The One “Ring”

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

A recent ChainLink Research piece on ERP Part One – The Tales of Technology, while addressing fusing, the myth of integration, noted that the lack of cohesion in architecture and applications led to the beginning of a silent admission by ERP, that there ultimately would never be the ‘one corporate software system’, but they would be a provider of a suite of products. I can’t say I agree.

We are moving toward the one “system”, coming full circle from the introduction of the first MRP systems back in the 50’s, but the “system” will not be so much a single application from a single vendor by a “ring” of seamlessly integrated applications by one or more vendors that address all supply chain functions supported by one central “cloud” with built-in middleware that enables multiple providers to seamless integrate their applications with applications from their peers.

And the way things are going, Salesforce could be “the one system” for many businesses. With so many SRM providers building apps for the SalesForce AppExchange that seamlessly integrate with the core platform and CRM data, it’s a logical next step. Coupa, CVM Solutions, and SupplierSoft have apps on the platform and a dozen more companies are developing apps as we speak.

Cloud services like the AppExchange may soon build the “One Ring” that binds all the systems into one cloud system. What do you think?