maximizing-erp-systems-with-ai-and-wide-data.

Maximizing ERP Systems with AI and Wide Data.

By Anand Mahurkar

In the current business landscape, traditional enterprises are looking for agile technologies to accelerate growth and digital transformation. Many of these organizations have petabytes of data stored in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and while ERP platforms can provide an overview of “what happened,” many organizations want to know “what will happen” or “what’s the persona of my user?” or “how much inventory should we order for next quarter?”

There is no question that ERP systems are critical assets for the enterprise. Since Gartner first coined the term in 1990, these systems have blossomed, enabling organizations to support back and front-office functions from forecasting to inventory management and even customer relationship management. ERP systems allow a company to procure data in order to provide a myriad of critical analytics including sales forecasting, inventory management, and human resources reports.

And these systems are continuing to proliferate. According to Allied Market Research, the global cloud-based ERP market is projected to reach $32.18 billion by 2023. 

That said, while ERP systems are strategic for entering, storing, and tracking data related to various business transactions, for years the C-Suite and business analysis teams have struggled to extract and transform data from ERP systems in order to utilize the data for AI and ML applications.

So, how can enterprises invigorate ERP systems to maximize their data output and provide more actionable leading indicators?

These days, the market is starting to support the concept of AI micro-products or toolkits that can be used to connect to ERP systems through middleware. These middleware toolkits must have the ability to link to data both within the organizations from the ERP systems as well as CRM or HR platforms and external data (such as news or social media). 

The middleware can then feed into the leading and AI platform in order to develop, select, and deploy ML models to provide highly accurate predictions and forecasting. 

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