Talk about unintended consequences. Just as a ploy by mainframe programmers to save space ended up causing the infamous Y2K bug, so too did globalization spawn the problem of multiple instances of ERP.
Offshore outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions, and far-flung operations have resulted in many different versions of ERP applications running in different locations or, worse, applications from different vendors. ERP installations seem to grow like kudzu, increasing in complexity every day, as users clamor to keep using the local ERP instance.
The problem is, multiple-instance ERP is difficult to manage and hampers enterprise visibility. Worse, it is a huge waste of money. Why maintain many different servers for different geographies when you no longer have to?
Top executives at manufacturers all over the globe are asking themselves that very question. Rationalizing their ERP systems down to one version of a single vendor's application and database running in one location appears to be the holy grail for larger companies, which often find themselves running a tangled mix of systems.
Source: Managing Automation, http://www.managingautomation.com
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