Independent Ranking of Top ERP, CRM and HCM Systems of 2023

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: March 3, 2023

When planning for a digital transformation, there are numerous technologies to choose from. However, how do you determine which technology is best for you and which vendor within that technology category is the best fit for your needs? That is precisely what we will be discussing today.

YouTube player

Digital transformation can be overwhelming, with many different options available. It can be challenging to evaluate all the different types of software vendors across various categories like ERP systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Human Capital Management (HCM), Supply Chain Management, and Business Intelligence tools.

Today, I will discuss the top three software vendors within several technology categories, including ERP, CRM, HCM, and emerging technologies. This will provide you with a starting point for creating a shortlist for your digital transformation. I will give a summary of the top three vendors for each category.

Top 3 ERP Systems for Mid Sized Companies for 2023

Every year, we publish our independent ranking of the top 10 ERP systems. ERP systems are rated across different industries, geographies, and company sizes, making it a general ranking that's a good starting point for evaluating potential options. Depending on the size of your company, geography, or industry, you might end up with a different ranking. Nonetheless, it gives you a good starting point.

Oracle Fusion

At number three, we have Oracle Fusion or Oracle Cloud ERP, often referred to as both. Although there may be some branding issues that Oracle is going through right now with their ERP Suite of products, it's a good product that we see many organizations use. It's something that can scale for multinational organizations and is more flexible than some of the bigger ERP systems in the market, such as SAP or others.

Oracle Netsuite

At number two on our list is another Oracle product, Oracle NetSuite. NetSuite used to be a standalone product and company until Oracle acquired it several years ago. Since then, Oracle has continued to focus on NetSuite for the small and mid-market. Many organizations in these markets evaluate and implement NetSuite, which is why it comes in at number two on our top 10 list.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Finally, number one on our top 10 list is Microsoft Dynamics 365. The reason it's number one on our list is that it provides a breadth of capability and a good balance of cost, flexibility, and scale. It's a technology that can be deployed in large organizations, is flexible, and is cost-effective in supporting small and mid-market companies, as well as larger organizations.

Top 3 ERP Systems for Large Scale Companies for 2023

Now, I've provided the top three of our top 10 for our general ERP ranking, but if you're a larger multinational organization, you might have a different top 10 list. We actually have a top 10 list for multinationals, and larger multinational organizations have different requirements. They need scale, diverse business processes, flexibility, and something that can grow and standardize the company. There are a lot of different needs that larger multinational organizations have, and that's why there's a different ranking for ERP systems within this segment.


Number three on our list is SAP S/4HANA. SAP S/4HANA is a solution that is often used by Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 organizations. S/4HANA is built on the HANA platform, which is a real-time data processing and database platform that provides better analytics and performance. SAP, in general, with S/4HANA and even its predecessor products, has built and acquired products that support larger organizations throughout the world. That's why SAP S/4HANA is in our top three.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Coming in at number two for the large multinational organization ERP ranking is Microsoft Dynamics 365. The reason D365 is number two on the list here for multinational organizations is that it provides a breadth of capability out of the box. It provides a certain amount of flexibility that allows diversified organizations to have the functionality that they need. The Microsoft ecosystem also has a number of ISVs or independent service providers that have taken the D365 product and tailored it for certain industries and certain functions. So, if you're a large multinational, you can get the best of both worlds by having an industry-specific solution that's built on a platform that can scale for large organizations. For those reasons, that's why Microsoft D365 is number two on our list for multinational organizations.

Oracle Fusion

And number one on our list of top ERP systems for multinationals is Oracle Fusion ERP Cloud. The reason Oracle is number one is partly because it's built to scale. It's built on the Oracle platform, and the product itself is very diverse and scalable for larger organizations. Similar to Microsoft Dynamics, it also has a certain flexibility that a lot of other systems don't have. It allows for more personalization of the software to fit individual customer needs, and it's also something that can deliver a lot of business value for larger multinational organizations.

Top CRM Systems for 2023

Now, if you are not looking for an ERP system, it may be that you want to start with a CRM system instead. ERP systems do have their own modules for CRM, but there is also a whole subcategory of enterprise technologies that focus exclusively on CRM. It can be helpful to look at those standalone CRM options because they can be quicker to deploy and have shorter duration, less cost, less scope, and less risk for an organization that wants to deploy it. If you are looking to automate your sales group or provide better customer experience and better customer service to your customers, CRM systems might be a good way to go.


Coming in at number three on our top 10 ranking of CRM systems is Salesforce. Salesforce is one of the pioneers of the whole CRM category and the CRM specialization software. They have been around for a long time, they are native to the cloud, and they have built a great ecosystem of third-party applications that bolt on or integrate with Salesforce. The breadth of capability within the CRM and sales automation space is very broad, even the most international, most complex sales organizations can really benefit from Salesforce. There are a lot of robust workflows and capabilities within it, which is why it lands at number three on our list.


