The great dilemma of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is that, by the time an organization is ready and willing to invest in a top-tier ERP system, few projects are as disastrous to an enterprise's resource planning as an ERP implementation!
ERP systems and packages (like SAP, Epicor, Dynamics AX/NAV/GP, Oracle ERP, etc.) have their roots in automating manufacturing processes in the 1960's and 1970's. A quick glance at database schemas, heavy reliance on procedural programming, licensing models, and user interfaces of these diverse ERP systems shows their age.
Terrible Architecture & Closed Source
From a software architecture perspective, one of the largest problems with commercial ERP systems is that they try to be all things to all businesses while shoehorning an organization's business processes into the opinionated workflow of the ERP vendor. Any deviations from the vendors' conflicting visions comes at great cost to an organzition; both in operating expenses, and capital expenses - not to mention the opportunity cost of implementing ERP at the expense of internal innovation. Add, on top of this, integration with existing business systems, and the costs become astronomical.
Not only are the software architectures of existing ERP systems too mature for their own good (meaning, beneficial changes are slow to come and hard to integrate into brittle systems), the source code for the typical ERP system is closed. This means orgnaizations lose the ability to draw on the software development expertise of thousands of developers at no additional cost to the organization implementing an ERP system.
High-Level Cost Estimates for Dynamics AX
Let's look at three common deployment scenarios for Dyanmics AX:
- 3 concurrent users, Financial Modules Only (~$20,000 - $30,000 USD):
- Software: ~$5,000 - 8,000.
- Implementation Services: ~90 to 120 hours of consulting fees including brief requirements analysis (~8 hours), setup, configuration, testing, and training.
- Hardware Purchase and Deployment: ~$12,000 - $20,000 USD if new hardware hasn't been purchased (not including hypervisor and operating system licensing fees).
- 7 - 10 concurrent users, Financials, Sales, & Inventory Modules (~$60,000 - $90,000 USD):
- Software: ~$30,000 USD.
- Implementation Services: ~220 to 320 hours of consulting fees including requirements analysis, setup, configuration, testing, training, and go-live support.
- Hardware Purchase and Deployment: ~$25,000 - $40,000 USD if new hardware hasn't already been purchased (not including hypervisor and operating system licensing fees).
- 12 - 15 concurrent users, Financials, Sales, & Inventory Modules (~$120,000 - $180,000 USD):
- Software: ~$48,000 USD.
- Implementation Services: ~300 to 450 hours of consulting fees including requirements analysis, setup, configuration, testing, training, and go-live support.
- Hardware Purchase and Deployment: ~$35,000 - $50,000 USD if new hardware hasn't already been purchased (not including hypervisor and operating system licensing fees).
None of these scenarios include support beyond the first year within the purchase date of the software (support usually starts as soon as you buy, not when you deploy). It should also be noted that the above scenarios assume the highly unlikely scenario that the implementation will happen on time, within budget, and not need any customizations for an organization's existing business processes.
A Better Way
ERP systems don't have to be rigid, monolithic, wastes of capital. By using modern, well-architected ERP software supported by an open source community, flexibility and adaptability become first-class citizens in enterprise.
Arcana ERP is a modern, open source, enterprise resource planning system built upon the OpenCLR and .NET stacks (allowing deployment to Windows Server and Linux infrastructure) supporting a wide range of database back-ends; from SQL Server, to Oracle, to MySQL, to PostgreSQL.
Arcana ERP is built for highly concurent and distributed work-loads using funtional programming and software transactional memory built upon a micro-services architecture built for fault-tolerance and performance. (Other blog posts go father into depth on the architecture and development of Arcana ERP).
Open Source Software Success Stories
The success of open source software can be be seen with:
- Apache Software Foundation
- Ruby on Rails
- Too many more applications to count in a single blog post!
Stop Wasting Hard-Earned Capital
Consider trying Arcana ERP today. Arcana ERP has feature parity with large, entrneched packages like SAP and Dynamics AX, but with full-featured and easy to install open source packages (with well documented APIs for your Developers :). You can do a complete in-house installation and deployment of Arcana ERP without ever paying a single license fee for Arcana ERP; meaning, your organization can eliminate exorbitant annual licensing fees while drastically reducing development and support costs.
Commercial Support and Custom Development
Although Arcana ERP gives you broad and deep functionality our of the box, we understand the need for commercial support and Service Level Agreements. The Wizard & The Wyrd, LLC offers Arcna ERP long-term support and custom development at a fixed-rate of 25% of your current annual ERP licensing fees. We will never raise our rates, and you are not required to share any custom developments with the rest of the open source community (we understand the need to protect intellecutal property and the competitive advantages of your well-tuned business processes).