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The ERP of Things to come

Ho Chee Tiong, Sales & Operations Director, HRMS at UNIT4 | May 19, 2014
What I want to address in this article is the potential of the ‘ERP of Things’ - a phrase we have coined to describe the next generation of ERP.

ERP has recently begun the transformation to a system of engagement, one that connects people using social tools that encourage collaboration, a system that harnesses the power of the network to work smarter and create new solutions. It's about the connection between the people, the processes, and the objects in that process - the customer, the project, the invoice, the order, the product.

The ERP experience will become so closely aligned with the applications people use at home every day that it will change the way people work, and how they are embedded in the overall organisation and related processes to get their work done. It will give a sense of their position, and will add purpose and naturally connect the dots - they'll learn to love their ERP! It's the only enterprise system designed to collect and analyse data from disparate systems to aid intelligent decision-making. It's a natural extension of a system that has proven itself critical in business as a system of record and now is able to exploit the power of social, mobile, analytic and cloud technologies to become a system of engagement. As more systems are integrated with the core systems of organisations, ERP is already on its way to being the ERP of things.

The ERP of things will provide a strong foundation for accurate, relevant and in-context information. Thanks to the solution architecture it will know who and what people are connected to and from there what rules to apply to utilise this data intelligently. The system architecture will guarantee that the data model, process model and reporting/analytics model are always in sync with the latest business change in the company and can adapt quickly - and even predict the change in some cases.

Through analytics, people will receive intelligent data as and when they need to know it. Through gamification people will be connected to the company's goals and they will be rewarded when they contribute to those. It will engage users in solving problems in a way that's fun and gives them a sense of their impact on the organisation. The ERP of things will provide an organisation with the confidence that it 'knows everything', making it easier to automate processes.

The 'ERP of Things' will deliver huge leaps in organisational efficiency - and it's already starting to happen. These systems are being developed now and will deliver in the next five years.



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