ON PREMISES OR IN THE CLOUDS?

In the clouds or in your office?

On Premises or in the Clouds – the two main choices when it comes to ERP. Yet, what exactly is the difference between cloud based ERP programs and on premises ERP program?The easiest way to explain is that an on premise system has all the programs, software, drivers installed directly in the office, onto each computer or the servers. Cloud ERP is basically a Software as a Service or SaaS system. The ERP vendors host all the necessary drives and hardware and the business need not buy expensive hardware.

On premise systems are self-managed by the business whereas cloud systems are managed by third parties. There are many hybrid options that combine the benefits of both cloud and on premise programs.
Infrastructural or IT requirements are the greatest for on premise systems. The enterprise has to purchase all the necessary hardware servers and IT equipment beforehand for the ER P deployment. Cloud hosted or hybrid systems have a moderate amount of investment required for the ERP system. Completely cloud based programs have little if any additional IT requirements. All the necessary resources and infrastructure are with the ERP provider.
There are concerns about the total costs of ERP ownership. On premise programs are generally not financially feasible for small and medium enterprises as they require a large upfront investments. Cloud program do not entail large up front expenses and generally have monthly or yearly payment models. Over a large period of time, cloud ERP may be the more costly system. A hybrid ERP system requires a moderate investment in total. Businesses would need to decide how long they would use a particular system, their budget and assess their financial capabilities before making a decision.

The software licenses are owned by the enterprise in the case of on premise ERP. For the cloud based system, the software license are rented by the company. Hybrid system also give the business ownership over the licenses. Because on premise and hybrid systems give the entire ownership of the license to the company, the usage license does not expires. In the case of cloud ERP, the license to use the system expires upon non-payment fees or when the company does not renew their contract. As per accounting principles an on premise and hybrid system would be regarded as a capital asset or capital lease while cloud ERP would be regarded as an operating lease or expense.
Cloud systems have a distinct advantage over the other two in terms of updating ERP software. Cloud systems are updated automatically by the vendor and it is ensured that the business is always running on the latest version. For hybrid and on premise ERP, the system is updated very infrequently – generally every 18 to 24 months and business often run on outdated system to avoid the additional expenses and possible data loss that may occur as a result of the updates.
Both on premises and hybrid ERP give the business the ability to completely customize their programs. Generally the greater the customization required, the greater the cost of the ERP. Businesses have to assess their requirements and decide how customized their program needs to be. Cloud ERP may be limited in their scope of customization offered depending on the vendor. Companies should find an EPR vendor that is compatible and one that provides them with the specifications they have in mind. The majority of small and medium enterprises do not require much customizations and the cloud systems would meet their business requirements.
Hybrid and on premise ERP systems have user based security. Access to data is determined by the company and its personnel. Each user or employee will have access to data that is relevant to their department and work. For cloud based systems, data is generally accessible corporate wide, but can be restricted. A function of cloud ERP is the greater accessibility it offers to users compared to strictly on premise programs. Users can access data from any part of the world through the internet (unless the company has restricted it). This allows them to be more efficient. Small and mid-sized companies where decision making is fairly integrated benefit from greater transparency and accessibility provided by cloud systems.

Large companies would typically opt for hybrid ERP and have greater restrictions on data accessibility to prevent unauthorized data manipulation.
Security of the servers is internally managed in the case of onsite ERP. For this the company must have a capable IT department or team to ensure no confidential data is vulnerable to hacks. The security and maintenance of the data is in the domain of the company. The additional expenses in employing capable IT personnel means that typically only larger companies or companies with highly classified or sensitive information would use onsite ERP. For hybrid and cloud ERP the maintenance and security of the servers is externally managed.
Cloud systems are the most logical option for small and mid-sized enterprises while on premise ERP is opted by larger companies. Businesses need to assess their requirements and capabilities to maintain the ERP before deciding which system to opt for.

