Unlocking ERP Value

As resellers look to increase the value they can offer to clients and move up the value stack, they are looking more and more towards ERP software

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Unlocking ERP Value
By  Piers Ford Published  June 22, 2013

As resellers look to increase the value they can offer to clients and move up the value stack, they are looking more and more towards ERP software.

As a microcosm of the global ERP market, the Middle East is an interesting place to be right now – for vendors and software resellers.

While there is clearly consolidation at the top end, with the continued dominance of SAP and Oracle a foregone conclusion, mid-field players and particularly the new breed of cloud-based vendors have everything to play for as SMEs consider the benefits of a comprehensive approach to enterprise software buying.

This is partly due to the perception that SAP and Oracle still come with hefty cost-of-ownership price tags, despite considerably reduced licence fees and flexible packages designed to appeal to smaller companies. Respectively, they command 25% and 13% of a worldwide market worth $24.5bn (according to analyst Gartner).  But despite their advantage among large enterprises and multinationals, they continue to find it difficult to achieve the same degree of dominance in the SME sector.

Here,  other vendors with a comfortable market share (Sage and Infor have 6% each; Microsoft has 5%) increasingly find themselves jostling for position with the new kids on the block – the “others”, as defined by Gartner, which constitute a hefty 37% of the ERP market. With another analyst, IDC, expecting cloud software spending in the Middle East to rise by 40% through 2016, there is everything to play for.

“ERP continues to be a strong focus area for CIOs in the Middle East, and is considered the third top priority of CIOs,” said Sunil Padmanabh, research director at Gartner.

“Unlocking ERP value is also a major focus area. Larger ERP vendors like SAP, Ramco and Epicor are creating Middle East-specific localisation capabilities embedded in their ERP offerings. SMEs who have been sitting on the fence to implement an ERP are rapidly adopting the cloud model. These include automobile dealers, retailers and traders.”

“With the advent of cloud-based ERP offerings and changes in technology, ERP is being adopted by companies large and small,” said Harsh Vardhan, executive vice president global marketing & channels at cloud ERP vendor Ramco Systems.

“The extent of adoption might differ but most companies realise that as they grow, they need a solid technology backend to support their growth plans. Earlier, the focus was on the technicalities and functionalities of the solution, but now it has moved to usability and customer experience. With flexible pricing and usage models evolving, there is a natural surge in demand for enterprise-class solutions from even medium and small enterprises.

“The Middle East market has been developing and maturing and as an ERP solution provider, Ramco is gathering momentum and building the brand in the region. Organisations here are expanding and looking for applications that can manage their IT infrastructure and align it with their business strategies.”

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