Regulatory compliance is something most CFOs will encounter over the course of their careers. They will be the ones responsible for making sure their companies comply with organizational, regional and even international regulations and laws. There are a number of common regulations businesses will need to meet if they do work in the cloud, and a good ERP system is a must to aid with the task of compliance.
The short answer to the question of whether or not you can be compliant in the cloud is: yes, you can. Most ERP cloud service providers have to adhere to many of the same regulations that your company needs to meet, and in some cases, they might even have more stringent policies than what SOX certification requires. Companies that need to meet SAS 70 certification should not encounter problems working with cloud ERP from a reputable provider.
Cloud ERP is also an excellent choice for companies looking to go public in the future. IPO-ready companies need policies and processes in place that are SOX compliant, and a good ERP cloud service provider will make the effort to ensure you are compliant long before it comes time to go public.
Compliance should not be a guessing game. When you decide to make the move to the cloud, investigate your potential ERP cloud provider carefully to make sure it will give you the tools you need to respond to audits efficiently and pass requirements without difficulty.
SaaS (Software as a Service) and Cloud technology have become some of the most talked about business resources today. But how do you know if adopting SaaS/Cloud solutions is better for your business than continuing with the traditional on premise software solutions? Here are 13 signs that your business may be ready for a Cloud ERP solution.
A Cloud ERP system is a good fit if you need to:
The Cloud is one of the most talked about technology resources. But what are Cloud solutions for businesses and what makes them so beneficial? The cloud is where successful business host their digital data and apply mobile, social and big data solutions to centralize and turn data into useful insight. With the endless applications available through the cloud, there are many reasons why adopting cloud technologies might be the perfect business solution your organization is looking for. Here are the top 6 reasons why cloud business solutions have become popular among many successful businesses:
Recently, around 4,000 small to midsized business (SMBs) decision makers were surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group. They found that revenue and job growth are consistent across gender, industry, and location. But what was the fuel behind all this growth? Take some time to look at how innovative technology propelled these other SMBs to new growth and a better bottom line.
Compared to SMBs who used less advanced technology, the following statistics were found for more tech-savvy SMBs:
Leap Ahead in the Cloud
Microsoft Cloud Services helps businesses of all sizes meet goals, provides insight, and drives productivity to meet your dynamic needs in a world where technology never stops changing. For those SMBs who adopted Microsoft Cloud Services, revenue grew 10 percentage points faster and job growth was 5 percentage points higher than those who did not.
Microsoft remains the top choice of tech-savvy small businesses. Socius is an award winning Microsoft partner who, for 30 years, has been working to fuel our clients’ transformation and growth through specialized expertise, innovative technology, and strategic partnerships. Here at Socius, we have been watching SMB leaders achieve what they never thought was possible.
Contact us today to learn how you can take advantage of Microsoft products and other innovative technologies that meet your unique business needs.
Just a few weeks after becoming a Finalist for the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Partner of the Year, Socius garnered more attention for their growing Cloud Services practice by being named to the 20 Most Promising Cloud Computing Companies list in CIO Review.
In the accompanying article, CEO Jeff Geisler explains Socius’ “Power of Choice” cloud philosophy and how it benefits businesses today. “Whether it’s a hybrid cloud, private or a public cloud, we give clients the power of choice as to how to deploy their business solutions so they can take advantage of the benefits deployment options bring,” says Geisler.
According to the article, “With deep knowledge and experience with foundation software (ERP, Accounting, and CRM) coupled with the knowledge of hosted environments; Socius has positioned itself as a secure technology partner for companies considering a move towards cloud. With new technologies and offerings undergoing a constant change in the cloud market space, Socius continues to provide clients with the power of choice in deployment models for technology whether on- premise, hosted, hybrid or Azure. It is perfectly poised to help companies translate those changes to their business strategy by formulating flexible and agile solutions to help clients truly transform and fuel business growth.”
