ERP companies in general continue to be known for being the corporate business backbone of execution. Making financials work well, as a core of the enterprise, is essential to their success. We all know the story, though. Software solution domain experts, either with technology prowess (RFID and Sensors, Social Networking, Web search and cloud platforms) or business focused, such as supply chain or marketing, built best-in-class capabilities, while many ERP platforms stagnated.
That all has been changing. A new generation of CTOs and their developers and customers who demanded the latest in tech were catalysts to a revolution in the ERP industry to modernize. Read How a New Generation is Changing Enterprise Systems.
All that gave the ERP sector a huge boost in sales as companies who never used ERPs, or others who had an older model and were looking for a change, bought into the new platforms.
We have written much about these changes from the largest ERP to the mid-size. We continue to be impressed with SYSPRO as an example of that innovative drive, providing leadership to their customers so that even small firms are not left behind, providing their customers the highly necessary technology capabilities needed to compete in their industries.
SYSPRO is going after the elite in Manufacturing capabilities 1 these days with IoT, Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning and a unique twist on search and social. For example, they are releasing SYSPRO Harmony next month, which runs on an Azure cloud infrastructure and incorporates social media, collaboration, machine learning, cognitive science, and data analytics in one application that lets you ‘follow’ any person, SKU, customer, PO and so forth to be notified when something of interest is happening. It includes visual/graphical representation of trends. They also demoed their chatbot, which combines a natural language interface with rules-based engine to walk customers or employees through a process, such as configuring or ordering. In addition, they showed ‘predictive search,’ which provides google-like search-ahead based on the context within which you are searching (such as trying to find a particular customer or order).
Manufacturers today are reaching beyond their channels — wholesale distributors or retailers — and selling a diverse set of products direct to the end customer. But of course that creates planning, manufacturing inventory and supply challenges. To compete, agility and performance are essential. Thus it was interesting, when we recently met with SYPRO and some of their customers who exemplify these qualities.
We are in a digital revolution where making physical products alone won’t be enough. We are also in a huge consumer revolution, where customization and actual design by customers creates product innovation. Sports is a great example where consumers — from mountain bikers, wheel chair marathoners, to the explosion of home gourmet cooks — are driving traditional companies to renew and reinvent themselves, what to say of the advances in industries such as mining and chemicals. Firms like TiLite, Yeti, and Alegacy are breaking the competitive barriers in their market with modern technology that puts them in command of the dynamics in today’s market place.
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