Why not, they go well together. But what beer will you choose? Choosing a beer should be easier than choosing a new ERP, but there are some striking similarities between the two.

With the growing availability, scalability, complexity and ease of integration across enterprise platforms, we are hearing more and more confusion on what actually differentiates one ERP platform from another. Most sales reps will use the car-buying analogy, relating the purchase of SAP or Oracle to driving a “Cadillac” or some similar luxury vehicle, versus a “Toyota”, “Honda”for a lesser Tier software. For those not keen on the automobile market, you may find preference in relating your software purchase to choosing a beer. Just please remember to choose either beer or cars, as beer and automobiles do not go well together:

Coors Light and Sage 100: A true classic, available and well-known at nearly every bar across the globe, Coors Light is simple and refreshing. Coors Light may be compared to Sage 100 in that you know what you are getting, the price is right and it is fairly easy to adopt to your taste buds or business. If you have never had a sip of beer before, this may be a good start, just as Sage 100 may be a great starter ERP package.

Barley wines and IFS: Far less knownand not as widely available as many mainstream options, barley wines are strong and complex. With variations of aroma and colors, they come with an intense punch of high alcohol content. They also age very well and tend to be seasonal. These beers can be compared to a high-end, very niche ERP such as IFS. A solution such as this requires a level of business complexity and need, as well as the internal capacity to manage significant functionality.

Corona and NetSuite: Corona has become one of the most popular brands in the world over the past decade, similar to NetSuite. Like NetSuite, Corona also tends to attract younger, more trendy crowds. Both the beer and software are fairly straight-forward offerings without too much complexity, making Corona an option for the more general public. Likewise, NetSuite a great option for smaller businesses, those transferring to their first ERP or anyone looking for a basic, full-suite ERP package.

Guinness and SAP S/4HANA or Oracle ERP Cloud: Guinness is a powerful, very well-known beer. Dark and frothy, it is a staple for serious beer drinkers that need more complexity than a light beer. Also available globally and well-recognized, Guinness is a perfect match for the Tier 1 ERP solutions. If you are not a beer drinker or just venturing into the world of beer, Guinness may not be your best match. Similarly, SAP and Oracle should probably not be the first ERP you implement.

Heineken Lager and Microsoft Dynamics 365: Heineken has also become a staple beer, with a strong global presence. With 125 breweries spanning across more than 70 countries, it can be compared to Microsoft Dynamics that has system resellers and implementation teams in nearly every country on the planet. As a pale lager, Heineken is also more difficult to brew, but simpler in taste and impact for the casual drinker. Similarly, Microsoft tends to attract many for its familiar UI and is favored by users, yet is not a simple product to implement.

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As you consider expanding your familiarity with beer, you may ask your bartender or local liquor distributor for guidance. Likewise, do not hesitate to reach out for help when navigating the waters of a new ERP.

Brian Potts

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