This is the eight post in my series: «8 reasons why PCs, servers, applications, search and web have peeked, whilst the mobile, the cloud, social media ant apps are surging ahead.» This post will describe what happened to the ERP programs of the pre-smartphone era when they met the touch-mobile-cloud. And since I best know my own stuff I will try to describe Economica, my MS-DO success story in the nineties, and iFacturas, the invoicing app my company has just began to deliver from App Store.
Economica was my first complete ERP application. It could do general ledger, account receiveable and payable, invoicing, currencies, mass invoicing, salary, warehouse, production-planning and even portfolio management and production for reinsurance.
It was the first ERP sold through mail-order at NOK 999,-. I got some 4 thousand paid users, and about 12 thousand users of a mini version limited 100 transactions. But it was a short success which stopped suddenly when the major PC provider in Norway started shipping PCs with a ROM that was incompatible with Paradox, the Borland database I used for the program. Instead of riding this storm off, I hurried to the windows, just to experience a similar problem, and the change to the 386 processor and the century shift got away with my customers. I also got tired of the mail-order business: taking orders, producing, packaging, posting and the endless problems different PCs and printers gave for support.
Let’s look at iFacturas. It’s an app for iPhone, and later Windows Phone 7, that does invoicing. Just that. On the back-end we use Microsoft SQL and Windows Azure, which does the accounting stuff in an ERP server that’s not so different from my old Economica. The app is sold as a Freemium and Premium through Apple App Store, where the download and use is free, but you have to pay for sending or printing invoices.
iFacturas is available for iPhone and in Norwegian, and will soon be launched first for WP7 in Spanish, and later for iPhone. The US version will follow hopefully in November.
The next post will try to discuss the implications for these profound changes in the IT landscape that comes from the Touch-Mobile-Cloud that is on the way to overtake the market, with exponential growth and wast innovation.