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Cloud ERP Technology: What is it and what are the benefits?

Cloud ERP is the most advanced ERP technology because it is capable of delivering the same experience as on-premise ERP, but it doesn’t have the physical location requirements. A company’s ERP software and associated data are managed centrally via the cloud (the internet) and can be easily accessed by employees and other relevant parties such as supply chain partners.

Financials, inventory management, warehouse management, ecommerce, and all other critical business processes can be managed and updated in real-time from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. True cloud ERP providers host and maintain all IT infrastructure, ensure system uptime and data security, and oversee the rollout of product enhancements. NetSuite does all of this, and it guarantees upgrades carry forward without breaking previously implemented customizations, integrations, and plugins.

Compared to on-premise ERP alternatives, cloud ERPs like NetSuite also have an edge in speed, availability, and total cost of ownership. More on this in the sections below.

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On-Premise ERP Technology: An Outdated & Flawed Solution

On-premise ERP solutions were the go-to standard for many industries before cloud technology emerged, and cloud ERP became a viable alternative.

What is On-Premise ERP?

On-premise ERP software is installed locally inside a company’s physical hardware and servers at specific locations. It is then managed directly by that company’s IT staff, and the ERP can only be accessed by individuals who are physically on the premises where the hardware and servers are located.

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Upgrade Challenges

Upgrades are completely manual and often require redeploying the system across individual machines. Re-implementing the customizations and integrations installed on the existing system are also standard practices. This process can be costly and time-consuming, and manual upgrade activities can also result in human error.

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Single-Tenant Architecture Limits Visibility and Creates Silos

As a single-tenant solution, this means there is only one instance of the software and infrastructure that serve a single customer. An independent database and closed system may sound good, but this can result in version lock, data and communication silos, security vulnerabilities, and much more.

End-to-end visibility with real-time data across an entire business is nearly impossible with an on-premise ERP solution. Incompatibility issues are common with closed systems, so overcoming these barriers requires middleware development or manual data import/export activities. In turn, middleware and manual processes can result in input errors, code breaks due to lapses in middleware management, and redundancies, to name a few common challenges.

Lack of Remote Accessibility

Overall company growth, and talent sourcing efforts, can be impacted because teams need to be physically located onsite the ERP to leverage the technology. This location requirement can limit growth potential and leave companies less adaptable to different circumstances that prevent employees from being onsite.

Physical Maintenance and Storage

On-premise ERP customers must allocate resources and budget to the physical maintenance and storage of the hardware. This means replacing and maintaining servers, organizing cables (and possible server spaghetti), configuring hardwired onsite systems, renting dedicated server space, and more.

Hybrid or Hosted ERP Solutions

Some ERP vendors offer hybrid or hosted cloud solutions that combine an on-premise ERP with cloud-based technology. These are also single-tenant solutions that rely heavily on IT resources, so version locks can occur during upgrades, and data synchronization errors can occur during regular maintenance or upgrades. By comparison, NetSuite’s ERP was born in the cloud, making it a true cloud ERP solution.

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IT ChallengesNetSuite’s True
Cloud ERP
On-Premise ERP Solution
Hardware and storage costsZeroNo. Requires servers and/or data centers.
Costly IT maintenance requirements and upgradesNoYes. Requires onsite IT technician/s.
Seamless upgrades that carry customizations and integrations forwardYesNo. Closed ecosystems can cause version lock and unexpected expenses.
Always-on with global accessibility from anywhere with an internet connectionYesNo. Must be accessed onsite or leverage a dedicated VPN.
Fast and cost-effective implementationsYes, and most last less than 100 daysNo. Slower and costlier process due to onsite requirements & customizations.
Built-in configuration tools with unprecedented flexibility and customizationYesNo. Separate configuration tools required and middleware needed to support continued customization.

Why choose NetSuite’s True Cloud ERP?

NetSuite is a true cloud ERP trusted by more than 20,000 customers in over 200 countries and territories. It has a multi-tenant architecture, consisting of a single instance of the software so all NetSuite customers are on the same and latest version. Here are several of the many benefits of leveraging NetSuite’s true cloud ERP.

Seamless Upgrades

Upgrades with NetSuite are streamlined and seamless because all NetSuite customers share the same infrastructure, and everything lives in the cloud. The twice-annual upgrades are managed entirely by NetSuite and its customers receive access to a pre-release version of each upgrade. This advanced access helps customers familiarize themselves with changes before their systems are upgraded.

Arguably most important, all NetSuite upgrades and enhancements are rolled out without breaking existing customizations or integrations. Everything is carried forward to the newest release without the need for middleware or additional IT maintenance.

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Global Accessibility and Zero Maintenance or Storage Costs

As a cloud-based technology, NetSuite provides customers with on-the-go access via web browsers and internet-connected devices. NetSuite can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, which empowers companies to leverage remote workforces and supports greater adaptability compared to on-premise ERP customers.

Additionally, no hardware or IT maintenance is required because everything is managed in the cloud by NetSuite, and customers experience 99.99% uptime.

System-Wide Real-Time Visibility

NetSuite provides unparalleled visibility and absolute control over your entire business. Customers can quickly alternate between micro and macro views with real-time customizable dashboards, easy intuitive reporting tools, and comprehensive analysis capabilities. Instantly drill into individual transactions or view the performance of your entire supply chain performance in just a few clicks.

Unprecedented Scalability

NetSuite is a fully-integrated solution with a modular design so customers can quickly leverage the necessary modules exactly when they are needed. It unifies ERP/financials, CRM, ecommerce, inventory, and more via a single system. NetSuite also offers industry-leading pre-configured bundles and customizable dashboards with extensive viewing options and user permissions management.

Scale up or down as needed while knowing that NetSuite has an existing solution, or it can quickly integrate with a solution that will help your company succeed. (See how NetSuite compares to SAP Business One or Acumatica.)

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Industries Our Team Serves
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What Differentiates SuiteCentric
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