What is cloud ERP?ERP software in the cloud is a tool used by companies to administer and manage all the information of the organization. From employee data, to the tasks and MDs (man-days) needed to carry out the projects worked on. Cloud software is scalable In other words, it is the opposite of conventional administrative management tools (known as on-prem ERP) that deposit all the information in an on-site system, limiting access and scope.
Why should I use an ERP? What are the benefits of cloud ERP?If you are thinking of changing your company's ERP system for one that is an ERP on the cloud, now is the time. Here you can find some of the most important benefits you will get if you decide to make this change. Let’s discuss some very general benefits of cloud ERP and then, later on go through 10 specific benefits of cloud ERP.
Advantages of Cloud ERPAn ERP on the cloud receives updates faster. All applications are kept-up-to-date with their latest version, which represents a decrease in costs. This is because all updates are included in the budget. Another advantage that comes with this benefit is that the process to carry out the software updates will not interrupt the working day of your company in any way, because this can be done remotely and without many technical requirements. A cloud ERP is more flexible than a local ERP. With this type of ERP, it is not necessary to have access to any specific hardware in order to have the company's administrative information. The only requirement to obtain real-time information from an ERP on the cloud is to have internet access, no matter where you are in the world. You will also be able to access the system from any type of device, even if it is not one that is directly connected by means of the company's credentials or permissions. You will only need your username and password. In addition, ERP on the cloud works for labor flexibility and employee time, as it doesn't rely on hardware or a physical office to function, which reduces overhead costs and encourages collaboration among the company's work teams.
Reducing upfront and operational costsWhen you pay for such a software, you are actually paying for a license that will allow you to access the software that is hosted on some vendor's web servers. So, this will be a regular payment and will only increase if the number of users accessing the system increases or if functionalities are added to the company that were not foreseen in the initial budget.
The implementation of an ERP on the cloud is quite fast and simple.This is compared to the processes that must be carried out to perform on-site ERP implementation. They usually require specialized hardware to be able to be executed on-premise and almost always require a large number of specialized personnel to accomplish each step of the process. With a cloud ERP, on the other hand, everything is simpler. This software can be up and running in much less time than on-prem ERP because it does not require as much equipment for the go-live.
Cloud software is scalableThis type of software is built to respond directly to specific business needs and operations. So as the organization grows and new areas of development and productivity emerge, the cloud ERP tools and applications will adapt to that reality. Likewise, if for some reason the company decides to change the course of its operations or enter a different market than usual, from a cloud ERP it will be quite easy to modify the system configuration to work with the new information about the organization.
Differences between cloud ERP and on-prem ERPFirst, we need to make crystal clear what the differences between ERP on the cloud and on-prem are. An on-prem (or local) ERP is a type of software that is installed locally on the company's computers and servers. This software is administered and managed entirely by the company's IT team, which is the only point of support in case of problems or failures in the system. On the other hand, an ERP on the cloud is installed and implemented without the need for specific hardware equipment, because the information can be accessed from virtually any device with internet access. So, let’s fire away. Ten reasons business leaders choose Microsoft Dynamics as their ERP on the cloud
- Freedom of choice
- Empowering your IT department
- Keeping up with the pace of innovation with cloud ERP solutions With the industry best practices built into Microsoft cloud ERP – Microsoft Dynamics 365 FSCM – you get the customer-proven functionality you need fast. This alone makes upgrading your system simpler. Beyond that, Microsoft cloud solutions deploy every update as part of their standard One Version policy. Microsoft deploys minor updates transparently and with little to no disruption. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 FSCM, you can even have a sandbox environment to get your hands dirty and see if everything works as it should. Updates demand very little or no project management on your part. This way you keep on working without interruptions with the cloud ERP services you receive.
