Deployment: How Cloud-Based ERP Software Strikes The Right Balance

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 30, 2014 7:00:00 AM

The delivery and deployment of traditional ERP software is known for being slow and expensive while also requiring a substantial amount of downtime for your business.

These reasons alone are enough to deter a small or mid-sized business such as yours from migrating to the next level of operational efficiency. You would never put your company in a position where you’d have to completely cease ERP software deployment because it was taking too long or was too expensive.

In this “all or nothing” approach, you’re not receiving a balanced way of integrating business software into your business.

When An ERP Software Offering Is Unbalanced

You must beware of the traditional ERP software vendor that tells you, “This is our offering … take it or leave it.” If you hear this line, the vendor is typically scaling back the deliverables or functional modules of their software because they are attempting to deploy the product faster. However, you’re essentially being robbed of functionality and software that could be useful to your business – if not today, then down the road as you grow.

Another way traditional vendors of ERP software look to avoid scope creep when selling you the product is to inflate their estimate. If a task usually takes 20 hours to complete, the vendor estimates that it’s going to take 25-30 hours to complete. In this scenario, although you may feel good about avoiding scope creep, you’re essentially paying more than you really need to.

Fortunately, cloud-based ERP software brings a balance to both delivery and deployment, so your business is up-and-running in no time while keeping the associated costs low.

Read More

Topics: cloud ERP, erp software, cloud software

Traditional ERP Systems Versus Cloud-Based ERP Software

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 29, 2014 7:00:00 AM

There are a lot of business software vendors on the market today. You know you need to migrate to the next level of operational efficiency, but how do you ensure you’re adopting the right ERP software for your small to mid-sized business?

Although all ERP software systems offer a way to integrate a range of processes and functions, traditionally, these systems were created for enterprise businesses and are considered costly and time-consuming to set up. Luckily, in the last 10 years, cloud-based ERP software offers businesses an affordable and accessible alternative.

The Problem With Traditional ERP Software

Aside from notoriously being costly to businesses, traditional ERP software exists in the form of computer software. These systems are acquired via a license model and are loaded onto your internal servers and computers.

Whenever you purchase an ERP system, your worries do not end there. No matter what solution you deploy – traditional or cloud-based ERP software – it must be constantly maintained and upgraded.

Because everything is set up in-house with a traditional ERP software system, it’s up to your business to maintain both the infrastructure and the platforms. As you absorb the costs associated with server upkeep and the space these servers take up in your office, you are also financially responsible for the maintenance required to keep this complex software running smoothly.

Although an ERP system is meant to help your business streamline operations, a traditional solution brings about new problems to struggle with – and, this typically results in another drain on your resources.

Read More

Topics: cloud ERP, erp software

Lessons Learned About Cloud ERP By Fortune 5000 Companies And SMBs Alike

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 28, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Fortune 5000 companies and SMBs are very different animals, but lessons learned by global enterprises are equally applicable for smaller businesses. Cloud ERP is no exception.

For Fortune 5000 companies, the world is at once manageably small and insurmountably large. Operations span across the globe, making no area off-limits, but making managing subsidiaries and operations in different parts of the world an intense struggle. Cloud ERP helps multinational businesses manage:

Read More

Topics: cloud ERP, HR and payroll

Behind The Scenes Of Our Upcoming ‘7 Secrets Of Business Software’ Webinar

Posted by Kristen Howarth

Jul 24, 2014 7:00:00 AM

At SMB Suite, we're dedicated to helping your small or mid-sized enterprise get the most out of your business software investment. Our upcoming webinar, 7 Secrets To Maximize The Power Of Your Business Software, has been custom-designed to further that mission.

So who should tune in, and what can you expect to learn from this informative session? We had a chat with Steve Anderson, our Solutions Architect and expert presenter, to give you all the details.

Read More

Topics: business software, erp software, cloud software

Cloud ERP: What It Is, What It Isn't And Why It's So Prolific

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 23, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Enterprise software is an essential instrument in your SMB toolkit, but unless you're using a flexible, functional platform like the cloud, your business management system is never as effective as it could be. Cloud ERP offers small and mid-sized businesses all the power of ERP software with all the versatility of cloud technology. Find out what makes cloud ERP such a revolutionary tool and why enterprises around the world are scrambling to harness the power of the cloud.

Read More

Topics: cloud ERP, business software, erp software

How To Find Scalable ERP Software That Grows Alongside Your Business

Posted by Michael MacDonald

Jul 22, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Growth is a turbulent time for any business, but small and mid-sized enterprises are a unique breed. The SMB market is dynamic, fast-paced and volatile, so those successfully scaling enterprises must endure chaos both externally and internally. Of course, this challenge should not deter you from pursuing growth – you just need to find the ERP software that eases the stresses of expansion, encourages your business to thrive and matures right alongside you.

