I was at Salesforce’s extravaganza conference back in 2011 when Kenandy, the ERP built on top of Salesforce’s platform, was unveiled. Kenandy was founded by none other than Sandra Kurtzig, someone who, it is fair to say, invented the idea of ERP, having created one of the first software-based ERP suites around 40 years ago. So take a company founded with intense levels of ERP DNA, and build it upon arguably the most important current enterprise-focused software platform, and you have the potential for something very interesting to happen.

Over the years since the launch, I’ve kept a watching brief on Kenandy, and have found it interesting to compare and contrast their progress with those of the more traditional (did you say legacy) ERP vendors such as Epicor, SAP, Oracle, and others. It is also interesting to watch how Kenandy progresses compared to its true cloud-based competitors – FinancialForce, NetSuite and Intacct among others.

So it was interesting to hear from Kenandy who were wanting to give me a quick update on their momentum – both in terms of customer growth and industry acceptance.

Customer wins

Kenandy is presenting at Salesforce’s World Tour event in Chicago where one of its customers, Merrow Sewing Machine Corporation, is telling the attendees about their journey with the company. Merrow is actually an 180-year old company that got its start selling gunpowder and knitting supplies in 1838. Three years ago the company ripped out its existing ERP system and implemented Kenandy and has since seen revenue growth fro new product lines – something that is often hard to execute upon within such an old organization.

Indeed, Charlie Merrow, CEO of Merrow Sewing Machine Company, will be presenting at the summit specifically about innovation within older businesses – his presentation, “Unshackling Innovation in an 180-Year-Old Company,” will discuss the company’s most recent transformation and provide insight on how Kenandy Cloud ERP on Salesforce played a role in its recent success.

In more general terms for Kenandy’s growth, in the past 18 months, the company’s customer count has increased by a reported 5X and recurring revenue has grown by 10X. A positive result and, despite being from a modest base, pointing to the increasing acceleration of the move to the cloud – even in the traditionally conservative manufacturing space.

Industry plaudits

Of course, industry baubles are a dime a dozen, and traditional analyst firms have long been questioned about their conflicts of interest and the related tainting of some of their findings. That said, taken in aggregate, the kudos that Kenandy has picked up this year does tell a tale. Specifically:

  • In January, Kenandy was ranked the Number 1 Cloud Cloud ERP for Manufacturing Product Leadership by Frost and Sullivan.
  • Kenandy was included in the January 2017 Forrester Research Vendor Landscape SaaS ERP Applications report, which included Kenandy as one of the Cloud “ERP pure-plays that are gaining market share.”
  • PC Magazine named Kenandy as one of the ERP startups changing the game in the industry in February of this year.

Market focus

In a recent interview, Kenandy CEO Chuck Berger indicated that while Kenandy is primarily focused on mid-market manufacturers and distributors, the solutions are “being considered” at ever-larger firms. One prospect Berger claimed to be in the mix has revenues in the tens of billions. Add to that the fact that conglomerates are now a target market for Kenandy and you have a situation where, like other cloud ERP vendors (NetSuite, specifically) Kenandy will attempt to move further up the food chain – potentially by articulating a “two-tier” ERP strategy where customers use Kenandy for individual business units and then roll up into SAP or Oracle for group-level financials.

MyPOV

If for no other reason, the historical credibility of Kenandy’s founder makes this company one to watch. But there is only so long that historical credibility can keep a company going and these data points around momentum will go a long way to providing another, more up-to-the-minute, reason for Kenandy’s existence. I’m looking forward to continuing to watch Kenandy’s progress into the future.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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