Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

By Sean Toru | last updated 28th December 2020


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is software that helps a company run their business. The resources could be stock, services, people or processes that are key to a company’s operations. ERP systems typically allow you to track these resources over time, to run reports on them and to make plans around them - hence the name. ERPs act as the key ‘source of truth’ as to where a businesses resources are at a particular point in time, and as such they need to be completely secure, reliable and auditable.

The biggest ERP system is SAP, which is so deeply ingrained in modern businesses that Microsoft use it over their own Navision ERP system. Other popular ERPs include Oracle Cloud ERP and Salesforce - although the latter is nominally a CRM that has expanded to include ERP-like features.

ERP systems typically have APIs that let developers integrate them with other systems. So for example a company that sells stock through brick and mortar stores that wants to sell online too might get their development partners to integrate the back end of an eCommerce site with their ERP so that live stock levels and pricing can be piped through to end uses.

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