Resourceful IT

ERP software is back in vogue, with the sector undergoing a revolution as vendors seek to win business from the largely untapped small to medium business market.

Tags: Microsoft CorporationOracle CorporationSAP
  • E-Mail
Resourceful IT
By  Piers Ford Published  November 21, 2010

ERP software is back in vogue, with the sector undergoing a revolution as vendors seek to win business from the largely untapped small to medium business market. But while that is of little consequence to CIOs of large enterprises, the ripples of change are beginning to be felt as the software adapts to break into new markets.

As a market, ERP has been ‘happening’ in the Middle East for the best part of a decade. Yet despite the marketers’ insistence that it has been a hive of activity and constant advancement – the big vendors are all well established in the region and have their sights firmly set on the potential of the SMB sector – there is still a sense that it has been moving forward in fits and starts rather than a steady evolutionary flow.

In 2010, announcements by the industry has reignited an appetite for ERP and generated intense interest among customers who, in the past, have been put off the idea of integrated business systems by the perceived magnitude of the software deployment and  complexity of the interfaces on offer.

In July, SAP launched an Arabic version of its Business All-in-One ERP platform, targeting both its 800-strong existing customer base and the hitherto cautious mid-market and SMB sector.

“The strength and vibrancy of the mid-market sector in the MENA region comes as a result of companies continuously striving to innovate,” says Sergio Maccotta, managing director, SAP MENA. “Region-relevant business solutions that cater for this important market are crucial to its success.

“With an average of two new customers selecting SAP business solutions in the region per week, and the mid-market sector accounting for more than 50 percent of SAP’s revenue, we are committed to supporting our customers in this field with tools that allow companies to leverage industry best practices and the agility to respond quickly to market changes and in Arabic as well.”

Even more recently, at GITEX 2010, Oracle announced a host of ERP-related products, including the Exadata Database Machine and the Exalogic Elastic Cloud, designed to enable tight integration throughout the entire computing stack.

“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing emerging markets for Oracle and has constantly maintained leading positions for various applications and databases,” declared Dana Murugan, marketing director, Oracle Middle East and Africa.

“GITEX is simply the ideal platform for Oracle to showcase its technology solutions, underline its leadership and renew its commitment to current and potential customers in the region, to always respond to and beat their expectations in innovating solutions that drive growth to their businesses.”

Abu Dhabi Ports Company (APDC) is typical of the customers on the software giant’s regional radar, having just invested in Oracle eBusiness Suite, which provides a single web-based solution that brings together all its legacy systems behind an intuitive interface and delivers the ERP vision of fully integrated business processes: greater operational efficiency, more informed management decision-making thanks to real-time business intelligence, and a more secure IT infrastructure.

These are all goals that, according to Tamer Elhamy, Dynamics lead, Gulf Region, at Microsoft, are driving businesses to consider ERP adoption further down the food chain. He says that many SMBs are still using bespoke or point solutions.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code