While Ramco was fiddling with its ERP offerings, success came from unexpected quarters. Ramco Systems had released a niche product called Ramco Aviation Solutions in the 1990s and it proved to be an unqualified success. The product became a blockbuster in the aviation maintenance sector (maintenance, repair and overhaul business)-20 percent of US airlines are maintained by Ramco. It accounts for 25 percent of the company's revenues. Ramco Systems is a world leader in Helicopter maintenance. It serves 40 percent of the commercial helicopter market in the US and its software is used to maintain about 1200 helicopters worldwide.
However, the Web-architected ERP product still struggled in the market. What was the reason?
"We've been in all the markets for many years, for 15-20 years, even the US market," says Venketrama Raja. "Those were the traditional ERP products but in the meanwhile, if you really want to be something big, you can't compete with traditional companies like a me-too product. We have to be fundamentally different.
"So while we were continuing to serve various markets like Singapore, Australia, USA and Europe and so on, we kept that fairly low key but put a lot of effort on creating this completely new platform. That has been mature and ready and has been in the market already; what I have been talking about at least for the last four or five years, so it is truly tested out. It is not something on paper or something that we are dreaming about today. It is truly tested, available today because an enterprise software also has to be truly tested and cannot be experimental and that is also done with hundreds of customers."
Is being low key and neglecting the power of brand building the reasons behind the challenges for Ramco's success in the ERP market? "I think ultimately a brand will represent a particular standpoint or point of view of the company in the customer's mind and we've got to create that point of view," agrees Venketrama Raja. "So a brand has to create a particular point of view in the customer's mind and that is what we have attempted to show that we bring value and we bring joyful experience. We bring something that was never thought possible in enterprise solutions. That is what we want to bring and that is what we are attempting."
ERP on Cloud
In May last year, Ramco Systems hired Virender Aggarwal as CEO who was formerly the president and Asia Pacific region head of HCL Technologies, one of India's top IT services company. This shows the company's hunger for more success and its serious intention to make its presence felt at a global level.
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