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October 10, 2014

10 best ERP suites for SMEs

Find out the cream of enterprise resource planning.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Even small and medium-sized businesses need enterprise resource planning (ERP), and this selection of software proves that you don’t have to be a big player to get access to serious tools.

1. Sage 300 Online

This product from the Sage Group, a software firm, is a complete enterprise suite available on the cloud. Included is a range of programs covering the fields of accounting, business intelligence, sales, inventory and purchasing, among other functions.

2. SAP Business One

Powered by the company’s analytics appliance HANA, Business One covers the gamut of business functions, from customer relations to financial planning. The product is focused on small business, and aims to be highly scalable. What is more, it even comes as a mobile app.

3. Microsoft Dynamics

Dynamics, the company’s line of ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) software, recently made a big move into the mobility market as the firm updated its formerly limited mobile front end. Combined with integration for other Microsoft products, including the productivity suite Office 365, email service Outlook and cloud service Azure, this should be a serious contender for your money.

4. Salesforce

As one of the giants of the ERP market, Salesforce has a piece of software for almost every function your business could conceivably need. Among its competitors the company has an impressively level of integration, and is leading the move to greater mobility through its Salesforce1 app on iPhone and Android, covering businesses of all sizes and stripes.

5. Oracle Accelerate

Oracle has tended to focus on large organisations when it comes to business software, but it does have a few offerings for smaller businesses. All SMEs can make use of their bigger brothers’ tools, but the JD Edwards World suite is better suited to medium sized businesses, covering finance, personnel and distribution.

6. Exact Globe Next

Exact’s business software is only available in the cloud, and is targeted at manufacturers, wholesalers, and professional services. Globe Next is therefore suited to manufacturing and distributing companies, covering the majority of admin functions including bookkeeping, orders, and human resources.

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7. Intacct

Financial planning is at the core of Intacct’s enterprise suite, placing the management of accounts, orders and cash at the centre of the program. The software also allows you to monitor revenue, taxes and inventory, with specialised products available for healthcare, hospitality and charities.

8. Epicor

Unlike some of its competitors, Epicor covers a broad range of vertical industry, taking in sectors as eclectic as Aerospace, Pharmaceuticals and Engineering. Included in the suite are sales software, inventory manager, and human resource tools, catering for every business whim.

9. UNIT4 Aggresso

UNIT4 has a history of focusing on wholesalers, education institutions and real estate, but their Aggresso packages promises a comprehensive cloud ERP for everyone. The standard financial, human resources and asset management features can be used from a variety of devices, including phone and tablet.

10. Infor ERP

Infor takes a specialised approach to ERP, with separate packages hitting up different types of industry. While its Syteline suite targets manufacturers, Lawson is aimed at the service sector, with all products said to be highly scalable as smaller businesses become bigger ones.

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