Any list of ERP software providers has to include the biggest ERP software names: SAP and Oracle, as well as Microsoft and Infor. These four companies make up a majority of the ERP systems installed and sold.
Each of these vendors has multiple products. Oracle’s offerings, for example, include Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards Enterprise One, JD Edwards World, and the relatively new Oracle Fusion applications that are intended to be the migration path for all of these products.
Any ERP systems list worthy of the name will also include a significant number of additional suppliers such as Consona, Epicor, QAD, IFS and others. But to be truly useful, the list should specify how each ERP software product is best suited for specific vertical industry markets. The best ERP software for a given company or market may also be the most popular ERP software in that market, but way down the list in overall sales or installed base when looking at the entire universe of ERP.
Now that we’ve established that the best list of ERP software will be one that is industry-specific, understand that some products will show up on multiple lists. Let’s say a mid-size company that makes metal equipment cabinets is looking for a new ERP system and compiles a list of ERP software to investigate further. That list may include Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One, Infor Syteline, QAD MFGPro, and Consona Made2Manage. Another company that makes small mechanical devices to-order might compile a list that includes Infor Visual ERP, Consona Intuitive or Made2Manage, QAD, and Oracle Enterprise One.
ERP software suppliers often emphasize industry applicability in their marketing. A company searching the market should also look to history. ERP software that is widely used and successful in other companies in their industry should be good candidates for inclusion on their own short list of potential solutions.
There are a number of sources for system selection assistance, some of them offering free ERP software selection tools, with which you list your needs and company characteristics and the tool responds with a list of software solutions that match your requirements. Some selection tool sources include softselect.com, technologyevaluation.com (toll also available through apics.org), erp.com and others.