Cloud ERP, A Boon For Agile Enterprise
Over the years, companies have acquired various applications to run their business. Starting with accounting and financial systems, these went ahead and implemented ERP and then jumped into CRM and many others like SCM, HRM along the way. In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Samir Bodas – CEO & Co-founder, Icertis explains how the emergence of cloud and big data are opening up tremendous opportunities in the ERP surround applications space.
What are the factors contributing to the rise of ERP Surround applications? What are its benefits to the enterprise?
Cloud computing has been able to make a measurable, significant impact to businesses. It is a safe bet that it will continue to be an integral part of IT and business strategy. ERP Surround software – applications that are built around core ERP and need to be accessed by vendors, partners, customers or devices, is an area where the cloud can have an extensive impact with substantial return on investment. This includes functions such as Contract Management, Vendor Management, Transportation Management and Fleet Management.
This is predominantly due to the attractive business proposition of quick deployment within couple of months, user friendliness and attractive RoI. According to industry sources, applications pertaining to CRM, ERP and supply chain management are seen among the top 3 popular applications where organizations would be keen on investing their money in the next 12 to 24 months. This wave is creating tremendous opportunities for cloud software vendors who are eyeing increasing market share and are already on an expansion spree. We are one of the few born-in-the-cloud CSV’s (Cloud Software Vendor) that built enterprise solutions in the Microsoft Cloud and provides ERP surround cloud products.
Why would CIOs opt for these cloud ERP and related solution, with security still a key concern among enterprises?
Indian companies didn’t invest heavily in cloud when it was introduced and adopted a “wait and watch’ approach to gauge its advantages. Further, huge infrastructure investments and security concerns have kept them at the bay from cloud till now. But this should not hinder the growth anymore. Especially with more and more companies going global, they need new generation IT system to enhance customer relations and operations. This adoption of cloud will be facilitated by the increase in IT spending in India projected to total $71.3 billion in 2014, a 5.9 percent increase from $67.4 billion forecast for 2013. In fact, a Gartner report states that cloud computing will become the bulk of the new IT spend by 2016. India has a huge opportunity for cloud in the long run. In the next 5-7 years, Indian corporates will invest faster and more in IT than any other country.
How is Icertis growing in this space and what opportunities it sees in the market?
Five years ago, Icertis took a make or break bet on Microsoft Azure as a company, firmly believing that the cloud was a disruptive technology that would see mandatory adoption, and that the cloud platform would provide a CSV like us with the right tools and technologies to develop applications quickly, rapidly deploy them and operationalize them securely at a low cost. By executing our vision to “Apply the cloud where it matters,” we have already recently signed customers globally from Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft and an European power and automation leader, to industry leaders such as Questcor (Biopharmaceuticals), bwin.party (Online Gaming), Janney Montgomery Scott (Financial Services), Silverado (Senior Care), KPIT, Mindtree (IT Services) and Purple Mobility (Metro Transportation). Our unique approach has earned us 10 industry awards as well as helped our customers generate faster ROI and high end-user satisfaction.
To tap the growing opportunity in enterprise software market, we intend to address more geographies through direct sales, through partner GTM eco-system and through strategic partnerships with large system integrators. We already have strategic alliances with KPIT and Infosys BPO to expand Icertis reach to global customers, allowing Icertis to scale and add value to services offerings for the enterprise. We are committed on hiring more top class talent in India and intend to add more products by the end of this year. Underlying the new strategy, 30% of our sales workforce is completely focussed on the Indian market now. Further, we have just opened a fifth office in Singapore as part of our expansion plans globally.
As far as cloud-based innovation is concerned, how do you see the future?
Going ahead, most of the enterprise and consumer applications will move to cloud. Already, productivity apps such as Office365 and Gmail are in cloud. Companies won’t need data centers in next 5 years. There is an inflexion in the market (SMAC) and businesses want to do things differently. This inflexion always helps late entrants – startups and small companies. New age companies like Icertis that are more agile and responsive to customer needs and are innovative will certainly have an edge over traditional. And by the time they do change, small companies will become established and successful.
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