SAP Business Onesimplified ERP for mid-size company

By: Andrew Karasev

The World of Corporate MRP systems is full of surprises.  If in the late 1990th major ERP market players: Oracle, SAP were trying to realize the strategy of releasing so-called ‘light’, ‘select’, ‘express’ versions of their high-end ERP – the idea is very simple and attractive – if your corporate ERP application could be written on one CD (or several CDs) – why not to try the game when you disable 70% of the functionality and release ‘lite’ version?  The real world kind of accepted and a the same time rejected this movement from the up to the down – as would it funny to realize, but the issue was – this is still the same heavy-pace ERP application and its implementation cycle is of course reduced, but not substantially and not enough to fit to mid-size and small companies.  Plus – these heavy-weight applications were targeting super and mini computers, when Intel-based Servers achieved and surpassed the performance (and more important price efficiency) of these ‘high end’ computers – the necessity to support multiple OS and DB platforms ceased to exist.

  • SAP Business One.  SAP understood the necessity to acquire simple, and still powerful MRP/ERP system, which has simple design and as so, reduced implementation cycle.  The idea of all-in-one license type is also innovative and probably helps marketing campaign.  SAP Business One, when it was marketed by original software development vendor from Israel wasn’t a serious competitor to Microsoft or Oracle – until SAP purchased it and revised its marketing campaign.

  • Modern Design.  SAP Business One includes CRM module, it is (at least at this moment) excellently integrated with Microsoft Office.  Please note that SAP Business One is not (at this time) a subject to Mendocino project – mySAP integration with Microsoft Office/Outlook.
  • Production/Manufacturing.  While targeted to small and mid-size clientele – SAP BO has production/ERP modules, which makes it attractive for overseas manufacturing facilities of multinational corporations.
  • COM Object support.  At this moment (2006) this is cool, but Microsoft Business Solutions suggest the argument against SAP Business One – if SAP doesn’t develop its own office solution or at least doesn’t invest into cooperation with Microsoft in the Office application direction – SAP Business One might lose the technology ground by 2010.
  • Simplified MRP.  We already publicized the idea of deploying simplified ERP for corporate business, the critical is reliable database platform (MS SQL Server is reasonably cheap nowadays and very reliable).  The idea is very simple – if you are corporate business and you feel that you should be in rich-functionality ERP realm – implement simplified MRP which has the same reliability parameters, but requires some custom design to fit your business processes.

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