30th April 2010
The earnings season has seen a clutch of good results announcements from prominent IT vendors, such as Microsoft, SAP and UNIT 4 (which now includes Agresso and CODA). The question on everyone’s lips is has growth returned to the ERP market? The answer to that question looks to be a cautious ‘yes’ but there remain uncertainties. For a start the drivers of the mid market are different from the large scale ERP market and of course global results have to be treated with caution. SAP’s announcement was encouraging because it identified a small number of large scale ERP projects – something that we have not seen for a number of years. But the services side of the equation (training and consultancy) was not so rosy and was marked by falls in revenue. Microsoft’s results overall were very good but nested amongst the gleaming gains was a fall of around 6 percent in revenues in the Business Division. So how well is the Microsoft Dynamics brand of mid-market ERP doing? For me the stand out results belonged to UNIT 4 with a 30 percent increase in license sales. This company, firmly positioned in the upper reaches of the mid-market relishes working with companies facing tumult and change. If the results suggest that the strategy is resonating with customers facing unprecedented economic uncertainty and over-bearing regulation.