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The Tesla approach to ERP

Jack Van Der Velde, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Unit4 | Feb. 19, 2016
Jack Van Der Velde of Unit4 talks about how post-modern ERP systems and enterprise applications are opening up new frontiers for businesses the same way that Tesla’s software-led approach is making way for self-driven taxis, zero-emission cars, automatic ride sharing and driverless delivery services.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Tesla's reimagination of the modern car has given a new life to the product which has existed in today's form more or less since 1886.  With software driving its vision, the electric car maker is disrupting the automobile industry and changing the way we think about cars.  It has successfully pushed beyond existing boundaries by utilising the advances that software can deliver, rather than working within the constraints of hardware.

Tesla's electric cars can accelerate as fast as today's sports cars without the noise. They are bringing down the cost of driverless vehicles and have proven zero-emissions are possible. Cars will be networked, safety assured, and journeys optimised in real-time, solving the problem of congestion in cities. The AI-based autopilot advances will make self-driving cars mainstream.

With its fresh approach to the design and engineering of cars, the company has achieved a level of innovation not typically associated with the car industry.

The era of Post-Modern ERP
In contrast to the auto industry, the software industry has been known to see very rapid innovation. ERP systems, in particular, are undergoing a renaissance. The industry is undergoing large-scale change and innovation in response to new technology and the growing services-economy. As a result, there is a positive shift in the way companies are thinking about ERP systems and their role in the growth of the business.

In order to stay ahead of the competition, organisations today must make better decisions, provide better customer service and find new business opportunities from their data. The key to achieving this is leveraging all available data at their disposal.

By feeding this data into the cloud and utilising machine learning and other smart analytics, companies can start to make sense of the vast variety of data and apply it where relevant, to reimagine the user experience completely. 

This information can then be used to pre-populate data into ERP applications, freeing users from manual tasks. It can also be used to sense potential problems and notify users where an error is about to occur or when something needs attention. Additionally, the information can provide intelligent recommendations, turning typically complex and painstaking tasks (e.g. planning of a multi-stage project) into activities that actually provide a sustainable competitive advantage. In essence, organisations can remove the need for user interaction and apply smart analytics to process a transaction from start to finish making it 100% self-driving.

The path to Self-Driving ERP
Ultimately, understanding and applying data will make ERP more automated, more self-driven, and it will deliver a completely new experience. There are four stages in this path.


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