The Future of ERP: Bridging Enterprise Silos with Multi-Party ERP Systems
How the Baseline Protocol can combine with a zkEVM to automate multi-party business processes
Businesses simultaneously rely on each other and find themselves threatened by the effects of our world’s digital transformation. This is especially true for businesses that operate in supply chains, both physical and digital, or other collaborative ecosystems such as telecommunication, and healthcare. To be successful and to grow their bottom line, these businesses need to be able to share data and collaborate on business processes with one another across geographies and jurisdictions securely and efficiently.
Traditional ERP systems are not designed for this type of collaboration. They are typically siloed within a single organization, making it difficult to share data with partners. (EDI integration nightmares, anyone?) Silos invariably lead to inefficiencies, errors, and missed opportunities.
Introducing Multi-Party ERP System
Multi-Party ERP (MPERP) systems are a new breed of ERP systems. They represent the maturation of ERPs beyond enterprise silos, and are specifically designed to address the challenges of collaboration. They allow multiple organizations to share data and collaborate on business processes in a secure, private, and efficient manner.
MPERP systems can lead to several benefits for businesses, such as:
- Improved collaboration and coordination: By sharing data and collaborating on business processes, businesses can improve their efficiency and effectiveness. For example, a manufacturer can share data with its suppliers to optimize its supply chain in a shared and secure environment. Similarly, financial services companies can safely share data with one another to optimize capital and cash management.
- Reduced costs: MPERP systems can help businesses to reduce the costs of integration and maintenance. This is because they are designed to offer integrated automated processes and be interoperable with a variety of systems. That way, businesses don’t have to spend time and money doing point-to-point integrations again and again.
- Increased agility: MPERP systems can help businesses to adapt more quickly to change, especially as our world becomes more digitized and AI agents take over more and more tasks. These systems are not tied to a single organization, so businesses can easily add or remove partners and their (digital) agents as needed.
- Improved security and privacy: MPERP systems can help businesses to protect their data from unauthorized access by using new technologies such as self-sovereign identity and zero-knowledge proofs.
The benefits of MPERP systems are clear, but there are also some challenges that businesses need to be aware of. One of the biggest challenges is the scalability of business process integration and data sharing. To operate securely and efficiently with multiple partners, businesses need a scalable and secure platform.
MPERP and the zkEVM
This is where zkEVM platforms come into play. A zkEVM is a zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a scalability solution that can use its shared execution environment to scale multi-party business processes and improve security by leveraging the high-security guarantees of public Ethereum. A zkEVM uses zero-knowledge proofs to verify the correct execution of multi-party smart contracts implementing business processes without revealing the underlying data. This allows businesses to share data securely and integrate processes with one another without compromising their privacy.
zkEVMs are also highly scalable since they are a single compute instance that can be easily scaled, as compared to a blockchain which is always constrained to be as fast as its slowest node. zKEVMs can support a large number of transactions per second, making them ideal for secure yet high-volume, multi-party business processes.
In addition to scalability and security, zkEVM also offers other benefits, including:
- Auditability: zkEVM transactions can be audited by any third party to ensure that they are valid and have not been tampered with. This auditing can be done without revealing the details of the underlying shared data.
- Compliance: zkEVM can be used to comply with regulations that require businesses to protect sensitive data and prove compliance with legal regulations such as Know-Your-Business (KYB).
- Cost-effectiveness: zkEVM is more cost-effective than traditional blockchain solutions.
zkEVMs, then, are a promising technology for scaling MPERP systems and improving security. By combining the power of multi-party business processes with the security of zkEVM, businesses can create more efficient, secure, and compliant supply chains, financial systems, and healthcare systems.
MPERP, the zkEVM, and the Baseline Protocol
The Baseline Protocol is a system standard for Multi-Party Business Process Automation with Zero Trust under Zero-Knowledge. The protocol can be used to secure and streamline data sharing in MPERP systems. It uses several techniques to protect data privacy and security that fit well with MPERP and zkEVMs. These techniques include:
- Zero-knowledge proofs: Zero-knowledge proofs allow businesses to share data without revealing the underlying data. This is important for protecting sensitive data, such as financial information or customer records.
- Encrypted messaging: The Baseline Protocol uses encrypted messaging to secure data in transit. This helps to prevent data from being intercepted or modified by unauthorized parties.
- Distributed ledger technology: The Baseline Protocol uses distributed ledger technology to create a tamper-proof record of data transactions. This helps to ensure that data is accurate and cannot be changed without the consent of all parties involved.
A zkEVM can be used with the Baseline Protocol to further improve how systems of record of businesses such as ERP systems can be integrated, and how the security of MPERP systems can be further improved by including self-sovereign identity in MPERPs. A zkEVM can be used as the Baseline Protocols execution framework to process smart contracts that automate business processes, share data securely, and minimize shared data through zero-knowledge proofs which can be verified on a zkEVM directly.
For example, a manufacturer could use an MPERP integrating a zkEVM into the Baseline Protocol to automate the process of ordering parts from its suppliers. The manufacturer could create a smart contract that specifies the parts it needs, the quantity, and the price. The smart contract could then be deployed on the zkEVM of a Baseline Protocol implementation and shared with the suppliers.
When a supplier agrees to provide the parts, it can sign the order and send the approved order to the smart contract through a zero-knowledge proof. The manufacturer can then verify the supplier’s accepted order by verifying the zero-knowledge proof on the zkEVM, without revealing the underlying data. This ensures that the supplier is not providing counterfeit parts or overcharging the manufacturer, and no other suppliers see the details of the order. Once the supplier has sent the parts and sent an invoice (again through a zero-knowledge proof) the manufacturer can pay for the parts.
The use of zkEVM and the Baseline Protocol in this example significantly improves the security and efficiency of the ordering process. The manufacturer can be confident that it is receiving genuine parts from reputable suppliers, and it does not need to share any sensitive data with the suppliers.
The use of zkEVM and the Baseline Protocol can be applied to a wide variety of multi-party business processes, including:
- Supply chain management
- Financial transactions
- Healthcare data sharing
- Regulatory compliance
By combining the power of MPERP systems with the security of zkEVM and the Baseline Protocol, businesses can create more efficient, secure, and compliant operations.
Multi-party ERP systems utilizing zkEVMs and the Baseline Protocol represent a promising approach — one that can be used to improve the efficiency, security, and compliance of business operations between multiple partners across different jurisdictions. This approach creates more agile and resilient organizations that are better equipped to succeed in our digital age where business disruption is the norm and not the exception.
Originally published at mesh.xyz.