P.R. Venketrama Raja, VP and MD, Ramco Systems
In 1999, the company became a separate entity and was led by P.R. Venketrama Raja its current vice chairman and MD with the dream of fighting like an underdog in a market ruled by biggies such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, who together controlled almost 80 percent of the global business in ERP.
"Many years ago when we started this, we said there must be something which we can create and take to the world market," he tells MIS Asia. "In software we have enlisted many years of R&D with the sole aim of trying to create a fundamentally unique and powerful architecture which will dramatically simplify the creation and execution and running of enterprise solutions. An enterprise solution does not only consist of transactions. It consists of master data management, it consists of analytics, it consists of decision-making processes, it consists of optimisation systems.
"So all these things, how do you bring it all together into one simple platform so that the customer can benefit from all these things simultaneously? It's basically a mission and I think that's what we worked on for about more than a decade - to bring this architecture out into the market. Today I am proud to say that the whole product is fairly complete and working with hundreds of customers and now is the time to really take it to a larger scale."
It is fairly a big challenge that they have thrown to themselves. Why did they go into ERP solutions and not providing IT services like most Indian IT companies chose to do? "It's because of the vision we had. Otherwise, we could have easily done software services and other things which are also very important arms of this whole sector. We wanted to create something that is of fundamental difference and importance."
Such a Long Journey
For Ramco Systems, it has been a long journey of errors, failures and successes. Marshal 3.0 was designed on client server architecture, and was developed entirely on a Microsoft platform but when technology changed, the product again became obsolete. To become relevant again, Ramco Systems launched VirtualWorks in 2002, which allowed the company to "develop products that are technology-agnostic, easily adaptable and rapidly scalable with less manpower."
In 2008, the company launched a new product, Ramco On-Demand ERP (RODE), a "unique ERP product that taps an all-new market-small and medium-sized companies." It was a pay-per-use solution, and it offered ERP solution without demanding companies to invest heavily in hardware, software licences and engineers for maintenance. The company earned the trust of more than 300 RODE clients in India.
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