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Competition Intensifies For the SMB ERP Customer

January 27, 2012
Over the course of the next five years and beyond, small-medium markets will experience a substantial growth in dynamic areas such as enterprise applications and EDI integration. Many businesses have unique requirements that demand full capabilities without complication. Generally, customers that work in small and medium-size businesses want straightforward and usable solutions that provide swift return on investment. Respondents such as challengers, incumbents, and vendors have provided substantial product and channel investments. This has improved areas in a wide-spectrum of industry specific capabilities, usability, Microsoft Office program implementation, EDI integration, mobile solution support, and their rapid implementation. It is recommended that users choose a vendor based on a businesss Total Economic Impact, needs, and infrastructure flexibility. A small or medium-sized business typically facilitates 1,000 employees or less. The requirements for SMB are more difficult to meet than those with enterprise capabilities. While both entities share the same level of business transactions and complexity, the primary differences between the two are resources and capabilities. An enterprise environment possess a fair deal of IT expertise and resources, while the former is challenged by the IT aspects. Small, medium businesses face the complexity of utilizing legacy enterprise resource planning systems. Typically, this is attributed by reasons such as the systems lack out-of-the-box requirements that may or may not remain disconnected from other useful applications. These legacy systems may discourage collaboration and investment of certain venues by the companys primary stakeholders. As technology advances while small, medium businesses keep legacy systems, it is difficult to keep up with the changing workforce that is accustomed to computer point-and-click environments. Despite the complexities of the intricacies of small, medium-size businesses, these businesses are racing to tackle a multitude of business requirements. Small, medium-size businesses are asserted to be justifying new venues in application because it is believed that the application improves the core competencies of business processes. It is more common for small, medium-size businesses to rely on word-of-mouth by peers rather than vendor hype and marketing. Users can select a vendor by mapping primary components of business flow, categorizing process gaps, and determining flexibility in product. Users need to determine if the gaps can be filled by the vendors solution-centric ecosystem or accomplished by best-of-breed solutions. There are other areas that need to be factored, such as deployment choices and usability requirements; EDI integration, SAAS, managed services, BPM, hosting, and on-premise.

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