Coming in at number two is a different product, called Zoho. Zoho is a product that is a standalone CRM system, much like Salesforce, but it is more tailored for small to mid-market companies. It comes in at a lower price point, there is less complexity to it, and it is something that isn't overkill for a lot of smaller organizations, as say a Salesforce CRM might be. Zoho is a great option if you are a smaller mid-market company. It can be low cost, high value, and it's something that's flexible for sales organizations as well.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Coming in at number one is Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Even though Microsoft Dynamics CRM is technically a module within Dynamics 365, it's actually a product we see deployed oftentimes as a standalone, without the rest of 365. This could be a nice option if you know you're going to want to eventually grow into a broader ERP solution, knowing that you have a CRM solution that can integrate with that future state ERP system. But even if you're not, Microsoft CRM is a good standalone product that's great for larger mid-market companies as well as large organizations. It competes well with Salesforce and other CRM systems in the market that are built for larger organizations. When we look at the flexibility of the product too and the ability to integrate in the cost of deployment, those are other benefits that Microsoft CRM provides as well. That's why it lands number one on our list.

Top HCM Systems for 2023

If you're not looking for an ERP system or a CRM system, or if you're looking for something in addition to those two areas, it may be that human capital management or HR technology is an area you might want to evaluate different technologies in. There are a number of technologies you can choose from that can help automate the whole hire-to-retire process, including your payroll processes, onboarding, talent management, and recruiting.


Number three on our list is UltiPro, which is from a company called Ultimate Software. UltiPro is a very commonly used HCM system that's very specialized, been around for a long time, and has a lot of great capabilities that can help large organizations as well as small and mid-market organizations.


Number two on our list is one of the more disruptive systems in our rankings, and that is Workday. Workday has really taken the HCM space by storm and has also taken the financials space by storm as well. They've extended their capability beyond just HCM to now provide financial and accounting processes and other capabilities as well. Workday is a native SaaS cloud solution that's been around for a while, and it's becoming quite widely used throughout the business world, especially within HR groups.

Oracle HCM Cloud

Coming in at number one is Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud. It's a very robust solution that provides talent management, hire-to-retire processes, payroll, and all sorts of HR-related capabilities. Oracle HCM is a standalone solution within a broader suite of cloud ERP products, so you could deploy Oracle HCM on its own, or you could deploy it as part of a broader ERP enterprise-wide solution. Oracle HCM has a lot of broad capabilities with a lot of flexibility and integration to ERP systems, particularly its own Oracle system, and those are some of the reasons why Oracle HCM is number one on our list of top HCM systems.

Now, if we look beyond ERP, CRM, and HCM and consider future emerging technologies, we can see that these are technologies that are currently happening and are becoming more widely used and adopted.

Top Emerging Technologies

Business Intelligence

Number three on our list of top emerging technologies is Business Intelligence. Business intelligence is a category that's much like reporting but is more advanced. It's meant to provide better data and analytics and slicing and dicing of information from either one system or multiple systems. Business intelligence is becoming more and more popular because many organizations operate with multiple systems, legacy systems, and newer systems that they've deployed in recent years. For these reasons, business intelligence is number three on our list.

Interoperability Technologies

Number two on our list is Interoperability Technologies, which are provided by vendors such as Palantir and Snowflake, for example. These are two up-and-coming emerging technology providers that provide interoperability. Interoperability essentially is middleware, but it provides more workflow capabilities, more data analytics, and even some artificial intelligence and other types of capabilities beyond that. It's almost like middleware on steroids. You're combining systems, integrating systems, but you're also adding workflows and data analytics to that. Palantir, Snowflake, and other vendors like that are providing that technology, and it's very hot right now because so many organizations are dependent on multiple systems.

Artificial Intelligence

Number one on our list of emerging technologies is artificial intelligence. Even though it's a bit ahead of its time at the enterprise level, it's still in the early stages of adoption and maturity. It's something that will absolutely become a game-changer in the next five to ten years for enterprises as well, particularly as artificial intelligence gets baked into other types of technologies. Right now, you can deploy standalone artificial intelligence technology, or the software vendors that provide ERP, CRM, HCM, supply chain management, and other types of enterprise technologies are starting to build artificial intelligence more and more into those solutions. Over time, artificial intelligence will permeate through other types of technologies, but for the time being, it's relatively immature. Still, it's something that will be a game-changer in the future.

So, I hope these accelerated summary top rankings of different enterprise technology categories have helped you today.

If you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation or are looking at selecting an ERP system, we would love to give you some insights. Please contact me for more information

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

Kimberling Eric Blue Backgroundv2
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.

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.
Subscribe for updates
We never share data. We respect your privacy
Stratosphere 2023
Register Here
Additional Blog Categories



International Office Locations

Follow us on:

Third Stage Consulting

Third Stage Consulting Group is a global thought leader in business transformation, ERP software systems, operational change management, and business advisory. Let us take your organization’s digital transformation to the Third Stage.
2022 - Copyright Third Stage Consulting Group LLC  |  All Rights Reserved  |  Website developed and maintained by Denver Web Design.
Privacy Notice  |  Terms of Use  |  Sitemap