Recap of the ERP Congress 2021 in Frankfurt - the winners of the ERP System of the Year

An exclusive trade fair, best practice talks, presentations by renowned speakers and a lively exchange - the Center for Enterprise Research looks back on another successful ERP Congress

The ERP Congress 2021

A conference with high-class speakers from science and practice. On October 26 and 27, this year's ERP Congress took place at the Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport, where users and vendors were able to exchange ideas at the trade fair, and a wide range of concrete methods and practical examples around the topic of ERP and application software were presented in expert lectures, best-practice talks and quick checks. Following an exciting day of vendor presentations, the event culminated in the ERP System of the Year awards ceremony on the second day of the congress. This year, prizes were awarded in the categories of wholesale, multi-channel retail, make-to-order, automotive, variant batch production, process management in ERP, AI applications in ERP and ERP architectures. In addition to the eight industry-related categories, special awards were presented for Customer Communication and International ERP.

(Director Center for Enterprise Research Prof. Dr-Ing. Norbert Gronau, Moderator Janine Utsch)

More fiercely contested than ever before

The ERP System of the Year awards ceremony was held for the 16th time this year. For the first time, an international ERP award was presented and winning the individual categories was more hotly contested than ever this year: 35 vendors wanted to secure the 2021 title.

ERP system of the year - an award with high credibility in the customer approach

As the most important software award in the German-speaking world, presented by an independent jury of experts, it enables differentiation on the market and thus provides the basis for successful customer orientation.

How the award winners are chosen

In the preliminary round, systems nominated by the jury submit written applications and are judged by three jurors. The best applications move on to the finals. The jury, chaired by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Gronau (Center for Enterprise Research Potsdam), consisted of representatives from academia (Prof Axel Winkelmann, Würzburg, Prof. Strahringer, Dresden, Prof. Schütte, Essen), trade journalists (Christoph Kerkmann from Handelsblatt and Sandy Eggert from ERP Management) and neutral consultants (Karin Henkel, Helmuth Gümbel, Bettina Voigt and Dr. Benedict Bender). Criteria for the evaluation were implementation methodology, benefits through customer-oriented functional scope, ergonomics, technology and integration scope, industry suitability, customer communication and sales marketing as well as research and development.

Wholesale category

In the wholesale category, the main focus was on automation, conditions and logistics. The jury particularly praised the winner's outstanding user experience and ecosystem with great ideas for the future.

After a broad application, Step Ahead GmbH, Haufe-Lexware GmbH and SE PADERSOFT GmbH & Co. KG made it to the final.

Final system winner wholesale: Haufe-Lexware GmbH 

(from left to right: Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, President of Cloud ERP lexbizz Carsten Schröder, Moderator Janine Utsch)

Multi-channel retail category

In multi-channel retailing, it is important to provide customers with perfect support across all sales channels. These can be own stores or web stores, shop-in-shop concepts or diverse uses of platforms. In addition, consumers can switch between channels during their customer journey. The jury was convinced by the excellent ergonomics and the very good customization of customer communication during Corona.

In the multi-channel retail category, the companies CSB.System SE, All for One Group, and CVS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH made it to the final round

Final system winner multi-channel retail: CVS Ingenieurgesellschaft/AlphaPlan

(from left to right: Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Authorized Signatory & Sales Manager of CVS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbh Robert Lüers, Moderator Janine Utsch)

One-off production category

In the one-off production category, it is important to be able to start manufacturing before the product is fully defined. On the other hand, external manufacturers, their capacities and deadlines play a major role. The decision on the winner in this category was justified by the fact that expensive functions are made accessible to medium-sized companies. The company is on its way to becoming a full web app, and has features such as bidirectional CAD direct integration and fully implemented project logic.

Two companies made it to the finals in the one-off production category: TimeLine Gebauer GmbH, ams.solutions AG and Schrempp edv GmbH.

Final system winner one-off production: TimeLine

(from left to right: Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Managing Director TimeLine Business Solution Group Boris Gebauer, Moderator Janine Utsch

Automotive category

Automotive suppliers are under strong competitive pressure. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provide clear specifications that must be implemented on the system side. Those who do not meet these requirements and cannot deliver just-in-time disappear from the market. New standards are being introduced all the time, and various customer and supplier portals have to be reconnected. For this reason, there are mature industry solutions in the automotive sector in which the requirements of the OEMs have already been implemented in the standard.

In the automotive category, proAlpha Business Solutions and its system took first place. Here, the jury liked the well-implemented process designer and the diverse activities for customer communication.

Final system winner automotive: proAlpha

(f.l.t.r Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Director Marketing proALPHA Gruppe Thomas Fodermeyer, Business Development pro ALPHA Gruppe Michael Finkler, Moderator Janine Utsch)

Multi-variant series production category

The multi-variant series production describes the all-rounder among the ERP systems. A large number of manufacturing companies in German-speaking countries can be classified here. The jury was convinced by the winner, who scored the highest number of points in the entire competition, because the system masters both multi-level variant configuration and combined push/pull processes for supply.

