For some time there has been a debate about whether the world is flat or spikey. This refers to whether globalisation has made everything uniform (flat) around the world, or whether there is still significant regional diversity (spikey).
A survey of the ERP market in South Africa seems to indicate to me that the world is definitely spikey. If the world was flat, I would have expected that the relative market shares of the major ERP players in the developed ‘north’ would be reflected in the SA market. But as the research found, that is not the case.
Looking at the SA mid-market (companies with 50 to 250 PCs, or 251 to 500 PCs), 35% of the survey were manufacturing companies; about 30% were in professional services, wholesale trade, and logistics; and rest in areas like construction, finance, mining, and parastatals. Over 50% of the survey were in the Gauteng province where Johannesburg is located. 70% of the respondents had between 50 and 250 PCs.
When it came to products, Microsoft Dynamics GP (ex Great Plains) and CRM had over 50% recognition; the other Dynamics products were not well known (NAV had some awareness but AX was very low).
What were the best known ERP brands? SAP (not surprisingly) and SYSPRO (SA’s own ERP) … by far. So much for the other big ERP players efforts in SA!
So when you read another press release from a large ERP vendor which describes them as “leading”, check which geographies they are referring to.
The survey also asked what factors made companies change their ERP, in order:
- greater functionality
- new business requirements
- company growth
- lower cost (note this)
- merger/acquisition with company with different ERP
What were the reasons for choosing an ERP, in order:
- good fit to business
- technical superiority/innovation
- ease of implementation
- low cost of ownership (note again)
The vendor selection criteria were:
- understand our business/industry
- customer service
- ease of implementation/doing business
For the ERP marketers, the major sources of ERP information were:
- search engines
- vendor/product websites
What had the biggest impact in creating awareness:
- customer reference
- technology/business events
- sales person visit