Contributor : Vidushi

Think before you build your own IT infrastructure

Due to the sheer complexity and volume of business, setting up on premise IT infrastructure is the first thing that comes to mind. It is costly. Maintaining IT with in-house or third-party support team is unmanageable.

Regular upgrade, update, patches, security fixes, troubleshooting compatibility issues are important for smooth business operation. Troubleshooting a software issue or printer issue or fixing hardware can sometimes take days due to limited in-house knowledge. Depending on third party can be time consuming due to their response time. For business, IT issues can cost dearly. It can lead to missing order deadlines and business can even lose customers. 
Every business or individual today is online on internet most of the time. We all use hosted applications in some way or the other like emailing, social media, file sharing or shared drives. With the increased penetration of Internet, more and more companies are looking to adopt more flexible, manageable and scalable infrastructure. The primary concern of the business owner is order fulfilment and customer retention. For proper management, Businesses needs undisrupted information flow and complete visibility of business. Moving to Cloud is the first step to empower the employees with world class IT infrastructure and better business continuity.  
 

Adopting Cloud is only one half of the solution. The other half is upgrading your legacy business application to Advanced Cloud based Enterprise Application. There will be advisors and providers for work arounds / patch for legacy applications but soon you will realise the pitfalls. In the globally competitive marketplace, your employees need robust and flexible application, that can custom fit the business and automate repetitive workload. This is ideal and most desirable solution for business success. This will lead to better efficiency and productivity. We at EXPAND ERP help mid-market with integration and automation to take advantage of latest in technology.

Contributor – Vineet

ERP Implementation = Failure! Not Anymore.

When it comes to deciding for an ERP for the organisation, the monster that comes to everyone’s mind is ERP Implementation. ERP implementation is not just perceived but in reality is a nightmare. We have come across more failure than success when it comes to ERP implementation.

This holds true for all ERP providers and any project size. All ERP vendors have to deal with this negativity that clutches the minds of decision makers.
In an implementation there are two and only two rules both the ERP vendor and Customer need to remember to make it successful!

1. For the ERP vendors: Do not try to push Customer to change everything in his business process to fit the ERP.
2. For the Customer: Do not try to change ERP to make every part work according to the business.

Of course, every Customer see ERP Implementation as an opportunity to adopt best practice and are tempted to do as much customisation possible but this is the number one reason for project failure.

Involvement of top management and important end users into the project planning stage is critical for leading project to success and avoid resistance on rollout. Lastly, training and documentation is taken lightly by end users until it is forced upon.
The above dos and don’ts are totally valid for Vanilla ERP vendors. You can google numerous case studies in reference.
History and experience has taught us and we at EXPAND ERP have steered through this journey to bring industry specific solution to minimise implementation timeline and deliver quick ROI. With ready to go live on cloud from day one and on the go training, our customers have more success to share.

The summary, inspite of all the odds ERP system is something any business cannot do without in this competitive world. We have customers who have learned from failures and made successful rollout across their business expanse and taken business to newer heights with better efficiency and productivity. With Cloud technology and Internet of Things (IoT) taking the lead, it is high time that we make our business secure and easier to manage.

Contributor – Vineet

Is your ERP ready for Internet of Things (IoT) ?

