Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ERP - History

ERP is a Business solution that addresses all the needs of an enterprise with the process view of an organization to meet the organizational goals and integrate all the functions of the Enterprise.

Traditionally an MRP system runs on minis and mainframe computers in the early 60s and 70s. Initially corporate mainly runs the inventory control, sales and financial accounting systems. Some of us are old enough to remember fondly the IBM 3090 mainframe which need water chillers to cool the CPU and hard disk the size of our desk. Then came the Minis Systems IBM Systems 36, 38 and then the AS400 in the 70s where MRP1 was introduced to the corporation, mainly the manufacturing companies.

That was the big question for corporate America in the 80s and rightly so. Can I have complete confidence that the system will perform reliably, that it will be up to the task, that I will get support and that I will keep my job.

Aside from the quality of the available application software, die-hard supporters of big-iron system argue that LAN-based servers don't have the storage capacity or ability to handle multiple simultaneous input /output request present in mainframe - systems

Not until the launched of the Intel 80386 CPU in 1985 that reportedly eclipse the procession power of mini system like IBM Systems 36, 38 and network operating systems as Novel Netware 3x with the support of 32 bit and the introduction of Netware 3 SFT-III (System Fault Tolerance) which allowed a logical server to be completely mirrored to a separate physical machine that we see the drive to move the “Big Iron Systems” software to the LAN and client/server mode. The buzzword in those days were Downsizing & Rightsizing.

More and more MRP/ERP systems was being re-engineer to take advantage of these “tiny” servers on the LAN with capacity of carrying many hundreds gigabytes of hard disk storage. The beginning of the 1990s new software systems known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have surfaced in the market, targeting mainly larger complex business organizations.

Today Intel Xeon based servers should coast along as they support hundreds of active concurrent users running on Windows, Linux with SQL databases.

Corporate America's growing dissatisfaction with the results achieved for the money spent on corporate information systems is becoming mere apparent in recent years. What defines a traditional Mini is not simply its size and capacity. Its proprietary architecture, proprietary operating system, proprietary networking protocols, and proprietary application software lead inevitably to the semi-monopoly pricing that is an inescapable part of its operation.

Information executive are open-minded on the alternative solution provided by less costly client server and Internet ready system. Anyone who is dumb enough to insist on solving problems with a Million Dollars Mini System when they could solve it with a system when they could solve it with a System Costing a Hundred Thousand is just begging for a new career, perhaps in consulting.

Depending on your particular requirement and budget you will select the combination of equipment and software that will achieve what you want.

With the unprecedented growth of information and communication technologies (ICT) driven by microelectronics, computer hardware and software systems has influenced all facets of computing applications across organizations.

In this context, management of organizations needs efficient information systems to improve competitiveness by cost reduction and better logistics. It is universally recognized small-to-medium-size enterprises (SME) that the capability of providing the right information at the right time brings tremendous rewards to organizations in a global competitive world of complex business practices. This is serve today by the many ERP solutions that is affordable to the SME.

Because there are a lot of younger team members that weren't around for the first few decades of ERP, the ERP Timeline was created by Mr. Houston Neal that will help the new IT workforce to have a macro view the ERP history and development on the time- line basis. It's a quick way to understand the context of current enterprise software sequences and events. It has also brought me down the memory lane as I reflect upon its contents with nostalgia. Maybe things weren’t that fast in those days.

Thanks to Mr. Houston Neal for providing me this informative website.

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