- Top-notch security in the cloud
- Data security used to mean locking the server room door and using long passwords. Today, it means hardened virtual security with frequent patching, testing, and verification. With global employees connecting through a VPN, your system is at constant risk from new and emerging threats. Unfortunately, you can’t claim to be secure unless you have systems and people protecting your infrastructure 24/7. Microsoft Dynamics has a comprehensive, end-to-end security model. Security is built into every layer of the ERP environment – from physical network interface cards to user passwords. A holistic approach to security lets you anticipate and minimize disruptions, giving you better peace of mind.
- Faster time to value
- With a cloud ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 FSCM, all the necessary infrastructure is always ready. You can start your implementation within days of your decision to begin. Having built-in best practices also means you'll spend less time and effort on customizations. Realizing the benefits of cloud-based ERP a month – or even a quarter – sooner will deliver dramatically faster time to value and improve your return on investment.
- Going mobile and global
- Mobile professionals power your modern business. Service staff expect ERP access from their mobile devices when they’re out in the field. The same goes for your sales people. Customers and vendors expect self-service access to business data. Even onsite staff – such as shop floor operators and logistics personnel – need to stay connected as they move about your facility. Connect your employees, vendors, partners, and customers with accurate, real-time data. A cloud ERP system from Microsoft empowers you to integrate across your entire value chain. When everyone can access secure, up-to-the-minute information, they can collaborate better, make decisions more confidently, and improve efficiency. Of course, taking full advantage of such connectivity means getting rid of old workflows that stunt growth. It’s time to move beyond email and spreadsheets with a cloud strategy. You can leverage more powerful analytics, handheld technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and more with a cloud ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 FSCM.
- Boosting business value through customer-proven best practices
- With Microsoft Dynamics, the software as a service (SaaS) ERP model makes it easy to adopt innovation, easy to get started, and easy to upgrade. Microsoft learns on the go, incorporating customer-proven best practices into their solutions to drive and extend business value–likely more than you may expect.
- Simplifying your business infrastructure
- Consistent data is crucial for companies with remote staff or global workforces. Move to cloud ERP solutions from Microsoft and unify your organization under a single source of truth. You don't need complex IT infrastructure to expand your reach. Microsoft’s worldwide presence –paired with country-specific functionality – makes it easy to add a new production facility or warehouse anywhere in the world. Localized content and features also help you simplify compliance with local regulations and manage other aspects of global trade.
- Minimizing environmental impact
- Successful business leaders today know their growth strategies must consider environmental impact, and cloud-based software deployment is no exception. Because of the scale involved, cloud computing is now considered one of the most environmentally responsible IT decisions. Since Microsoft supports thousands of concurrent users on shared infrastructure, they can match server capacity to ongoing demand and utilize servers more efficiently, which means saving energy.
- Capabilities and expertise
- Business leaders trust Microsoft Dynamics to help them grow and compete on both the local and global markets. This ERP on the cloud stands side-by-side with the users on the shop floor. With Dynamics 365 you can reimagine your business and reach your growth goals. </ol?
If you choose a Microsoft Dynamics partner on top of the Microsoft ERP, you also gain access to a competent team with expertise in their industry. Choose someone with years of experience – trusted both by Microsoft and by the industry.
Through deployment and beyond, work to get rid of manual processes and inefficiencies. Embrace industry best practices – supported by Microsoft – so you can avoid bulky customizations. Evaluate process improvements critically, but don’t let the fear of change keep you chained to the old ways of doing things. Stagnation can inhibit growth and give your competitors an edge.
To conclude this topic, we will leave you with some recommendations for when the time comes to get a cloud ERP, so read on!
Recommendations for when you decide to start using a cloud ERP in your company
- Make a strategic analysis that includes the pros and cons of the ERP you are thinking of using.
- Keep your entire team informed about the possible changes that will be implemented in the workflow, so that the process is as transparent as possible.
- Define who will be the people to accompany you in the implementation and induction process of the new software.
- Plan all the steps to be executed before, during and after the implementation.
- Define the indicators that will measure the success (or failure) of their new tool.
- Organize and train your team to make the learning curve as efficient as possible.
- Always consult with someone who specializes in ERP software implementation.