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Hub-and-Spoke ERP Strategy to Take Flight?

Kristin Burnham | March 3, 2011
It's worked for the airline industry, and it might just work for your global company: An examination of Forrester's latest ERP implementation and integration approach.


Naturally, ERP integration is a core piece of the strategy: It's critical to know which Tier One and Tier Two ERP applications play nicely with other, and how on-premise versus cloud-computing offerings will sync with the company's overall architectural strategy.

It's interesting to note how the traditional on-premise ERP vendors in the report (SAP, Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT)) have products that can playboth the hub or spoke role, depending on the customer and its needs.

Of course, a hub-and-spoke ERP strategy won't be a great fit for every company. (The same thing can be said for airlines, too: Just look at the success of Southwest, which has no mammoth hub.) And as such, Lawrie provides corporate examples of which ERP strategy is most appropriate for each business's operating model.

Lawrie cautions that while many enterprises have been on a "multiyear mission to simplify their ERP landscapes," they've discovered that a strategy of extreme standardization—at the expense of local systems autonomy—isn't always the best plan.

"Some have found that the simplest ERP landscape," he writes, "may not be the best to support their global business strategies."


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