John Hiraoka, Executive vice president and Chief marketing officer for Epicor
The latest global survey* from Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, reveals several enterprise resource planning (ERP) deficiencies causing organizational drag. It also indicates ERP users are bullish on new ERP capabilities, including mobile, social and cloud, believing they offer new and exciting opportunities for improved organizational responsiveness.
The Middle East has emerged as one of the fastest-growing IT markets in the world, with spending exceeding USD 32 billion in 2014. Multi-channel strategies will drive citizen/resident services penetration and usage in the GCC where mobility will be a game changer. The steady growth in the use of smart mobile devices in the Middle East workplaces is poised to offer enormous opportunities to ERP vendors. With the influx of these devices in workplaces, the demand for secure and reliable ERP applications into mobility has been on a rise. Companies based in the Middle East are increasingly looking for ERP vendors to deliver mobile-enabled business application with assurance of data security management. Private cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) adoption dominating investment plans will accelerate acceptance of cloud will telecom service providers will strengthen and verticalized IT services portfolios and build new professional services and SaaS capabilities.
“We are concerned to see that so many are underwhelmed by the performance of their current ERP system,” said John Hiraoka, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Epicor. “As ERP is a vital strategic platform to help companies adapt and respond to changing business demands, organizations need greater performance from their ERP systems, or risk getting outflanked by competitors.”
Key Survey Results:
ERP = Critical for Business, but Users Underwhelmed by Performance
While 80% of respondents agreed that ERP is critical to their business (score 4+ out of 5 for importance), approximately half of respondents surveyed characterized the performance of their current ERP system as merely “adequate” or “basic.”
Greatest Needs: Responsiveness and Ease of Access to Information
Nearly 30 percent surveyed agreed that “responsiveness providing faster time to value with enhanced performance, scalability and ease of deployment to promote business agility and growth,” was the No. 1 desired outcome for ERP investments.
The next biggest driver for ERP investments was a desire for ERP to be “simpler to use for everyone in the organization.”
A full 35 percent of respondents complained that it can take a long time to get the information they want from their current ERP system, and 48 percent said they want ERP to make it easier for them to access the information they want, when they want it.
Improving User Access to ERP via Mobile and Social Means
While a full 65 percent of respondents perceive mobility as “important” to enable access to information and support communication for virtual workers, only 1 in 2 have any form of remote access to their ERP, and only 25 percent can access their ERP via smartphone or tablet PC.
In the future, 43 percent want ERP access via their smartphones, and 38 percent desire access via tablets.
The majority of respondents see social collaboration as having an important role in their future business and nearly half believe it especially beneficial in terms of customer/supplier communications.
When asked, “To what extent do you think your ERP systems are able to make full use of social media to add value to your business?,” only 10 percent of global respondents said they believe their ERP system can exploit social media “to a great extent.”
Next-Gen ERP Leaders and Laggards
89 percent of those surveyed in China revealed they had made investments in core business systems over the past 2 years, compared to only 60 percent of survey respondents worldwide.
Chinese respondents reported 49 percent smartphone access – double the rate of worldwide user access – and 37 percent tablet PC access.
80 percent of Chinese respondents viewing social collaboration tools as important for business going forward, as did 73 percent of Mexican respondents, and those in Germany (57 percent), the United States (56 percent) and the United Kingdom (52 percent).
80 percent of Chinese businesses have mobile ERP access; 64 percent of Finnish organizations have no mobile ERP access.
Businesses Favor “Partly Cloudy” ERP Implementations
Only 20 percent of respondents surveyed indicated a desire to continue to invest in legacy on-premises.
However, 64 percent surveyed favor a cloud deployment, or the ability to mix and match cloud, on-premises or remote servers.
“It’s interesting to note that the industry is divided by cloud and on premise ERP vendors, when in actuality the vast majority of organizations don’t want to have their hand forced when it comes to deciding between cloud or on premise; they want the choice of both,” said Hiraoka.
Hiraoka concluded: “But cloud ERP doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Flexibility in deployment models, including a hybrid cloud/on-premise deployment option, should be a natural progression for ERP vendors. Epicor has always made a point of anticipating market needs and choice is a fundamental principle of the latest version of Epicor ERP. By focusing on addressing ‘what’s next,’ we’ve gained a strong reputation as an innovator, inspiring customers to reach new business heights.”
*Survey Methodology and Demographics
The survey was administered by Redshift Research via online interviews during summer 2014 to over 1,500 business professionals working in organizations using ERP with 100+ staff across 10 countries. Respondents to the survey may or may not be using Epicor ERP solutions. Nearly half of respondents worked in the manufacturing industry, approximately one-third worked in distribution or logistics companies, and under one-third in retail companies. The remaining 20 percent of respondents worked in service sector companies. Twenty-two percent of respondents worked in organizations with up to 250 employees; 39 percent worked in organizations with more than 250 employees, but less than 1,000 employees, and 39 percent of respondents worked in organizations with more than 1,000 employees.