11 Hot ERP Topics for 2011: Analysis and Predictions

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From courtroom trials to executive shake-ups, 2010 was quite a year for the ERP marketplace. But 2011 has even more drama in store: Here's our analysis of the key problems, players and products.

The year that's fast coming to close has been an exciting, dramatic and wild ride for the typically staid world of ERP software: 2010 saw unprecedented lawsuits, impressive growth in new software-delivery models, TMZ-worthy executive shake-ups and many critical acquisitions that, combined, should have lasting effects on the enterprise software market.

Even though past performance does not guarantee future results, I believe that in 2011 we will bear witness to just as much dramatic change—spectacular customer successes and failures, some ERP vendors crushing the competition and others crashing and burning, and pent-up customer frustration with the status quo in traditional ERP deployments.

Overall, precisely when things should be getting easier for ERP licensing deals, software implementations and next-gen upgrades, the opposite is occurring: Talking to CIOs, industry analysts and ERP watchers, one finds there is much too much complexity and confusion as we enter the new year.

7. Midsize On-Premise ERP Vendors Get Squeezed.

Here's the doomsday scenario for mid-tier on-premise ERP vendors: 1. Upstart SaaS and on-demand ERP players continue to gain more traction with SMBs; 2. Larger ERP vendors' efforts to infiltrate midsize companies (either with their own on-demand applications or on-premise offerings) are successful, capturing midsize companies and snaring them for the long haul.

The result: Market forces start squeezing out midsize and smaller ERP vendors that can't differentiate their services enough from the nascent SaaS and cloud vendors or stand tall enough with the big boys.

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