Megaventory Blog - Online Inventory Management Software, Order fulfillment and Control System
This is the company blog for megaventory, an online software that helps small businesses that buy, sell and manufacture physical products to manage sales, purchasing, manufacturing and inventory. We blog about new features and updates but also about enterprise software, small businesses, cloud computing and the industry in general.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Market research: - the innovative SaaS ERP

Next on our series of review posts for online ERP providers for small and medium businesses is - always with an eye to cover the needs of your fictional MegaComp and of course we'll be reviewing myERP with our usual set of ERP selection criteria.

Features: Following the very positive and minimal first impression of myERP, you can see from the main menu that it address many of the most common everyday issues of a small business. From project management/time logging to CRM and from product/service to vendor management it has split all its tasks to intuitive commands allowing easy creation and viewing of business data. myERP also allows tracking of the company’s financials as well as report creation (P&L, Ledger, Balance, etc) - although there is no manufacturing module.

Data visualisation & export: Visualisation is simple and effective: pretty much everything is either in table or form format, inviting the user to familiarize themselves quickly - also to bore themselves a bit too. Export capabilities include the usual CSV and aesthetically laid out PDF files - always a plus to grab straight from the printer without embarrassing yourself to a collaborator. Also, the myERP API is still in development at the time of writing.
Usability: The most notable feature of myERP is its minimalism and its innovative interface which on the one hand resembles the Google homepage and on the other invites you to type natural language commands. This is impressive and appealing in the beginning but at the end of the day you keep using the main menu and the search bar kind of gets in the way of navigation. Although no help tips or a tutorial is available within myERP there is a separate community site dedicated on handling issues that may arise.
Security: Although not immediately obvious (had to Google search for it) your data in myERP is as reasonably secure as you’d expect. It supports the expected encrypted user authentication and database isolation and also the databases are backed up daily in Amazon S3. In general, myERP offers the levels of security, certification and redundancy offered by Amazon and its AWS given the entire infrastructure is on Amazon.
Data import: Nothing extraordinary or innovative here but the expected method of CSV, while also Quickbooks importing is also supported. It is however worth mentioning that there is some amount of integration with Google Apps if you already keep customer and supplier data there.

Maintenance: As mentioned, there is a medium-size community built around myERP with this and a blog being the primary method of support for any issues that arise. This should be adequate given that most of the problems that one might have with a traditional ERP are handled internally in the case of the Software as a Service myERP. For all other cases, the myERP staff should be standing by.

Miscellaneous: Preset options in many of the fields indicate that myERP taps on the industry’s experience in operations and can probably save you from some trial and error if you’re not from a relevant background. Our data integrity testing was not fully successful though; the gross profit report figures were not correctly updated after the deletion of some items in a document. That can be a quite serious glitch in the system.

Cost: Being free for two users and with any additional users meaning 29 USD per month per user, it’s quite a good bargain - especially given that you can experience the full suite of features before signing up even for a trial account. For MegaComp however, a 9-employee company, that would cost 203 USD per month so it can get quite expensive as users add up. The fact however that myERP is location agnostic helps in keeping costs down.

Overall, myERP is a solution to definitely consider. With a few tens of thousands of users from a 100+ countries and USD 4M raised there is bound to be a level of quality behind it. Polished as it may be though, we find the interface too bold for our preferences and would prefer a more traditional optional alternative. Unless of course myERP is preparing a voice operated version in which case we’ll wait for that...