Software // Enterprise Applications
Commentary
11/15/2013
08:00 AM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
Commentary
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Cloud ERP: Examine 4 Factors Before Choosing

Can new "cloud" ERP options from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Infor be compared to SaaS offerings? These four attributes must be questioned.
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Richard @ Versaccounts.com
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Richard @ Versaccounts.com,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2013 | 2:17:32 AM
Ease of integration
The 4 attributes Agility, Control, Cost model, Flexiblity are indeed very important factors in considering a cloud ERP solutions.

While serving customers and prospects at Versaccounts.com, we also found that customers almost always have integration needs. As a ERP system provider, you cannot assume you will be everything to everyone and multiple systems need to co-exist and play nice with each other.  When evaluating a cloud ERP system, you need to look at how open the system is. Meaning how easy is it for you or an external system to get data (large amount of raw data especially) out or get data from other system into the system. CSV import/export seems to be the golden answers from most ERP providers but it is not good enough. System need to be able to talk to each other in real time as businesses need information real time. A key factor should be looking at the vendor's API and how complete and easy to use is. 

 

 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 10:02:55 AM
Bottom Line Over Architectural Philosophy
If all other things are equal, there are clearly cost advantages for vendors delivering multi-tenant SaaS applications versus single instances of apps run in a vendor's cloud. But the bottom line is the cost to you, the customer, and we can't assume that all other things are equal.

A SaaS player, for example, might have high development costs and a small scale of economy, whereas an incumbent with lots of customers can quickly scale up hosting/managed services without doing much of anything to its software. You have to answer the questions about agility and cost, but if the flexibility and speed are good enough and if the costs are right, then don't get hung up on architectures.

In the long run, Darwinian forces will see the superior approaches prevail, but that process of natural selection may take longer than your committment to any one cloud app.
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