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Huawei replaces ERP with homebrew effort, claims it’s perfect and shows company will thrive despite sanctions

Compares three-year development push to a famous battle that saw Communist forces triumph

Huawei has announced it created a homegrown ERP in just three years, and that the app now runs its entire business flawlessly.

“We were cut off from our old ERP system and other core operation and management systems more than three years ago,” Huawei board member and the Quality, Business Process & IT management Department boss Tao Jingwen is quoted as saying in a company announcement.

“Since then, we have not only been able to build our own MetaERP, but also manage the switch and prove its capabilities. Today we are proud to announce that we have broken through the blockade. We have survived!”

The Register understands Oracle was the previous provider of ERP to Huawei, and that US sanctions made that relationship untenable.

Huawei started work on its ERP, dubbed “MetaERP”, in 2019.

“This has been the most extensive and complex transformation project Huawei has ever undertaken,” the contentious Chinese firm’s announcement states. “Over the past three years, Huawei has invested significant resources and assigned several thousand people to this project.”

The result is a “new, future-oriented, ultra-large-scale, and cloud-native MetaERP system has already gone live, replacing the old ERP system.:

The system is, in Huawei’ view, perfect.

“MetaERP currently handles 100 percent of Huawei's business scenarios and 80 percent of its business volume. MetaERP has already passed the tests of monthly, quarterly, and yearly settlements, while ensuring zero faults, zero delays, and zero accounting adjustments.”

Readers may have picked up a slightly triumphalist tone in Huawei’s announcement. If not, know that the announcement of MetaERP’s advent took place at an event titled "Heroes Fighting to Cross the Dadu River".

That’ a reference to a famous incident on the Long March, when 22 members of the Red Army crossed an ancient suspension bridge, and captured it, despite coming under enemy fire. The battle is felt to be a pivotal moment in China's civil war.

Evoking that incident means Huawei has associated its ERP development with a famous moment in Communist Party history – think of it as the equivalent of equating a software project to events of historical significance like Washington crossing the Delaware or the Battle of Trafalgar.

Huawei offered a little detail about the ERP’s underpinnings, stating it runs on the company’s EulerOS Linux distribution and GaussDB relational database. The company did not discuss the hardware used to power MetaERP, but both EulerOS and GaussDB can run on Huawei’s homebrew Kunpeng processors that use the Arm architecture.

A Huawei-scale ERP implementation running on Kunpeng is perhaps as interesting as Huawei having written its own ERP, as it would demonstrate the Chinese company can deliver colossal systems without western tech, and an unusually large and thoroughly mission critical Arm-based deployment. The Register has asked Huawei to detail the hardware platform it’s employed and will update this story if we receive a substantive response. ®

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