You Down with ERP, Yeah You Know Me!

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My kids came home the other day singing a rap song.  The funny thing is they thought it was a brand new hit song.  Instead, it  was an old song from the 1990’s!  The kids just about fainted when I started rapping the original tune.  They couldn’t fathom the thought that their mom was actually, at one time in her life, cool.

This got me thinking.  My first thought was, “Those were the good old days...”  My second thought was how much things have changed in the 20 plus years since that song was released.   Who thought back then, when I was rapping with Naughty by Nature and rocking out to Van Halen, that I would one day be selling Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for a living?

It’s really quite fascinating to see how far we’ve come.  Let’s take a closer look at what was happening in the world of ERP before I knew just how important it would become to me.


The Early Days

Until the early 1990’s (when my hair had superior height) most business systems were designed around purpose-built systems for every specific business function.  While data systems were a huge advancement over earlier paper or punch card systems, they didn’t integrate well with other data systems.  Many companies had a separate computer system for Purchasing, another for Manufacturing, yet another for Sales Order Management and Accounts Receivable, and one more for General Ledger. Errors were common and data was often inaccurate and unreliable.


The 1990’s

In the mid to late 1990’s (when jean overalls were really hot) Gartner coined the term Enterprise Resource Planning which covered Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) and a range of other applications including: supply chain management, customer management, order processing, financials, and human resources, to name a few.  ERP systems allowed companies to purchase a single system that encompassed all business processes in one software package.  Now issues with data integrity and seamless integration from one business function to another were resolved.


What’s Next?

Today this integrated, reliable flow of data from one business department to another is common for most organizations.  Just 25 years ago, it was unheard of.  In 2014 we’re looking at what’s to come with ERP.  Will this be the year that ERP goes mobile?  Executives and employees want access to real-time information anytime and from anywhere.  What about cloud ERP?  The cloud has been advancing steadily into the enterprise and reservations are starting to dissipate as the benefits of the cloud become clear.

Although the ERP field has typically been slow to change, the last couple of years, thanks to social media, mobile advances and cloud technology, the world of ERP has experienced a fundamental shift.  It will be interesting to watch ERP.  As for me, I’ve got a sudden urge to tease my hair.


BDO Solutions is a national firm with local practices throughout Canada, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Reseller of the Year in Canada for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

By Danielle Moriana , Business Development Manager with BDO Solutions, specializing in Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud solutions.

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