May 25, 2018

Top 5 ERP News and articles 25-May-2018

Curated top 5 news as of 25-May-2018

1. EPICOR sees ERP as a backbone for Digital Transformation: ET: Epicor unveiled its product vision for next generation UI Technology and Design and its cloud solutions that will enable customers and partners embrace cloud, IiOT, mobility, predictive analytics and other emerging technologies. The new technologies will be deployed across a Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. The Epicor Kinectic Design, comprising of three legs, Kinetic Design, Kinetic Framework and Kinetic Applications provide a comprehensive technology set that will help the customers move to the next level of Industry 4.0 technologies....

May 24, 2018

Implications of EU GDPR on ERP Value Chain

European Union authorities have introduced GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to protect the personal, identifiable data of natural persons in the EU. The regulations are broad in scope and minute in detail. The key ideas include Purpose, Consent, Process to handle data breach, liabilities and penalties, definition of data collection and data processing entities (controller and processor) and their different tasks, process to collect, process and archive data, well laid out redressal mechanism etc.

This comprehensive set of regulations will come into effect from May 25, 2018. 

Since ERP Applications handle large amount of data including personal data, the regulations  have significant impact on the entire ERP value chain. Applications should simplify and make specific the collection of personal data.

Top 5 ERP News from India for today (24-May-2018)...

1. Top five ERP Challenges for SMEs: From Economic Times: Bit of a generic article. Talks of issues like Top Management Interest, Communication, Change Management, Scoping and Customization. One can augment this piece by reading my blog post on Risks faced by SMEs in their ERP Journey

2. India's maiden SAP ERP runs on the coal sector: First Post: An excellent article on ERP Implementation at a PSU, on how Singareni Colliaries (SCCL) Implemented SAP ERP in the coal sector. The article covers the Why (Business Drivers), How (the implementation process) and What

May 22, 2018

EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

European union has introduced GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to streamline the data protection regulation across the member countries. The GDPR replaces the EU’s Data Protection Directive, which went into effect in 1995.  While the rules are enforceable at the Union level, individual member countries are free to tweak the rules based on country specific circumstances. This regulation is aimed at preventing scandals like the misuse of personal data as it happened in US Elections.

This regulation spans 174 Paragraphs, 12 Chapters and 99 Articles. This was approved on 27 April, 2016 and will come to effect from 25 May, 2018

Highlights of GDPR: Image Courtesy European Council

There are two objectives of this regulation.

May 7, 2018

Industry 4.0: India Approach

Manufacturing Industry in India has a potential to touch $1 Trillion by 2025 accounting for 25 to 30% of India's GDP, and create up to 90 Million jobs. With the Government focusing on 'Make in India', the manufacturing industry must seize the moment by investing in new technology and expanding its competitive advantage and capturing more of the global market.

With government focusing on Digital India initiatives,

Apr 2, 2018

ERP Effectiveness Questionnaire

Mar 25, 2018

What is Industry 4.0? Power Point Slideshow

This is a presentation on Industry 4.0, focusing on the following:
Definition, Design Principles, Challenges, Opportunities, Benefits and India Potential...

Mar 16, 2018

What is Industry 4.0?: A primar


The idea of Industry 4.0 (I4.0), that started in Germany in 2013, has quickly caught the imagination of the manufacturing industry across the world. Called a new paradigm shift in manufacturing process, I4.0 envisages the integration of cyber-physical systems, big data, modern technologies and cloud computing, supported by reliable internet access, to transform the manufacturing industry globally.

This article starts of by explaining I4.0, its evolution, principles and major benefits. Then we  look at the integration of three elements, IIoT, Cloud Computing and Cyber-physical systems and discuss some of the challenges related to I4.0.

Since this blog focus on ERP, we also look at the features that an ERP Application should have to ensure a smooth transition to I4.0. We round of this article by looking at the role of Big Data and Analytics (5C Systems) in facilitating and benefiting from I4.0.

