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ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, is a software system that enables business processes covering financial, manufacturing, distribution, sales and other areas. ERP II is commonly referred to as another level, or next generation, of ERP. ERP II can result from technology, functional or user access improvements.


Functionality improvements associated with supply chain management, supplier relationship management and customer relationship management can be associated with ERP II. All of these tend to encourage collaboration with entities or companies outside of the original enterprise that implemented ERP.

External Access

ERP II can enable access to information by those outside the company or original entity, e.g., a manufacturing plant that allows access to planning information by another plant or its customers. Software that allows access by those outside the company has more stringent security plus design to avoid access to certain company information.

Web- or Internet-Based

ERP generally refers to a software system that is resident on, and accessed through, a company computer and secure company network. ERP II may enable Web-based or Internet access through an Internet browser; this is one approach to allowing external users to access ERP.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service usually refers to a vendor hosting the software and data, in a business model where the same version of the software is used for multiple clients. ERP has only recently been introduced on an SaaS basis, and can be described as ERP II if deployed in this way.


About the Author

Bob Turek started writing in 1994 for "The Performance Advantage" magazine. His book "Value Selling Business Solutions" draws on technology industry experiences gained from his position as director of business development for Infogain's cloud CRM for customer support operations practice. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and psychology from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Photo Credits

  • lightning speed image by Cindy Haggerty from