Perhaps your company is struggling with existing complex and costly business software and hardware in order to carry out your day-to-day business activities. Your company has hired a team of expensive specialists/experts to manage and maintain these systems. It has come to the point that your company can no longer keep up-to-date with the latest technology due to limited resources. What should your company seek in a new enterprise solution? With the beginning of a new year, it's important to consider the advantages of making a transition to the cloud.
Cloud computing is a network of your company's business areas located externally on the internet. The biggest advantage of cloud computing is that you no longer have to purchase expensive business software or hardware - not to mention the costly IT staff required to maintain your systems. All of your company's activities and information are located in an external online server which is supported and managed by an experienced vendor. As all your business functions are online, all necessary updates, upgrades, and backups are done automatically. Additionally, your company benefits from access to real-time information from each department such as HR, Marketing, Sales, and Accounting, among other business areas. Finally, your company benefits from being able to scale your cloud network up or down depending on your business needs and/or as your company grows. With these factors in mind, consider these 5 reasons to choose cloud computing as your next business venture:
• Up and running within days/weeks as there is no purchase of hardware or software. All you need is an internet connection.
• Reduce dependence on IT personnel.
• Remotely access your information from any location on any device.
• Real-time access to your company's information across all business areas.
• Scalability allows for your company to make changes as your company grows.
Make the Transition to Cloud Computing Today!
Nilofhar Zarif - Kadir, Web Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc., a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence
The most arguable myth about cloud ERP solutions refers to organizational data not being as secured as in an on-premise solution. In fact, SaaS security and privacy of data has proved to be customers’ biggest concern.
The top 4 most important issues about data security in the cloud are:
1. Your data storage location
This issue is related to the physical location of the data. When it comes to cloud ERP vendors, their data centers are housed in multimillion dollar facilities and have a 24/7 security all year long. After all, most cloud providers are actually better with physical security than an onsite solution vendor because they don’t have a lot of staff hanging around the facility. Thus, they are able to control physical access to various parts of the office space.
2. Who has access to your data and when
Access is critical when considering SaaS. You should be aware of whether or not outsiders can get to the data, for example for auditing purposes. Even if cloud ERP providers have Service – Level Agreements (SLAs) on who has access, it is important to ask if local governments can overrule that agreement and in what ways.
3. What device you are using to access data
Devices have different levels of security. Some devices are harder to log in, while some don’t need any log-in information at all. When accessing your data from an application, keep in mind that data access via a mobile application is different than the regular one from a browser.
4. Usability can sacrifice security
Sometimes businesses complicate the authentication process by providing users with numerous passwords for different scenarios, putting overall data security in danger, since employees might have to write them down and expose them.
At the end of the day, entrusting private business data to an outside hosting service is still making some organizations skeptical. That is, cloud adoption is shadowed by security concerns. Nevertheless, you should consider that security and privacy issues exist whether an organization decides to subscribe to a cloud ERP Solution or license ERP software and implement it onsite.
WebSan Solutions offers a hosted-enterprise business software solution, leveraging the vast capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP. Our Hosted Dynamics GP solution is maintained in our state-of-the-art Tier II data center located in Toronto. Your data is secure and accessible when you need it!
Organizations across all industries are increasingly looking to the cloud as a way to help boost their productivity, revenues, returns on technology investments and customer satisfaction. It is important to realize that cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not easier to implement or use than on-premise systems. However, when implemented properly, cloud ERP system software can save organizations a lot of money. These cost savings come in the form of reduced IT staffing and reduced hardware expenditures. In general, these are the two most common benefits that organizations refer to as reasons for switching to the cloud.
Before your organization decides the transition to the cloud, it is vital to consider the amount of effort required for the implementation. Cloud ERP implementations are not easier than traditional ones. The most common problem is poor cost estimation and is likely related to the lack of an appropriate framework for enterprise-wide prepackaged software maintenance, which of course requires an ongoing relationship with the software vendor. Moreover, you should keep in mind that all typical issues, such as organizational change management, adoption and use of new business processes are always an obstacle, no matter what ERP solution you choose.
Therefore, whether you are implementing an on-premise or cloud-hosted ERP solution, operational improvement is achieved only through guidance from a highly experienced implementation partner, proper resource allocation and executive commitment. To realize cost savings from cloud ERP, organizations should also budget for all essential components, including everything from organizational change management to business process re-engineering (BPR).
Here are 3 tips for maximizing cost savings with cloud ERP software:
- Know your Requirements – You should gather all the requirements and complete Business process mapping (BPM) before the implementation so that your organization can select the ERP solution that best fits your business.