There are many different components that go into developing a Return on Investment (ROI). So what is the “right” calculation for your ROI? There is no one correct calculation, it can and should be modified to suite your situation. It all depends on what you want to include for your analysis. It is also important for you to decide what level of “disaster recovery plan” you envision for your company and deciding what is acceptable to you.
The 7 main factors to consider when developing your Cloud RIO are as follows:
To learn more about how to develop a Cloud ROI to justify your costs should you move to the cloud, view our webinar ondemand anytime. If you are interested in moving some of your business solutions to the cloud, contact us anytime!
The traditional model of ERP deployment is called “on-premise”, but it is no longer the only available option. You can also choose an “on-demand” cloud option for your enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the size, type and scope of your business.
In this traditional model, you pay for the infrastructure, the hardware, the operating system and underlying software (such as database servers), the ERP software itself, the maintenance and the support. It is up to you to keep all of it going on your servers and workstations, and it is up to you to decide when you want to pay for upgrades.
Benefits of On-Premise ERP
The benefits of the on-premise model are that you are able to pay for a lot of the expenses up front, if you have the capital expenditure to handle it. Your ongoing payments are limited to maintenance and support, as well as any infrastructure costs. For a large enterprise, those costs may not be an issue. Another benefit is total control over how your system is managed, when it is upgraded and how it is implemented.
This model generally refers to any number of cloud ERP subscription models, the most popular being software-as-a-service (SaaS). With on-demand, you often do not need any capital expenditure to pay up front. You instead pay a monthly fee, making it ideal if operational expenditure is all you have at your disposal, which is usually better for small and midsized businesses.
Benefits of On-Demand ERP
Some of the benefits for On-Demand include not having to pay for any infrastructure, hardware/software maintenance, tech support or any other IT expenses beyond the devices that connect to your ERP system. It is also very mobile, accessible from anywhere, and you do not have to worry about upgrades or new releases, since that is generally handled by the cloud service provider.
If cost is no concern and you want that total control, on-premise might be best for you. If you are concerned about cost, like most businesses today, and/or may not want to maintain your own infrastructure, on-demand ERP is an excellent option. If you are interested in exploring more about on-demand cloud services, you can request a Cloud Impact Assessment at www.cloudtechnology.com/cia
Choosing the right ERP software for your organization can be a long and arduous process when done correctly. Once you have selected the system you need, the process is not over. The next step is to decide on a deployment method that fits within your financial and technological limitations. At one time, an on-premise deployment was viewed as the only viable solution for a major software implementation, but now there are several cloud models that can benefit your business. Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform is one model worth considering.
In short, the Azure Cloud solution is Microsoft’s open cloud application platform, allowing companies to build, deploy and manage various Microsoft applications across a global network of data-centers. Azure allows developers to build applications in any language and integrate those within their current IT environments, providing the ability to reliably host and scale business operations.
Because you may need to purchase or upgrade server hardware and also maintain it yourself, on-premise software often requires a lot of money upfront, which may be just fine for larger organizations with sufficient capital expenditures. Small and mid-sized businesses may not have the resources to pay for on-premise software, and even some larger businesses may decide not to budget for it. They might also not have the infrastructure, IT staff or other resources necessary for on-premise deployment.
Perhaps the most popular method of cloud deployment is Software as a Service (SaaS), where the user pays a monthly fee for read-to-use cloud applications. An alternative to this is called Platform as a Service (PaaS), which provides an entire platform rather than a single application. For example, if you want to run Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you can now do it all from the cloud with quick, ready-to-deploy apps in Windows Azure Marketplace.
Like on-premise and hosted options, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP are still available exclusively through Microsoft partners, even when hosted on Windows Azure. What is different is that you get a robust, secure Windows Azure Virtual Machine and avoid the hardware and infrastructure costs associated with on-premise deployment. It is a smart and affordable alternative.
When you are selecting a new ERP software system today, there are more options to consider than ever before. Not only do you need to select an ERP system that has the functionality and usability that is going to make a beneficial solution for your business, but you also need to decide how that ERP software is going to be deployed – or where the data is going to be stored and how the system is going to be accessed.
