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ERP - Take 2

The Business Software Advisor
You ask the questions, and our resident software guru shares her wisdom.

This week’s question: I’ve been hearing a lot about “ERP II”.  What makes it any different from traditional ERP systems?

A: ERP II is regarded as the next generation of ERP (enterprise resource planning) and offers several advantages over traditional ERP systems.  ERP systems have historically been mostly limited to the manufacturing sector, primarily serving logistics, supply chain, and warehousing functions.  ERP II expands the scope of ERP to offer solutions for a broader range of industries and sectors. 

Moreover, an ERP II solution offers greater flexibility in the integration of functions between departments and even industries. ERP was rigid in that it mainly served individual functions; ERP II simplifies cross-functional processes in ways that its predecessor could not, particularly for companies that own and maintain multiple modules from different ERP vendors.  This is increasingly important when it comes to coordinating financial and budgeting activities across multiple divisions and lines of business, as is required by Sarbanes Oxley and other emerging regulations.

Another important aspect of ERP II functionality is the Web component.  Generally speaking, an ERP II system is a much more “Web-friendly” application that makes better use of the internet, especially as a means for support.

ERP II encourages user participation, facilitating interaction between customers and vendors. The advantage of this is the two factions, who previously found themselves in conflict through communication hurdles that ERP systems imposed, can work together, come to mutually beneficial decisions, and eliminate the difficulties that resulted from limited communication.

Some questions exist about the complexity of transferring between ERP and ERP II systems.  The answer is still unclear.  However, given the extensive benefits of ERP II and its forward-thinking construction, it’s not surprising that a mass movement towards v. 2.0 has begun.

[Photo courtesy of videoblocks.]