Blockchain ERP turns collaborative…

As blockchain technology matures amidst all the hoopla in the crypto currency markets, it is other areas of technology that now beckon the blockchain revelation. ERP developers are working overtime to integrate the distributed ledger technology of block chain in all business verticals and functions like SCM to legal and quasi legal resolution systems. Whats more, all the big boys of tech are getting involved and we see a massive downwards push for the adoption of this technology from the top.

blockchain in ERP

The biggest take-away for ERP developers is that it completely solves the issue of confidence in data access and sharing. So its not about the porting of existing data from the ERP but more about how to use block chain in sharing that data selectively, safely and without fear! More than 80% of data in the corporate world resides in stand alone databases with limited sharing and access since most corporates are scared silly of a data breach. Result – though this data is used to provide management insights in their business, it is not shared as extensively as it should be to fully transform the business process.

“This is very real and something we’re aggressively excited about,” said Brigid McDermott, vice president of Blockchain Business Development at IBM. “What blockchain does is provide a trust system of record between disparate companies. Permission blockchain gives you that confidence that you can control your information and grant access only to those you want to grant access to,” McDermott said. “It’s the freedom of feeling like I’m doing what’s in my business’ best interest by being able to share whatever I want, whenever I want it, in a way that’s immutable, trusted, secure.”

What are the leading platforms for blockchain development?

  • Hyperledger – an open-source industry consortium formed by the Linux Foundation.
  • Ethereum – a custom-built platform that was introduced in 2013 by then 19-year-old software developer Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum platform was originally used for verifying online payments, but its capabilities grew under the Swiss nonprofit Ethereum Foundation.

“There are a number of others emerging as well, though they don’t yet have the same level of developer support,” said Paul Brody, Global Innovation Leader for Blockchain at EY (formerly Ernst & Young). “Both are open source and while companies like IBM and SAP as well as EY are working closely with the governing foundations for these platforms, they are not controlled by a major vendor.”

  • The Linux Foundation announced a new software project under its Hyperledger open consortium aimed at creating a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks — or smart contracts — and their deployment across a distributed ledger. The new project, called Hyperledger Composer, is a modeling language based on JavaScript and with REST API support, that allows non-developers and developers to model their business network. The language also supports modeling of relationships and data validation rules. Read more about the Hyperledger Composer here.

Open source is more alluring to developers since it comes with its own advantages and will help integration, Paul Brody said. “Additionally, open-source platforms with strong developer communities will mature more quickly and have higher security than closed-source competition. At EY, we have made it a priority to focus on open-source platforms” .

ERP pilots are ongoing..

After a long time IT is now responding to blockchain as a result of feedback from clients and partners as against a proactive move. Still its early times and vendors are struggling with the pros and cons of blockchain implementation as they start testing it in their ERP products.

“It’s a very hot topic right now,” said Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO of RSA Security, a subsidiary of the Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions Group. “We are definitely getting a lot of inbound inquiries around blockchain and its implication within enterprise environments. I think it’s driven largely by the fact that when there’s a new technology out there, to some degree people want to be buzzword compliant with the latest and greatest.” Customers are asking about blockchain for audit logging and or verifiable logs. This will go a long way in data and event tracking to satisfy regulations.

Executive Director Brian Behlendorf explains The Linux Foundation’s Blockchain Initiative here.

To read more about the hyperledger blog go here.

ERP is ripe for blockchain. At first in small doses but in a couple of years we wont be surprised if entire business verticals and even national social structures are powered by blockchain.

Inovate recommends OpenBravo for business ERP. For specific queries relating to ERP implementation please call us on +971 (0)4 359 1320.

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