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Problem is the Opportunity

Added on Oct 27, 2009 by Snigdha Karjatkar

Many partners believe the market for customized ERP promises healthy margins and customer loyalty.Indian market patterns have always been unique and even today continue to amuse vendors, analysts, and partners alike. The price-sensitive customer still manages to squeeze in the best bargain and examples are aplenty. There are many instances where vendors in various verticals have to customize both their offering and the pricing to suit the Indian customer’s palette. And the enterprise application market is no exception to this rule. In spite of these challenges, sheer volumes continue to attract business.

Today the enterprise apps market is full of fancier technologies, although the Indian market may not have much appetite to stomach these. However, the basic requirement continues to remain humongous. For instance, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which was the buzz word few years back, is yet to tap into its full potential. While the large enterprises, which are relatively less in number, have passed through the ERP wave and are moving on to other applications like CRM and Business Intelligence (BI), the SMEs are still struggling to satiate their hunger for ERP.

Implementation Pains

Enterprise applications are not restricted just to ERP, CRM, and BI. The CIOs of large companies are already using tools like supply chain management (SCM), EAI, and much more. But somehow these tools are yet to be taken up in a big way. Paresh Shah, Director, PH Teknow, which has a varied portfolio of enterprise applications, observes that ERP is yet to tap its full customer base. He says, “I feel ERP and CRM lead the enterprise application market.For companies that have a huge user base and use IT tools, ERP is the next big thing.”

Interestingly, the pricing is just one of the criteria, but other factors such as complexity in implementation of the ERP package are equally causing the bottleneck in adoption. Although large enterprises have developed their taste buds to the standard ERP packages, the SMEs are still struggling with the tediousness of implementation, which has a direct impact on return on investment.

The large enterprises, which have standard practices and processes in place, have relatively less pains in ‘going live’ with the ERPs. The basic requirement of the ERP is to maintain a disciplined business practice irrespective of any pressure. The standard processes enable smoother implementation of standard modules.

According to many SME partners, the market dynamics of the country doesn’t promote the adoption of systematic processes in SMEs. Milind Dhongade, Director, Computer Home, which develops and implements ERP solutions, says, “The SME is a different lot. Along with the cost-effectiveness of the model, the minute details of business have to be incorporated in the software. The standard versions cannot fit both the conditions effectively. The implementation is successful only when the end users say it is benefiting them.” Also, SMEs, which run on tight budgets, cannot afford to revamp the implementation if it fails, thus preventing them from more complex and expensive implementation.


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