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The foundations of ERP are found in manufacturing resource planning, traditionally used by companies which produced tangible goods in factories. The adoption of ERP and MRP systems was initially quite slow – management were content with the status quo and saw no reason to change what seemed to be working. However, the recession experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s forced many companies to make a choice: Either find new ways of operating more efficiently and effectively, or go under. This created a massive boom in the ERP market, which lead to massive changes in the ways in which fundamental business operations were conducted, and those organizations that made it through the recession came out stronger.

North America is no longer the goods-producing collection of nations it once was and is instead dominated by service industries. However, many of the same problems that existed in manufacturing organizations twenty years ago still exist in these businesses: Lack of integration, inability to respond and take advantage of environmental change, time and money wasted on data entry and redundancies, and so on. Much like the recession twenty years ago, the economic downturn caused by the subprime mortgage crisis has forced many modern companies to find new ways of performing more effectively and efficiently.

This is the time to get ahead of the competition, and Microsoft Dynamics GP is the perfect solution for organizations looking for more than simple accounting and reporting features without high maintenance costs and complexity.

These days, everyone is throwing around buzz words like “Software as a Service” or “Hosted” or “Cloud”, but how do I really go about calculating the total cost of the solution and whether to choose “the Cloud” or on-premise (traditional) solutions?

There are a number of cost figures to include :

1.       License fee

2.       License fee for upgrades

3.       Maintenance costs

4.       Ongoing support costs (professional services/consulting)

5.       Hardware costs

6.       IT Infrastructure costs (network, etc)

7.       IT Personnel support costs (internal)

8.       Implementation costs (external)

9.       Implementation costs (internal)

Most organizations, when looking at SaaS vs. On-Premise only really look at items 1-5, but rarely dig deeper into the other categories of expenses.

It is in those last four areas where the large differences between SaaS and On-Premise come to light. If you own a small business with only 20 or so employees, then perhaps you don’t even have anyone internally who can perform system backups or upgrades regularly. If you run a large organization, perhaps supporting your IT infrastructure takes your focus off of more important things.

Some organizations may only run their head office on a DSL or Cable Internet connection; the type of solution that would never work for anyone accessing an Enterprise software application remotely from outside head office. The monthly cost of upgrading to a T1 or better connection may be prohibitive.

In addition to the costs listed above, the intangible costs of focusing on IT backups, upgrades, and infrastructure rather than spending money and resources on growing the business or satisfying customers can be even more taxing to an organization.

We offer solutions in Hosted Dynamics GP and On-Premise Dynamics GP. We can help your organization make the right decision and determine the best course of action, taking all costs and factors into account.

For more information, contact us.

By Andrew King, WebSan Solutions Inc. a Canadian Microsoft Dynamics Partner

I get this question all the time from prospective Clients who are currently using Simply Accounting or Quickbooks: “We are growing significantly and need a more robust system, but I’m afraid of the complexity of a new system and the costs. How do I know when is the right time to make a move?”

I’ll address this in two parts :

  1. Ease of Implementation of Dynamics GP
  2. Feature comparison of Simply Accounting and Dynamics GP

Simplifying the Implementation of Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP is a robust financial management solution. Note that I did not use the term “Accounting system” because it is so much more than that. Dynamics GP has over 700 reports that come with the system, let alone the reports that you can customize on your own with tools such as Smartlist Builder or Report Writer.

Moving from Simply Accounting (or Quickbooks) can be done quite easily and without much time or expense. For example, to implement 5 users on Dynamics GP and convert your information from the legacy accounting software can take as little as a month and cost less than $30,000. If you choose to implement Dynamics GP hosted solutions, a single user can cost as little as $250/month.

The approach to convert Quickbooks or Simply Accounting to Dynamics GP is done using a refined project methodology and the results are reliable and repeatable. This makes your transition to Dynamics GP as painless as possible.

Features of Dynamics GP vs Simply Accounting

According to AccountingLibrary.com, there are approximately 750 more features in Dynamics GP vs. Simply Accounting. Everything from Finance Allocations to Cash Management, Asset Management, Project Accounting, Sales, Purchasing, and everything in between.

That’s not to say that a company who upgrades from Quickbooks or Simply Accounting needs to use every feature in Dynamics GP, but that’s what your Partner will help you decide. Many organizations also start by implementing only what they need in Dynamics GP and then add more functionality later on, in phases. This isn’t a bad approach because it allows the users to acclimate to the new system and learn new ways to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the system.

If you’re interested in learning more about the capabilities of Dynamics GP vs. Quickbooks or Simply Accounting, download our Movers Executive Guide for Quickbooks to Dynamics GP.

By, Andrew King – WebSan Solutions Inc, Canadian Dynamics GP Partner.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 09:14

Is Software as a Service (SaaS) a Passing Fad?

