Small Business ERP Implementation Projects – Is the cloud the best bet for me?

By Brad Tornberg

Everyone today feels the cloud is the way to go. It’s the greatest love of the technologists and developers. No systems overhead, no IT issues, no problems! Picture the blue water and the little island paradise with just a row boat on it. It’s as real as that – but not really.

Sure you have no on site network or hardware to deal with but you also give up a little bit and even a little more if you are a manufacturer.

First, ERP is an application that requires expertise in terms of support and in terms of implementation. Most hosting companies are interested in the transaction and not necessarily how you use the connection as long as you are paying for it. Buyer beware, technical support may not be an offering for your application you may still need it though the vendor.

Service interruption while not common is another issue. You are only as strong as your weakest link and your internet connection becomes that link. Are you willing to bet on it? Good question to ask. Sure you can buy redundancy but now all of a sudden the costs start to creep up and oh yeah by the way they occur every month as long as you want to use their system. At some point there is a cross over where the cloud loses its cost advantages so make sure you are aware of this. Make sure they have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that guarantees uptime and availability

Control and Flexibility is important to me as a small business owner. I like to work with my data and use it in many different ways and applications. I sometimes like to just add things and then remove them and having someone else manage this slows me down. Another problem is being reliant on the vendor for changes to your environment.

The biggest challenge I see at least for the short term is the lack of built out functionality in the “cloud” applications. Traditional on premise solutions have been around for 20 – 30 years and have a head start in terms of features and functions so make sure the functions that are needed for your business are actually present in the cloud solution. Many times I have seen some basic functions missing from the new cloud based applications.

The cloud makes sense if you can’t support it internally, have limited funds for the project startup (remember at some point you may be paying more over a longer period of time hence there is a crossover point that you should always be aware of), are concerned about your data or just don’t have the time or wherewithal to deal with it.

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About e3consulting

Welcome to E3 Consulting. As proven experts implementing the latest CRM, ERP and Accounting Software in the Manufacturing and Distribution industries, we have made it the goal of our business to help our clients obtain the bottom line results their individual companies require. Educate, Enable and Empower For companies in the manufacturing and distribution industries, the ability to simplify their business operations is vital to their ability to succeed. E3 Consulting will provide the consultation; technology and the project management tools that companies need to improve their business processes and their bottom line. What We Do Does your company need a revamp of existing business systems? Do you have a technology project that is going beyond time and over budget? Are your costs out of control and productivity lagging? When you contact E3 Consulting, we take a hard look at the reality of your business operations and break it out into segments, to find out which aspects of your business process workflow need attention and which are working as they should be. It is our intent to look at your operations, your accounting, your workflow and your technology and create a cohesive plan that will have your business running effectively and efficiently. Our Process Every company runs differently, and it is those processes specific to your business combined with your workflow goals that give the staff at E3 Consulting the canvas we need to use our long history of business development, project management and technology to map out the path your company needs to follow to improve your bottom line. Think of your business like a lego block structure. Each block that is missing reduces the stability of your company. We can look at your overall operations and use our knowledge of the marketplace cutting-edge technologies to find the blocks that are missing from your overall business concept. We will introduce the right technology tools to improve your operations, and then continue in a project management position as necessary to ensure ongoing smooth operations. Our Experience E3 Consulting has a long and successful history of project management, business operations consultation and technology implementation and management within Manufacturing, Distribution, Service, Healthcare, Finance and Accounting businesses. Principal, Brad Tornberg, is a successful technical and business expert with an MBA in Finance from Farleigh Dickinson University and. He holds Microsoft Certifications for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) sales, implementation and training. He also has a series 6 and series 66 securities license and a New Jersey Life and Health License. He is well published having written many articles for The Practica
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