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Midmarket ERP Buyer's Guide: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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QAD Enterprise Applications are designed for global manufacturing companies. The product is utilized at more than 6,000 manufacturing sites around the world. It is especially strong in the automotive, life sciences, consumer products, food and beverage, electronics and industrial markets.

QAD was first launched in 1984 as MFG/PRO. It covers all facets of accounting and finance, inventory control and distributions, sales and customer relationship management (CRM), manufacturing, transportation and distribution, sourcing and procurement and after-sales support and repair. Multiple instances running around the globe function seamlessly as a single ERP application. It can be delivered as SaaS or on premise.

"QAD targets customers in all tiers of the market, from SMBs up to Tier One global manufacturers," said Gordon Fleming, chief marketing officer at QAD. "We are also seeing the emergence of cloud ERP and so we are embracing QAD On Demand."

Lawson ERP

Lawson sells enterprise software systems ranging from supply chain management and financials to human resources, talent management, HR service delivery and enterprise asset management. "We focus on healthcare, public sector and services industries for the Lawson S3 Enterprise Management System, as well as fashion, food and beverage, manufacturing and distribution, and equipment service management for the Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System," said Joe Thornton, a spokesperson for Lawson. "We offer industry-specific functionality for the industries we serve."

Like most of the others, he's observed the growing demand for cloud delivery of enterprise software.

"With continued pressure to take costs out of an organization, cloud delivery can be an appealing option," said Thornton. "Those who make the move spend less time managing servers and more time delivering value-added services through IT."


IFS Applications is an integrated suite that supports services, assets, manufacturing, projects and supply chain. The company has more than 2,000 customers across 50 countries. That strong user base played a part in Panorama Consulting ranking the company among the top ten ERP providers in its annual survey.

SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Still Dominate

Note, however, that according to Panorama, that SAP, Oracle and Microsoft still account for 71 percent of midmarket sales, so one or more will usually be included in the selection process. Microsoft is showing the most rapid growth in the midmarket, moving from a 3 percent share five years ago, up to 15 percent today, largely at SAP's expense.

Whatever midmarket ERP package you buy, though, Forrester Research believes that they are still complex and inflexible. As a result, organizations continue to be plagued with customization and upgrade headaches as a direct result of the software's rigidity and poor match with real-world business processes, said China Martens, an analyst with Forrester. She holds up hope, though, in the form of SaaS and cloud versions that seek to eliminate a lot of the deployment and maintenance hassles.

"Help may be at hand, however, with the emergence of next-generation apps which bring process flexibility," said Martens. "Graphical workflow tools coupled with the broader development possibilities offered by platform-as-a-service cloud environments look set to better bridge the divide between ERP and end user requirements."


This article was originally published on June 8, 2011
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