Trend Watch: Managed ERP Services
Managed services aren’t just for small business. In fact, the managed service providers see ample opportunity in mid-size businesses. But targeting the mid-market often means competing with well-funded, profitable consulting firms that specialize in host ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications.
A case in point: Ciber Inc., a publicly held solutions provider with about $1 billion in annual revenue, has announced a managed services partnership with Lawson Software. The consulting firm plans to host and manage Lawson’s ERP applications for customers.
Lawson is a classic mid-market software provider. The company’s software typically fits somewhere above Microsoft Dynamics but below enterprise ERP suites from Oracle and SAP.
About a year ago, Lawson became far more aggressive in the managed and hosted services market. In March 2007, the company announced Lawson Total Care Platinum, a hosted ERP service that also included application management and support services. Early backers of the hosted offering included IBM.
While ERP isn’t necessarily a sweet spot for many MSPs, some solutions providers are certainly are moving into the hosted ERP space. Microsoft Dynamics, in particular, has been attracting interest from solutions providers that want to host ERP and CRM (customer relationship management) applications.