Midsize Manufacturers Crave Mobile ERP, Survey Says
December 11, 2012 Alex Woodie
Midsize manufacturers, one of the sweet spots for IBM i ERP, have a hearty appetite for mobile interfaces into their ERP systems, according to a new survey commissioned by South African ERP software developer SYSPRO.
The survey, which focused on midsize manufacturers and distributors in the US with revenues between $20 million and $300 million, aimed to illuminate what decision makers in those companies thought of several questions, including whether they would like to have mobile interfaces to ERP systems, whether they’d like to have point of sale (POS) functionality embedded into ERP systems, and whether they would prefer a smaller, vertical-industry-oriented ERP system over a larger, less-vertically oriented one.
By a three-to-one margin, survey respondents overwhelmingly said they desired mobile functionality with their ERP systems. The survey takers, Eval-Source, concluded that this was a result of the consumerization of IT and the bring your own device (BYOD) trend. Not surprisingly, SYSPRO last week also launched a mobile offering for its Windows-based ERP system.
By a similar margin, survey respondents overwhelmingly said they had no use for POS functionality within their ERP systems (unfortunately for SYSPRO, it already launched POS functionality within its ERP system earlier this year). And by close to a four-to-one margin, survey respondents said they would select an ERP system from a smaller, more vertically oriented ERP software developer, as opposed to a larger ERP vendor (think Oracle or SAP).
These results definitely track with events in the IBM i midrange space. The largest ERP vendors in this space–think Infor and the JD Edwards unit of Oracle–have been busy building mobile interfaces for their ERP systems. And espousing a vertical focus is part and parcel of Infor’s strategy–not to mention a matter of sheer survival when you have dozens of different ERP products.