Best Business Software and Enterprise Tech Alternatives to the Big Vendors

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: September 13, 2023

When assessing potential software to automate your organization, it's typical to think about well-established systems. However, there's a myriad of innovative technologies available that might be unfamiliar but could be pivotal for your organization. Here's a deeper dive into some of these technological solutions.

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Organizations, when carving out a digital strategy for business automation or enhancement, often gravitate towards renowned systems like SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, Workday, and NetSuite. However, many overlook the lesser-known yet innovative systems available. Although my organization and I have no affiliations with these technologies, they are noteworthy and might be vital for your digital strategy. For a comprehensive understanding of various market technologies, consider reviewing our annual Digital Transformation Report, accessible via the provided QR code or the links in the description.


A standout technology, Palantir, offers an interoperability technology enabling organizations to amalgamate multiple systems, further providing analytics and artificial intelligence functionalities. Think of it as a hybrid of middleware and business intelligence, enhanced with workflow automation. Large entities like the US government and the UK's National Health Service use Palantir, especially for integrating legacy systems that might be challenging or expensive to replace. Palantir ensures a unified source of truth across various systems, offering consolidated analytics, artificial intelligence, and reporting. If you seek a comprehensive review of Palantir, I recommend watching the provided video link for an objective analysis.

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Snowflake is another intriguing technology gaining traction. This business intelligence and analytics solution can layer over existing systems, providing a consistent data source. Although it lacks some of Palantir's automation features, Snowflake is versatile, suitable for both small and large organizations. If you're not keen on replacing your entire ERP or back-office systems but seek better insights, Snowflake might be a fitting choice.

Chat GPT

Chat GPT and OpenAI are cost-effective, easily deployable tools transforming job execution. Optimal for incremental business improvements without the complexities of extensive technological overhauls, these tools focus on specific process improvements, automation, creativity, and innovation. Their adaptability and effectiveness for various purposes have made them popular, with more organizations now exploring their potential for business automation. I recently shared a video overview of Chat GPT, accessible through the provided link, offering insights into its utility for strategic advancements.

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A stalwart in the technological realm, Salesforce, often recognized as a CRM system, is also a robust development platform. It facilitates the creation and purchase of third-party applications built on its architecture. So, beyond its CRM capabilities, Salesforce offers an array of third-party solutions, allowing a mix-and-match approach to business automation. For instance, Rootstock, an ERP solution developed on Salesforce, caters to manufacturing organizations. With Salesforce, you can also custom develop solutions tailored to your needs.


Odoo, an open-source ERP system, offers unparalleled flexibility. Unlike traditional ERP systems, its open-source nature allows more malleability and adaptability, enabling you to mold the software as per your requirements. Odoo's modular design lets organizations deploy singular components without integrating everything simultaneously, making it ideal for those hesitant about diving headfirst into full-scale ERP implementations. For a deeper understanding of Odoo, consider watching the provided video link which explores its strengths and weaknesses.

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Stopwatch, akin to Palantir and Snowflake in some aspects, offers a unique integration of various systems and data sets, presenting predictive analytics for informed decision-making. It's particularly beneficial for consumer product companies with intense supply chain requirements, aiding in predicting consumer behaviors, seasonality, and more.

These are merely a selection of the avant-garde technologies available for organizations. To further explore such technologies and understand their market positions, I recommend referring to comprehensive reviews and rankings available.

I would enjoy brainstorming ideas with you if you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation or are looking at selecting an ERP system, so please feel free to contact me at I am happy to be a sounding board as you continue your digital transformation journey.

Be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices.

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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