Ultimately, as with any service provider, the success of ERP software companies depends on the level of customer satisfaction. Among the top principal actors dominating the stage in the competitive IT world, only a handful are regarded as the most important and globally influential, both revenue-wise and due to their development of newer software and regular updates - which are meant to keep up with the demands of a constantly expanding market. In an international economy governed by the increasing influence of giant monopolies, it is an inevitable consequence that small business continues to suffer despite the growing number of internet users and new software products.
To counter any ambiguity within the subject that may arise, a general overview of the relationship between small and giant ERP software companies is in order to better illustrate their position in the global market (as to the identity of the top players in the ERP software scene, these will be analyzed in detail further on in another part of this study).
It is evident that, despite the progressive, widespread propagation of newer technological innovations introduced on an almost daily basis, as the control and power of these multinational software company monopolies continues to grow, start up businesses and those that are already struggling to survive will continue finding it harder to compete with ERP software monopolies. This, it should be noted, despite the fact that the majority of these innovative technological products, services and goods are developed by small businesses as well as start-ups, and are mostly available only through the specific company's website.
In fact, it is interesting to notice how many varied IT products available worldwide -and not provided by market giants - are offered by different small companies. By sifting the web it is surprising to find many of these inventions stemming from the most diverse fields in the high-tech industry, from P2P and other file-sharing software technology-the legality of which remains under debate- to robotics, alternative energy devices, bio-feedback equipment and so on.
The relevant question one feels compelled to ask is why, if small ERP software companies provide valuable services that monopolies do not, does this not promote their presence in the marketplace more visibly. Among other considerations, the underlying reason is revealed by the simple fact that their market reach is very limited. This is caused by the troubling cost/revenue aspect ratio and the extensive marketing promotion involved in the operation, which would clearly maximize costs and reduce profits. For start-up ERP software companies, the situation becomes even more difficult.