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Intellitec Solutions

4 Things to Consider when Evaluating Cloud ERP


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Like most business applications, there is a growing trend to move ERP software like Microsoft Dynamics GP away from on-premise installations and towards cloud based solutions. There can be tremendous cost savings in this model, as well as better infrastructure. Since a Cloud Vendor is responsible for hosting the ERP solution, and since that cost is amortized across thousands of companies, it is possible for business of any size to have 24x7x365 monitoring, and continuous back-up and disaster recovery procedures. If you are evaluating moving to a Cloud ERP solution, there are 4 main points you should keep in mind.

Service Level Agreement

When software is hosted on your servers, you control availability and up time (which can be both good and bad, depending on your IT resources). When you move to the Cloud, all that control is transferred to the host. Ask your vendor if they have a Service Level Agreement, and how much uptime is  guaranteed. And be wary of the number – 99.9% may sound great, but if your business runs 8-5 daily, that still translates to 1 hour of down time per month.

Upgrades

Another potential source of lost productivity is having your staff log-in one day to discover they have a new and unfamiliar version of software, due to an update. Therefore, it is crucial to know how the vendor handles updates. How soon in advance will you be notified? What impact will it have on day to day operations at the time of upgrade? Will you be able to have input on the actual date of an upgrade?

Security

Your hosting provider should give you a fully detailed overview of how they handle security, including their approach and what specific measures they take. Ask them how they authenticate users. What level of encryption do they use to protect data? Are they compliant with regulations affecting your business, such as SAS70 and SSAE-16?

Data Ownership

Even though your data is hosted elsewhere, it is your data and you own it. Will the hostl allow you to export a full set of your data anytime you request it? Will they fully delete your data upon request, should you decide to move to a different host?  What happens to your data if you miss a scheduled payment?

To learn more about Cloud ERP Solutions and how they can help your business, contact Intellitec Solutions, a Dynamics GP Partner serving Delaware & Pennsylvania and specializing in Cloud ERP Solutions at 866-504-4357

One Response to “4 Things to Consider when Evaluating Cloud ERP”

  1. Thank you for the list. I would add two additional key areas: Organizational Change and Business Value. Many Cloud discussions typically focus on the technology aspects without fully exploring the organization and business implications.

    I am excited about Cloud ERP, yet I like to take a balanced approach to determine potential fit.

    Challenges: http://gbeaubouef.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/cloud-erp/

    Advantages: http://gbeaubouef.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/cloud-erp-advantage/