As cloud ERP solutions mature, they are becoming viable alternatives to traditional on-premises and hosted ERP systems. Dreamforce 2013, the annual conference of Salesforce.com users in San Francisco last November, offered a good opportunity to review the progress of four such cloud ERP systems—all built on the Salesforce.com platform.
During the conference, Salesforce unveiled the latest iteration of its platform, now dubbed Salesforce1, as shown in Figure 1 from our management advisory, Four ERP Cloud Providers on the Salesforce Platform.
The Salesforce platform has a lot going for it. These are its key advantages:
It provides a complete applications development environment (a platform-as-a-service, or PaaS) running on Salesforce.com’s cloud infrastructure. Developers building on Salesforce1 can interoperate with any of Salesforce.com’s applications, such as its Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, as well as other third party applications built on the platform.
It includes social business capabilities. Developers can incorporate Salesforce.com’s social business application, Chatter, as part of their systems.
The platform puts mobile deployment at the center, allowing apps to be written once and be deployed simultaneously on a variety of user platforms, including desktop browsers, tablet computers, and smart phones. In support of the so-called “Internet of Things,” Salesforce1 can even be deployed on connected devices.
- Finally, the platform provides a way for developers to market and sell their applications by means of Salesforce.com’s AppExchange marketplace.
With Salesforce.com now the market leader in CRM, it is no wonder that its platform has become more and more attractive to developers. Building on this platform, third-party developers become, in essence, an ecosystem around Salesforce.com, with strong network effects. The more popular the platform becomes, the more it attracts developers. In turn, the more developers build on the platform, the more attractive it becomes to other developers. It is a virtuous cycle.
Over the past three to five years, our sister consulting firm, Strativa, has encountered several cases where organizations first implemented Salesforce.com’s CRM system, then based on that success started looking to see whether they could replace their existing on-premises ERP system with a cloud-based solution. When such organizations search the AppExchange, they find four cloud ERP providers: FinancialForce, Kenandy, Rootstock, and AscentERP.
These four providers have been on our radar for several years, and the full report serves as an overview and update, based on briefings and interviews that Computer Economics conducted with these four vendors during the Dreamforce user conference. The report concludes with recommendations for qualifying cloud ERP providers.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report, Four ERP Providers on the Salesforce Platform. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).