On trend: ERP software gets modern data, mobile and social user interface

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Historically, enterprise software had a reputation for “pig ugly” design tied to its mainframe-era roots. But in recent years, ERP vendors have tried mightily to overcome that reputation by modernizing the user interface, according to a report by Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC).

The report, titled “The Makings of a Great ERP User Experience,” says the user interface is one area where ERP software vendors are differentiating themselves. “Disappearing from system user interfaces are the long, nested menus of transaction codes for getting a user to the information they need. We now see data grids (based on Microsoft Excel), graphical reporting, and system search taking over as the paradigm for information access,” the report says.

Meanwhile, “transaction screens are more appealing and personalizable than they used to be,” writes Ted Rohm, a senior research analyst at TEC.

ERP vendors now provide a rich set of business intelligence features for drilling into the data and creating charts and dashboards, the report says. And although ERP vendors were slow to get on the social bandwagon, most now weave social networking into their software to enable collaboration that’s better than email.

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