Learn the five key things business leaders need to know about using a cloud ERP system
George Trudell of Ultra Consultants joined Terillium to present the five key things business leaders need to know about the cloud and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Having led more than 40 ERP selection and implementation projects in his career as a consultant for Ultra, Trudell is an expert in introducing businesses to ERP solutions that will best suit their needs. Learn more about how a cloud ERP system works if you are not familiar with it.
George shared a lot of helpful information for businesses that are considering cloud solutions and want to learn more. For those who missed the webinar, we’ve summarized the presentation below.
1. Defining Cloud ERP
A cloud service is delivered through an off-site model over an internet connection, as opposed to on-premise or co-located hardware and software. In the case of cloud ERP, the enterprise resource planning solution is hosted off-site through a vendor. A cloud ERP system is a strategic, innovative, cost-saving measure that can fit business needs without investment in on-site hardware and other infrastructure.
2. Cutting Costs and Raising ROI with Cloud ERP
Cloud-based ERP solutions can be deployed fairly quickly at a lower cost than on-premise solutions, and enables real-time access to important business information. Cloud ERP systems offer frequent, automatic upgrades that are less disruptive to the business. The software evolves to fit growing/changing businesses, like providing access from mobile devices.
These lower operating costs make it easier for organizations to improve ROI without interruptions to day-to-day operations. This higher ROI, Trudell said, are benefits of cloud solutions and are what have been driving many businesses to move from on-premise systems. A Nucleus Research report that Trudell shared during the presentation states that cloud application projects deliver 2.1 times the ROI versus on-premise projects.
Though the specific offerings vary with each solution, most cloud vendors also offer substantial business and user support – lessening the burden on internal teams.
3. Reducing Risk
A cloud ERP system offers increased security, and often 24-hour support, allowing companies to significantly decrease risk by choosing to transition to a cloud ERP. It also increases uptime, meaning fewer disruptions and increased productivity for companies running less reliable legacy systems. Cloud solutions generally include a commitment for uptime – NetSuite for example commits to 99.5% availability for users and has an average uptime of 99.98%. Secure data storage in the cloud also alleviates concerns that can arise when an employee leaves the company, or a company device is stolen or misplaced.
4. Improving Productivity
Cloud ERP solutions provide many tools to improve users’ productivity, allowing for flexibility without the need for “bolt-on” solutions, explained Trudell. Implementing modern technology is also important for attracting and retaining top employees. The cloud offers consistency and enables the entire organization to be on the same up-to-date version of the software. Cloud ERP also aids businesses with real-time monitoring of key performance indicators.
5. When to Consider Making the Move to a Cloud ERP System
While every business is unique, Trudell shared a few prominent factors that can indicate readiness to move to the cloud. If your current applications are no longer upgradeable, or you have security concerns, it may be time to consider a cloud solution. Other indicators include: a low ROI from your on-premise program, lack of organizational flexibility, the frequent need for customization, substantial use of internal technical resources to deal with support issues rather than focusing on business initiatives.
About Ultra Consultants
Ultra Consultants is an independent research and enterprise software consulting firm serving the manufacturing and distribution industries throughout North America, as well as companies with global operations. Learn more about Ultra.
About George Trudell
George Trudell has more than 25 years supply chain and technology experience helping mid-sized companies improve their businesses. He worked in industry for 15 years as a Corporate Director of Supply Chain, Planning Manager, Strategic Planning and Master Scheduler. He has worked in consulting for almost 15 years, from Senior Consultant to Partner at Grant Thornton, McGladrey, and now Ultra Corporation. George has selected and implemented ERP systems at each step in his career, leading ERP projects from both perspectives (industry and consulting). In 2010, George re-joined Ultra after working for Ultra for 3.5 years in the early 2000’s.
As a consultant he has led over 40 ERP Selection and Implementation projects, working with all major ERP and CRM vendors including SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Infor, QAD, Epicor, IFS, Sage, and Consona. His ability to lead his clients through process change enabled by ERP systems is his strength. George has deep experience with both process and discrete clients and ERP projects.
George has his BBA from The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School. He is APICS certified, and taught classes and spoken at conferences and dinner meetings, on the topics of Business Process Improvement, ERP Selection and Implementation.