Delivering next generation AI-powered ERP Technology for SMBs
Over the last 30 years, large enterprises have reaped significant economic benefits from consolidating their data and workflows into customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems created by large, global software companies like Oracle and SAP. However, the price of customized ERP systems remains high ($100,000s to $1M+) making them unaffordable for many small and midsize businesses (SMBs), especially those with less than 200 employees.
As a result, SMBs miss out on the substantial economic gains and business advantages that customized ERP systems provide. Their performance is hindered by off-the-shelf or poorly customized software tools that do not meet their specific needs.
The main cost driver of a customized ERP system is the customization itself. With current best practices, it takes at least several months of developer time to customize an ERP system for a specific company. Given the high cost of programmers, customized ERP systems are expensive and generally only accessible to large companies. However, despite the cost and efforts, existing ERPs tend to be rigid, hard to change once implemented, and generally lacking new capabilities such as data analytics or simulations.
The good news is that thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), it is possible today to rethink the ERP concept and create a new breed of AI-powered ERP system that can be customized significantly faster and less expensively than in the past, and also provide new capabilities. It makes it possible to deliver customized AI-driven ERP systems and their many benefits to smaller businesses at a far more affordable price point, opening up a significant new small-business segment for customized ERP systems.
SMBs are actually in a stronger position to capitalize on recent AI advances, compared to large companies, because their smaller size makes it easier to transform their digital infrastructure, which is a costly and time-consuming effort for large companies. Forward-looking SMBs can build up a durable and substantial competitive advantage by reimagining their digital infrastructure. AI is poised to transform business operations over the next decade as much as the advent of computers or the Internet did in the past. AI will be a game changer bringing not only the operational efficiencies of a customized ERP system, but also game-changing capabilities such as data insights, simulations, task automation, enhanced decision making, and better resilience to companies who use it effectively.
Leveraging our team’s research and previous work, we have developed a new kind of AI technology based on program synthesis applicable to business functions. This technology allows us to customize automatically the business tasks and data structure of a company. Our AI synthesis technology takes easy-to-write high-level specifications and automatically generates the desired data schema and implementation of tasks. By enabling both customized functionalities and data, our ERP can automatically perform key business tasks such as generating custom reports linking operational and financial metrics, calculating the unit cost of each product (cost accounting), traceability of ingredients/input parts in produced goods, optimal production planning and scheduling, and scenario analyses. Our ERP also automatically enables deep analytics and data insights capabilities that are today performed by human data scientists. Our ERP acts as a skill and time multiplier for smaller companies who typically don’t have in-house data scientists.
Our technology not only enables substantial new capabilities and saves considerable development time, but also prevents many kinds of software errors. Because our AI technology uses logic and deductive formal reasoning together with probabilistic techniques, we can give functionality guarantees (unlike other AI techniques) when we synthesize software and provably exclude many kinds of errors. This is an important advantage when applying AI to ERP systems, since as the core financial and operational data repository, ERP systems must be correct.
In addition, with our novel approach to software and data customizations, as business processes change, we can automatically re-synthesize customizations when business tasks or the data schema need to change. This results in an agile, scalable, and resilient ERP system.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the global Cloud ERP market is expected to reach more than $100 billion by 2025. However, the potential market for customized ERP systems targeting to small businesses remains largely untapped and unaccounted for because of the limited product offer designed for this segment. Considering that there are over 600,000 companies with 20-500 employees in the United States, we believe the AI-powered ERP offering for small businesses is a market potentially worth more than $14B billion in this country alone.
Given the market potential and the fact we believe leveraging the power of AI can significantly lower ERP customization costs and add new capabilities, the opportunity to deliver fully customized next-generation ERP systems to American small business is significant. Transforming the digital infrastructure of American SMBs will improve the strategic independence, innovation, and competitiveness of the United States.