Much ado has been made of the recent moves by ERP vendors Oracle and SAP to acquire their way into the SaaS space. It is indeed high time that the big ERP players embrace cloud computing. Certainly, the value of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service has not been lost on next generation software and solutions players—nor, more importantly—on its users at global businesses of all sizes.
Further, businesses haven’t limited their SaaS investments just to sales and human capital management like the recent acquisition examples of RightNow and SuccessFactors.
Ironically, in the supply chain arena, for at least the last five years, it has been the new breed of SaaS player that has actually added more value to the very on-premise systems where Oracle and SAP dominate.
Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) which informs better supply chain agility, is all about bringing together the planning process across demand and supply organizations for a single view of the truth to make better business decisions. While the process of S&OP has been in place for a few decades, it hasn’t been until the last few years that technology—especially easy to access, implement and configure SaaS-based technology—has enabled companies to unite the disparate ERP, CRM, SCM, BI and Finance systems data to achieve their S&OP priorities. Indeed some of the world’s largest, most complex manufacturers are trusting cloud-based S&OP solutions to help them harmonize their ERP and other rigid, on premise systems and, in turn, become more agile organizations, able to cope with today’s volatile business environment.
Since cloud computing solutions have been delivering better business leverage from ERP systems, it is time that ERP vendors give cloud computing the credit it deserves and has rightly earned.