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The size of the market for enterprise resource planning software is expected to reach approximately $84 billion by the end of this decade, and last year SAP took the leading chunk of it.

This is according to figures published a few months ago by AppsRunTheWorld.com, which says SAP has a 6 per cent share of the market, with FIS Global in second place on 4 per cent.

The companies you might expect to be doing better, such as Oracle and Microsoft, are a bit further down on 3 and 2 per cent respectively.

Statistics should of corse always be taken with a pinch of salt, since it’s difficult to be perfectly accurate in a market which can be defined in a multitude of ways.

However, it’s always interesting to establish an overview of the market as it is, and the research done by AppsRunTheWorld.com is helpful in that way, even though a lot can happen in a year.

So, according to AppsRunTheWorld.com, the top 10 ERP software vendors in 2015 were:

  1. SAP – 6 per cent
  2. FIS Global – 3 per cent
  3. Oracle – 3 per cent
  4. Fiserv – 3 per cent
  5. Intuit – 2 per cent
  6. Cerner – 2 per cent
  7. Microsoft – 2 per cent
  8. Ericsson – 2 per cent
  9. Infor – 2 per cent
  10. McKesson – 2 per cent
  11. Others – 72 per cent

The eleventh position is jointly held by the “others”, which would of course imply there is a vast market of opportunities for ERP vendors to grow and consolidate.

Perhaps we’ll see more mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships – such as the one between SAP and Ericsson. But for now, it’s probably safe to say that ERP software is a huge market already and growing all the time.

Seeking leadership 

Microsoft is hungry for more market share in pretty much every market, but ERP being a relatively lucrative software sector, the company has been making an effort to attract more customers.

As well as making overtures to the large enterprise market, Microsoft has also released an ERP solution which targets small and medium-sized businesses.

Developed as a part of its Dynamics suite, NAV offers most of the capabilities that one would imagine SMBs to require, including:

  • Financial management and accounting
  • Supply chain, manufacturing, and operations
  • Marketing, sales, and service
  • Project management
  • Business intelligence and reporting
  • Multi-currency

Microsoft’s ERP sales and marketing efforts have not gone unnoticed by market watchers such as investment analysts SeekingAlpa.com, which claims that the company will lead in enterprise ERP.

The Microsoft Dynamics suite is a combined ERP and customer relations management solution, and SeekingAlpha.com says the company “wants to get the biggest slice in ERP and CRM revenue”.

Another technology Microsoft is investing a lot of time and money in is artificial intelligence, but then who isn’t investing in AI these days?

AI-powered solutions are likely to give companies the edge in many markets, including ERP.

Open intelligence

Salesforce has bought AI startup companies and integrated AI into its products, and even though it doesn’t provide ERP software in name, its success in the enterprise market with just its CRM software is something other big tech companies are starting to notice and target.

Oracle, for example, has rewritten all of its ERP applications for the cloud and the company believes the market for ERP solutions – and, by extension, the software-as-a-service market – is much more lucrative than so far calculated.

If celebrity tech is not your thing and you prefer to go open source, you might want to look at solutions such as Odoo.com, which has already been used by many companies to develop customised ERP for certain types of businesses or even one individual business.

Some of the more well-known open source ERPs on the market include:

This list is presented in no particular order and none of the links in this article are sponsored.

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