Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is software used for business management. It usually comprises of a number of integrated applications that operate from a central database and a common platform. It is used by companies to effectively utilize their resources and to facilitate the flow of information between their business functions and with their stakeholders (Ray, 2011). Since ERP solves many of the challenges that companies face in trying to manage their resources in the best way possible, the business of ERP solutions has become very lucrative. Hence there are a number of ERP software that a company may choose to adopt.
One of the leading ERP software vendors is SAP SE, a German company. SAP was hived off of IBM and was the first company to develop ERP software. In earlier versions of SAP, applications were built on top of a SAP Web Application Server which had all the capabilities of SAP Basis, SAP’s collection of middleware programs and tools. The latest version the software suite, SAP ERP 6.0, was released in 2006, while the last Enhancement Package (EHP7) for the SAP ERP 6.0 was released in 2013. SAP ERP is part of the SAP Business Suite of applications. It collects and combines the data from these application modules thereby incorporating the key business functions of any organization that adopts it in its operations. The applications modules support resource management in marketing and sales, human resources, product design and development, production and inventory control, accounting and finance.
Another ERP software vendor is PeopleSoft. It was founded by David Duffield and Ken Morris in 1988. It began with a collection of applications for payroll accounting and human resources management. It strengthened its application offerings in the area of supply chain by acquiring another ERP software vendor JD Edwards in 2003. PeopleSoft was then acquired by Oracle in late 2004 (Wagner and Monk, 2008). Oracle continues to market the PeopleSoft name and product line and releases Feature Packs as updates to the suite of PeopleSoft applications. The original architecture of PeopleSoft was based on a two-tier, client-server approach which had a dedicated client. Later the whole suite was refactored to enable access using a web browser. The PeopleSoft suite of applications can work like an ERP, much like SAP, and it can also be used for single application modules like Human Capital Management (HCM), student administration, manufacturing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), and