Mar 6, 2018

ERP Markets in India


An enterprise resources planning (ERP) solution allows companies to integrate their business transactions across the organization. ERP software enables both upstream (vendors) and downstream (customers) integration. This helps the organization to manage their inventory, reduce customer and vendor disputes, reduce working capital requirements, and quickly and accurately report on their financial position to the shareholders.
This article starts off with a focus on the ERP market in India covering the local historical growth in ERP investments starting from around 2012. Since GST has become a critical requirement in India, we look at what GST features must be available in an ERP solution. Next we take a quick look at the trends in the ERP market in India for 2018 and beyond.
Finally we have an overview of the Epicor ERP solution and how it can help companies in India become competitive.
Obtaining the latest data relating to the ERP market in India has been a challenge. To overcome it, I have tried to factor in the data covering the last five years starting from 2012.

The ERP market in India

According to a study by worldwide the ERP applications market (including cloud based ERP) is projected to reach$84.1 billion by 2021. This will include licenses, subscription, and maintenance revenues. New license revenue will account for about 50% of this. Cloud applications will show a robust growth of about 8% CAGR from 2016 to 2021, from $17.6 billion to $25.9 billion.
As per estimates by Gartner, the enterprise application spending in India (including ERP) will reach$2.39 billion in 2017. According to Infoholic Research, the cloud ERP market in India was valued at $97.8 million in 2015 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.4% between 2015 and 2020. While this is still a small percentage of the overall ERP market in India, it is growing at a terrific pace, mostly driven by Government initiatives and SMEs. 
Among the SME sector, automotive, engineering, manufacturing, steel and consumer durables have shown a very high penetration of ERP solutions. These industries could represent significant potential in the coming years.
SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft continue to be the key players in the ERP market in India. However, the market is very competitive with players including Epicor, Tally, Sage, and Ramco competing for the customer pie. In addition, there is a strong appetite for low cost, open source ERP software, especially in the SME segment. In this segment, cost and customer support continue to be the key factors in the purchasing decision. In addition, availability of cloud offering could become a shortlist criteria.

Critical drivers for the ERP purchase

There are multiple drivers for organizations to turn to ERP solutions. Firstly, companies are turning to ERP solutions to improve their operating efficiency and integrate various application silos. Secondly, to catch up with competition who has achieved a quick ROI on their ERP investments. Thirdly, to increase shareholder value. Markets tend to value companies that use ERP applications higher than those that are not. Fourthly, in recent times, the lower cost of moving to cloud ERP is becoming an attractive option for many companies, especially the SME segment. 

GST support

The immediate challenge in India (and hence the critical purchase criteria for 2018 and beyond) is how an ERP application supports GST requirements. The following are the broad business functionalities relating to GST that any ERP application should handle.
1. Configuration flexibility—the application should handle the critical configurations related to GST including different taxes, rates, HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature: An International Product Naming Convention developed by World Customs Organization) codes etc.
2. Seamless transactions—the transactions should easily capture GST related information and calculate the tax impact accurately
3. Versatile reporting—including internal transaction reports, reconciliation reports, external statutory reports, and historical and exception reports
4. Intuitive accounting including GST Receivables/Payable/Paid accounting
5. Integration with the GST portal for GSTR uploads (
6. Quick and accurate input for credit calculations
7. End to end integration including inventory valuation and financial reporting
Receiving high quality proactive support from the application vendor via patches that are released to handle statutory changes will be a key differentiator.

ERP trends for 2018 and beyond

1. Core ERP solution: India is still an under penetrated market when it comes to ERP. Significant potential exists in the SME segment for core ERP applications to handle inventory management, production scheduling, and order fulfilment. However, in this market, simplicity and ease of use are the top critical success factors. 
2. SaaS: The SaaS (cloud) ERP market in India is still in its infancy. The model is still hybrid, with core applications being on-premise and satellite applications like HCM, CRM, procurement etc. in the cloud. The cloud market in India will be dominated by existing on-premises customers who want to expand to the cloud while new customers could be predominantly SMEs. According to research done by Infoholic Research, the cloud ERP market in India, which stood at $98 Million in 2015 is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.4% from 2015 to 2020.  A complex taxation system and data security issues remain the major bottlenecks for full fledged cloud adoption in India.
3. Analytics: Getting ERP solutions to support strategic decision making remains a challenge in India. For most customers their ERP system still remains as an excellent OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) system. The focus will shift from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive analytics that can anticipate potential challenges. More companies will use analytics to achieve continuous process improvements.
4. Warehouse and logistics: With the advent of GST, companies will need to look differently at their warehouse and logistics operations. The trend will be to wind down their extensive and complex inter-state operations and move to logistics service providers. This will call for investment in warehouse and transportation management solutions. The companies that can provide simple cloud solutions will have the first mover advantage.
5. Mobility: ERP on the go, mobile first and mobile only will be the mantras going forward. Using ERP systems on mobile phones and tablets will become the de facto features. Mobile will move from being used for notification and approval to end-to-end transactions and reporting.
6. Internet of Things (IoT): Companies will start focusing on integrating their ERP systems with IoT. The manufacturing sector will lead the demand and will use IoT for materials and spares planning as a first step. This opens the market for ERP products with embedded IoT features.

