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A Brief History of ERP Solutions: From In-House To Cloud-Hosted, Part 2

Posted by Samantha Merrill

Aug 14, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Traditional on-premise ERP solutions, as discussed in our previous post, are fast becoming obsolete. They're still being used by many small and mid-sized companies, but it's unrealistic for smart, strategic business executives to continue overlooking the huge functionality gaps in the on-premise model.

The next stage in the evolution of ERP is the hosted approach. Hosted ERP software is a popular and attractive option: Young SMBs build new business management solutions from scratch, and well-developed businesses overhaul their current systems to be more flexible, functional and accessible. Here's what a hosted ERP system looks like:

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Topics: business software, business management solutions, erp software

Dynamics ERP: Tapping Into The Competitive Advantage Of Cloud Migration

Posted by Matt Woodward

Aug 11, 2014 10:46:28 AM

The realm of small and mid-sized businesses is not a friendly one – it's full of cutthroat competition, empty promises and red herrings. The survivors and thrivers are the ones who innovate, embrace change and form bonds with powerful partners. These partners aren't necessarily physical entities, though: Some of the most robust drivers of growth are business management solutions and software systems, such as Dynamics ERP.


It should come as no surprise that Dynamics ERP is such a popular business tool. Its effectiveness has been proven time and time again, and it's backed by the strong support of Microsoft, a true tech titan. But many business owners and executives have failed to realize the full potential of their ERP software, simply because they're hosting an on-premise version. Let's look at some of the advantages awarded to those businesses that undergo cloud migration: 

The cloud costs less.

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A Brief History of ERP Solutions: From In-House To Cloud-Hosted, Part 1

Posted by Samantha Merrill

Aug 7, 2014 11:33:55 AM

Enterprise software has gone through quite an evolution throughout its lifetime; the ERP solutions of today hardly seem to be of the same lineage as traditional versions.

Since their inception, ERP solutions have been traditionally hosted in-house. Businesses spend quite a bit of their budgets building an IT infrastructure and purchasing the equipment upfront to run the business management system as a whole.

On-premise ERP software is both a thing of the past and a thing of the present: Its technology is outdated, but it's still in use by many small and mid-sized businesses today. Let's investigate the components and typical structure of a traditional ERP system:

Hardware

Hardware is one of the biggest costs plaguing setup of on-premise ERP software. You need to purchase expensive hardware and equipment – all of which is difficult and costly to maintain.

Equipment Maintenance

As servers and hardware age, they break or become obsolete. In order to keep your business running, you're on the hook for immediate repair costs – otherwise, you run the risk of indefinite downtime and inevitable productivity lapses.

Break/fix is a familiar model for IT, but it's also painfully unsustainable. Temporary repairs are just that – temporary. You know the problem will rear its ugly head again, sooner or later, and that you'll need to do the same emergency scramble when it does. Break/fix is rarely cost-effective and never the best solution.

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Topics: cloud ERP, business management solutions, erp software

HR Solutions Keep Your Business Running For People, Not Just For Tech

Posted by Rita Strauss

Aug 6, 2014 7:00:00 AM

In a time when technology has advanced exponentially, it's easy for small and mid-sized businesses to take their human components for granted. But even the most high-tech industries are, at the heart of it, run by people. That's why it's so important to invest in powerful HR solutions – strategic tools that help you identify, manage, reward and retain talent in your enterprise. Here's how HR software helps:

Talent Identification And Acquisition

What do potential employees see when they look at your business – or do they even see you at all? HR solutions enable you to create a stimulating, rewarding environment for employees, effectively propelling you from an invisible employer to a destination workplace with little effort.

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Topics: HR and payroll, business management solutions, erp software

C-Suite Executives And Dynamics In The Cloud: A Love Affair For The Ages

Posted by Matt Woodward

Aug 4, 2014 10:22:40 AM

The flame between C-suite and Microsoft Dynamics has been burning for years, but Dynamics in the cloud is the newer, better version of a tried-and-true classic. Savvy business owners and strategic decision-makers have seen the immense benefits of transitioning their ERP software into the cloud; the blossoming relationship enables small and mid-sized businesses to grow and thrive. Here's how:

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Topics: Microsoft Dynamics GP, business management solutions, erp software

Scalable Cloud ERP Software: A Good Fit For Today And Tomorrow

Posted by Michael MacDonald

Jul 31, 2014 7:00:00 AM

As a small or mid-sized business owner, you know that technology is generally a big expense. As it constantly evolves, it’s important for any business to keep the cost of technology in check. The key is to maintain that all-important competitive edge without depleting much-needed revenue and resources.

When considering ERP software, you’re going to notice that traditional systems have limited scalability. Because ERP business software was original created for enterprise businesses, there was no real need to scale resources. An enterprise business simply doesn’t grow exponentially.

If you’re an emerging business that shows promise of significant growth in the future, you need a cloud ERP software solution that is a good fit today and scalable enough to grow alongside your company.

When you purchase a legacy ERP system, you have to pay for both the hardware and the software technology. This mean you’re incurring the entire licensing cost, which you’re then unable to write off during any lulls in the business year when the software isn’t really needed.

Also, with a legacy ERP system, building on a customized application is a challenge for any developer, as older models aren't future proofed for upgrades.

Cloud ERP: Scale Up Or Down Depending On Your Business Requirements

As a small or mid-sized business, you need the ability to adapt to constantly changing business requirements – that why, with ERP software, you must consider what you need beyond today.

With cloud-based ERP software as a hosted solution, you have the ability to add or remove users with a single click, never mind the hassle and cost of setting up hardware and software on individual computers.

Also, when you partner with a cloud-based ERP software platform that features a vast customer base, you never have to endure time-intensive and expensive ERP migrations. Worries about outgrowing your software become nil, as your cloud ERP platform should offer several built-in functional areas you may utilize today or down the road.

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Topics: cloud ERP, business software, erp software

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Topics: business software, erp software, cloud software