PC Today: ERP Hype vs. Value

ERP (enterprise resource planning) typically deals with an organization’s financials, but it can be expanded—depending on the deployment—to cover multiple business facets. “Basically, it’s the software that you run your business on,” says China Martens, an analyst with Forrester Research (www.forrester.com). “It’swhere you’re doing your finance, managing your people, paying your people, and if you’re in manufacturing or different industries, running those industry processes on the software as well. It’s typically anything that’s back-office and transaction focused. he front office would be where your sales people would be using CRM, although ERP can include some CRM functionality as well.”
George Goodall, senior research analyst with Info-Tech Research Group (www.infotech.com), adds that “every industry will interpret what goes into an ERP system a little differently, but at the end of the day, ERP is a tool to manage your core operations within the enterprise.” But what constitutes a core operation is entirely up to you and your industry. For instance, “the needs of a municipal government are going to be very different from the needs of a healthcare provider or manufacturing organization,” Goodall says. In other words, ERP can be whatever you need it to be.

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