In a fast-moving and turbulent global economy, large organisations are consistently looking for ways to become more agile and gain a competitive advantage.Yet, as they increasingly depend on complex IT systems to run their operations, they may find that the lack of flexibility within these systems is slowing them down when looking to enter new, faster growing, global markets. What we’re hearing from our customers is that they expect to be able to enter a new market in months, not years.

This is where a two-tier approach to ERP is providing a solution. With two-tier ERP, businesses can maintain their significant investment in on-premise systems at headquarters, while deploying faster, more nimble cloud solutions for subsidiaries and divisions abroad with a reduced upfront cost as well as a lower ongoing outlay. With rapid growth in Asia, two-tier is particularly attractive for multinational companies expanding in the region.

ASICS, the true sport performance brand, is one of the latest to take advantage of cloud-based ERP to expand here. ASICS went live in early 2014 with its first two-tier implementation to support its Singapore subsidiary, ASICS Asia Pte.Ltd. Originally a marketing support business, ASICS saw an opportunity in creating a new sales subsidiary, but didn’t want to spend the time and huge capital investment it would take to duplicate the ERP system it had at its headquarters in Japan. ASICS turned to the cloud. Singapore became a sales subsidiary and now serves as a hub for sales and marketing operations in Singapore and other South East Asia, focused on boosting the ASICS brand image. In addition, ASICS recently deployed NetSuite in its Indian subsidiary, ASICS India Pvt.Ltd.

Beyond the rapid deployment and flexibility of cloud ERP and the ability to roll up financials to ASICS global headquarters in Japan, solutions like NetSuite OneWorld facilitate real-time visibility across the organisation and provide multi-currency and multi-language transactions as well as local tax compliance. In addition, many customers enjoy a much lower cost of ownership when adopting a two-tier approach. There are considerable savings to be had with such an approach, largely driven by the centralised infrastructure and the efficiency of administering a cloud system.

The two-tier approach is disrupting the ERP industry, changing the way that large organisations manage their global expansion and operations. Within the vendor community we are already seeing more packaged integration between the new breed of ERP and the old, making it even easier for larger, more traditional businesses to take advantage of all the benefits cloud computing has to offer.