I'm glad to see an analyst firm taking a stand about the need for ERP vendors to improve their functional capability. Such is the case with Mickey North Rizza's recent research brief on ERP vs. Best of Breed Sourcing (subscription required). According to Mickey, "U.S. and European companies are split down the middle on type of vendor used for sourcing applications, with 50% looking to ERP vendors and the other half implementing best-of-breed or custom applications." But the similarities end there based on Mickey's findings as well as some of my own research. Without giving away Mickey's findings as this is a subscription only brief, I'd suggest that her general findings -- that there are companies who not only continue to embrace best of breed as their first choice but also those who make the switch to best of breed from ERP -- bode well for those providers who are not part of the ERP borg. Indeed, there is enough functional and results-oriented differences between vendors including Ariba, Emptoris, Iasta and others to justify their continued existence alongside their ERP brethren. As an aside, look for continued coverage on SAP's recent sourcing enhancements -- and how they stack up to those of other providers -- on Spend Matters as I continue to work through my notes from Sapphire.
- Jason Busch