Is ERP Through SaaS Ready for Prime Time?

How many of you have walked into a store with the expectation that the product you purchase will probably not work? How many industries do you think can get away with product defects and incompatible components?

For almost three decades, the software industry has convinced consumers that “Bugs” (product defects) and “System Integration” (incompatible components) is a cost of doing business. Granted… enterprise software can comprise of millions of lines of code performing very complex operations. Moreover, today’s complex global economy made possible by the internet has complicated things further with businesses required to support the multiple languages, government regulations, and consumer demands of its customer base.

With this new and growing challenge faced by enterprise, medium and small businesses, even the smallest of organizations have accumulated a hodge podge of applications to run their operations. Hence, the crude patching together of different software packages has created a “hairball” effect pervasive today in most organizations.

This week NetSuite announced its launch of NetSuite OneWorld that attempts to replace hairball systems with a true integrated ERP offering leveraging the internet as the technology platform best-suited for smaller organizations expanding globally. Similarly to revolutionary technologies like the invention of the telephone, the fax machine, and the cellular phone, NetSuite has recognized the comparable power the internet has achieved in transforming the way people conduct business.

NetSuite’s current timing with its SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) delivery model is spot on. The ubiquitous nature of the internet is finally ripe to deliver a common technology platform to run a global business easily incorporating the idiosyncratic requirements of different regions around the world. Thanks to the popularization of SaaS through CRM applications offered by NetSuite and within the last four years or so, most businesses have gained a comfort with next generation cloud computing that moves beyond client-server and on-premise solutions; especially with regards to the security of critical business data residing in remote data centers.

However, NetSuite has taken this delivery model to the next level truly offering a complete ERP package for smaller organizations looking to for a simple deployment at an affordable price point backed by a rock solid Oracle-based backbone. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt to have Larry Ellison as a majority shareholder supporting your business model as you sell your wares.
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