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Wed 12 Mar 2003 04:00 AM

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Microsoft Business Solutions predicts growth in ERP for SMB

Two recent analyst studies indicate that the Middle East small-to-medium business market for ERP is set to grow this year

Small-to-medium businesses look set to be the next big buyers of ERP, according to Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS). The company cites two recent analyst reports that predict increased spending on ERP from this sector of the market this year and next.This is good news for MBS, which is focused on the SMB market, especially with its Great Plains ERP solutions.“There is huge potential for growth in the small and mid-market, because businesses there are looking for ways to streamline their operations and connect more effectively with key business partners,” explained Soha Kamal, professional services director, Middle East Africa, Microsoft Business Solutions. “In recent months, we’ve been hearing from a large number of existing and potential customers who are interested in the benefits an integrated ERP system can bring.”The two reports both show that ERP is on the rise in this market. The IDC study showed that 11% of the total Middle East expenditure on ERP came from the wholesale market, an area dominated by SMBs. A number of similar SMB-centric industries also featured highly in ERP spending figures.The second report, from Gartner predicts a need for increased connectivity for SMBs, both with customers and partners, connectivity that can only be accomplished through deployment of ERP systems to give greater control and visibility of systems.“A company’s ability to connect with customers and partners—easily and cost-effectively—can mean the difference between succeeding and just surviving,” said Kamal. “As more businesses recognise this, we’re seeing rapidly rising demand for ERP solutions, particularly in the SMB area.”

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