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Monday, 15 July 2013 17:00

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Adam MacIntosh is a Senior Account & Project Manager with WebSan Solutions Inc, a Microsoft Certified Partner and 2012 Canadian Channel Elite Awards Finalist.

Published in Microsoft Dynamics GP
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 09:30

Data Security in the Cloud

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!

Doriana Kote, Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics Silver Partner and a CDN top 100 solution provider for 2012.

Published in Dynamics GP

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Published in WebSan Blog

If you haven’t read part one of this blog please click the link to get caught up!

If checklist one through three gets a check mark, you’re on the right track to avoiding as little problems as possible. Number four on the list is something that you must be responsible for because, you can’t blame all ERP implementation failures on your partner. Sometimes when a partner gets a client and there ready to kick start their plan, the clients give them all their “baggage” to fix and then leave. They eventually come back at the end, near the go-live date and say things like “Are we ready to go live yet?” Have you tested the system? Nope. Has your staff gotten trained? Nope. Then the answer to your question is nope. You don’t want to be that kind of client. Therefore make sure the implementation goes in steps or phases and make sure to have regular follow ups on the progress that has taken place.

Be motivated! Sometimes implementations take a while to finish, you might be checking off each suggestion on the list but when you come to number five you realize that what’s your lacking in. You need to be upbeat about this whole process, I’m not saying jump up and down and scream for joy that you are getting new accounting software. But at least have a good attitude towards the implementation; I say this because getting something new isn’t always a good thing. You have to retrain your staff; get familiarized with a new system and implement it to your company. That can be a bothersome to someone resulting in them giving you a hard time. As the client, be positive and have a good outlook on this new system, which could ultimately better your performance in the long run.

Last but not least number six on the checklist is to plan for everything and anything that could happen. Once one to five is checked off, be aware of number six. Even though you have everything planned to a T anything could happen from employees’ issues to company changes. Just be prepared for whatever can happen because even though you might be well prepared when it comes to the implementation there’s always a chance of a problem that could occur. You can’t predict and prevent everything but give yourself a fighting chance if a problem arises.

By: Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner

Published in WebSan Blog

I was reading an article called “Six Basics of preventing pain in our ERP implementation” and I thought to myself, why are all these problems with ERP implementation occurring in the first place? It’s happening more than normal and I think I know why, Companies are not doing enough research, therefore, they choose the wrong partner and software. Here I have a checklist of six rules you should consider before saying yes and signing the dotted line.

Really research thoroughly about which partner would be the right partner for you and which software would be the right software for you. Even if you have ten companies and have to narrow it to one then do that. If you’re Googling “accounting software” there are millions of results that come up, I know that can be overwhelming but don’t choose only the top three results. Some people think that the top three results are the best results, but that’s completely untrue. Google doesn’t rank you higher based on your product or services quality, they rank based on search engine optimization, keywords and links. But that’s another blog; basically what I’m saying is take your time to do your homework.

When you find the right partner and software, make it clear on what you expect from your partner. Have a one on one sit down with the company you will be working with, there needs to be impeccable communication between both companies. Make sure you listen to their expectations and make sure they listen to your expectations, because if one person’s not listening to the project is bound to go wrong. Even if you have to take notes, you need and they need to fully understand the expectations of the project. That’s to prevent sentences like: “I never said that”, “But I thought you said…”, “I told you that, remember?” Also, it’s good to get everything in a tightly sealed contract so you can also avoid those phrases.

So once you’ve found the right partner and you found the right accounting software and there’s clear understanding amongst both companies, make sure they don’t go anywhere. Sounds weird enough, but I’m not joking, whoever is in charge of your project make sure they stay in charge of the project. The reason this is on the list is to prevent your partner from doing an 180 on you. If you have one project manager that is in charge of the project, if there are any hiccups in the implementation you can go straight to that person to address the problem. If there’s no one particular in charge of the plan, you’re only going to get the run around when a problem occurs because no one’s in charge. Another reason it’s on the list is because if the company switches the manager, you would have to communicate every single detail about the project all over again hoping that they can comprehend it  and execute it all in a short matter of time.

Tune into part two and see the rest of the checklist!

By: Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner

Published in WebSan Blog