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​Are ERP ‘dinosaurs’ on the road to extinction?

David Gee (CIO) | Nov. 27, 2015
David Gee asks if the ‘big two’ ERP giants have seen their day and are making way for more nimble enterprise software players.

Where it starts to separate itself from the big boys is that it is also quicker to implement and cheaper - we are talking months not years of effort.

But for me the biggest factor was the design, which has mobility built in and it's not an add-on. One simple example is a concept called Mail it by mailing "AL" to an email address, your annual leave balanced is returned.

Similarly, if I want to request annual leave or a salary slip, it's all done over email. Or if I want to get a new hire approved, it's a mobile task on your browser or even SMS.

The concept of Zero UI

By definition, Zero UI is the concept of removing the barrier between user and device, and having a more seamless interaction with technology. It is all about making the experience very intuitive and natural.

A great example is the concept of a timesheet and we all hate to fill these in at the best of times.

Ramco's mobile app has a location-aware timesheet. It knows where you are and will automatically provide a SIRI-like response to help you through a task that you don't enjoy.

These are not extra add-ons but 'out of the box' functions that you can use or ignore as it comes with a standard subscription product.

Add some machine learning

These products also observe your behaviour and once a pattern is established, they suggest a workflow action using a 'Prompt it' button.

An example is a routine approval that a manager makes every week, and you are prompted with options to make a decision. No, it's not big brother but the system observing what is normal and suggesting a few logical options.

But if you don't like that you can also control your own screens and processes. This is actually at a 'user' level and not a 'group' basis. The feature, called "Hub it", allows you to create your own view of the world.

Does the empire strike back?

Obviously, I don't know how the next Star Wars movie will unfold because it's being released near Christmas, but in the case of enterprise apps, the more nimble cloud and mobile players will give the legacy vendors a real run for their money.

In fact SAP, Oracle and others are all trying to play catch-up and create cloud solutions. SAP has just announced its SAP Fiori technology to port applications to mobile devices.

Either way, it is clear that the dinosaurs are trying to survive and the question is, 'will they be able to thrive over the longer-term?'

Perhaps we will know the answer by the time Star Wars VIII is released.

Source: CIO Australia


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