Well, you may never have heard of these enterprise software vendors but they are the giants from China and India. KingDee and UFIDA are #1 and #3 vendors in China and Tally is the top local vendor in India. Gartner recently predicted that a large vendor will emerge from China and India over the next 5 years. These 3 could well be the favorites for that spot. Tally is the QuickBooks of India with ambitions in mid-market ERP.
These homegrown wonders have the advantage of deep knowledge of the local markets, ability to develop software that fits the unique infrastructure of these countries. For example, connectivity to the Internet is far from ubiquitous in India. These limitations box these vendors allowing them to innovate in a space that is unique and disconnected from the global enterprise software world. And believe it or not, this is actually an advantage (see The Innovation Sandbox by C.K. Prahlad) as it prevents easy co-option by global vendors. We have already seen this play out in the consumer internet world with the success of Baidu.
(by Bruno Girin)
So while we all look to climb the ladder of features and architecture and race to take advantage of Web2.0 and SOA in the enterprise software universe, we are also increasingly distancing ourselves from a market that cares about simple software that meets the most basic needs, can run in a sometimes connected world and on previous generation computers. And this market at the bottom of the pyramid is probably many times larger than the top we are all running towards. What do you think?