The ERP Vendor Consolidation: What It Could Mean to You

One of the 2011 trends predicted for the ERP market has been realized in recent weeks. That trend predicted the consolidation of ERP vendors. Apax Partners has recently agreed to pay $976 million for Epicor, plus an additional $890 million for Activant. Both organizations will be folded under the Epicor brand. Another recent purchase is that of Lawson. GGC Software Holdings and Infor have agreed to pay $1.8 billion for the mid-market ERP provider.

What do these purchases mean for you, the prospective ERP buyer? Well, the obvious is that you’ll have less separate vendors to choose from when you research and compare your ERP software choices. It may create an ERP landscape mostly comprised of big names such as SAP and Oracle, but also by smaller ERP vendors who cater to the needs of small businesses.

As companies spring back from the economic recession, they will be looking to invest in ERP software systems. If you are beginning to research and compare ERP software, the recent ERP vendor purchases shouldn’t necessarily change the options you have available. The high-performing and popular ERP software solutions should still be readily available, though perhaps under a different parent company. And it may even bring benefits to ERP buyers since consolidated vendors will be able to pool their resources together and potentially come up with more innovative products.

And though the ERP playing field may seem to be dominated by big name vendors, there is also room for smaller players to gain a foothold as well. Though the economy is slowly recovering, there are still companies that are wary of making such a big investment in ERP systems, which require large upfront costs, a complicated implementation process, and a solid IT infrastructure. Smaller ERP vendors are aware of these obstacles and offer their own products that don’t require all the hassle. Open source ERP vendors such as OpenERP and Dolibarr are prime examples. Both are ideal for smaller businesses and their ERP software is available to be downloaded for free.

What’s your take on the ERP vendor consolidation? Will it affect how you make your ERP software purchase?


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