ERP For SMB Using The Cloud

The SMB enterprise software  space using the cloud and SaaS solutions has become very confusing for organizations and is evolving quickly.  Where to begin is often one of the harder questions to be answered once decided a software evaluation is required. The enterprise software market for cloud and SaaS options have exponentially grown over the last couple of years. Traditional on-premise vendors have gone cloud and new vendors are appearing daily with new SaaS options.

 

Organizations are faced with too many choices and information overload often leads to evaluation fatigue. Consequently, selecting inappropriate software and IT failure.  Since software selection is not a process that organizations embark upon often usually every 5-7 years for their ERP systems there may not be any format or process to follow when evaluating software.  It is recommended you ask help as the software market is rapidly changing with new applications, technologies and vendors.  Recently, at the Dreamforce 11 conference as a technology consulting firm we were surprised as to how many niche applications were available and what was new in integration.

 

Many new vendors have emerged recently mostly within specific verticals.  The large traditional players such as SAP, Oracle, Infor, MS etc. now all offer SaaS/cloud solutions. Then companies such as Plex, SFDC and Netsuite were designed to be sold as a SaaS or cloud solutions which causes more confusion as additional choice makes it harder differentiate between solutions.  Certain softwares are developed on a platform such as Kenandy an ERP system that is developed on the Force.com platform to integrate with many other SFDC partner programs which can round out the ERP and extend its functionality quickly.  However, should you pursue this scenario it is likely that there will be several vendors that comprise your IT application strategy which could cause IT Administration headaches and support nightmares if something does not work properly.

 

Organizations should understand whether they would like a SaaS/cloud option or go the traditional on-premise route.  Once this decision is made then you can start to evaluate solutions.  This decision is key due to internal IT strategy and how you run your organization.  If you decide to go with a cloud or SaaS option be aware that ROI and TCO are caluculated differently due to pricing models, support, maintenance and data storage, information release upon contract termination, avialability to move to an on-premise from cloud are a few main areas that organizations should investigate carefully when assessing a cloud solution or SaaS application.  If you decide to add cloud and SaaS to existing on-premise systems understand the architecture, integration and the strategic fit guarantees a match between existing hardware and software. One of the more difficult decisions would be whether to go for the best of breed point solution or the all in one suite which combiness multiple business functions.   Now that integration between systems have been minimized as an issue SMB organizations should have no problem adding additional systems to complement their business functionality.

 

Eval‐Source is a consulting firm that provides enterprise software selection and strategic technology consulting services for organizations to achieve success in their IT initiatives. Our consulting practices encompass cloud and on-premise software evaluation services, ERP, Supply Chain, social media and technology strategy consulting. Our Tru‐Eval selection system allows organizations to avoid IT failure, receive greater ROI and provide accurate decision support for enterprise software. Eval‐Source is an industry leader in the analysis of software technology and our thought leadership has placed us in the elite of consulting/analyst firms. What sets us apart is our unbiased best in class consulting services that provide our clients with value, direction and success in selection, planning and optimization of their technology systems. Eval‐Source provides the professional services that put your needs first and allow you to achieve success in your IT initiatives. We are the source for your technology solutions.

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