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I was looking at the customer list of a few ERP vendors like SAP. The companies in the list are mostly non IT companies. So, I'm wondering as to how IT companies approach the business process management problem.

For example, any IT company with a few thousand employees across different locations will need software for HR management, accounting, and so on. And a software product vendor (like Microsoft) will need CRM software.

It looks like buying enterprise software from an outside vendor can be a messy and expensive proposition, especially when they can code it in-house using their excellent grasp on the requirements specific to their business.

Do these companies usually build their own solutions using in-house resources or do they buy it from other software vendors?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here's an irony of most large software firms and technology consultancies: their internal systems are much worse than you would expect. If you're a top programmer at Microsoft, you're not developing a new internal ERP, you're working on Bing/Excel/Xbox. If you're a top ERP expert at Accenture, you're helping clients, not working internal ERP solutions. So these firms buy external packages, and the implementations are mediocre at best.

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I think most of them do use the "normal" ERP solutions such as SAP and the like. There may be several reasons for why they are not listed:

  1. They don't want to give that information away to the wrong people.
  2. They may be a competitor of SAP or one of the other ERP vendors.
  3. They don't see the value in being listed.

And probably many more.

You mentioned Microsoft in the question. Microsoft has their own solutions to ERP and CRM. For ERP they have stuff like Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV, and for CRM they have Dynamics CRM. They probably use some of that stuff themselves, which also gives them valuable information about usage and annoyances in the software.

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