In today’s world, information is power. It is crucial that the right information be accessible at the right time as it directly affects your ability to win the deal. The rise of ERP/CRM systems grew out of the need of businesses to view their data across departments, divisions, countries, etc. These systems allow businesses to integrate and work effectively.

The factors that help determine whether your organization needs an ERP/CRM application include:

Answering yes to these questions is a strong indicator that your business can significantly improve its efficiency and profitability by migrating to an ERP and/or CRM

Once you make the decision to purchase an ERP system, you’ll have options as to how you deploy the new system.

On premise – In this type, your company hosts the system onsite. This can be costly as you’ll need to invest in infrastructure to host and maintain the integrated systems. Because of the cost involved, only large companies will normally keep everything inhouse. Cloud – You can choose to host system in the cloud.

Hybrid – Organizations which already have an ERP or business application of some kind and wants to acquire best of breed on premise & cloud based solutions usually go for this model. The idea is to go for what’s best in each area and then integrate them as per need. For example, lots of organizations have the core finance systems on premise due to data security reasons but have others like HR & Talent Management on Cloud.

There are hundreds of vendors touting ERP/CRM solutions specifically for small and medium businesses. The selection of an ERP system essentially depends on whether the functionality has been successfully implemented in similar organizations. Below are some of the leaders in ERP/CRM applications for small and medium sized businesses.

With a wide array of choices (of ERP/CRM systems as well as deployment methodologies), businesses can find the exact package that meets their needs.

In the next article in this series, we will look at how Business Process Management (BPM) applications are filling in the gaps where traditional ERP/CRM applications may not be a great fit.

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