The ERP market today: findings, developments, trends

The ERP market has evolved in recent years. What about today ? Here is an overview of the state of the market, its developments and trends.


The ERP market is one of the sectors that has not experienced major disruptive changes in recent years. However, the products offered have evolved, gained in performance and publishers have expanded their offers. Here is a summary by Fabrice Hamou, Sales Director at Flow Line, of developments and trends in the ERP market.


What observation can we make of the ERP market?

Flow Line has been fortunate to operate in this market for over 20 years. And unlike other sectors where there have often been ultra-frequent technological revolutions, with the evolution, for example, of the hybrid car or the evolution from 3G to 5G, ERPs, also called PGI (software integrated management) have had a fairly quiet run for the past 25 to 30 years.


But, for 4-5 years now there has been a real revolution.

Evolutions of the ERP market

Before, on the ERP evolution side, we had classic functional evolutions, technological evolutions every 3-4 years and openings to other solutions that went from a classic interface model to web services or possibly connectors.


But in any case, each customer who had these ERPs had to deal with major migrations every 3-4 years which were similar to real projects, consuming costs, internal resources and very often with a change of infrastructure.


Before on the player / publisher side there were established positions, known players, international players with SAP / Oracle for very large accounts as well as Infor, IFS, Microsoft and Sage for SME ETI accounts, and national players.


The advantages of this front were:


  • The robustness of the solutions
  • Solutions we promise
  • Reliability

And the inherent disadvantages were obviously


  • The lack of agility (which has become very demanding today in companies),
  • Costly migrations
  • Frequent updates

But in recent years, with a wind that comes from across the Atlantic and driven by the evolution of technologies, uses and customs have changed. And to cope with the digitalization shift of their applications and to protect themselves against factors such as cybersecurity and the protection of their data, the market has completely changed. Today there is a strong trend, a groundswell that comes from the cloud and from new ERP players who were born in the cloud and who have complete and disruptive offers.


What is the difference between legacy ERP and cloud ERP?

It's very simple: Legacy ERPs are ERPs that have been designed in a monotonous and classic mode: one client, one version, one server.


All the actors mentioned above are historical with more than 20 to 30 years of expertise and experience.


Today, new players have extremely interesting prospects such as, for example, Netsuite, which was acquired by Oracle, or Rootstock, on the Salesforce platform, which were born natively in the cloud and rely on robust and secure platforms. . And just to finish, you should know that today, some leaders tell us that the number one criterion in their choice of ERP renewal is above all a native cloud solution. So, the ERP cloud is more than a sum of functionalities, it is the people who project themselves into the millennial generation.


The benefits of cloud ERP are numerous but here are a few:


  • Benefit at all times from the best technologies and permanent developments without migrating
  • The availability
  • Security
  • The scalability.

And this, for the next 10 years. 10 years being the estimated duration of an ERP and at a customer in France.


  • An annual payment for use, that is to say that the payment is adapted to the use made of it by the customer.
  • In my opinion, it is the best bulwark against permanent cyber-attacks

But the most important thing for me in cloud ERP is that at all times, any customer, whether startup, SME or large group, benefits from the same version. We are in an almost ideal world.

ERP in industry, essential?

Will we still need a car tomorrow in rural areas? The answer is yes. Except that the car of tomorrow will be electric, it will be connected, and it will have a low carbon footprint. So yes, we will need an ERP tomorrow, but we will need a more interconnected ERP, with artificial intelligence and more agile.


For me the 2 most important things that will come and of which we can already feel the beginnings are artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things which will be perfectly integrated.

It is therefore possible to integrate an ERP and then to complete it with other functionalities. That has always been the case, since the ERP, even if it is the heart of the information system or the essential building block, is only a part of it. So that means that the interconnection with different applications has always been done.


The only thing is that it is the means that change. Before, it was most often interfaces. Today, these are connectors when there are 2 different applications (for the Cloud ERP, they are called apps). Just for information, at Netsuite, for example, there are 400 business apps, which can be plugged in like Legos and there are 5,000 in the world of Salesforce.


Which means today when he seeks, for example, an optimization of his rounds, a management of customs documents, well, he will already look at what exists in an Apple Store type model and he will be able to integrate it into his system. of information. So yes, of course and moreover it remains today one of the strengths of cloud ERP.

Which methodology to reduce the costs of an ERP project?

It's a real question and it's true that today an ERP is a real financial and human investment so yes, it costs money, yes, it takes time.


However, we have a very broad spectrum with the offer that is proposed depending on whether we are an SME, a large company, an international company. And so today the methodology, and we have several at Flow Line, makes it possible to rationalize the implementation times of an information system. But there are still certain phases that are incompressible and essential, such as the analysis, design, finalization and acceptance phases. This means that it is difficult to be precise today since ERP projects, depending on the size of the company, can range from a few tens of days to several thousand days.


If I take the context of an SME PMI outside the international context, we will say that the implementation times 6 years ago have gone from 18 to 24 months to 10/12 months. We have also developed, in a certain customer context, methodologies that allow time to be reduced by 6 to 8 months. And all that is done by optimizing methodologies, pre-configuring or standardizing certain processes. But, contrary to what the market might demand, speed should not be confused with haste and it is illusory today, despite the technologies, to put an ERP in 3 months at a client with a successful project.


What can, on the other hand, favor a quick turnaround, is the upstream work that the client will do on his redesign of the processes with his ad hoc organization and the possibility of getting help from a consulting company for the best business practices.

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