As you begin your quest to find the cloud manufacturing ERP you need to help run your company, you are going to note a similarity among a great number of them. Many Cloud ERP packages have fallen short, because in the rush to get to the Cloud, they are either severely limited in functionality or they are only replications of a predecessor legacy ERP package supporting one business type. They do not acknowledge that manufacturers of today require a greater variety of manufacturing methods and services to be supported. You don’t need to be a software Sherlock Holmes to conclude that many of these apps were not created by people that understand manufacturing, especially in today’s world.
Of course, that is not true in all cases. Consider the following quote from the noted research firm, Frost and Sullivan.
“Rootstock has secured an edge for itself over its competitors by leveraging its strong technical expertise and years of manufacturing experience to build a broad and deep end-to-end functional cloud ERP solution in a short time frame,” reported Sankara Narayanan, Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst. “This solution supports requirements for multiple modes of manufacturing and enables real-time management of manufacturing for customers of all sizes and types. As the largest product footprint among ISV products on the Salesforce.com platform, Rootstock’s cloud ERP solution possesses the functionality required to replace more than 25 legacy ERP products. With its strong overall performance, Rootstock has earned the 2016 Frost & Sullivan Technology Leadership Award.”
This wasn’t the first time that Rootstock has obtained such glowing praise about its roots. When determining that the company wanted to have an ERP Executive Council, Rootstock hoped to convince Lee Wylie to join and be the chairperson. After all, as Director of CIM at Gartner Group, Wylie created the concept of ERP to describe the evolution of MRP into next generation business systems.
Upon taking on his role, Wylie emphasized, “I have a lot of confidence in the Rootstock software and their approach to the manufacturing industry. A quick review of this software makes it evident that the developers have many years of experience creating in-depth ERP packages for the manufacturing sector. As importantly, Rootstock approaches this market with the perfect balance needed to be successful with manufacturers. They shun the glitz so common with ERP providers, replacing it with a problem-solving attitude that makes manufacturers comfortable.”
Joining Wylie, the founding members of the Rootstock ERP Executive Council are an impressive group of ERP innovators and practitioners. Included are Jan Baan, former chairman and CEO of Baan Software, Jim Bensman, former president of SAP North America and Bill Happel, former vice president of General Motors. This high-powered group collectively brings many decades of both top IT as well as manufacturing executive experience to Rootstock’s product and business development activities.
The Roots of Rootstock
The founder of Rootstock is Pat Garrehy who is also the founder and former CEO of Relevant Business Systems, a client-server ERP software provider with an exclusive focus on discrete manufacturing companies. Relevant, which was sold in 2006, remains the most profitable division of the acquirer to date. The software is currently utilized in a number of business operations, including major divisions of Lockheed and Solectron with sales of over one billion dollars. To Rootstock, Garrehy brought most of his Relevant team, builders of successful ERP solutions for over 350 customers including Cray Research, Lockheed Skunk Works and Solectron (now Flextronics) in Asia. That initial Rootstock management team had over 600 man years of manufacturing ERP/MRP domain expertise with first-hand experience in the evolution of ERP from mainframes to the cloud.
These ERP veterans understood that times were changing for manufacturers. Contrary to on-premise ERP, with cloud ERP, using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, manufacturers could access to ERP software and databases in a newer manner. Instead of managing the infrastructure and platform upon which the ERP software suite runs, the cloud providers do so for them. The end user accesses Cloud ERP via a web browser or mobile app while the software and user’s data are stored on the provider’s servers at a remote location.
Thus, a manufacturing organization can reduce its IT operational costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support to the cloud provider. In addition, with the ERP system hosted centrally, updates can be released without the need for the users themselves to install new software. Another major benefit of cloud manufacturing ERP is that it lets an enterprise get their ERP solutions up and running faster with improved manageability and less maintenance.
As a result, the Rootstock team recognized that cloud ERP will be one of the most radical, sweeping upgrades in manufacturing technology over the next decade. It will become a major consideration for every manufacturing or supply chain entity. As smart phones have become to the individual businessperson, it is not a question of “if” organizations will adopt a cloud ERP solution, but “when.”
Not only did the Rootstock team build among the first cloud manufacturing ERPs but they created the most in-depth, flexible manufacturing ERP found in the cloud.
The Roots of a Distribution Channel for Rootstock
As Wylie had noted when undertaking his original review of Rootstock, this team did not rely on the typical glitz associated with ERP software marketing. Recognizing that manufacturers were a “nose to the grindstone, eye on the ball” type of customer, as were the Rootstock creators, the Rootstock team decided to follow their previous mode of going to market. They met at the customer’s manufacturing facility, walked the line and discussed manufacturing problems and how manufacturing cloud ERP could respond. Prospects understood what was being said, saw what the software did, talked with other Rootstock manufacturing users, bought and installed the software. Then, they became reference sites.
As Rootstock began to grow, it was time to create their own channel. One of the first partners was Vanenburg Software, founded by an ERP icon, Jan Baan. As Garrehy said about the announcement, “Jan Baan has developed his Vanenburg Software team to help customers address their current and ever changing requirements. It wasn’t that many years ago that we were competing with legacy ERP products. We recently discovered that our visions for the future requirements on enterprise ERP were closely aligned.”
Next up was Rootstock Nordic AB, launched by six ERP veterans with a deep knowledge base from selling and implementing legacy client server applications like Baan, IMI Order, JDEdwards, Oracle and Jeeves, to service the Scandinavian countries. Respected organizations such as Tquila and Xebra Services were selected to cover Australia. In North America, manufacturing centric organizations such as Badal Solutions, BT Partners and Mountain Point continued the tradition.
The Type of Manufacturing Experience You Want to Discover
Perhaps Frost & Sullivan sums it up best – “Leveraging its strong technical expertise and years of manufacturing experience, Rootstock has secured an edge for itself over its competitors by building a broad and deep end-to-end functional cloud ERP solution in a short time frame. This solution supports requirements for multiple models of manufacturing and enables real time management of manufacturing for customers of all sizes and types. As the largest product footprint among ISV products on the Salesforce.com platform, Rootstock’s cloud ERP solution possesses the functionality required to replace more than 25 legacy ERP products. Rootstock’s single system provides insight, control, visibility and support for each step of the manufacturing value chain across global operations, whereby its customers can handle multiple sites and efficiently operate and grow their businesses.”