change occurring in the customers, products, inventory or other database. In this way the system will improve the way your field team engages customers and will help them make better decisions based on product availability, order information, historical purchases; all accessible with just a swipe and a tap.
Analytics and Big Data
Trying to make sense of all the data that is being build up from various sources is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face today. As the world is becoming more connected, the term “big data” is gaining more popularity. Big data means more than just a lot of data! It refers to a large volume of data coming from different sources, formats and sizes, and in different time.
The analytics tools in an ERP solution help collect and use this data to make informed decisions from that information. Powerful analytics are necessary tools to make sense of all the data available to organizations. This tools should go beyond just looking at the past results and produce a graph. The analytics tools should enable decision makers to visually dig into sales and other data, and to determine the root causes for why sales might be trending up or down. They can allow people to see various factors that may influence these trends, and conduct “what-if” analyses by controlling different variables and seeing the impact on the ensuring outcomes.
VIENNA Advantage inbuilt business intelligence and reporting tool has all that it takes to generate powerful reports of different types from your ERP system. All reports are fully customizable and extendable. Any type of data can be compiled into these BI reports.
The most important force impacting ERP solutions these days is probably the cloud. The cloud gives companies of all sizes access to virtually unlimited amount of computing power, tools and software. There are a number of advantages that cloud ERP solutions deliver to businesses. This is particularly true for small and medium sized businesses which don’t have enough resources to implement conventional on-premises ERP solution.
Limited finances, low margins, changing market dynamics, as well as higher flexibility and extendability are some of the reasons why companies prefer cloud ERP solutions. Does your company need to add a customer relationship management (CRM system), a human resources module or an extended supply chain management (SCM) package? Virtually any computing function can be purchased as “software-as-a-service” and it requires little more than an internet connection and credit card to get you up and running.
Are you thinking what we are thinking? Read this article and check if ERP on cloud is the next step for your business?
FREE CLOUD ERP Trial
Instant Access. No Credit Card Required. Premium Support Included. Register now, click on the button below!