Market Update: Tiverity Brings Cloud-based Unified Communications to SMBs

Dennis Byron

In the past I criticized Panorama Consulting on its view of the ERP market (see "Panorama Asks All the Right Questions in ERP Research Except One"), primarily on methodology grounds. So its only fair that I give Panorma analyst Eric Kimberling a nod on his 2010 ERP market predictions, which were released Dec. 7. In fact, I like them so much, I probably won't do any 2010 ERP predictions of my own.

 

Instead, if you're considering an ERP move in 2010 or 2011, I simply suggest that you view ERP in its broadest context as illustrated in this now year-old chart on IT Business Edge (see this this Knowledge Network deliverable). Yes, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are leaders as measured by worldwide revenue. Yes, throw in Infor in terms of analyzing your choices because it is the home of the granddaddy of all ERP systems, MAPICS (COPICS is the great-granddaddy -- sorry for my politically incorrect sexist genealogy metaphor). Certainly include Lawson and other suppliers within and outside Infor that tied their ERP star to the IBM AS/400, its predecessors and its successors.

 

But remember that Sage and Intuit offer ERP, too. It's just that the two don't call what they offer ERP because they don't want to scare off small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) with a buzzword that the technical press has tarred and feathered. Anyone reading superficially would certainly assume all ERP software costs too much and is impossible to adapt. Yet folks spend more than $20 billion a year on it??

 

In terms of Panorama's trends, both Sage and Intuit are doing some interesting things with ERP software-as-a-service (SaaS) as a delivery method, both offer industry centricity, both offer a strong ROI message and a means of risk management, and both are solid companies. In fact, although Sage will show up on many year-end analyst-firm market-share charts as having deflated in dollar terms because of currency-exchange-rate methodologies, Sage may have actually grown its business during the 2009 recession. And Intuit forecasts that it will grow in the year about to end.

 

In fact, the most interesting IT Investment Research market dynamic I am following in my day job is how Microsoft, Oracle and SAP chase Sage and Intuit down into the latters' SMB sweet spot. It is always a question whether it is better to grow a technology up into larger companies or down into small companies and the next few years will be the biggest test ever of the competing theories.


 

So if you think of Sage and Intuit as ERP suppliers, too, then the ERP movement has at least another few years life in it, as Panorama predicts.



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