So what does this powerful ERP software look like, and how will you know it when you see it? Use the following definition to simplify your search for a superior business management system.

It's a robust platform …

Your ERP software should offer a wide range of tried-and-true business applications, intimately connected through a seamless business management system. Powerful, trusted technologies such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, SQL and Exchange should all be integrated into a single ERP platform that touches every aspect of your business.

Read More

Protecting Cloud ERP: 6 Security Realms Your Software Vendor Should Know

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 21, 2014 7:00:00 AM

It's no secret that cloud-based small business software is the way of the future: Cloud technology has advanced dramatically and its popularity has grown exponentially in recent years. Cloud ERP offers marked benefits over its on-premise counterparts, but your software still houses massive amounts of critical business insights and private data. You need to guard that information fiercely against digital threats from high-tech hackers.

It's true that cloud-based solutions offer small and mid-sized businesses the unique benefit of unaccountability. Your cloud provider is responsible for maintaining security in the platform, and you're free to reap the benefits of the most advanced software technologies available. You're not responsible for maintaining security, but you are in charge of choosing which cloud provider you put your trust into – and the choice you make determines how secure your business data stays. A good ERP provider needs to address the following:

1. Physical Security

On-premise software is much more vulnerable to natural disasters, break-ins and power outages – and that vulnerability is very much your problem. The onus is wholly on you to keep your hardware, software and critical data protected. If floods, high winds or robbers damage your infrastructure, you're liable for the loss and for restoring the system. Cloud ERP solves this problem … on your end.

Although the system is not housed on your premises, it's still located somewhere. Your cloud provider is responsible for employing the surveillance and security measures necessary to prevent breaches and break-ins. Datacenters should have access logs, surveillance cameras, strictly monitored entry/exit and state-of-the-art authentication technologies (fingerprint readers, ID badges, retina scanners). If your ERP provider doesn't offer these measures, it's time to look elsewhere.

Read More

Topics: cloud ERP, business management solutions, erp software

4 Common Fulfillment Problems And How Distribution Software Solves Them

Posted by Steve Anderson

Jul 17, 2014 7:00:00 AM

From sales and invoicing to warehouse management and inventory tracking, distribution is a very complicated endeavor. As a wholesale distribution company, you're well aware of the challenges associated with fulfillment – you encounter them on a daily basis. Find out how distribution software solves these common problems and helps your business run smoothly.

1. Your customer places an order, but you can't fulfill it.

When your customer places an order – no matter the channel – you're tentatively promising that you're able to fill it. But your inventory is inaccurate or your warehouse is mismanaged, so you're unable to process and fulfill orders as they come in. Your customers, who assume that your product availability is accurate when they place the order, are upset. You've lost their trust and all but eliminated the possibility that they'll return in the future.

How does distribution software help?

Distribution software utilizes data-capture technology to accurately track every item in your inventory. This warehouse management system is linked to barcode scanners, laptops, smartphones and mobile devices, so every item that comes in and out of your warehouse is tracked. Your overall business management system is integrated, so all the tracking data that's captured is immediately synced to the ERP software. This grants you real-time inventory control and visibility into your omnichannel transactions.

Read More

Topics: business management solutions, erp software

5 Reasons To Consider Cloud Migration For Microsoft Dynamics ERP

Posted by Samantha Merrill

Jul 16, 2014 7:00:00 AM

The Microsoft Dynamics ERP suite is a great tool for small and mid-sized businesses. It helps connect all of your software applications into a unified system, streamlining your process, enhancing your productivity and increasing your profitability. But until you've migrated your software to the cloud, you're not maximizing the potential of your Dynamics ERP system. Cloud migration offers marked benefits to your business, including:

Read More

Topics: business software, erp software

Top 4 Questions To Ask Your Business Management Software Provider

Posted by Michael MacDonald

Jul 15, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Business management software is one of the best investments your small or mid-sized company will make – but only if you find a comprehensive solution that works for you. When you're on the hunt for business management solutions, it's difficult to find the software that meets your needs without breaking your budget. Ask these four questions of potential software vendors before you decide to invest in your next solution.

1. How flexible is the cost of your solution?

Business management software is a big investment. The ROI of an effective system is indeed robust (the operative word is effective), but the cost is still a burden for small and mid-sized businesses with tight budgets.

On-premise software vendors need to be upfront with you about the cost of the system. This includes hardware purchasing, equipment setup, software license fees and upgrade costs.

Cloud software eliminates the need for any hardware or equipment, because the system is hosted remotely. You don't need to buy the software licenses, either – you pay the software provider for usage. Cloud software is also typically available through a subscription plan, making it much easier to plan for the cost in your budget forecasting.

Read More

Topics: business software, business management solutions, erp software