Choosing between cloud based ERP providers

Posted by WinMan on 14 Apr


When you've decided to implement an ERP solution into your business, it will provide many benefits to look forward too. To make sure you can enjoy them, however, you must vet the many different ERP vendors available to ensure you get the best possible product and implementation for your needs.

The first important step

Before comparing cloud-based ERP providers, you need to set out your requirements and how you envision your implementation. ERP software has many different functions and applications, including financial management, human resources, purchasing, supply chain management, customer relations management, inventory management, and so much more.

Not every business will require all of those features, so you will need to decide what you're going to use your ERP suite to achieve.

Vet your prospective providers

With a working understanding of what you want your ERP system to achieve, you can begin thinking about who you're going to work with. Draw up a list of qualities you're looking for in an ideal partnership candidate. Here are some things to consider -

  • Scalability - Can your partner provide you with the scope to broaden your usage requirements in line with developing business conditions?
  • Integration - Have you got existing business software that you'd like to work alongside your new ERP software? Check compatibility. Or can the new ERP replace the current software, so you do not need the integration?
  • Accessibility - Will the ERP system have mobile accessibility options to allow for remote access? Is this something you need or want?
  • Customisation - Is ongoing customisation something you'll require? Should your software implementation have scope for custom add-ons?
  • Usability - Should your vendor offer training options? Or are you confident in training your staff in the new system's usage in-house?
  • Support - Are you going to need ongoing support and maintenance assistance with the system? Can your vendor offer distance support options?

Thinking about your budget

The next thing to consider is your available budget, and this is where cloud ERP providers can offer a compelling proposition, as it has a different pricing structure compared to on-premise solutions. Cloud-based providers can generally offer lower initial costs than those requiring a physical installation. As there will not be a need for separate infrastructure investment - the server cost will be included in the monthly cloud costs.

You will, however, need to make sure that you have a stable enough internet connection with an appropriate level of bandwidth, to deal with users working in the cloud simultaneously. Many business internet providers will be able to assist directly in ensuring a cloud ERP appropriate connection.

Questions to ask your vendor 

Here are some key questions you should ask your vendor during the vetting process.

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Have they any industry-specific experience?
  • Are they the product developers or simply resellers?
  • Is their support network robust enough?
  • Will there be training options for new users?
  • How often are there product updates?
  • Does the product have a well-mapped future?
  • Are references available from other clients?
  • Do they offer any unique selling points?

Finding your perfect cloud-based ERP provider isn't easy, but following the above tips, you will be able to narrow down your shortlist. It's worth being discerning from the outset, and not committing until you're confident in the quality of a chosen provider.

>> Learn more about WinMan Cloud ERP Solution

Topics: ERP Software, Business Management Software, Business Efficiency, Productivity, Cloud ERP

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