by Thomas Wailgum

ERP: The Musical!

Dec 04, 20082 mins
Enterprise Applications

Move over High School Musical, there’s a new kid in town: ERP, The Musical. This five-part online “documentary” profiles the making of In the Key of ERP, an Off-Broadway musical that’s based on the “best-selling” business book Best Laid Plans: The ERP Imperative.  

ERP: The Musical!

The book, by noted “author” Cameron Bidwell, chronicles the ERP implementation saga of Anne Magnuson, the director of IT for Bulky Buy, a multinational company that strongly resembles some well-known retailers today. (“C’mon, it took some serious writing chops to turn ERP into something every man, woman, child in America would want to plunk down $26.95 to read, ya know?” says Bidwell, in one part of the documentary series, which is called The Making of a Sensation.)

As captured in the documentary (or, should I say, mockumentary—wink wink), Magnuson does battle with Bulky Buy’s CEO, CFO and even (gasp!) her CIO during the ERP rollout. On stage, there’s the Magnuson character anxiously peering through swaths of Ethernet cables, then singing “And that’s why it’s got to be E – R – P…for you and me” in a very showy way.

One of the funnier and quite-apt running jokes of the documentary is that most everyone pronounces ERP as “urp.” “What’s urp?” wonder the perplexed actors portraying the Bulky Buy executives. (That’s something I can definitely relate to.) Another funny scene is when the actor playing the CIO tries to pronounce SOA. “Sow,” he utters sheepishly.

In another episode, In the Key of ERP‘s composer admonishes everyone: “ERP isn’t easy!” I would agree.

I’m no theater critic, but I’ll give The Making of a Sensation documentary two thumbs up—mostly because it takes a lot of courage to do anything clever or humorous with ERP. As to the best performances in In the Key of ERP, the beleaguered Bulky Buy CFO gets my nod.

Oh, by the way: One of the “sponsors” of the musical is Epicor Software, which also just happens to be a maker of “urp” software. Bravo!