In the category of multi-variant series production, the companies PSI Automotive and Industry, 5Cube digital GmbH and SOFTBAUWARE made it to the finals.

Final system winner multi-variant series production: PSI Automotive and Industry

(f.l.t.r. Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Business Development Manager PSI Karl Tröger, Moderator Janine Utsch)

Category Process Management in ERP

The category Process Management in ERP was announced for the first time this year. It is becoming increasingly important not only to provide individual functions in the ERP system, but also to combine them into a process that adds value for customers. The jury was particularly convinced by the fact that customers of the winning company were able to demonstrate comprehensive savings, that process management was very well integrated into the system, and that the process data could also be used immediately. 

The finalists in the Process Management in ERP category were mesonic software GmbH and Industrial Application Software GmbH.

Final system winner Process Management in ERP: mesonic software GmbH

(f.l.t.r. Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Sales&Partnermanagement mesonic Peter Behrens, Moderator Janine Utsch)

Category AI applications in ERP

More and more data is being collected in companies. More and more often, the question is being asked whether this data can be analyzed using artificial intelligence methods. The prize was awarded to those who already have good AI applications in their ERP system. This year, the winner received the coveted award because this system has already successfully integrated AI and makes it available for use. It also integrates external data for predictive purposes and displays it directly in the ERP system.

The finalists in the category AI applications in ERP were weclapp SE and Asseco Solutions AG.

Final system winner AI applications in ERP: Asseco Solutions AG

(f.l.t.r. Direkctor Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Vice President Sales Asseco Solutions AG Carl-Heinz Gödde, Moderator Janine Utsch)

Category ERP Architectures

At the beginning of an ERP implementation, you don't know what challenges await you over the course of a system's ten to 15 years of use. For this reason, particularly good ERP architectures are being evaluated this year. The prize was awarded to the company that won the title due to the special use of focus groups and test customers in the implementation methodology.

The finalists in the ERP architecture category were Aptean DACH GmbH and Aareon AG.

Final system winner Process Management in ERP: Aareon AG

(f.l.t.r. Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Operations Director Aareon Deutschland GmbH Torsten Rau, Moderator Janine Utsch)

Special prizes International ERP and Customer Communication and Sales Marketing

The special prize for an outstanding International ERP system was won by the Danish system Uniconta, which recently became available on the German market. In terms of optimal customer communication SOFTBAUWARE was able to convince and won a title in this special category after all.

(f.l.t.r. Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Director SOFTBAUWARE Andreas Hougardy, Project Manager Gebr. Ott Betonwerke GmbH und & Co. KG Beat Baumgärtner, Moderator Janine Utsch)

(f.l.t.r. Director Center for Enterprise Research Norbert Gronau, Director Uniconta Thomas Zeller, Moderatorin Janine Utsch)

We warmly congratulate all finalists and winners of the "ERP System of the Year" award!

ERP trade fair: Best Practice Talks, expert lectures and vendor exhibition

Digitalization is in full swing and it is impossible to imagine our everyday life without it. More and more business processes are being partially or fully digitized. This has a significant impact on the application systems used in the company, first and foremost ERP systems. The selection, introduction and operation of these systems are nowadays no longer conceivable without professional, relevant and neutral information. The ERP Congress with the accompanying trade fair aims to meet this demand. Nowhere else in the German-speaking world can you find such a density of professional information and competence as at this congress. Due to the special circumstances, the lectures of this year's ERP Congress were also broadcasted in a live stream.

Our thought leaders 2021

As a hybrid event with analog stages and livestreams, the ERP Congress 2021 presented on October 26 and 27 best-practice talks, expert lectures and quick-checks with a wide range of concrete methods and practical examples of how users and providers can take the ERP initiative for their company's success.

Impressions from the expert presentations (excerpt):

Impressions from the Best Practice Talks:

Hannah Lauppe, Center for Enterprise Research: Digitization in retail - opportunities and challenges

Felix Eigelshoven, Center for Enterprise Research: The Next Step: Blockchain Technologies and their Potential for the Future of Industry 4.0

Jana Gonnermann, Center for Enterprise Research: Moodboard - How to support your employees during the introduction of new IT systems

Robin Bockshammer, Center for Enterprise Research: Upgrades as Part of ERP Management

and more

ERP trade fair

We want to make it as easy as possible for our trade visitors to find their way through the jungle of ERP offerings. For this reason, only those ERP vendors whose systems have already been nominated at least once for the "ERP System of the Year" award or have already won this prestigious award in recent years will exhibit at the exclusive trade fair.

This year represented with their own exhibitor area were:

All for One Group



CVS Ingenieursgesellschaft mbH


proAlpha Gruppe

PSI Automotive & Industry GmbH


TimeLine Business solutions Group

Impressions from the trade fair

A special thank you for a fantastic project management

For the outstanding organization of another ERP Congress, the whole team would like to thank Clementine Bertheau, who once again receives our heartfelt Project Management Special Award.

(Clementine Bertheau, Center for Enterprise Research - moderator, organizer and main responsible for the ERP-Congress 2021)

See you next year! - The team of the Center for Enterprise Research