Flanders leads ERP usage

At the beginning of 2017, approximately 64 percent of Belgian firms with 50 or more employees indicated using an ERP package. This percentage has changed little in recent years. Computer Profile observed a consistent ERP usage of between 61 and 66 percent during the period of 2010 to the present date. However, there is a clear difference between the various regions. In this respect, Flanders boasts the highest ERP usage. There, ERP software is used by 68 percent of firms, including those in the public sector. And, it is precisely in this public sector where major regional differences occur. Particularly in healthcare and education is the use of ERP packages significantly higher in Flanders than in Brussels and Wallonia. In addition to regional variations, differences between industry sectors are also evident. The trade and industry sectors continue to make the most use of ERP software. This was revealed from a Computer Profile analysis based on 4,000 interviews conducted with Belgian firms on application software usage.

A breakdown per class size illustrates the obvious correlation. Larger firms use ERP more frequently than smaller ones. At workplaces with 50 to 100 employees we observe an ERP penetration of 60 percent, which subsequently rises per employee class to a penetration of approximately 74 percent at 1,000+ workplaces.

SAP is twice as large

The most frequently cited ERP solution is SAP software. 45 percent of those workplaces indicating ERP software usage are running one or more SAP ERP components. SAP’s presence on the Belgian market (50+ employees) is consequently more than double the number 2, Microsoft Dynamics. One in five ERP workplaces runs a Dynamics solution. Both SAP and Microsoft are continuing to strengthen their positions. In 2010, 31 percent of ERP users indicated using SAP. That percentage has risen by approximately 2 percentage points each year, to the current 45 percent. In the same period, Microsoft witnessed a growth of just over 15 percent to the current 20 percent.

In addition to the two leaders, only 5 vendors enjoy a penetration of more than 1 percent of ERP users. These are Oracle ERP with 6 percent, KPD with 3 percent, Infor also with 3 percent, Exact with over 2 percent and Unit4 with over 1 percent. As these parties benefit from relatively limited penetrations, it is difficult to observe a clear trend line for the years 2010 to 2017. Oracle, KPD and Unit4 appear to have remained relatively constant. Exact appears to benefit from a rising trend (from 1 per cent in 2010 to 2.5 per cent in 2017) whilst Infor seems to have relinquished ground (from 6 per cent in 2010 to the current 3 per cent), although the last 3 years do appear to have remained stable. Not yet mentioned, are internally and externally developed customisations, which at 15 percent, are still the third most commonly used ERP application. Customised solutions are clearly susceptible to deterioration. In 2010, a quarter of companies with ERP software still indicated using customised solutions.

The (limited) rise of hosted ERP

“Cloud” is one of the buzz words of recent years. The impact of cloud on the Belgian ERP market remains extremely limited. An ERP cloud solution can be observed at only 2 percent of firms with ERP software. That percentage has barely changed in recent years. By cloud we mean “public cloud” in this context. ERP in a private cloud environment falls under the “Hosted ERP” category. By hosted ERP we mean all situations where the ERP solution employed no longer runs within its own organisation but is rather hosted in a data centre environment by an external service provider. The use of this is clearly on the increase. From 6 percent in 2010 to the current 16 percent. The use of on-premise ERP software (Local) decreased during this period. The use of ERP software in a remote situation, within its own organisation-not on its own site, appears to fluctuate, yet does not decrease or rise demonstrably.

The striking aspect about the workplace illustration is not so much revealed in the figures themselves, but rather in the contrast with comparable figures for the Dutch market. For Dutch ERP users (including firms with 50+ employees), “on- premise” usage still accounts for 38 percent of ERP users, “remote” usage accounts for 31 percent, “hosted ERP” for 29 percent and “cloud ERP” for 6 percent of users. The hosted category in the Dutch market has quadrupled in recent years.