This chapter describes enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems as a fundamental tool in the intelligent enterprise. Using the intelligent enterprise communication infrastructure and databases, ERP systems are expected to provide the information required both to decision makers within the enterprise as well as to the collaborators in the supply chain. Furthermore, because these systems contain the organizational structure of the enterprise, they act as a repository of corporate knowledge and therefore, constitute an important element for knowledge management.
The objective of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive vision of the main issues regarding ERP systems within the context of intelligent enterprise. All fundamental aspects of ERP systems are covered from both a technological and business perspective. Special attention is given to issues related to the trends and tendencies in ERP systems and their integration with other tools and technologies for the intelligent enterprise.