What Makes the Cloud a Fit for SMBs?
The dawn of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software marked an exciting time—for big businesses. ERP software went beyond material requirements planning (MRP) functionality to help organizations manage finances, deliveries and other back-office responsibilities. This gave users a comprehensive view of operations and drove efficiency. But these benefits were off limits to small manufacturers and distributors who couldn’t afford the steep price of early ERP solutions.
Fortunately, those days are gone. Cloud computing has become the great equalizer for enterprise technology, making software applications such as ERP simple and affordable for businesses of all sizes. Now, advanced software capabilities are available for everyone, from startups to global powerhouses. We explain what makes cloud ERP a great fit for SMBs looking for an accessible solution to grow their enterprise.
Say Goodbye to Traditional ERP Challenges
Before the cloud, the only option was to implement an on-premises ERP solution. That means the business using the software was responsible for the servers, hardware, security and maintenance of the system. This work is expensive and difficult even for large enterprises to take on alone—for small manufacturers and distributors, it’s impossible. Take a look at some of the ways cloud computing eradicates the challenges of traditional, on-premises ERP.
- Easier Implementation and Management: With cloud ERP, you don’t have to worry about implementing hardware and servers. This takes a lot of stress off your IT team. Your cloud provider will offer the server space, maintenance and upgrade support, so you can focus on strengthening your bottom line. Microsoft Azure, the leading public cloud platform, also provides common startup scenarios to assist businesses in getting their solution off the ground. Cloud ERP will speed up your implementation and simplify upkeep, maximizing your ROI without hassle.
- Cost Reduction: In addition to being complicated, hardware and servers are expensive. You don’t have to worry about the cost of acquiring and maintaining servers and hardware when you deploy ERP in the cloud. All you have to do is pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee, which covers maintenance, upgrades and server space. Azure also offers on-demand pricing, so you only pay for what you use. According to Panorama, 56% of businesses with ERP enjoyed implementation cost savings of at least 20% when they hosted their solution in the cloud. The cloud’s lower TCO makes ERP accessible for SMBs.
- Simplified Security: Sudden downtime or a system breach can have a major impact on your business. With an on-premises solution, your business is tasked with keeping everything secure and up and running. Cloud providers alleviate some of this stress. Experts follow stringent security standards to ensure your sensitive data is protected. Azure includes multiple services to safeguard your solution, including 99.95% SLA, built-in disaster recovery and 24/7 global support. The cloud simplifies your security efforts to keep your software investment safe.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Small businesses undergo fast changes, and on-premises software just can’t keep up. The cloud gives you the flexibility and scalability to grow sustainably. Cloud computing makes it easy to extend your ERP functionality and visibility across multiple sites and new users. It also simplifies integrations and customizations, so you can modify your software to accommodate business growth.
Say Hello to Digital Transformation
The cloud ERP puts advanced ERP functions within your reach, no matter the size of your business. Furthermore, cloud computing powers some of the most important innovations in enterprise technology. That makes digital transformation achievable for small manufacturers and distributors. Check out some of the ways that cloud ERP can elevate your business performance with cutting-edge capabilities.
- Greater Speed: ERP software enables workflow automation, so you can streamline processes, reduce manual tasks and speed up your performance. For example, ERP can automate pricing, quoting and customer approvals to reduce order cycle times and increase accuracy. A robust cloud solution will ensure that data is synced and updated in real time to keep your operations moving. Microsoft Azure consists of more data centers and servers than any other provider, allowing for consistently fast processing.
- Mobile Access: Deploying your ERP in the cloud makes information accessible across your mobile devices. That means users can maintain productivity no matter where they’re doing business, accessing critical data and executing tasks at any location with an internet connection. When a user visits a customer site, they can answer any question on the spot, helping you close deals and increase retention rates. This also helps you create a more modern work environment by enabling you to give employees the flexibility to work remote.
- Internet of Things: Using cloud computing to capitalize on IoT technology, you can form a more connected enterprise. Sensors in your equipment and products transmit information through the cloud directly into your ERP solution, giving you instant access to RPM, temperatures and other critical performance metrics. The latest version of Epicor ERP 10 leverages Microsoft Azure to capitalize on IoT technology and help you improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
- Deeper Insights: Big data and advanced analytics are no longer the exclusive property of giant corporations. The cloud opens up a wealth of insights by making business intelligence (BI), artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics and more available across your entire enterprise. With cloud ERP, deep insights can be accessed throughout all your platforms and locations to enhance visibility and improve decision making.
Cutting-edge tools that were once solely available to big manufacturers and distributors are now within the reach of small and midsize businesses, thanks to the cloud. When you host Epicor ERP in Microsoft Azure, you can leverage the strongest ERP solution and the most reliable public cloud provider to manage your operations. Cloud ERP sets the foundation for business growth.
Let the certified consultants at Datix help you expand your enterprise. We’re an Epicor Gold Partner that has been providing ERP solutions and services for over 20 years. That makes us among the elite in Epicor consulting. Additionally, we specialize in Microsoft Azure cloud hosting. Our experts will fully manage your cloud solution, so it stays up and running to add value to your business.
With cloud ERP, your company has no limits. Contact Datix today to learn more about Epicor ERP and Microsoft Azure!