1 in 5 SME+ sites use SAP ERP

Around 20 per cent of all business establishments with 50 or more employees say they are using an SAP ERP solution. That makes SAP the most common ERP supplier on the Dutch commercial and public markets. Microsoft and Exact take second and third place overall. SAP has a particularly strong presence in the offices of multinationals. Over half (53 per cent) of sites in this segment say they are using SAP for the ERP environment. And in the public domain too, SAP is the most frequently used ERP supplier. Its lead over numbers 2 and 3 is smaller here, however. In the segments largely containing somewhat smaller organisations (National Enterprises and Medium Sized Businesses), Microsoft is the most common ERP supplier. At sites with between 250 and 2,500 employees, 18 per cent of them indicate that they are using Dynamics, while with medium sized businesses (50 to 250 employees in the Netherlands) that is 14 per cent. This is shown from an analysis by Computer Profile of around 6,500 discussions that took place in the last 18 months with Dutch commercial and public organisations concerning the use of business-critical applications.

Exact has its lowest presence on the sites of Multinationals. Barely 4 per cent of sites in this segment are using ERP software from this Delft-based supplier. In the public segment, it is particularly healthcare and educational institutions (15 and 9 per cent respectively) that are using Exact ERP. Custom solutions are also still playing a part at Dutch business locations. Overall, just under 5 per cent of them indicate that they are still using internally or externally developed custom build.

The trend in recent years shows significant shifts in respect of the various vendors. The use of SAP still fluctuates around the 20 per cent mark. Microsoft has seen slightly increased penetration in the most recent years, while custom software is showing a clear downward trend.

The small shifts are also related to the total ERP use. Of all sites with 50 or more employees, around 68 per cent say they are using an ERP solution, roughly the same as in previous years. It seems that the acquisition of ERP software by Dutch companies has reached its maximum potential. It is expected that further growth will have to come from additional ERP functionalities per site, rather than from more sites with ERP.

Both in industry and in wholesale, ERP use now sits at around 90 per cent. It seems the most space for growth is to be found at sites in the public domain. But even in the public sector, government, educational and healthcare institutions have been showing little growth in recent years. In this segment, use is being made in particular of vertical specific solutions, such as pupil, citizen or patient administration systems, which are not being considered here.

Cloud is private cloud

Cloud computing was (is) one of the most characteristic IT trends of recent years. Looking at the use of ERP software and the way in which this application is run, it appears that the Public Cloud as yet plays a very limited role in ERP use. Of all the ERP packages known to Computer Profile, only one or two percent is a Public Cloud solution, and that percentage has barely changed in the last four years. What has significantly increased, however, is the use of ERP software that is hosted in the data centre of an external service provider. This also includes the various private cloud solutions offered by service providers. In 2013, 15 per cent of ERP solutions found were hosted versions. This percentage has doubled in 2016 and hosted ERP applications already account for almost a third of all the ERP solutions used.

Growth in the use of ERP from an external data centre is mainly at the expense of locally operated ERP software. In 2013, local ERP still accounted for 43 per cent of all the applications found, now down to 32 per cent. The use of remote ERP solutions has also declined in recent years. We are referring here to ERP solutions that do not run on their own site, but still within the organisation, usually in a data centre on an affiliate/parent site. The operation of the ERP software on site is mainly prevalent in the locations of somewhat smaller organisations. Around 66 per cent of the ERP packages in the Medium Sized Businesses segment involve a locally installed application. Within multinationals, the ERP application normally runs in a consolidated environment; 45 per cent of the ERP solutions used in this segment runs on an affiliate/parent site, and another 44 per cent runs in the data centre of an external service provider. The trend of declining local ERP use will only continue in the coming years.