Cloud ERP Vendors

The Cloud/SaaS CRM market is quite a bit more mature than the Cloud/SaaS ERP vendors. Definitions in this arena are constantly getting re-hashed by vendors and a bit of qualification may help here.

Most of many of the vendors can help you move your ERP application into the Cloud – basically picking up your current hardware and software solution – and putting it into a vendor data centre.

For the purists, this is not good enough as this type of solution lacks a few things:

  1. Shared hardware – often called multi-tenant
  2. Shared resource – or virtualisation

Why are these important?

They are important for a couple of reasons, firstly shared hardware means that you pay less for the hardware than if its 100% dedicated to your ERP system needs. The second reason is that sharing hardware means that you have better flexibility – to increase the resources you need or to reduce them.

Typically, a server in your own data centre may be 15-30% utilised across the business day. You may only use it at 100% capacity once a day or even once a month. By sharing hardware you can share the costs of this expensive and underutilised resource. Similarly, if you start to grow rapidly then adding more computing resource is easier than buying and adding new hardware resources.

The knock-on benefit is that its ‘easier‘ for a vendor to offer you SaaS licence terms – that is a rental model of $x per user per month, rather than the typical licence model.

Are they important to you?

Let the vendors quarrel about the technical aspects of this. The key question is the importance of this to you and your business? If its critical then unfortunetly at this point in time it limits your choice, unlike the CRM market where there are a number of good options.

Use our ERP Checklist as a time-saving way to start comparing vendors.

If ERP you will want to look at Netsuite, Plex Systems and SAP Business ByDesign will meet the needs of the purist. Note that other SAP solutions won’t meet the strict criteria set out above and the ByDesign solution is not yet formally released in this region.

If there any other vendors who can meet this criteria – please let me know.


Plex Online are one of the leading lights of Cloud/On demand and SaaS ERP.

This video presentation held be Plex and including an Aberdeen analyst looks at the trends.

It loads a page that you click on to launch the video.