The rapid emergence of anything as a service (XaaS) is creating an entirely different economy where products and cloud-based services are delivered in a continuous relationship with the customer rather than as a series of individual transactions. In this brave new world, consumer relations are everything.
As we transition from one year to another, it is customary to look back on the past year and begin to consider what might unfold in the year ahead. We are in a period of massive technology-driven disruption in the ERP market and this past year will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of artificial intelligence and chatbots. However, when it comes to developing technologies that truly change the way organizations operate, the hype of the simplistic call-and-response chatbots we saw this year will likely be just a small blip on a much longer journey towards true AI. Here are some thoughts from Unit4 on what the ERP market can expect in 2019.
The next time you’re about to binge a season of your favorite Netflix show, consider the complex interactions taking place behind the scenes to make this possible. From negotiating with production companies and internet providers to orchestrating network traffic and predictive analytics algorithms, what Netflix has achieved is rather astounding. In just a few seconds, your show is streaming seamlessly. And this experience isn’t unique. Every day, 100 million Netflix subscribers have the same (nearly) faultless experience as they stream an average of 140 million hours of content.
At the end of every year, I take a few minutes to think back on the most disruptive technologies of the previous year and consider what tomorrow might have in store. This past year will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of Artificial Intelligence and chatbots. However, when it comes to developing technologies that truly change the way organizations operate, the hype of the simplistic call-and-response chatbots we saw this year will likely be just a small blip on a much longer journey towards true AI. As we approach 2019, I believe that technologies that will truly impact business operations and ROI may not garner as much hype but will bring greater change. This includes trends such as digital transformation, Deep Learning, and low-code/no-applications.
The future is XaaS – Everything-as-a-Service. While XaaS stems from cloud computing, it has quickly evolved to something that embraces anything that can be delivered via the Internet that used to be delivered only physically. The benefits include lower costs, massive scalability and flexibility, low maintenance overheads, and simple access to new technologies. This means organizations can focus on their core business and value – and most importantly, serving customers well.
Three years ago, I wrote a blog entitled, “Does multi-tenancy really matter anymore?” As three years have passed and the conversation is still being had by some in the industry, it seemed like a good time to revisit the topic and share my thoughts on why multi-tenancy still doesn’t matter.
I would like to start by defining some terms, abbreviations, and acronyms that I refer to in this post. The purpose of the definition section is purely to help the reader’s understanding, and not to appear patronizing. I apologize upfront if it is interpreted as such
As early as the ’90s, businesses and analysts alike have foretold the death of the ERP system. Over 20 years later, however, ERP is still alive and well. Globalization, digitalization, the internet and a whole host of other technologies have made it virtually impossible for businesses to move away from ERP. There’s simply too much critical data housed in the underlying databases for elimination to ever be a viable option.
For almost a decade, we’ve talked about wanting to modernize enterprise software user interfaces (UI) to match consumer software, but we’ve gone about it the wrong way. The modernization of UIwas proposed as a solution to meet the increased expectations that enterprise software should be as simple to use and nice to navigate as the applications we use at home from any device. But investing in software UI that merely looks beautiful is a waste of time and resources.
Users and developers agree on one thing in relation to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software: it’s boring.
For users, ERP means a lot of data entry added to their daily workload. While ERP is becoming more sophisticated with support for mobile devices and cloud functionality now commonplace, most users would prefer to use systems that are quicker and more responsive.
Developers can see this is a pain point and are trying to innovate past it, but that’s not always possible with the kind of monolithic architecture that can be found in contemporary ERP installations. ERP is a challenge to developers because ERP systems communicate with so many other systems on the network and each ERP installation is so massively configurable. Each individual instance of an ERP can feel like a unique piece of software in itself.
In the 1980s, the television program Knight Rider gave a glimpse into a world where artificial intelligence could learn, communicate, and make independent decisions. The star of the show, a self-aware computer, was housed in a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, and it intrigued viewers. They imagined how the technology could change lives, handling dull or dangerous tasks with a simple spoken command. At the time, such software sounded like a creation of science fiction. Now, less than four decades later, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology are our reality, communicating with users through natural language interfaces.