Ramco Systems, the home-grown business software maker, is getting ready to take its on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) software to the global market, after seeing huge demand for the model in India.
The Chennai-headquartered company, competitor to the likes of SAP and Oracle, is strengthening its leadership team by bringing in professionals from the industry to steer this strategy.
After bringing in Virender Aggarwal, earlier heading the Asia-Pacific region of HCL Technologies as its president, as CEO earlier this month, it has now hired Ranjan Tayal to drive its new initiatives. Tayal, till recently heading the India sales of European consultancy and information technology services major Capgemini as a vice-president, has joined Ramco as a senior VP, responsible for strategic initiatives. He had also headed the Indian business of erstwhile Satyam Computers.
One of the successful Indian IT companies in the software product space, Ramco Systems initially started as the research and development (R&D) division of the Ramco Group in 1992. Subsequently, it was spun off as an independent company under the group in 1999.
In fact, way back in 1997, when Ramco launched its first full-fledged ERP product, Marshal 3.0, it was launched by none other than Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.
Ramco’s initial years were full of struggle to get clients for its new software, but it did not deter the company from continuing to invest in core R&D. In early 2000, when Rs cloud computing’ was just a concept, Ramco took on the challenge of bringing the complex enterprise software to the cloud. After about three years of R&D, the company launched its on-demand ERP (also known as RODE or Ramco On-demand ERP) in 2008. Though initial response for the software was tepid, the company has started to witness strong interest in the product by not just small and medium enterprises but also large enterprises in India. This has prompted the company to explore international markets, including the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, West Asia and Africa, where it is already selling the conventional on-premise ERP software.
“We are excited about the success we have achieved in the Indian market, and we think this is the apt time to take it to outside of India ,to matured markets like Europe and the US. The joining of industry veterans like Aggarwal and Ranjan Tayal, who have huge experience in driving successful IT organisations in international markets, is clearly part of the strategy,” said Kamesh Ramamoorthy, chief operating officer.
Ramco’s ERP on cloud offering accounted for just six to seven per cent of its FY2011 revenue of Rs 215 crore, while the rest came from its conventional on-premise business software. However, in FY12, it saw a huge uptick in the acceptance of its cloud or on-demand ERP, thus expecting its share to double in each passing year.
“When we launched it in 2008, nobody was offering a full-fledged ERP on the cloud in the true sense. The market was yet to be defined. In the first year, we were getting between two and three customers in a quarter. Today, our run rate is 40-45 customers in a quarter,” added Ramamoorthy.
According to analysts, Ramco Systems’ on-demand ERP today leads the market in India in that segment, the nearest competitor being European business software maker SAP for its ‘Business ByDesign’ products. Oracle’s Fusion-ERP, though successful globally, is yet to take off here. In taking the product global, though, it will have to face stiff competition from these players, who are quite established in the international markets.