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The End of ERP? Not Likely…

About a month ago I came across an article titled The End of ERP. Ominous, no? It spoke of new technology that would make enterprise systems obsolete and change the way we work. It was a very serious article, and deserved serious consideration… like so many articles that had come before it.

You see, I remember ten years ago reading a similar article, and I am guessing similar articles existed before that as well. Now I am sure that there are quite a number of people out there that would actually rejoice if it indeed was the end of ERP – and to those people, I say rejoice… for ERP is indeed changing…

I have been “in” ERP and various enterprise-level systems since the mid 90’s, and there have been changes. ERP is no longer just a single coin where one side has the word “accounting” on it and the other side has the word “inventory”. ERP can now include HRM (human resource management), CRM (customer resource management), Shop Floor Data Collection, PM (project management, or procurement management for the purchasing folks), ECM (engineering change management)… well you get the point. A couple of years ago CRM got changed to XRM where you could fill in the blank for the X, but it still did CRM “stuff”… it just did it to things that were not only customers anymore.

My point is that although there are new factors such as cloud technology and social elements, at the heart of it, you are still planning the resources of your enterprise – or ERP, to bring it back to the original term. Even if the name eventually changes (anybody remember MRPII?), at its core, it will still be holding operational data for the business.

Actually, this issue is at the heart of why Success ERP has a mandate dedicated to the success of the enterprise, rather than the actual technology that it rests upon. At the core of every business there is still a sales plan, a marketing plan (hopefully), and technology that supports and surrounds these. The best inventory software systems still need the methodology and discipline of good inventory accuracy and inventory management.

So is it the end of ERP? More likely it is just a furthering of the original purpose – to merge individual silos of data into a collaborative, shared system that can be accessed by many people in more than one spot. Regardless of what you call it, this concept is going to be around for a very long time, and thank goodness.

About Author

Jason Spanos

Jason Spanos is a Partner at successERP, conducts a variety of enterprise projects, and has seen so many implementations that he is rumored to have a tattoo on his shoulder that says "Go Live".

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