ERP Software Systems

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software applications stand as the single and central company-wide information system— integrating data and business processes across departments, divisions, lines of business and geographies into a shared and unified enterprise-wide business software system. ERP software brings together five types of business applications, including accounting software, manufacturing software, supply chain management or distribution software, HR & payroll software, and Customer Relationship Management software—in order to integrate and automate company-wide business processes, shorten business cycle times and deliver real-time reporting to managers and decision makers.

ERP Analytics

ERP analytics and business intelligence (BI) provide timely and insightful trends, patterns, notifications or other data driven information about an organization's customers and those customer behaviors, which thereby enables the organization to better anticipate, predict and respond to customers and business partners for growth initiatives and other strategic goals. Put simply, ERP analytics and BI enable executive decision makers and employees to make better and more timely business decisions.

But not withstanding the clear upside of better and more timely information, few ERP software adopters have implemented Enterprise Resource Planning analytics as part of their operational systems. To make this transition, senior executives should educate themselves with market research, product reviews, case studies and recommended strategies used by others for maximizing ERP software payback and top business objectives.

Business Intelligence (BI)

ERP analytics software tools are often part of a broader business intelligence (BI) software suite, which may include data warehouses, data marts, data mining applications, online analytical processing (OLAP) and predictive analytics. The suite of BI tools consolidate, categorize (by measures and dimensions), model and deliver the high volumes of company data and transactions and activities in visual, easy to consume views so that decision makers can learn from the data and take action to improve their business processes and performance.

According to analyst firm Gartner, global Business Intelligence software sales are forecast to reach more than $11.3 billion by 2012, up from just over $9.7 billion in 2010. Analyst firm IDC is even more aggressive, predicting a global market for BI and analytics software which will grow from $25.5 billion in 2010 to $34 billion by the end of 2014.