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Sikich Boston

Microsoft Dynamics in The Cloud – “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs?”


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If you have small children as I do, then chances are you’ve read them the book or watched the movie. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is about Flint, a young aspiring self-taught scientist who creates a device called the FLDSMDFR and “hosts” it in The Cloud.  From his small laboratory in the backyard he can send information to his device in the clouds to make it rain food.

Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn’t it?

Well this book and movie aren’t too far from reality given today’s strategies for Microsoft Dynamics ERP in The Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics CRM in The Cloud.  Companies are moving their critical systems to The Cloud at record speeds because the benefits are obvious and abundant.

Lower Costs:  The biggest reason that clients look at Cloud Services for ERP and CRM is that it can save them a lot of money over time compared to keeping a data center in house.  If you eliminate the cost of the equipment, facilities, staff, maintenance, and myriad associated costs, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Flexibility & Scalability:
Cloud Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM provide tremendous flexibility. Deploying your software in The Cloud means that your infrastructure can now match the pace of growth at your company, giving you what you need when you need it.  As your business grows, so can your infrastructure, but you only pay for what you need when you need it. 

Quicker Deployments:  Once you’ve obtained the go ahead for an ERP or CRM project, you often have to wait for the purchase and installation of the necessary infrastructure and operating equipment.  Cloud Services provide all the necessary capacity and equipment to meet your needs.  Deployment is nearly instantaneous and since time is money, reducing your wait time and speeding up the whole process is cost effective and it saves you money.

Mobile Usage:  Many if not most businesses today offer remote access. But remote access to on-premises servers is not trouble free.  Sometimes, remote access can only be granted to certain programs and only in certain locations. And printing out documents when and where you need them can be problematic.  Since a Cloud Solution is Internet-based, as long as you have Internet access (which these days is virtually anywhere) you can access all of your computing and printing needs without the problems often associated with on-premises, server-based systems.

Predictable Costs:  One of the major benefits that CEOs and CFOs alike enjoy is the predictable and consistent expense of cloud-based solutions. IT departments require capital expenditures for new and replacement equipment. Depreciating capital equipment can become an accounting hassle. When capital resources are used for IT, this can create variances in monthly profitability reports or available funds, depending on how these purchases are treated. With cloud solutions you establish an annual budget based on a fixed subscription price, thereby eliminating unforeseen expenses and budget fluctuations.

Simplification of IT:  The second biggest reason that clients are attracted to cloud solutions is that they want to simplify their IT department. If you’re not in the IT business, you’re probably better off letting the experts handle your IT so you can focus on your core business. 

Security:  If you compare ERP and CRM deployment options, you’ll find that storing your software and data in The Cloud is actually more secure than storing it on-premises. Few mid-sized companies have the wherewithal to provide the physical security that cloud providers offer, such as disaster recovery and fail over systems. Given the level of coding and encryption at the server level and through Internet portals, your data and software are more secure than ever.

Much like Flint, the hero in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” you too can put your company’s most prized possessions in the cloud so you can focus on what you do best, which is growing and managing your own business, not managing IT systems!

By Joel Hatin, Client Partner, Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner for Manufacturing and Distribution serving New Hampshire (NH)

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