A Comparison of Top ERP Providers

Andreas Schaffry

SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft: In a 6-year-long study, US market researchers at Panorama Consulting investigated ERP decision-making behavior at over 6,000 companies worldwide.

According to a recent study by the US consulting firm Panorama Consulting, SAP is the undisputed leader when it comes to ERP, enjoying a 22% market share. Oracle maintains a 15% market share, while Microsoft comes in at 10%. The remainder is spread over other ERP vendors.

SAP dominates ERP market

One reason for SAP’s dominance is that IT managers responsible for introducing a new ERP system at their company add SAP ERP to their list of contenders much more frequently than other vendors’ offerings. This was the finding of the “Clash of the Titans 2012” benchmark study by Panorama Consulting Solutions, headquartered in Centennial, Colorado. It ran a survey between February 2006 and May 2012, in which it gathered and analyzed the data of more than 2,000 ERP user companies in 61 countries worldwide. The data revealed that more than two-thirds of all participants shortlisted the SAP ERP solution, whereas for Oracle it was 24% and for Microsoft Dynamics 17%.

The authors of the study believe that SAP makes it on the shortlist more often than its competitors because of its high market share and brand recognition. However, SAP does not always come out the winner of the selection process: “Only” 28% of IT bosses decided in favor of an SAP ERP system. Given this decision-making behavior, the study concluded that companies are not that easy to convince when it comes to implementing SAP.

ROI in 12 months

There is also a big difference in the time it takes to implement the individual ERP solutions of the three software giants. Implementation of the SAP solution, for example, takes an average of 17 months. Microsoft’s ERP solution, by contrast, can be implemented in around 13 months. According to the study, the shorter implementation time is due to the fact that the Microsoft customers are usually smaller companies with simpler structures and processes. The Oracle solution takes the longest to implement, at 18 months.

Comparing the ERP solutions, the survey found that 9% of all companies that carry out SAP projects see a return on investment in less than a year. This is the case for just 6% of all Microsoft user companies and 5% of all Oracle user companies. More than a third of all SAP implementations amortize after three years or more. But only 20% of all Oracle implementations and 15% of all Microsoft implementations pay off as quickly.