What is ERP?

Friday, August 11, 2017

First off, ERP is an acronym for enterprise resource planning.

Way back in 2009, when xTuple’s open source ERP software was less than a decade old, and we were still having to explain exactly who we were and what we did, I wrote a blog post: What IS ERP? (Hint: more than just Business Management Software).

Today, we’re still battling the proprietary software giants in a mature marketplace, yet we explain ourselves much less often (and win more deals!).

Why? The power of open source — with the help of xTuple’s Internet presence  has helped tremendously. A solid 80% of our business software buyers have already “kicked the tires” and used a version of the product to manage their organization (thanks to our free version of PostBooks®), or they’ve “tested the tread” with a Free Demo hosted in the xTuple Cloud.

What is ERP?

We think a picture is worth a thousand words. So, we created an infographic, an at-a-glance image that perfectly defines what ERP encompasses.

What is ERP?

For those who might need a short introduction to ERP, we've created a short "explainer series" of videos to explain what is ERP and what does ERP do for my business.

And for those who need a word definition, we like to put it quite simply:

Enterprise Resource Planning software consolidates all business operations into ONE system.

Your ERP’s same shared database connects your “front end” sales and customer service to all back-office activity, such as finance and accounting (receivables, payables, and general ledger); manufacturing, warehouse and delivery operations; purchasing and inventory management; materials, product and production planning and capacity; vendor management, etc.

That same shared database makes possible the integrated management of your core business processes, in real-time and error-free, facilitated by software and technology. Investing in ERP is not a mere IT investment; ERP is an investment in growth and creating value for your business.

We’ve come a long way since 2009.

Why use ERP?

Back then — and still today — companies who seek out ERP lament how their disparate billing and purchase order software, manufacturing operations, spreadsheets, less sophisticated solutions such as QuickBooks, and one-off contact management systems are not only ineffective and inefficient, the piecemeal collection gets in the way of growing their business profitably.

We lauded then, and now, that ERP’s greatest benefit is the elimination of multiple, separate software solutions, so that everyone in your company works together, sharing and managing the same information rather than fighting over it.

As I wrote back in 2009, every day there are new additions to the xTuple platform and family of products. That growth only accelerated today. Between our open source community of developers, value-add resellers, and customers with new requirements, xTuple’s days (and nights) are busier than ever.

Much of xTuple ERP's functionality has changed dramatically, made possible with xTuple REST API. One of the biggest additions to the xTuple family is xTupleCommerce, a fully ERP-integrated, real-time Customer Web Portal for complete 24/7/365 sales and service— and uniquely in the marketplace, it’s affordable. We’ve got some other impressive product add-ons, too: Quality, Payroll, Rentals to name a few.

Thanks to our open-source roots, we're a transparent company. We publish and maintain a xTuple ERP Product Roadmap to keep you apprised of what’s next on the horizon and what’s been accomplished over the years.

In addition to making xTuple ERP software easy for our customers to use — we have also made it simple for other solutions to work with us, to offer our customers additional functionality — beyond the ERP  on our platform. If the platform is easy to develop software on (and it's well supported), then other application providers have incentive to develop on it. As the platform continues to expand, it becomes more valuable for the entire community.

The xTuple ERP (and xTupleCommerce) ecosystem grows with you.

Wally Tonra

Vice President Sales
Wally has been with xTuple since 2004 and in ERP sales since the mid-1990s. After all that time selling vendor-centric, proprietary enterprise software, moving to an open source, Mac-friendly ERP package was a natural evolution. Prior to xTuple, Wally spent 10 years at JD Edwards, which was eventually acquired by Peoplesoft, in various sales and sales management positions. He made the move to xTuple before Oracle took over both Peoplesoft and the former JDE. Prior to JD Edwards, Wally held sales positions at ERP software company Daly.commerce (formerly Daly and Wolcott), hardware supplier XL/Datacomp and storage vendor EMC. Wally holds a B.S. from Boston College, where the Mac fanaticism all began.