6 Key Players In ERP

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VARs looking to get in on the enterprise resource planning solutions action in the small-business market should get to know the primary vendors in this software space. Here's a quick rundown of the companies and their wares, plus some channel information.
COMPANY: Compiere
Santa Clara, Calif.
(408) 844-9760

KEY PRODUCT: Compiere ERP provides a unique model-driven architecture to enhance its product. Core componnents provide point of sales, distribution and inventory, e-commerce and workflow. The software is free.

PARTNER POINTS: Compiere generates its revenue from an open-source model. Partners programs cost between $5,000 and $10,000 for the number of certified Compiere professionals in-house. Partners also receive training, constant software updates, collateral material and support.

Mountain View, Calif.
(866) 379-6635

KEY PRODUCT: QuickBooks Enterprise provides a migration path from other QuickBooks products and has simplified user activities, workflows and easy-to-follow forms layouts to minimize the learning curve. Pricing starts at $3,000 per five users and tops at around $7,500 for 20 users.

PARTNER POINTS: Intuit has a program that attracts many small-business accounting solution providers. Its Affiliate program can earn partners up to 10% referral fees on net sales. Enterprise partners receive 25% margin on software, including quarterly rebates.

COMPANY: Microsoft
Redmond, Wash.
(800) 642-7676

KEY PRODUCT: Microsoft Dynamics GP is all about customization. Microsoft provides a developer toolkit as part of Visual Studio that helps partners integrate and extend Dynamics. The latest GP version arrives with integrated HR and payroll, project accounting and business analytics. Pricing for Business Essentials Dynamics GP license starts at $2,250 per user.

PARTNER POINTS: Microsoft breaks its license into essential core components, advanced management features and enterprise integration components.

Norfolk, Va.
(757) 461-3022

OpenMFG ERP Suite uses a PostGreSQL-driven solution along with a simple C++ QT framework for its GUI. The suite provides manufacturing, materials management and supply chain modules. Pricing starts at $5,000 per year for five users.

PARTNER POINTS: To attract small VARs, OpenMFG offers a 5% revenue referral program. VARs can receive between 20% and 40% commission for leads. OpenMFG is aggressively targeting companies that cannot afford midmarket ERP implementations.

COMPANY: Sage Software
Irvine, Calif.
(800) 854-3415

Sage MAS 90 is a robust ERP solution for midsize companies, boasting sophisticated inventory forecasting, bar coding and unlimited item lists. MAS 90 and 200 arrive with small-business editions that link with other Sage products and integrate with Crystal Reports. Pricing starts at $5,700, depending on configuration and number of concurrent users.

PARTNER POINTS: Sage is offering a new Fast Track Consultant Program that helps partners train consultants with Sage software. Partners can receive more than $9,000 in training assistance.

COMPANY: The Apache Software
Forest Hill, Md.
(410) 803-2258

Apache's Open For Business (OFBiz) suite is a top-level open-source project, which combines ERP, CRM, e-commerce, SCM, MRP and other enterprise software. The software is free.

PARTNER POINTS: This is a large and complex open-source project with many risks to VARs entering ERP. The OFBiz suite is recommended for VARs with strong Java software development experience.

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