As Voltaire (and Uncle Ben from Spiderman) says, “with great power comes great responsibility.” When it comes to ERP software, the power of choice you now have in your deployment option comes with the responsibility to learn about those options and truly understand them so that you can make the best choice for your organization.
To better understand all of your options, get a complimentary copy of our eBook: Understanding Cloud Services Deployment Models & Licensing Options When Selecting ERP
Of all of the options available, the two that raise the most questions are Cloud ERP and Hosted ERP, more specifically, “what is the difference between them?”
Both Cloud ERP and Hosted ERP are options available through Private or Hybrid Cloud deployments.
Hosted ERP – You may see the term “Hosted ERP” used interchangeably with “Infrastructure as a Service” or “IaaS.” IaaS means that you purchase and own your ERP software licenses, that your server licensing needs are leased through your cloud services provider. This can lower your up-front, out-of-pocket costs by removing the need to update existing or acquire new hardware infrastructure at the beginning of an ERP implementation project. IaaS can also reduce your ERP implementation timeframe because your cloud provider will already have a proven methodology in place for installing your ERP environment. When you use a Hosted ERP or IaaS deployment for your ERP software, you will pay annual software maintenance fees as well as optional software support plans if desired.
Cloud ERP – The term “Cloud ERP” could refer to any of the deployment options for ERP solutions available, but most often it is referring to “Software as a Service” or “SaaS ERP.” SaaS ERP enables you to lease your ERP software and the infrastructure that supports your solution, like servers, back-up, disaster recovery, etc. This option is typically priced on a per user per month basis. With this option, if you decide to move your ERP system on-premise or to change cloud providers, you will need to purchase the software (this option does not exist from all Cloud ERP providers so it is critical that you understand up-front who owns your business data and how to take it with you if you need to change deployments or providers.)
To get an outside, experienced perspective on whether or not your business is a good candidate for a Cloud ERP or Hosted ERP solution, request a Cloud Impact Assessment today!
Only 12% of distributors report relying on analytics for all of their sales, marketing and operational decisions, including pricing and product and customer selection, according to the 2014 State of Analytics in Distribution report by Modern Distribution Management.
If you are not part of this 12% and you don’t have analytics to help you make these critical business decisions, then you are essentially guessing, which is not going to lead to great results. Also, if you don’t have analytics to inform your decisions, then the odds are good that you aren’t going have great analytics to assess the results of those decisions. Without analytics, it can become easy to get stuck in this cycle and continue to use ineffective processes and miss out on opportunities for your organization to grow.
So, what is getting in the way of great analytics for your distribution company?
If you are like most distributors, you’ve likely run into one of these barriers to better analytics:
Removing these barriers can be a challenge, but will pay off with enormous dividends once you are effectively analyzing your business data. Here are some ideas for moving past these barriers and achieving analytics success:
Consider new options for upgrading your infrastructure. Yes, updating your technology infrastructure can be expensive and time consuming – but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. With the proliferation of cloud technology, you can store information in online data warehouses or move some or all of your business systems to the cloud so that the burden is no longer on your in-house hardware. There are a lot of options and it can be difficult to know what combination of online and on-premises systems and storage will work best for your business, so consider working with a business consulting partner that can help you identify your best options.
Assess your existing staff and identify opportunities for improvement. By taking an in-depth look at the skill-sets of your people, you can see if you have the right talent in place but perhaps they would benefit from some additional training, if you have the right people in the wrong roles and can make adjustments, or if you need to recruit some individuals with the analytical skills or knowledge of your technology to help bring your organization up to speed analytically.
Determine if you need to change your processes, add on to your solutions, or replace them. Sometimes an inability to capture or analyze your data is simply a matter of not aligning your business systems with your business processes. If this is the case, you can assess your processes as well as the data that they produce and adjust your use of your systems accordingly to make the most of what you have in place. However, a new feature or new system is often required in order to attain the level of data collection and analysis that you need to really make an improvement to your business. If you are in this position, work with a trusted partner to assess your current business management systems and identify new add-ons or solutions that can help you reach your analytical goals.
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