ERP systems have been in use for several decades. The term ERP became common as earlier Material Resource Planning (MRP) software gradually expanded from inventory and manufacturing control to incorporate accounting, human resources, and other general management functions. Initially, ERP solutions were large, complex, and run on-premise in corporate data centers and by their very nature they defined how organizations operated.
These systems were inherently expensive, complex, and inflexible. As companies changed in response to the introduction of new technologies and business practices were transformed, many discovered it was difficult to adapt their ERP solutions to accommodate the new challenges. Accordingly, IT executives have realised that ERP software should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate changes in the way companies do business.
The financial crises that affected Europe in the early part of this century had a profound impact on companies and along with globalization and ecommerce completely changed the business landscape. Companies that once were dominant have fallen and others taken their place. Products that were considered revolutionary have dropped by the wayside as newer technology made them obsolete.
What is clear is that things change quickly and the rate of change is increasing. Methods that worked a decade ago may no longer be even relevant. According to a 2011 report on Aging ERP produced by the Aberdeen Group, the average age of ERP software was seven years, while in 7 per cent of companies, it was more than 15 years old. The report noted that as systems age, utilization levels fall, the ability to modify functions is reduced, and the quality of the information supplied drops.
The Aberdeen report on Aging ERP paints a clear picture of how inflexible traditional ERP solutions really are. An interesting Forbes article, For Enterprise IT, Time To Move Beyond SAP, written in 2011, highlighted this issue. The article rightly recognized the contribution SAP made in the mid-1990s, when its use brought new efficiencies to businesses.
However, it also made the point that legacy systems such as SAP forced companies to conform to rigid internal rules. The writer even wondered if perhaps this rigid conformity was one of the reasons behind the lack of creativity and innovation in industry during this period. Another Aberdeen Group report entitled Roll With The Punches highlighted that three of the top four reasons why companies replaced legacy ERP solutions was that the systems were no longer able to support their businesses.
It’s clear from these reports that traditional on-premise ERP solutions are more likely to constrain a company by acting as an anchor, and their monolithic structures do not allow systems to be readily updated to meet current business needs. The Aberdeen report on Aging ERP pointed out that older ERP installations were usually three or more versions behind the current software version. Even Gartner, who have often favored large ERP solutions in its ratings, say big legacy ERP is almost dead.
In a 2018 report prepared by Forrester Research on the emerging ERP market, the authors identify three important characteristics. These are:
- • Speed Of Implementation: Although implementation varies with complexity, Oue ERP solutions are able to be implemented far more rapidly along with less disruption and achieve a faster pay back.
- • Applications Designed For Flexibility: Our ERP solutions are designed to allow substantial customer configuration through the provision of inbuilt customization features that avoid the need to modify the software source code. This simplifies customization and allows the customer to use what is still, from a code point of view, a standard system. Generally, it is relatively easy to add modules to Rising Wings ERP, and as new requirements emerge, they are easily incorporated.
- • Easy To Upgrade: Our ERP solutions are multi-tenant, and the software vendor is able to apply upgrades seamlessly without affecting customers’ operations. This gets around two problems. Firstly, customers are always using the latest version, and, secondly, there is only one version. Our clients always have access to the most recent iteration with all the latest features, unlike those using on-premise ERP, where the client may be using a previous generation of the software, even though the software is regularly updated.
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Rising Wings was designed right from the start as a cloud-based SaaS solution. This approach helped ensure the core software was optimised for the cloud and not adapted from a different environment. As such, the company was well placed to exploit the unique advantages of the cloud. Rising Wings’ success is reflected in its continual growth that has exceeded 30 per cent for seven consecutive quarters. Rising Wings ERP’s inherent flexibility provides clients many benefits:
- • Always Current: Rising Wings users are always using the latest, most current software that is bang up to date. There are no legacy or aging issues.
- • Technology: As new technology emerges, it’s incorporated as appropriate. Excellent examples are its mobile apps, which give Rising Wings customers almost the same functionality as they achieve from their desktops.
- • Regulatory Requirements: Rising Wings ERP complies with the accounting and tax requirements of more than 110 countries, and as requirements change they are immediately incorporated.
- • Scalability: Rising Wings is infinitely scalable, meeting the needs of growing businesses.
- • Adaptability: Rising Wings’ numerous features and modules can be seamlessly integrated to meet specific needs.
- • Access: Rising Wings is accessed over the Internet, allowing connection from virtually anywhere, a feature that also facilitates ecommerce.