What innovations are the most promising for the future of ERP?

The reinvention of ERP is the fruit of a ten-year long journey to migrate traditional mega-systems to new platforms. While ERP publishers were working on critical technical issues (which the end-user rarely thinks about), a new generation of technological innovations was exploding on a global scale.

Many of them came from start-ups. As the commercial maturity of innovations increased, ERP publishers became interested in them and incorporated them into their offers … or bought the companies that developed them.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of novelty that will rejuvenate the ERP and move it into the “post-modern” age to use Gartner’s expression.

Social collaboration. ERPs are gradually integrating the corporate social network, either natively or in the form of extensions (add-on). In some areas, collaborating is important. This is the case in architecture, construction, education, or product design.

Internet of Things (IoT). The concept of the Internet of Things – IoT (Internet of Things) – is not new. But concrete cases are multiplying, stimulated by mobility, the GPS system, radio frequency identification (RFID), sensors, intelligent inks (e-ink), and other new materials. Monitoring and control of energy consumption of buildings, remote monitoring of production sites, including mines and construction areas, for safety and security purposes, and optimized management of services and transport by the tracking assets in transit, using intelligent vehicles or dedicated technology, are examples of concrete cases.

Taking into account the geospatial context. Monitoring location data for people and objects now goes beyond simple GPS technology. This monitoring integrates environmental data in real time, including weather, traffic and geopolitical conditions. They thus provide the context in which equipment, people and processes operate, and can bring out new areas for improvement. Advanced geospatial applications go beyond static maps and offer live, dynamic geospatial data.

Complex Event Processing (CEP) Developed using data sources from equipment that can be financial, geospatial or flow control, complex event processing (CEP) technology, identifies composite events and reveals coherent cause-effect patterns. CEP technology is a growing aspect of advanced analytical solutions. ERPs with integrated analytics offer these capabilities. Originally operated in the financial services and investment companies, CEP technology is now adopted in other sectors.

Digital manufacturing. A new technology package allows for design and manufacturing with 3D printing. Concrete cases, such as prototyping or model design, as well as the development of parts suitable for single use, are of particular interest to manufacturers. Product lifecycle management software, or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, has a long history of 3D design models, digital twins, etc. ERPs are also beginning to integrate them into modules that manage design to manufacturing (PLM / CAD, 3D visualization, etc.).

RFID. Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID (RadioFrequency IDentification), makes it possible to go beyond the limitation of bar codes (which require a line of sight). This technology has proven invaluable in different business applications. RFID technology enables asset tracking, inventory and labor management, electronic kanban, access control, and various control and security applications. In this decade when security is taken very seriously, RFID technology and the applications that exploit it will continue to grow.

Clothing components. While this may seem like a concept straight out of science fiction, the technology embedded in the buildings is entering into traditional manufacturing. Wearables are useful for hands-free processes or the ability to record and analyze operating data.

For example, users can assemble products while wearing Google Glass. This pair of glasses then scans to make sure that the appropriate parts are selected and provides assembly instructions. Another example is the field inspection and repair functions. Here the user needs data from systems that provide him with information as he performs his manual tasks.

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