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ERP packages are quite expensive to develop and support. And once developed, that sales process can be very arduous for both the end-user and the technology firm. Long meetings, gathering requirements, demos, long travel to and from the client, long travel to and from classes. It goes on. The cost of managing an ERP firm obviously has to be reflected in the price to the customer. And here is the key issue in ERP economics: Can a Big ERP sell to a small or mid-sized business?
So the question on economics of the business is critically important. Small businesses have unique concerns such as:
• Complexity - Although their business can be very complex, they can't afford software that is complex to implement and hard to understand. They need easy business intelligence and reporting.
• Support - How much is the TCO-especially the staffing to manage the ups and downs of tech.
• Multi-functional challenges - They sell, service, build, import/export, manage employees and all that jazz. Don't they deserve a robust capability for these?
• Technology adoption - We often think of an SMB as Main Street, or the 'late majority' waiting for 'the kinks' to get out of the emerging technologies. However, they can be amazingly progressive when dealing with their core business concerns. I have had clients with pretty bland accounting software packages, but the latest warehouse equipment. Or retailers with great POS systems, great inventory management, and just plain bad purchasing systems.
Right! But how does that play out on the ERP solution provider side?
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