Did you know there are more mobile phones than humans on this planet? The ever increasing use of smart devices, they are getting more intelligent with more sophisticated sensing capabilities. 
Internet of Things Expand ERPThe extensive use of sensor embedded devices, The old saying ‘Garbage In Garbage Out’ seems no more relevant. The devices are getting smarter and increasingly the data input is automated with least human intervention. The data thus collected is analysed by enterprise software and ready to influence and guide human decision. Early adopters of Enterprise software are more than ready to get fully automated. Early days examples of integration of PLC, Weigh bridge, boom barriers at manufacturing units as management control has evolved further to offer real time update and statistics on patterns, forecast and better alert humans for preventive action and readiness. Early indications by Internet of Things (IoT) can reduce lead time, save costs and increase efficiency of businesses exponentially. One of the most widely used examples of IoT is GPS devices that are fitted on vehicles for tracking of location, movement, quality of driving and vehicle performance. The device only generates location data every few seconds that is captured on central servers and further analysed to get meaningful information. Most of the businesses today use GPS on their vehicles. Today businesses track the product they sell for its lifetime. Service industry offers more convenient ways to reach customers; on the contrary customers find services. Unless IoT is not integrated with analytics capability and enterprise application the organisation cannot see an impact on its business. To sum up, in days to come business need to ensure readiness on scalable infrastructure and flexible software that can consume and process data from IoT and make business more competitive in the market place.intelligent devices that are generating data and at the same time transmitting data. 

Contributor – Vineet

Small Business ERP

Cloud computing has removed the major hurdle for ERP service providers to roll out cost effective for small business ERP. ERP is mainly used by large companies to manage their business. Due to
high cost of deployment and maintenance, it was difficult for small business to benefit from an ERP. Small Business erpPay per user, Pay per transaction, Pay as you go models have made ERP accessible to small business and inevitable with the growing competition and business volumes. Small business ERP has increased efficiency and helped save costs.
Even the bigger ERP players are trying to remodel solutions for small business by cutting on the frills, making it more friendly for end user and easy to learn. Small business ERP are mostly industry specific and in line with the business, unlike bigger ERP that is generic and needs to be customized for the business.
There are several Small business ERP with different combination of functionality and pricing. Businesses really need to evaluate to suite their budget and ensure that software can address the core business function. Business should verify track record of the ERP vendor in similar industry.
EXPAND ERP is a cloud based solution for small business. It is comprehensive for mid-sized businesses who are manufacturers, exporters, distributors or retailers. EXPAND ERP is flexible to manage complex business processes. The pay as you go model gives enough scope to the business to try the software before committing.
EXPAND ERP has vast experience with SMB environments and understands the functional problem of similar companies. With the pricing model and functional expertise EXPAND ERP is a safe bet for small business.

Contributor – Vineet

Simple ROI logic for Small and Medium Enterprise

SME being unorganized with limited capital can benefit enormously by using ERP on cloud.

A typical scenario of Inventory in SME is over stocked or underutilized. Just in time inventory can be easily achieved reducing holding cost by around 20%.

 

ROI logic

 

Customer order managed efficiently can bring more repeat orders and build good reputation. Easy email alerts, order status reminders can help. It is an immediate result of ERP implementation.
Outsourcing your payroll, recording your leads manually can be replaced. ERP payroll system linked with incentive formulas can be effective. Mobile based on spot lead recording and tracking can exponentially reduce administration cost and increase sales efficiency.
Operating and maintaining huge server infrastructure vis-à-vis cloud system can reduce IT operational cost by 30%.

Looking at the above even if SME choose to have private setup, they have a profitable preposition.

Contributor – Vineet

 

Reduce cost in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) with Cloud services

In the early 90’s free email services like Hotmail was a big success. The immediate need of common man to have a personal email address was resolved. People still preferred paid email accounts provided by Internet Service Providers (ISP). The lack of knowledge and credibility of a free hosted service was the bottleneck. Nowadays every individual or SME has an email account on the web.

In fact, it is widely accepted that Email has been the biggest gift by Information Technology to the community. The trend is moving from desktop environment to a managed hosted environment where all technology hassles of organizations are outsourced.

 

For a major section of SME cost has always been the driving factor. By adopting the hosted (cloud model) solutions the capital expenditure is completely eliminated. An SME has limited resources and face challenges in managing IT infrastructure. The view of businesses is changing as it happened with email a decade ago.  

 

Every SME is trying to adopt simplified technology services and focus more on their critical functions of the business. The earlier they move the better (first mover advantage) in competition.  

Contributor – Vineet