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Western Computer

ERP Trends in 2017: Cloud deployment is an enabler to differentiation in a rapidly changing market


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    Cloud deployment is the future.

     

    As digitalization takes over the world, organizations everywhere need to change to survive, developing new capabilities that can drive competitiveness and growth.

     

    In a previous article, we discussed the ERP trends of organizations considering cloud deployment options to drive business success. In addition to the sustainability benefits of a cloud deployment, we also explored the benefits of:

     

    1. Lower cost of ownership.
    2. Ease of deployment.
    3. Increased security

     

    These benefits have resulted in a trend in the market allowing organizations to focus these dollars on value-added services to differentiate themselves from their competition.

     

    TREND #2: What functionality are companies evaluating that they believe will differentiate themselves from their competition?

     

    The cloud is an enabler to ensure that any organization can have more than just ERP capability at an affordable price.

     

    The reason ‘ERP’ is no longer mentioned in any of the Dynamics 365 application names is that it is more than just ERP:

     

    • It’s sales and marketing in terms of CRM applications.
    • It’s analytics in terms of Power BI.
    • It’s mobile in terms of mobile workspaces and apps.

     

    All these applications are now enabled for those who choose to deploy within the cloud. These value-added applications are enabled without additional integration requirements. Customers are paying for only the services they need for their business, such as sales and marketing, and don’t have to worry about getting them to work in the first place.

     

    The cloud enables advanced analytics on large data sets, which was previously unaffordable for most organizations.

     

    By now, most companies have made an investment into integrated ERP applications and over the years have generated huge volumes of data. However, very few of these companies have the expertise to analyze this data like the large enterprises do. For example, Google and Amazon are constantly analyzing user behavior data all the time and using the data to personalize the advertising or product recommendations that are shown to their users. The cloud enables this type of capability for small or mid-sized companies because organizations are using Microsoft Cortana Intelligence (a shared cloud data resource) to crunch the data and to deliver the required analytics. The processing power required for this type of resource would not be an affordable option in an on-premise server environment. This advanced analytics capability is affordable in the cloud due to the shared computing power of the cloud.

     

    What to consider when moving to the cloud

     

    90% of our new clients have a strong interest in deploying in the cloud. Companies who don’t have the required infrastructure are not going to invest in it, as the TCO equation does not compute. Organizations with existing infrastructure are also considering their cloud options, but it is understandably a much slower process given their investments in their current on-premise systems.

     

    For organizations with an on-premise solution, a phased cloud deployment is one that many organizations are implementing. One of the first areas customers can move to the cloud is their advanced analytics capability in the form of Power BI. Why?

     

    Power BI is all cloud-based.

     

    Power BI will transfer on-premise ERP data into a cloud data warehouse running in Microsoft Azure. Reports are run on a cloud database that can be connected to the ERP database sitting in an on-premise server. Once this is implemented successfully, organizations can experience first-hand the value of enterprise reporting powered by the cloud:

    1. Access reports through a browser
    2. Access from a mobile device
    3. Access remotely from any location

     

    With these benefits being realized, the conversation to move other parts or the entire ERP platform over to the cloud start to gain traction.

     

    To summarize, there is a growing trend of organizations to move their ERP infrastructure to the cloud. Western Computer encourages all of its clients to consider this option to ensure that they -can remain competitive and differentiate themselves in the ever-growing competitive environment.

     

    For more information on these ERP trends and cloud deployment options, don’t hesitate to contact our team of Microsoft Dynamics experts at Western Computer.

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