Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions enable organizations to centralize business processes into one interface. Organizations leverage ERP to automate business tasks and quickly reach their objectives.
ERP software provides key functionalities, such as inventory management, invoicing and payment capabilities, customer and sales management, as well as accounting and finance modules. When ERP is hosted in the cloud, organizations gain additional benefits, including scalability, affordability, flexibility, and reliability.
In this article, you will learn:
What is Cloud ERP software?
Components of cloud ERP software
Top factors driving cloud ERP success
Top cloud ERP solutions
What Is Cloud ERP Software?
Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are a set of software solutions that are hosted and operated in the cloud. This is in contrast to traditional ERP solutions that are hosted on-premises. Cloud ERP solutions can be software as a service (SaaS) solutions or third-party products that are hosted. The first cloud ERP system was created in 1998, originally called NetLedger and then NetSuite.
ERP solutions are modular software systems that organizations can use to integrate business processes into a unified system. These solutions enable businesses to perform and automate a variety of tasks, including business analysis, accounting, and inventory management.
Components of Cloud ERP Software
Cloud-based ERP software relies on a shared database and a variety of different engines and integrations, depending on the needs of the customer. These systems are connected to an organization's resources, enabling the ERP solution to ingest data and perform tasks. To access the ERP solution, users typically sign into a portal that is made available on the web.
While the functional components of a cloud ERP solution may differ, there are several standard components that any solution should offer. These include modules for:
a) Inventory management—enables you to track, price, and order inventory items or supplies. These modules should include features that enable management in batches or lots.
b) Invoicing and payments—enables you to create, send, and follow up on invoices and payments.
c) Customer management—enables you to centralize your customer relationship data. You can use these modules to manage customer contacts, analyze spending, or log communications.
d) Sales management—including order and return management. This module enables you to track customer purchases and process returns.
e) Accounting and finance—enable you to automate the management of customer accounts, expenses, and bookkeeping tasks.
Top Factors Driving Cloud ERP Success
Many organizations currently rely on traditional ERP solutions. However, migrating to cloud solutions is gaining in popularity as organizations look to upgrade their operations. Below are some of the top factors driving these upgrade decisions.
1. Scalability and affordability—traditional, on-premises solutions are expensive to implement and require significant infrastructure investments. As organizations grow, new servers must be purchased, configured, and maintained. In contrast, cloud ERPs are often much faster to deploy, do not require upfront hardware investments, and can freely scale as your business grows.
2. Real-time production and process monitoring—cloud solutions are closer to the source of streaming data, reducing bandwidth requirements, and latency. Since much of this data is collected from Internet-facing devices, ERP solutions eliminate the need to transfer data on-premises before processing. This means monitoring and alerting can be performed in real or near real-time.
3. Flexibility and reliability—cloud ERP solutions can better support distributed workforces. These solutions can be accessed from nearly anywhere in the world, providing the same functionality to teams regardless of location. Additionally, data and services are cloud-hosted, with service level agreements for availability. You can also more easily eliminate single points of failure and create failovers for disaster recovery.
Top Cloud ERP Solutions
Also, cloud ERP solutions grow in demand, the number of providers, and the maturity of solutions is increasing. This means more choices for you but also requires you to evaluate solutions more carefully. Below are some of the top solutions to consider.
Odoo Online is an Odoo SaaS platform based in the cloud system. Odoo SaaS helps the users to run your software as a service business in Odoo. Create, Manage, and Provide Odoo Saas services to your customers and clients via a streamlined subscription-based model. Acts as a time saver in writing code for your software and can be used as a ready to use SaaS provider.
Additionally allows the users to create SaaS that can manage the hardware and software and with the regular service agreement, provide the additional security of data and servers.
Infor CloudSuite Industrial
CloudSuite Industrial is an ERP system designed for end-to-end visibility of supply chain operations. You can deploy it on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid solution. If you choose to deploy on the Infor cloud platform, your system is based on AWS resources. CloudSuite Industrial is also available as a SaaS with an option for managed services.
CloudSuite Industrial includes core ERP capabilities as well as advanced business intelligence and analytics services. It also comes with pre-configured data models, business processes, and manufacturing-specific training to help you quickly and easily implement your solution.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an ERP solution designed for international, multi-site enterprises. You can deploy this solution on-premises, or in the cloud as a Microsoft Azure application. For end-users, it supports access through Windows, Android, and iOS devices.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is designed as a set of applications that natively integrate core ERP services, including commerce, sales, operations, and service. To increase accessibility, the solution specializes in providing services for manufacturers, retailers, public sector organizations, and service industries.
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
EnterpriseOne is an ERP solution created by Oracle. You can deploy it on-premises or in the cloud. EnterpriseOne supports multiple platforms, including IBM OS/400, Oracle Linux, and Microsoft Windows. It also prioritizes applications for mobile computing, cloud computing, and the Internet of things (IoT).
EnterpriseOne includes over 80 application modules, including ones for asset lifecycle, manufacturing, order, and financial management. It also includes deployments tailored to specific industries, including service, distribution, manufacturing, and consumer goods.
SAP Business One
SAP Business One is an ERP solution based on SAP HANA that is designed specifically for small businesses. You can deploy it on-premises or in the cloud on an SAP-certified cloud partner. It is also available as a managed service, hosted in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. Business One supports a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, Solaris, and HP-UX.
Business one includes core ERP modules, including tools for sales and customer management, purchasing and inventory control, financial management, business intelligence, and analytics and reporting. It also includes industry-specific capabilities, including support for manufacturing, professional services, consumer products, retail, and wholesale distribution.
While cloud and on-premise ERP solutions often offer similar basic functionalities, there are certain advantages only cloud-based ERP provides. When ERP is hosted in the cloud, organizations can leverage the scalable nature of the cloud to easily make changes to their ERP. Something which is much more difficult to do with on-premise ERP.