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Midmarket ERP Buyer's Guide

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Posted June 8, 2011 By Drew Robb     Feedback

SAP, Oracle and Microsoft still rule, but a number of smaller ERP vendors bear watching.

A few months back, Enterprise Apps Today published an Enterprise ERP Buyer's Guide.

That first ERP buyer's guide focused on market giants SAP (NYSE: SAP), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Now it's time to visit the ERP midmarket. Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have been omitted from the midmarket guide. Each can lay a strong claim to being included, but it's time to shine a light on others in the ERP market.

"Tier I solutions like SAP and Oracle are moving downstream to capture more of the middle market, while Tier II and niche vendors have always played well in this space," said Eric Kimberling, president of Panorama Consulting. "It's a very competitive segment of the market."

For the midmarket guide, we'll focus on Infor, QAD, Lawson, Epicor, Sage and IFS. Infor and Lawson will soon merge to form the third-biggest ERP vendor, but for now we'll cover them as two separate companies. And Epicor is also being acquired in this rapidly-changing market.

And be sure to check out our small business ERP buying guide too.

Sage ERP

According to Gartner, the top five vendors in the $20 billion ERP market are SAP, Oracle, Sage, Infor and Microsoft. How did Sage get there? Sage ERP X3, which targets the midmarket, has experienced 41 percent customer growth in the last few years. That gives the Sage Group more than six million customers and 13,400 employees worldwide. It can run on various platforms and comes with a user interface that incorporates data visualization, personalization features and access to Microsoft Office tools. The company touts fast implementation and ease of use. It includes analysis and reporting, financial accounting and management control and operational management (production, purchasing, sales, and inventory).

"We are offering ERP that will lower again transaction costs and allow more business processes stakeholders to directly conduct their day-to-day job anywhere, anytime and from any device," said Emmanuel Obadia, senior vice president for product strategy and marketing for Sage ERP X3.

Infor ERP

Infor is another of those that Gartner placed in the top five. It offers four major ERP products; Infor ERP LN is aimed at tier one down to mid-market customers.

Infor ERP SyteLine is focused on mid- to large-sized manufacturers. This is a .Net solution that can be implemented on-premises, as a hosted solution, or by subscription in the cloud.

Infor ERP VISUAL serves the small business market.

Infor ERP Adage is categorized as an advanced ERP solution for process manufacturers.

"The majority of Infor customers are mid-market companies that trust us to deliver reliable, scalable technology that solves their business problems and help them make money," said Mark Humphlett, Director of ERP Product Marketing at Infor.

He sees the cloud as a major trend within ERP. The company now has more than 800 SyteLine customers in the cloud.

Epicor ERP

While not among the top five revenue generators, Gartner named Epicor as a visionary in a recent Magic Quadrant for Midmarket ERP Companies. Epicor's latest edition utilizes Web 2.0 concepts to provide more collaboration features. It has been sold to more than 1,800 customers. According to James Norwood, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing for Epicor, the company has more than 20,000 clients.

"Although historically Epicor has targeted businesses in the midmarket, it is a scalable solution that is offered in a variety of deployment models [multi-tenant SaaS, hosted, or on-premises], which means we're able to package it for small businesses as well as larger multinational organizations," said Norwood. "Trends such as enterprise mobility, cloud computing and smarter business intelligence will continue to have an impact on the way Epicor does business over the next several years."

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