The latest buzz in the ERP software world is “cloud computing” (aka “software as a service/SAAS” or “hosting”). Basically this means that a data center, separate from your location, installs and maintains your software on their servers and you access it securely over the Internet. There are a lot of companies out there that are eager to host your
1. Where is the computer that will be used to serve my application?
2. Is the data center where that computer is located staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week? What staff is on-site?
3. What physical security measures are in the data center?
4. Is there redundant power, such as batteries and generators?
5. What cooling and fire suppression systems are available?
6. How many Internet service providers (ISPs) do you buy connectivity from?
7. Do you have a disaster recovery plan if your data center becomes unavailable?
8. Are servers dedicated to each customer, or do multiple customers share a single server?
9. What do you back up and how often? How long do you keep backups? Do you store backups off-site?
In addition to asking these questions, evaluate how well the vendor has integrated its service operations into its core business. Some vendors are only experimenting with the cloud computing model due to its immense popularity. For many, it is an operational change that is inconsistent with their culture. If this is the case, they will not be able to make customers successful if the processes are not well developed, mature or universally accepted.
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If you are considering hosting Microsoft Dynamics GP,
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