The movement to take enterprise ERP systems to the cloud isn’t a new one. Manufacturers of all types and sizes are  using the cloud already, making the transition, or actively considering their options for cloud-based ERP. But, according to many analysts, there has been one pocket of consistent resistance to this accelerating trend: it’s very unusual for a large manufacturer to rip out their on-premise SAP enterprise ERP and switch to a cloud-based alternative.

That’s why we think it’s newsworthy to tell you about the decision just made by Mipox.

Who is Mipox?

Mipox is a global producer of polishing films for the high-tech industry, with headquarters in Japan and other sites across Asia and the world. They’re 90 years old and publicly traded on Japan’s JASDAQ market. And, as of very recently, Mipox has selected Rootstock to provide cloud ERP applications for more than 400 users at 22 sites in 12 countries. In doing so, they’re saying goodbye to SAP ERP.

Success with Salesforce heightens frustration with SAP

The analysts are right: most manufacturers running SAP ERP are very reluctant to move away from it. The perceived pain, expense and uncertainty outweigh the potential benefits of a move to the cloud, even for firms that are motivated to choose cloud for competitive reasons – they see their cloud-based competitors becoming more agile and efficient, and realize a switch is inevitable for them if they want to remain relevant.

So why has a traditionally cautious organization like Mipox decided to take the leap? Interestingly, it had a lot to do with their experience using Salesforce. “We’ve achieved great success automating processes and improving our management information with Salesforce CRM. We want to realize that same level of automation and visibility across manufacturing operations…,” explains their president, Jun Watanabe.

In other words, Mipox wanted an end-to-end solution that would unite their Salesforce CRM with their ERP solution. As Watanabe-san further explains, “One of our core values is to ensure that our products, services, and technologies meet or exceed our customers’ requirements.” We will be in a better position to do that by managing CRM and ERP together on the Salesforce Platform.”

What this could mean for you

Even if you’re not using SAP ERP, you can still take away a lesson from what Mipox is doing: in today’s highly competitive environment, it makes a great deal of sense to carefully consider when and how you’re going to move your operations to the cloud. Leaving behind your legacy applications will definitely improve your agility, competitiveness, and customer service.

Of course, there are an awful lot of manufacturers running their operations on SAP ERP. If you’re one of them, the message is even more compelling: there’s no need to rationalize the status quo. Like Mipox, and a growing number of other manufacturers, the time has come to face the future. A year from now, we expect the replacement of SAP ERP legacy systems will be a much more common scenario. Wouldn’t you rather be a leader of that movement, instead of lagging behind?