Cloud-based computing (also called Software as a Service, or SaaS) allows users access to software applications that run on shared computing resources (for example, processing power, memory, and disk storage) via the Internet. These computing resources are maintained in remote data centers dedicated to hosting various applications on multiple platforms.
Cloud ERP is Software as a Service that allows users to access Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software over the Internet. Cloud ERP generally has much lower upfront costs, because computing resources are leased by the month rather than purchased outright and maintained on premises. Cloud ERP also gives companies access to their business-critical applications at any time from any location.
While technically the only difference between Cloud ERP and on-premises ERP is where the software is physically located, there are other significant differences. Here we explain some of the key characteristics and advantages of Cloud ERP software.
The Cloud is particularly valuable to small and medium-size businesses (SMB’s) because it provides access to full-function applications at a reasonable price without a substantial upfront expenditure for hardware and software. Using the right cloud provider, a company can rapidly scale their business productivity software as their business grows or a new company is added.
Avoids upfront costs for all computing infrastructure such as hardware and data servers
Reduces IT support services because IT support is provided by the data centre
Eliminates paying upfront for application software licenses in favour of a monthly fee
Shrinks the cost of maintaining and supporting those applications since the cloud vendor handles the updates and upgrades
Paying only for the computing resources needed
A fixed monthly rate so companies can use their cash on other business initiatives
Taking advantage of Cloud ERP applications faster since installation of hardware and software on servers or user devices is not required
The ability to adjust the amount of cloud service as a company’s computing or storage needs fluctuate
Enjoying the confidence that the data has been backed up and there is a disaster recovery plan
Avoiding attacks on the company’s server because the data in not stored locally, but in the cloud
Accessing the system from anywhere makes it easy for a company to expand geographically since the Internet is everywhere and there is no need to implement hardware and software at remote locations.
At its most basic, cloud computing is all about renting processing resources and storage rather than buying and maintaining them in-house (on premises). It may come as a surprise to some, but this is not a new concept. In the 1970’s, service firms used large mainframes to run applications and provide data storage for other companies that would rent those computer resources and storage space. This was called “time-sharing”.
Time-sharing was expensive and fell out of favor once the price of computers dropped and companies could afford to buy and maintain their own systems. For the last few decades, companies have been buying, installing and maintaining their hardware and software in their own facilities.
Fortunately, new technologies have been introduced, such as widespread Internet availability, low cost of mobile devices, expansion of computing power, and massive storage availability. Technology has improved to the point that very high functioning applications can safely and securely run remotely on computer hardware hosted remotely. This eliminates the need for individual companies to deal with hardware issues and allows their employees to work anywhere at any time.
Purchase (or Perpetual): These terms refer to when a company BUYS a software license. The company pays to owns the license and also pays an annual maintenance fee for upgrades.
Subscription: The company pays an annual or monthly charge to use the software license. Upgrades to the software is usually included in the subscription price.
On Premises (or In House): The company is responsible for the infrastructure (hardware, system software, communication hardware, software on user devices, etc.) and the deployment of the application software (implementation, support, upgrading, etc.)
Hosted: The company or hosting provider buys a license for the software. The hosting provider manages most, if not all, of the infrastructure and software deployment as described above. The hosting provider can be an independent company or a division of the company itself. Hosting is one way to outsource IT operations.
Software as a Service (SaaS): This method of deployment is a combined software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and hosted by the software provider, all for a single price that is typically a fixed amount. In many cases the software provider uses a Public Cloud for the hosting
Private cloud is privately owned and maintained by the company or a hosting provider. Based on business requirements or regulations, sometimes this may be the only option.
Public cloud is owned by a service company, such as Microsoft, IBM or Amazon. The service provides all the hardware, load balancing, backup and security
Hybrid cloud is a blended approach with a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services.
A Thin Client, in cloud terms, is any device (PC, tablet or phone) that requires NO application or communication software to be downloaded. Any thin client can access the application from anywhere, similar to a web page.
Web Services are simply application components. They are designed for and used on the Web. Common examples are apps on a mobile phone, such a weather app. Business applications may include zip code look up, GST calculation, or much more sophisticated applications.
Note: Applex can run either as multi-tenant or single-tenant, be deployed in the cloud or on premises, and can be licensed either by subscription or purchase, depending on each customer’s needs.
Applex Cloud ERP is a flexible and cost-effective option for small and medium-sized businesses.
It is designed to respond to and overcome the inflexibility of many existing ERP solutions. This is done by allowing CHOICE of: