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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.

Thursday, 11 November 2010 13:20

SaaS ERP vs. On-Premise; what's right for your business?

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I read an interesting article today from Aberdeen research. It went into great detail on what is really driving companies towards SaaS (Software as a Service)/Hosted ERP solutions vs. the traditional On-Premise solutions.

For the record, the number of companies installing On-Premise ERP solutions still far outweighs the number going live with a hosted solution, but that trend is slowly reversing itself.

The number one driver for implementing an ERP in the Small-to-Medium Business market is to reduce costs (no surprise there). Thus the number one impetus which would push a company to invest in ERP is finding an affordable solution at minimal risk. This is where the SaaS model fits in quite well.

SaaS total cost of ownership is less than On-Premise when you consider backups, hardware, IT staff, upgrades and service packs (bug fixes). A lot of companies are looking to outsource providers to host their ERP systems and take care of the "maintenance" of the system that their own staff would traditionally have to handle. The main cost considerations that drive the appeal of SaaS are :

  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Reduces the cost and efforts of upgrades
  • Lower up front costs
  • Company has limited IT staff and no interest in hiring more
  • Seeking the best fit solution to their business needs
  • No emotional attachment to having it in-house
  • Strategy to focus resources elsewhere

Because of these driving factors, the number of companies considering SaaS ERP has jumped 61% from 2009 to 2010 (source : Aberdeen SaaS ERP : Trends and Observations 2010).

WebSan offers both Hosted and On-Premise Dynamics GP, to address the concerns of Clients looking for options.

Please contact us for more information.

Monday, 08 November 2010 12:31

Dynamics GP in the Cloud - is it for you?

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Almost every single company I speak with today asks me about our hosting services for Dynamics GP. I think it's due to a few factors :

- The economy is forcing many companies to lean out costs in non-core areas. Maintaining IT equipment, backups, and  service pack upgrades are not exactly value-add for many organizations. Hosting your ERP system in the "Cloud" alleviates those responsibilities to a third party that you can hold accountable.

- Internet access is becoming more and more reliable every day. Every single prospective Client asks me about disaster recovery plans. The fact of the matter is that our ability to recover from a disaster is probably far better than any Client we have. One simple alternative a laptop with a battery and an internet stick from a mobile phone supplier. The odds are that our hosted system will be up...Clients just need a way to get onto the internet.

- The environment and sustainability is becoming more important every day. Did you know that subscribing to an ERP system, rather than installing it on your local server actually saves energy? All of our Clients' systems are shared on virtualized servers, thereby reducing electricity and the carbon footprint of the entire solution.

So there are some key benefits of looking to the "Cloud" for your ERP needs. If you think it's for you, don't hesitate to give us a ring.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010 10:33

Is it the right time to invest in technology?

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Executives from all industries are keeping a close eye on the economy these days. While the Canadian economy seems to be recovering, there is no collective sigh of relief in the US.

So while some companies "hunker down" and reduce all expenses, leading companies are looking to invest in technology according to the following strategies (source Aberdeen© Reports):

  • Streamline and accelerate processes to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Standardize business processes
  • Optimize the use of current capacity (both personnel and equipment)
  • Provide visibility to business processes across functions and departments
  • Modernize technology infrastructure and applications

In times of economic turmoil, those companies that invest now in preparation for a turnaround are more likely to outperform the competition after the recession is over.

Many companies are turning to "hosted" or SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions to reduce the capital expenditure typically required to purchase Enterprise software packages. Our strategy has been to support both implementation methodologies, On-Premise and Hosted. The Hosted solution can reduce a Client's investment by over 60% and accelerate the ROI dramatically.

The software acquired as a Hosted solution is identical to that of the On-Premise solution.

If you're interested in learning more, please feel free to contact us.