ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, which is a type of software used by companies to manage information across the organization. Cloud ERP is a type of enterprise resource planning software that is present in a cloud computing platform, rather than on-premises within an enterprise's own data centre.
Organizations need advanced, globally-connected, and continuously updated software tools and systems that grant them to focus more of their time and energy on implementing growth initiatives and less on day-to-day IT management. That’s where cloud ERP comes into play.
There are hundreds of ideas and terms that relate to cloud-based enterprise resource planning, but here are 14 worth understanding now before you decide to invest in cloud ERP for your business:
Cloud-based ERP: ERP software that exists and is managed offsite in the cloud by your vendor.
On-premises ERP: ERP software that is installed locally on your hardware and servers, and managed by your IT staff.
SaaS ERP: SaaS stands for software as a service. When you invest in SaaS ERP, your tools are hosted in the cloud as opposed to on your local machines. It is a hosting model for ERP software which involves a firm's ERP software applications on a dealer's servers. The goal of software-as-a-service ERP hosting is to reduce costs software, hardware and support.
Deployment strategy: This refers to the choices you have when it comes to how you implement and manage ERP software at your business. Examples of deployment strategies include on-premises, managed hosting, SaaS single-tenant, or SaaS multitenant.
End-to-end security: It refers to the secure and encrypted connection that exists between you and your dealer when you manage and access business and customer information in the cloud.
Cloud deployment: Cloud deployment of ERP software gives users with continuous updates and innovation of the tools they need to manage and grow their business. Because cloud ERP is hosted and managed online through end-to-end security, it allows users to access tools and information from anywhere.
IoT: IoT stands for Internet of Things. It refers to systems and tools that are interconnected through an online network. IoT systems allow machines and tools to talk to each other and work together to optimize performance with minimal human interaction or effort.
Global-ready ERP: Generally cloud-based ERP solutions are global-ready, so you can connect your employees, vendors, partners, and customers with accurate, real-time data. When everyone can access secure, up-to-the-minute information across your entire value chain, your team can collaborate more efficiently and make decisions more confidently.
Mobility solutions: Mobility solutions refer to tools, systems, and information that can be securely permeated by your team or customers via mobile devices such as smartphones from anywhere.
Shared infrastructure: It refers to any system that provides users with access to vendor tools in a shared network environment. With cloud ERP, the scale of shared infrastructure allows businesses to access continuously updated enterprise-grade tools at a fraction of the cost.
Agile systems: Agile systems allow teams to make efficient decisions that relate to the sustainability and future growth of their business. Applying lean and agile principles through cloud-based ERP software allows you to optimize processes and tasks to increase productivity, save costs, and boost profits.
Infrastructure costs: This refers to the amount of money you spend on on-premises technology to keep systems, information, and tools up-to-date and operating smoothly.
Disaster recovery: Disaster recovery is one example of the many security benefits of world-class cloud-based ERP. In the event of a major disruption, disaster recovery involves a set of policies, tools, and procedures that are provided and managed by your vendor to recover your data and systems for you.
High availability: High availability is another advantage of a well-designed cloud ERP solution. This term refers to systems that are built to be resilient and likely to operate continuously without failure for a long time, keeping your business running as usual.
Rapid updates and upgrades: Cloud ERP from Epicor offers instant and ongoing updates and upgrades to your ERP software and tools, so you never have to worry whether you are using the most up-to-date technology to suit your business needs. You also don’t have to spend time updating or hiring someone to update your systems like you would if you used an on-premises ERP system.
Lower up-front and operating costs: It is one of the biggest benefits offered by cloud ERP is that it’s much less expensive than traditional onsite ERP systems. When you deploy on-premises, you might pay for the software once by way of a license, but you have other costly expenses such as server purchase and ongoing maintenance, database creation and management, initial implementation, IT staffing, energy costs, and security and backup. With cloud ERP, you pay less upfront and your overall ongoing operating costs are much lower because the vendor takes care of updates, maintenance, and security for you.
Rapid implementation: Cloud ERP can also get up and running in much less time than on-premises ERP systems. With on-premises ERP, you have to worry about things like selecting and purchasing hardware, training IT staff, potentially hiring more people, implementing new data security protocols, and ensuring that everyone on your team has reliable access to the tools they need to help you grow your business. With cloud ERP, deployment and implementation are fast and painless. Deploying your software in the cloud is also reliable and offers easy data access in real-time from anywhere which can help make your entire team more collaborative and successful in their roles.
Scalability: It is built to help you scale operations at your company. Cloud ERP allows your team and partners to access information on a global level. With cloud ERP from Epicor, you also benefit from world-class security and system monitoring that allows you to grow quickly without having to wonder whether or not your information is safe.
Focus on core competencies: Because cloud ERP dealer takes on most of the burden associated with managing a complex ERP system, you can spend time on what matters most growing a sustainable, profitable operation. In other words, you get to focus on what you’re best at. When you don’t have to spend time worrying about software upgrades, downtime, and security issues, you get to spend time on areas that directly impact future business growth.
Improved accessibility, mobility, and usability: Cloud ERP is better in these areas than other types of ERP deployments. Because your ERP system is managed in the cloud and global-ready, your team can access the tools they need from anywhere using their mobile phones and an Internet connection. Information is accessible in real-time, so key business decisions can be made without having to wait until everyone is in the same room or accessing your ERP system from the same place. In other words, it helps you build a more agile team. This focus on instant accessibility and improved collaboration helps boost productivity both inside and outside your enterprise.
Improved system availability and disaster recovery: Data security is a very real concern for any team today that leverages the Internet to run their business. When you invest in cloud ERP, you put the responsibility on the shoulders of your vendor and they ensure that your system is protected from potential attacks or vulnerabilities. Epicor invests in world-class infrastructure and security to keep your system protected and allow you to focus on other areas of your business that require your attention.
Cost transparency: When you deploy cloud ERP systems, the cost is predictable and transparent. Either you pay a monthly subscription on the SaaS model, or you adhere to a PPU (pay-per-use) model. In addition, there are no unexpected expenses relating to software updates and technology upgrades with cloud ERP, as they fall under the responsibility of your vendor.
Sales automation: Sales automation is also optimized thanks to the global-readiness, real-time, and mobile access that comes with cloud ERP deployments. With cloud ERP, your partners, customers, and vendors can connect to your system seamlessly from anywhere in the world. Epicor Cloud ERP is highly reliable, and customers who deploy ERP through the cloud experience 99.5% or greater uptime.
Security standards and compliance: As mentioned, cloud-based ERP vendors like Epicor have world-class security support and protection for customers. Epicor has a comprehensive, end-to-end security model. We build security into every layer of the ERP environment and physical network interface cards, user passwords, and 24x7 system monitoring.