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I’ve heard people say that Software as a service (SaaS) is the “best thing since life’s bread” and I’ve also heard others claim that it’s just the newest thing and it will pass.

The best analysis I’ve seen on the subject came from an associate of mine, Pat Gray, in his blog on “Cloud Computing for Mere Mortals”.

His analogy was that determining whether SaaS is right for your company is the same as making a “make/buy” decision when procuring product for a company. You have to take a look at the ENTIRE picture (cost, strategy, capabilities…) to determine the right course of action.

For instance, if I’m selling coffee, then I need to look at the costs of procuring it from the various sources out there, or is it more economical for me to purchase a coffee plantation in South America and make my own beans? If I’m not really in the business of managing coffee growers directly, then why don’t I focus on what I’m good at, the marketing and sale of coffee, rather than the actual manufacturing of it?

Dynamics GP vs. Hosted Dynamics GP

This is the same analysis I need to do when evaluating whether to purchase Dynamics GP or subscribe to Hosted (SaaS) Dynamics GP:

- Do I have the appropriate server to run the software or do I need to purchase one?

- Do I have the technical expertise in house to manage the upgrades, patches and backups necessary for a world-class software such as this?

- Am I comfortable with my data to be housed outside of my facility?

- Finally, what is my capital budget like for this type of purchase and what’s the break-even if I host it vs purchase it?

Making a decision to host or purchase Dynamics GP is no different than deciding to manufacture coffee or just sell and market it. Focus on what your expertise is and leave the superfluous details to others.

Because people have been making “make vs buy” decisions for hundreds of years, I see SaaS as just another option, or another method of deploying software. With that in mind, I seriously doubt that SaaS is a passing fad. It’s definitely here to stay, and according to some, may overtake on-premise software someday.

To learn more about the options for hosting or purchasing Dynamics GP, please visit our website or contact us.

By Andrew King, WebSan Solutions Inc.

Monday, 13 December 2010 09:14

Software as a Service (Saas) vs. On-Premise Dynamics GP

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The world is changing…companies are looking more and more towards “the cloud” for their computing needs. It started with CRM systems, which some organizations consider “not business critical”, but now the cloud has encompassed full-blown Enterprise software and Microsoft Dynamics GP is no different.

So what is driving this trend towards Hosted solutions? Is it cost? Is it efficiency, or is it just a passing fad?

Aberdeen (c) reports recently released a study that highlighted the fact that the number of small to medium companies looking towards hosted solutions has increased substantially since 2009.

What’s driving organizations into the Cloud?

What I’ve found with my Clients and interactions with “soon to be” Clients is that cost is not the biggest driver pushing people into the Cloud. It’s strategy and focus. In other words, some organizations realize that their expertise does not lie with maintaining servers and upgrading system patches. They reserve those efforts for others while they remain laser-focused on growing their business effectively and efficiently. They let others worry about keeping their systems up to date and working properly…as they should.

When a company can find a “best of breed” accounting system like MS Dynamics GP available in the Cloud as a Hosted solution, then the decision is relatively simple. Microsoft has ingeniously developed a business model whereby their VARs (Value Added Resellers) can now offer Dynamics GP as a Hosted system. It’s quite competitively priced against other Cloud ERP systems (eg: NetSuite). Since Microsoft is still heavily investing R&D $’s in the future of MS Dynamics GP, the competition is going to struggle to keep up.

So how can I find out more about Hosted Dynamics GP?

If you’re interested in learning more about Dynamics GP in the cloud, feel free to contact us or comment on this post. We offer all of our Clients a side-by-side comparison of the total cost of ownership of the on-premise solution vs. hosted and let them make the decision. As a Silver Enterprise Resource Planning Microsoft Dynamics Partner, we offer both solutions and are happy to allow that flexibility for our Clients.

By Andrew King, WebSan Solutions Inc.

Friday, 10 December 2010 08:35

WebSan regularly featured on www.ERPSoftwareBlog.com

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WebSan Solutions Inc. a Toronto-based Dynamics GP Partner is now a regular contributor on ERPSoftwareBlog.

Come check out our recent posts!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010 10:44

SaaS Dynamics GP and Business Intelligence

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We've recently partnered with an organization that provides nothing but business intelligence tools for Dynamics GP, NAV and AX.

The fact that we've partnered with a BI company is, in itself, not all that remarkable. The remarkable piece is that we offer it as part of our Hosted Dynamics solution! It's very reasonably priced on a per user/month fee and works exactly like the on-premise solution!

Technology for business intelligence solutions have come a long way (MS Silverlight and Excel 2010) and Hosted Dynamics GP is bringing some serious capabilities to the table for business intelligence.

Not to say that the existing reporting tools in Dynamics GP aren't great (SQL reporting services, Smartlist Builder, Report Writer, Management Reporter), but to really take your organization to the next level, you'll want to take a serious look at a Business Intelligence tool.