When we realized that the top search results page on our website is What is Cloud ERP? it got us thinking: What questions are people asking about Cloud ERP Software? In Part 1 of this series we addressed the first three misconceptions about ERP Software.
Today, we're looking at two more:
Once ERP is implemented, you're done
Business is dynamic, not static; especially in today's rapidly changing, global economy. As new market conditions and competitive threats arise, the software managing internal and customer-facing processes must adapt. Flexibility to provide new ERP functionality or connectivity with new technologies is becoming more critical to maintaining current operations or expansion.
Everyone has experience with software upgrades that tank productivity for a day or two. A big advantage of Cloud ERP software is that it can be upgraded with less impact on the workday. This starts all the way at the bottom layer on the software stack; you never have to upgrade our Operating System again, your Database again, etc. There will be major upgrades of the core ERP software, and yes, you need to plan for that. Planned maintenance in any software system is inevitable, and simply needs to be managed and the time and resources budgeted and scheduled.
Live upgrades are now, indeed, business as usual; but that doesn't mean upgrade processes are all the same. It's worth looking into the release support plan of your ERP provider. At Acumatica, we offer mainstream support for the current and previous major release of the product. Each time a new version is released, we begin supporting that version and end mainstream support of the third most recent version 6 months after general availability of the new version. The following products are currently under mainstream support.
|Product||Release Date||Mainstream Support End Date|
|Acumatica 3||2012-03-22||(6 months after version 5.0 is released)|
|Acumatica 4||2013-03-05||(6 months after version 6.0 is released)|
All ERP Vendors are largely the same
This is perhaps the greatest misconception, and potentially the most dangerous to SMBs who are looking to implement their first ERP solution. Cloud ERP software can transform a small business and provide new opportunities to compete and grow; but these opportunities must be chosen wisely.
ERP solutions vary in terms of functionality. Some vendor products support manufacturing operations; others do not. There are vendor ERP suites which provide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) modules, while other vendors do not. Multi-site and multi-currency functionality is an integral part of some ERP solutions, yet missing or inadequate in others.
In terms of underlying technology platforms, some ERP vendors' product offerings are basically their old, on-premise software that is ‘adapted' to be cloud-friendly (called ‘cloud-washing’), while the ERP solutions from newer vendors have been built for a cloud deployment from the ground up. The underlying technology platform can might be a critical factor in the selection of a deployment configuration, or some businesses might be more concerned with the system's ability to interface with add-on software modules, mobile platforms, or social media.
Finally, the selection of an ERP vendor really has to be approached as a long term relationship. The long-term vision and financial stability of a potential vendor are important criteria and need careful evaluation.
Overcoming these misconceptions regarding ERP systems and exercising proper due diligence in vendor selection can help a company transition through the decision process to land on a solid footing for investing in the right ERP to help keep business growing well.
Now, we're not saying we're the right solution for everyone. But we did ask our customers why they chose Acumatica's Cloud ERP Software over other solutions. So we'll just let their answers speak for us.
Did we miss any common misunderstandings about Cloud ERP or Cloud Accounting Software? Weigh in with a comment, and if you’re curious to find out more about Acumatica, be sure to watch our video demo.
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