Around 39 percent of large companies and 60 percent of smaller companies are deploying ERP systems and 70 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have implemented core ERP applications (Bingi et al., 1999; Yen et al., 2002). The ERP market has been growing at a rate more than 30 percent and most forecasts predict keeping the figures.
The growth of the ERP market has been boosted both by business reasons as well as by technical reasons. With respect to business causes, the main cited reason is globalization, which has fostered mergers and stimulated the creation of big corporations with high information requirements that the former individual information systems were not able to fulfill. Another factor is market maturity in developed countries, which has fostered competition among companies and increased the power of the consumers, thus forcing enterprises to revise the efficiency of their business processes. Finally, advances in information and communication technologies have made possible the development of ERP systems by allowing the enormous database centralization and the distributed ERP environment.
With respect to technical reasons, the introduction of the new European Union (EU) currency in 2001, the Euro, has stimulated the ERP growth in the EU area in the past few years, since most of the information systems in the EU zone where not able to handle multiple currencies. Prior to the year 2000, ERP sales were also boosted by the Y2K crisis. According to some authors, both Euro and Y2K are believed to have boosted ERP sales by some 20 percent (Yen et al., 2002). Another factor has been the hardware replacement policy of mainframes and legacy systems.
With respect to the market players, it is not easy to offer detailed information about market shares, since the comparative analysis of the published results show a great dispersion depending on the source of the information. In contrast, all these analyses show the enormous fragmentation of the ERP market, where more than 100 products are available (see APICS, 2000). Besides, it seems that there is consensus that SAP AG is the market leader with the product SAP R/3, although its market share oscillates between 16 percent and 32 percent, depending on the sources. Along to SAP AG, five other products keep a market share oscillating around 2 percent. These are PeopleSoft, Oracle, Computer Associated, JD Edwards, and Baan.