Panorama Consulting just published an interesting review of the ERP market, comparing SAP to Oracle and Microsoft. Their conclusion can be resumed as follows: SAP will remain strong among large companies, Microsoft among ‘smaller’ (read the next paragraph) companies and Oracle… well, they are somewhat stuck in the middle.
Now, what is a ‘smaller organisation’? Panorama Consulting’s definition is somewhat unclear, but between the lines I can understand they refer to any company that is not a fortune 500 company…. Well, to me (especially in Belgium), this means about + 99,9 % of the companies… confirming that Microsoft Dynamics would have by far the largest foothold in the ERP market in number of companies.
SAP’s position in Belgium?
What, then, is SAP’s position in Belgium? SAP claims they have ‘more than’ 500 SMB customers, representing about 77% of their total customer base (which means SAP has somewhere between 650 and 770 customers in total). Knowing there are more than 1 million registered companies in Belgium, this is not what I would call an impressive market leadership…
Actually, SAP’s worrying recent announcement that they are (re)launching a strategic division targeting the SMB market, is only an indication that their efforts in the past years towards the SMB market (with the solution SAP Business One) have failed…
User friendliness: only an argument for Smallbiz users?
Another interesting statement made by Panorama Consulting deserves our attention: “The other advantage of Microsoft Dynamics is that it has the simple look and feel of Microsoft’s Windows, which is often a key purchasing criterion for smaller organisations…”
I agree with the first part of the statement. This confirms what I see happening: that Microsoft is successfully (re)focusing on their historic strength as a platform company. Integrating ERP, CRM, Office productivity, Outlook, SharePoint… and making things simpler and easier for end users
The second part of Panorama’s statement is at least surprising: “…which is often a key purchasing criterion for smaller organisations…”. Should we conclude that convenience and user friendliness are only important to small organisations and not to large ones? Unless I’m wrong, I believe that small and large companies employ people with roughly the same intelligence level and the same desire for simplicity, performance and ease of use of their business software!
So, between the lines I believe also Panorama’s second statement is also one in favour of Microsoft Dynamics.
Read the article by Panorama Consulting