About Epicor ERP

Epicor Software Corporation ( is a leading global ERP vendor that has been providing best of breed, industry-specific ERP solutions for over 45 years. Globally the company operates in over 150 countries and has more than 20,000 customers worldwide. In India, the company has aggressive plans. Epicor recently partnered with Redington India to focus on the manufacturing industry and capitalize on the opportunities created by the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programs.
As per the Top 10 ERP Systems Report 2017 by Panorama Consulting, Epicor is considered a leading ERP solution for the mid-market segment. It is ranked three for ‘ERP System Functional Score (Breadth of functionality)’ and two for the ‘Time to realize business benefits’. At 3.4% market share, it takes the fifth position in terms of market share in the report
The powerful electronic compliance engines embedded in the Epicor applications enable companies in India to quickly and seamlessly deliver the statutory reports related to GST. The application also enables direct interface with the GST portal to upload and download reports. 
Epicor Electronic Compliance Engine

The compliance engine allows content to be delivered dynamically as and when needed. This, in turn, enables the customer to be future ready today.
Epicor solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of each industry and are available in the cloud, hosted, or on premises. They help customers to better manage business complexity and focus on core growth activities. Epicor solutions support the smallest start-up to the largest multinational, as well as the differing complexities in specific industries. With multitude of deployment options, Epicor is well suited to meet the needs of the customer.
Epicor solutions deliver the choice, flexibility, and agility needed to support strategic initiatives and remove redundant processes. The Epicor ERP system offers a modular approach with robust capabilities focused on reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving customer responsiveness across the enterprise—all top priorities toward achieving continued growth and profitability.
Epicor provides tailor made ERP solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services industries. The end to end integrated applications cover business functions including procurement, inventory management, manufacturing, order fulfilment, financials, budgeting, costing, accounting, and financial reporting. 
By implementing a global ERP solution such as Epicor ERP customers can take advantage of modern technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, predictive analytics, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and others. These technologies can help customers improve their business performance as well as support future growth.
The Epicor ERP solution comes with a single line of code which means that the cloud and on-premises versions are same so the customer doesn’t have to go through a cumbersome time consuming migration process if they decide to switch from one option to the other.

Note: This article is sponsored by Epicor. The information in the related section is provided by the company. All the remaining information is culled from publicly available information in the web, the links to which are mentioned in the 'References' section below.  I do not have any special relation with the company and am not endorsing the ERP product in anyway. This blog continues to be application agnostic.


Aug 26, 2017

India Goods and Services Tax (GST): Implications for ERP Supply Chain

Taxes Subsumed Under GST

Taxes Outside the Purview of GST

Modules Impacted by GST

1. Inventory: For Item Tax Configuration
2. Purchasing: For capturing Input Tax Payment
3. Sales Order: For capturing Input Tax Collection
4. Accounts Payable: For Capturing Input Tax Payment (In case Purchasing Module is not implemented or in case of Service Purchases)
5. Accounts Receivable: For capturing Input Tax Collection (In case Sales Order module is not implemented or when selling services)
6. India Localization Application: For Tax Settlement and statutory reporting

New Interfaces required
1. An interface with GST Network (GSTN) to upload returns and settlements

Prerequisites before going live in GST
1. Calculate the Opening GST Balances
2. Review all the interfaces with third party applications3. 

1. Four types of GST (SGST, IGST, UTGST and CGST)
2. Some items out of GST. So there could be a possibility of different taxes running together
3. Some taxes like Customs duty out of GST
4. Continuation of Cess and Surcharges will make tax settlement complex.
5. Complex Reporting