Potential buyers of ERP software have hundreds of systems to choose from. To give you an idea of how many there are, we track more than 250 systems in our internal ERP vendor database to help our team provide data to clients.

The ERP comparison process can be daunting, which is why we created our 2021 Top 10 ERP Systems Report. Based on our experience with hundreds of ERP systems, our list of top 10 ERP software highlights the vendors that our ERP experts have found to be strong in functionality across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, retail and more.

To learn what these top ERP systems have to offer, continue reading for an overview of each vendor as well as ERP selection advice. 

2021 Top 10 ERP Vendors Report

This report is relevant to organizations across industries and outlines the top ERP vendors that we believe will help organizations prosper in 2021.

What is ERP Software?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used by businesses to integrate and organize the data necessary for front office and back office operations. ERP solutions integrate companies’ key operations, including the manufacturing, distribution, financial and human resources, into one software system.

When properly implemented, an ERP solution increases organizational efficiency, performance and profitability. In addition, ERP can help companies achieve the benefits of digital transformation.

Overview of the Top 10 ERP Vendors

Our report provides details on these vendors’ strongest products, but in this blog, we’ve provided a brief overview of the top ERP vendors:

SAP

sap logo clients

The SAP systems featured in the report include SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business ByDesign.

In general, SAP solutions can be deployed in a public or private cloud, or in a hybrid environment. Many of these solutions have embedded AI and machine learning.

While many of SAP’s solutions can take a relatively long time to implement, the vendor does offer out-of-the-box processes built specifically for an organization’s needs. These organizations are typically enterprise-sized and midmarket companies.

Oracle

oracle

The Oracle systems featured in our report include Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle NetSuite.

Oracle provides a set of core applications and industry-specific applications that can be leveraged in basic and advanced ways. The vendor also provides a comprehensive set of cloud options, including public cloud, cloud at customer and on-premises.

In 2016, Oracle acquired NetSuite, an application that was born in the cloud and provides solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries. 

Microsoft

Microsoft Logo

The systems featured in our report include Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

Microsoft’s D365 solutions have been gaining market share, which is in part due to the solutions’ wide variety of pre-configured processes. For example, D365 Finance includes customizable machine learning models embedded in specific finance processes.

Microsoft is continually developing new data centers to support its cloud capabilities, not just in D365, but across its solution set.

Infor

logo infor

The Infor systems featured in our report are Infor’s industry-specific CloudSuites.

These CloudSuites have been Infor’s most recent focus. They are designed for both enterprise and SMB organizations and are built with pre-configured business processes and setups. 

These solutions offer a complete ERP with integrated financials, procurement, human capital management, payroll, workforce management and analytics.

IFS

IFS World Logo

The IFS product is tailored for the aerospace & defense, utilities & resources, construction & infrastructure, manufacturing and service industries. It allows customers to pick and choose the specific functionality they need and add more as needed. IFS’s core modules include everything from customer relationship management to finance to supply chain management.

Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation Logo

In October, Epicor was acquired by CD&R, a US-based private equity firm. The firm plans to expand Epicor by building cloud-based products with a SaaS model. This will give Epicor increasingly advanced functionality in the cloud, including embedded EDI and advanced warehouse management. The featured Epicor products include Epicor E10 and Epicor Prophet 21.

Acumatica

acumatica

Acumatica was born in the cloud. It is a cloud-based ERP solution for small to mid-sized businesses. Acumatica’s pricing model offers flexible licensing and deployment options and is easily expanded for a growing organization. The Acumatica ERP system includes integrated functionality for accounting & financial management, customer relationship management, distribution & manufacturing planning management, retail, eCommerce and field service.

SYSPRO

syspro

SYSPRO is a global, independent provider of industry-built ERP software designed for manufacturers and distributors. The SYSPRO solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or accessed via a mobile device. The SYSPRO ERP system provides advanced functionality for outbound distribution control activities as well as inbound supply chain management.

