cloud-computingLast week we introduced you to a new article series discussing four major influencers of a successful business of the future. In part one we discussed the role played by Social Media and how large of an impact it will likely play for proactive companies who desire to engage their customers long-term. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you may do so by clicking here. This week we will be taking a look at our second wheel on the vehicle driving your company into the future:

Part Two: Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing? The word ‘Cloud’ is the same as ‘internet’, and ‘computing’ describes an architecture where individuals and companies can ‘rent’ technology services on the internet, rather than ‘owning’ their own on-site. While some cloud technologies are free, (like the Yahoo, Google, and MSN email); others with more substantial infrastructure (like Accounting, ERP, and CRM technologies) can be rented for a fee. The best analogy would be to compare it to water. You don’t create and store your own, rather, you pay the water company to do the hard part, and you just use and pay for what you need.

Never before has the availability of cost effective business software been more within reach. Thanks to the recent developments within Software as a Service (SaaS), better known as Cloud Computing, numerous small and midsized businesses on a budget are finding themselves with access to the kinds of technology they need to keep up and compete with much larger corporations. Through a cloud ERP solution you are able to access what you need and have reduced start up and long-term costs pertaining to IT, storage, servers, and upgrades. What’s more, those companies who have multiple locations and/or staff members who work in field locations and offices are able to centralize key data while simultaneously providing access to everyone, no matter where they are logging in.

Some types of the specific functionality you may find in cloud ERP technology, such as that within Sage 100 ERP online, include:

  • Secure and Flexible Online Deployment

Access the modules you need and host your data in an ultra-secure, lower cost environment. As an example, Sage 100 ERP provides a 70-certified facility with fireproof cement walls, 24/7 connectivity and human security… much more secure than many on-site applications.

  • Instant Integration

An online ERP application will often connect key functional departments to allow you to streamline data entry and processes to achieve a more effective end-result. With centralized access, your staff members in accounting, sales, marketing and customer service will all be up to date and on the same page.

  • Numerous Module Options

Let us assure you that cloud-based software does not mean you will lack in functionality. Business owners are quite pleased to find access to numerous module suites including: Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Bank Reconciliation, Electronic Reporting, General Ledger, Paperless Office Capabilities, Business Intelligence Dashboards, Bill of Materials, Inventory Management, Purchase Order, Return Merchandise Authorization, Sales Order, and more.

  • On-site Transfer Options

Many software developers recognize that the business environment is fluid, and it is often necessary to make changes to decisions that were previously thought best at the time. To this end they have developed assured ways of transferring your data to an on-site version of the application should you wish to do so at any point in the future.

  • Support and Training

Receive regular maintenance and upgrades, as well as an automated backup system and disaster recovery tools to protect your investment. Additionally, many developers offer generous access to online training courses and systems support.

If cloud ERP sounds like something that might be a good fit for your organization, please contact us today. We have a tremendous amount of expertise in assisting companies in Columbia, SC and beyond implement and configure cloud ERP applications to improve their organization across the board. We would be happy to hear about your specific requirements and help you determine the best choice in technology for your company.