When the major analyst groups discuss ERP the only vendor names they seem to use are SAP and Oracle. I think that shows their blind spot to the regional differences that manifests in ERP in the small-medium business (SMB) space.
I used to work for a company that re-sold Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV. With Microsoft’s reputation I thought that building a business in the SMB space with NAV would be fairly easy, after all, everyone knows Microsoft. It took me a while to learn that the growth of NAV was not as spectacular as I expected.
At first I thought that Microsoft South Africa was just not very experienced in the ERP world, and that was emphasised after hearing from Nav partners overseas that their business was growing fast.
Then I joined my current company which has a strong business in the SYSPRO ERP. There I found that SYSPRO’s 25-year track record in SA has given it a strength and market presence that makes it a formidable player in the SMB market.
The Dynamics product that does well in SA is GP (the old Great Plains) because it has had a presence here for well over 10 years, similar to that in the UK I understand. In the UK, I read that Sage is a major SMB player, but you would struggle to find a Sage customer in SA. A US comparison would be Lawson, which seems to have a strong presence in the mid-market there, but is a small player elsewhere.
So my hypothesis is that in different countries the ERP gorilla in the SMB market is different due to local history and conditions. What is needed next are numbers to either prove or disprove my hypothesis. I expect that the local analyst groups in each country are the ones with the information, rather than the international groups.