The potential of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to integrate the business functions of any organization has led to its proliferation since the 1990s. Arguably, ERP systems potentially enable an organization to become competitive, and their impact has since been extensively researched and debated. This thesis seeks to understand how ERP vendors have innovated and developed their business practices to ensure their own competitive advantage. The thesis consists of an overview wrapper and five articles. This work is based on a research methodology using case studies to understand the development of business practices in the ERP industry since the 1950s. As such, the thesis explores the journey of different ERP vendors that (1) were influenced by their environment, (2) participate in different structuring processes to develop their business practice; (3) adapt their business practices to produce product/service offerings potentially matching or exceeding the actions of their rivals; and (4) encounter challenges as they shift their business models. The thesis reveals that in order to continue to outlast the competition in a hypercompetitive environment, ERP vendors (1) refine their business practices, over time, through incremental and evolutionary changes impacting the ERP industry; (2) obtain a competitive advantage through the exploitation of core resources; (3) co-create with a partner network to maximize their resources and increase their ability to compete; and (4) realize the value proposition in terms of the business model.
Enterprise Systems ERP Business Practices Evolution Business Models