- Partner with the Right People – Cloud ERP software requires an IT Partner with unique skill sets. Look for a Vendor who has experience in your industry and has a number of references.
- Understand the Costs – When evaluating ERP vendors, consider the total cost of ownership (TOC) and not just upfront costs. Remember that TOC is like an iceberg, which means a lot of the costs are usually hidden.
If you incorporate all of the above tips in your strategy, it will not only save money on upfront infrastructure costs but it will most definitely realize cost savings in IT staffing, licensing fees and annual maintenance. These fees only escalate the longer you wait, thus plan to engage in organization change management and business process re-engineering (BPR) early in the project.
By: Doriana Kote, Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Partner
When there’s a question that needs an answer, we are quick to Google it to find a solution. If you wanted to inform your boss about the benefits of moving to Cloud ERP, how would you go about it? Just remember your trying to convince someone that might need more convincing than your average person because of the magnitude of the move. So make sure you clear up some of the perceptions they might have beforehand to ensure the best results.
Here are a few perceptions that you might come across:
1. Cloud ERP Software is only for small businesses
Cloud ERP Software is for all types of businesses from small to large companies. Moving to the cloud was more popular for SMBs because it was easier to convince them of the value and impact that it could have on their business. With larger businesses, there were more hurdles to overcome and more people to see before they were convinced. Some benefits of Cloud ERP for any type of business include:
- The cloud is everywhere. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a Multi-National company or a mom and pop shop. Cloud software can serve remote offices without the addition of more servers and IT staff.
- Cloud security has advanced greatly. Companies can guarantee your data is always secure. Here at WebSan Solutions we have a secure network, in our SAS70/SSAE16 certified data center.
2.“Cloud” and “Hosted” are the same thing
Even though both of them signify remote access they can mean different things. The main difference between the two is that customers do not install or maintain client software. A cloud application guarantees that it will work even if there is a momentary break in internet connectivity. Client-server applications were intended to utilize a steady network connection.
Cloud applications and hosted applications are secured differently. Communications between the browser and the server are always untrusted. This is to ensure that there can be no breach of security. All of the data that a business might have is first verified by the server before anything is to happen. It also means that the transmission path is encrypted by design.
Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner
I got the chance to interview Mark Polino a Microsoft Certified IT Professional for Dynamics GP. He is a well-known MVP in the MS Great Plains community. I attended Dynamics Decisions 2011 and I thought he did a wonderful job speaking about the worst mistakes that you can make with Dynamics GP, which was really helpful because I’m new to the system. These are the questions he was asked:
1. When did you realize this would be your career?
In my first few years as a consultant, I realized that my experience with Dynamics GP gave me an advantage even if I chose to go back into the industry. When I moved out of consulting and into a controller role for a while it made a huge difference in getting the job.
2. In 2010, you wrote the book “Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Cookbook” what was your inspiration for writing it?
I had built several “50 Tips in 50 Minutes for Dynamics GP” presentations that got great reactions. I was considering building them into an eBook and mentioned that to my friend and fellow MVP, Mariano Gomez. He was talking to a publisher about a book and he put me in touch with Packt Publishing. The rest is history and the publisher’s help made a huge difference in delivering a better book.
3. What are you current projects now? Are you planning on writing another book or speaking at an upcoming event?
I have a number of speaking engagements lined up including a pile of presentations at Convergence 2012 in Houston. I’ve written a number of fictional short stories to illustrate Dynamics GP features in a different way. There are a few more projects in the works are, but none of them are far enough along to discuss just yet.
4. What would you say is the strongest feature in Microsoft Dynamics GP?
I think there are two. The first is its strong financial features. This provides a solid underpinning for Dynamics GP. Second is a strong ISV/Partner channel. This provides ways to extend Dynamics GP into places no one can foresee.
5. What is the biggest problem that you’ve observed that new users face?
It’s still training/training/training. Companies don’t want to pay for. Training gets delivered at implementation and maybe never again so new users only get what’s passed down. People learn more about what’s already in their system after an upgrade, even though much of the functionality isn’t new. Companies think ERP should be easy to use. It is, but Angry Birds is even easier and there are more than 56,000 videos of walkthroughs of Angry Birds. This idea of the software being so intuitive that we don’t need to train is simply unrealistic.
6. What do you think the future of Cloud ERP holds
Cloud ERP will bring greater accessibility, that is, ERP in more places. It may ultimately reduce flexibility. It will be harder for companies to customize ERP systems in the way they have in the past. Frankly, this is both good and bad. It keeps companies from making mistakes like customizing new systems to look just like their old systems, but it may make sales harder for more horizontally focused systems.
You can visit Mark Polino website here: http://msdynamicsgp.blogspot.com/
By: Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner