Welcome to Steam Office
Enterprise Resource Planning is complex.
It has resulted in systems consisting of millions of lines of code that are correspondingly expensive to purchase. This puts the efficiencies that these systems offer out of reach of the “200 million+ small businesses trying to stay competitive and grow strong” (Marco Boerries, NumberFour.eu)
Historically, ERP Vendors have tried to tackle this problem using Open Systems (such as OpenERP) or Web-based (such as SAP ByDesign). However these designs have their own inherent problems, vendor lock-in being the most important of a great number. Once you have purchased or subscribed to these systems, it is almost impossible to extract you data and import it into a competing system. On the flip side, the vendor can disappear together with all system support as demonstrated by SAP's announcement concerning the ByDesign system recently.
SteamOffice has patented a new approach to ERP:
Why can't an ERP system be the same as your home electrical system? If you want to throw away your kettle and purchase the latest coffee machine, it should plug into the power socket and work seamlessly!
We have taken the view that only the framework of the ERP needs to be maintained and owned by a vendor. We specify the format the data must take, then leave it to independent developers to produce applications that manipulate the data in different ways. If you have purchased Purchase Order application from vendor A and are unhappy with the way it works, you are free replace the existing application by purchasing a similar one from vendor B that offers the functionality you require.
Like cell phone application stores, we can now create a vast ecosystem of small, cost effective, directly exchangeable applications that work seamlessly, all developed and supported by millions of developers around the world.
In collaboration with Lab19, we have developed a prototype system illustrating the ease of application replacement.
In the actual system, any changes made by the customer are downloaded to the device they specify. This device may be anything from a smart phone or tablet, to a vitual machine hosted on the internet.
Welcome to the future of ERP!