Cloud ERP Software: What you need to know before you buy
Stay competitive in the SMB world with flexible cloud ERP technology
By now, you probably have some kind of understanding of what the cloud means in terms of technology and helping you run your business. But it still might be a challenge to be clear on cloud ERP software and the options you have.
What you need to know about the Cloud
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3 basic models in cloud computing
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Hardware and software are located and run somewhere else. Your provider is responsible for housing, running, and maintaining it.
- Platform as a Services (PaaS)
Think of this like a "development area in the cloud. PaaS is the quickest way to develop an application without expensive upfront costs.
- Software as a Services (SaaS)
The application you use is hosted by a vendor or service provider, you access it over the internet. Think Google apps, GoToMeeting, Facebook, Gmail, and more.
Cloud ERP is a Saas Solution.
You pay a subscription to use the service while your service provider hosts and maintains the application.
1 Lower Cost of Entry
No upfront costs for servers and other hardware and software. You don’t have to allocate internal staff to install the software
2 Reduced time to benefit/rapid prototyping
Since the software is often pre-installed, the time until you can start testing and trialing it is greatly reduced. No long wait times, it can take days or weeks to launch instead of months.
3 Pay as you go
Probably one of the most attractive benefits of the cloud is predictable costs. Not to say that subscription is cheap – most ERP systems cost a few hundred dollars per user, per month – but it allows you to plan, scale and grow, knowing your costs with no surprises.
4 Your SaaS vendor takes care of upgrades, uptime and security.
Not only does this take the responsibility off you, it typically means that you get much more frequent upgrades. And more frequent upgrades means smaller changes and less impact on users. Much has been made about the security of the cloud, but in truth, your SaaS vendor most likely has a much higher level of security than your organization could ever provide. Add to that the automatic backups and you are well-positioned with peace of mind.
5 Higher adoption rates
When software is accessible through familiar web browsers, users have lower learning curves.
6 Integration and scalability
You never have to worry about adding more hardware as you grow.
7 Work anywhere
This has become the norm, and businesses that don’t offer this benefit will lose out on top talent.
Buying ERP software, whether in the cloud or on-premise can be an overwhelming prospect for many firms. It can be hard to know where to start. We have a four-step process that allows you to evaluate and purchase what you really need
Step 1: Conduct a business process review, or system health check
This preliminary evaluation will help you define where you are, what your desired system looks like, and how much you are willing to spend on getting there. It can be as short as a 60-minute conference call, or up to a full day of interviews and process reviews. Schedule a free System Health Check with us, a $780 value. Includes up to 4 hours of consulting time.
Step 2: Take a tour of an ERP solution with a personal demo
Taking the information from the Business Process Review, and additional information from you, we provide a customized demo of your preferred ERP solution. You will see how the solution can work for you and your distinct processes.
Step 3: Get a custom quote for your new ERP solution
Using all of the information gathered during the Business Process Review and the Custom Demo, our team will build a detailed cost proposal for you so you can see all of the pieces that contribute to the investment and what they provide.
Step 4: Sign off on the proposal and we order your software.
We will invoice you for the initial software costs, and upon payment, order the software or subscription. You'll take part in a Welcome to Crestwood call, receive a Crestwood Welcome Packet, and attend a project Kickoff Meeting.