The paper proposes to assess the salient topics related to ERP systems implementation in the context of small firms: do the risks occurrence and the competencies used during the project influence the success of the ERP project in SMEs? A survey investigated the IT policy of 2000 representative SMEs. The results are analyzed from a final sample of 81 firms which effectively adopted an ERP. Multiple projects patterns are observed, but no 'one best way' is found: no specific modality offers a higher rate of success for the project. Among external supports, the integrator appears to play a key role in the resolution of operational difficulties. Although the projects may encounter multiple risks, they are ? most of the time - not allowed to fail. This quantitative analysis offers a first confirmation and generalization of the existing case studies on ERP projects in SMEs.