IQMS

IQMS

IQMS provides a single solution for managing and monitoring the entire manufacturing process. It is ideal for discrete and process manufacturers. In addition to ERP, IQMS has an integrated manufacturing execution system that can interface with shop floor programmable logic controllers.

Salesforce

salesforce

Salesforce provides cloud-based CRM software and a platform that is the basis for additional solutions, including FinancialForce and Rootstock. FinancialForce is an ERP suite providing professional services automation, while Rootstock is an ERP solution designed for manufacturers, distributors and supply chain organizations.

2021 Top 10 ERP Vendors Report

This report is relevant to organizations across industries and outlines the top ERP vendors that we believe will help organizations prosper in 2021.

Tips for Selecting an ERP System

1. Outline Specific Benefits Your Company Wants to Realize

ERP projects often deliver minimal ERP business benefits because they are not aligned with the company’s strategic goals. We recommend clearly defining your goals so you can evaluate software based on its functional fit.

For example, if your company wants to improve its customer service, one of your ERP requirements might be the ability to automatically order inventory when it reaches a certain level and automatically update this information for the sales department. With this functionality, the sales department would be able to quickly and easily provide customers with a realistic delivery date, thus improving the customer experience.

It’s important to find customer relationship management (CRM) functionality that improves the customer experience. If you’re determining what CRM functionality your company needs, you may find our ERP vs. CRM blog post helpful.

Many of the vendors in our report provide ERP software systems with strong reporting capabilities that ensure data consistency across departments and enable real-time data insights. When scheduling ERP demos, we recommend asking vendors to demonstrate their reporting functionality in a test case, using your data.

Whichever functional areas you’re hoping to improve, you should define these with the executive team before selection. This preparation is essential for many reasons, one of which is minimizing ERP customization.

2. Understand ERP Market Lingo

This is especially important when you’re talking about buzzwords like, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT because different vendors have their own definitions of these terms.

While some vendors may consider AI to be a system that autonomously learns and solves problems, other vendors may simply consider AI to be an automated workflow. It’s important to understand what a vendor means by AI because the most advanced AI in ERP systems is typically expensive and complicated to fully integrate.

Large enterprises with the money and resources to invest in AI may achieve long-term ROI, but smaller companies may not be able to wait this long for a payoff. For these companies, integrating a niche application – such as robotic process automation (RPA) technology – with their main ERP, may be a better option.

Another niche application example, besides RPA, that many small to mid-sized companies benefit from is specialized cash applications. These applications can automate financial management processes, like the process of receiving a payment from a customer, applying it to the most recent invoice, entering it into the system and processing checks for validation. These applications are designed to learn and improve overtime.  

While AI is exciting, it’s not right for every company. We recommend only implementing the technology that aligns with our short-and long-term enterprise strategy.

3. Seek External Guidance and Support

Many companies face resource constraints when building an ERP project team to assist with ERP selection. There are several ways to address this challenge depending on your unique situation:

 

  • If your company doesn’t have sophisticated internal IT resources, consider hiring external IT resources.
  • If your company already has sufficient internal IT resources, focus on backfilling these roles with temporary contractors.
  • If your company has identified an ideal ERP project manager but he is having difficulty balancing his day job with the ERP project, you may want to backfill his previous role. Strong ERP project management is important, and an internal project manager has the intel necessary to make difficult decisions when your team faces challenges.
  • If your company lacks ERP selection experience, then hiring an ERP consultant is beneficial. They have lessons learned from implementing ERP systems for companies across a variety of industries.

What Does This Mean for Your ERP Selection?

These tips and our top 10 ERP comparison are only the starting point to selecting the right ERP system. More ERP selection tips can be found in our ERP Selection Guide.

Your company ultimately needs to decide what section criteria are most important, then narrow down your options based on these criteria. This may or may not lead you to consider one of the top ERP systems from this year’s list. No matter which systems you’re evaluating, the ERP selection advice in this blog post and our report is essential to finding a solution that supports your organizational goals.

Panorama’s ERP consultants have helped hundreds of companies select the right ERP system and develop an effective ERP project plan. Contact us below and be sure to download our 2021 Top 10 ERP Systems Report.

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