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Well-known CRM analyst and thought leader, Denis has made contributions to our thinking about cloud computing, CRM, social media, analytics and mobility. He runs the Beagle Research Group, LLC and is the author of "Solve for the Customer", "You Can't Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It", and recently, "The Age of Sustainability". He frequently contributes to this and other outlets. Check out, and

One response to “Beyond Legacy ERP”

  1. David Turner

    It’s absolutely true that enterprises have spent too long re-engineering their businesses to fit their legacy ERP. The problem with these systems is that they cannot support business change and to make any sort of tweaks to the system requires significant, complex and expensive programming at code level. As such, ‘big legacy’ ERP customers are finding that they’re completely dependent on their software providers and therefore cannot compete effectively in today’s business environment. And even today, these vendors are getting fat from holding their customers hostage to expensive consultancy just to keep their heads above water. We’ve had conversations with customers recently who are facing costs in the order of millions just to upgrade their legacy ERP to a supported version. And that’s just a single upgrade – that doesn’t future proof them for long.

    We must remember that this type of ERP was designed for manufacturing businesses, as you point out, but ERP as an IT solution proliferated for a reason and that’s because it is the only solution (even today) that addresses the complex business processes of the enterprise. But new approaches to ERP have already moved it in favour of the services-centric organisation. Flexible systems that change as the business changes without code-level programming and intimidating upgrades can provide these organisations with the independence they need while providing flexible delivery options, be that cloud, on-premise or a combination. The stories of legacy-ERP implementation failures are frightening, and a move towards services-centric, subscription-based ERP is inevitable. ERP will continue but I think we can agree that the tide is turning away from legacy vendors to those providing more agile, change-friendly solutions.