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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Industry roundup: consumerisation, speed and an interview

As some of you may know, we’ve recently ran a successful survey for our megaventory customers and one of the insights that emerged, is that a significant fraction of people out there prefer a shorter form of content and analysis/opinion articles.

In order to accommodate both of these preferences we thought of the following idea for a series of posts: every now and then in this megaventory blog we’ll be rounding up a couple of such links from the broader small business, ERP, inventory management and order management blogosphere which stood out as the most interesting in our radar - and we’ll present them here along with a short commentary.

So here it goes - the post may be long but you can easily focus on the parts you prefer best.

1. ”Consumer Grade is the new Industrial Grade”
The trend is quite common in the past months - we mentioned it too a while back: the distance between the consumer and enterprise world is shrinking. Vinnie Mirchandani also identifies the trend in the above quote by large ERP vendor Infor and admits:
Few enterprises are acknowledging consumer tech provides the new benchmarks for their industries. Amazon and Google data centers are more best practice than those of IBM and Accenture. Foxconn’s contract manufacturing of many consumer products is redefining economics, quality and time to market expectations for outsourcing. PayPal’s micro-payment capabilities are better than those of much larger banks. It takes a brave board like J.C, Penney’s to hire as its CEO the head of Apple Retail.

In short, consumer-facing companies set the standards for business-oriented ones. And the online inventory management business is no exception.



2. Silicon Valley Can Do Better Than Facebook A much discussed and re-shared article which takes the view that Facebook and its hyped IPO actually damages the business ecosystem. It does that by showing aspiring small businesses that the way to be the most successful is to get people to play silly games, virtually poke each other and click on ads. Instead of having real impact on real world pain points, that is.

There’s truth in the argument. But, similarly to the above post, Facebook and other companies which focus on providing the best customer experience achieve something else too. They force other traditionally boring industries (e.g. ERP) to become much more appealing and accessible.



3. Industry Insights – A Conversation with Jeff Kaplan 
Jeff Kaplan, migration management consultant and former analyst was interviewed in Intacct’s blog. Again the pattern of ‘corporate users who have been exposed to the ease of use with consumer applications’ appears but Jeff touches on how much network/server accessibility is an issue on the cloud (not really), the top cloud benefits (see Megaventory’s take), the innovative directions the cloud pushes towards (better social, mobility and analytics) and the evolution of the industry (do read that bit especially). Good stuff.

4. Speed of business propels SaaS expansion
ZDNet’s Phil Wainewright makes an observation that large companies which want to move quickly in emerging markets or get fast feedback on a market, quickly implement a SaaS ERP in their respective business in order to get results as soon as possible. And it is these short response times that also makes SaaS appealing.

The excellent extension to the fact is of course that who doesn’t need break-neck speed in their results these days? In today’s world where businesses are constantly behind their schedule (at least those who want to be honest with themselves), nobody has time for changes that take time.