The ManageForce Blog

How to Leverage an 18-Year Head Start with Your Cloud ERP Solution

Posted by John Hughes | 11/30/16 12:26 PM

Your business relies on ERP, and the future of ERP (and other enterprise applications) is in the cloud.  But navigating a path to the cloud can be tricky. These days, every technology vendor is a “cloud solutions provider” and every solution they offer is a “cloud solution,” even when it’s not. Case in point, Microsoft Dynamics 365. Announced a few months ago, Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s answer to NetSuite, Workday, and other cloud-native enterprise applications.

And therein lies the rub. Dynamics 365 ties together Microsoft’s existing ERP, CRM, and other business solutions with a “cloud” bow. In reality, Microsoft is “cloud enabling” fifteen plus years of pre-cloud software development and acquisitions and selling it with a “cloud” label.

With such deep roots in on-premise software, it’s no surprise that the actual implementation of Dynamics 365 is not as turnkey as one might expect from a cloud solution. Existing customers need to undergo a complex ERP migration from the current on-premise offering to the new cloud-enabled Dynamics 365 solution. Also, it will take years for Microsoft to make its full feature set available in the cloud. So don’t assume what you use on premise today will be waiting for you in the cloud.

We’ve been picking on Microsoft Dynamics 365, but the reality is that all legacy enterprise technology companies (including SAP, Infor and others) are playing serious catch-up when it comes to developing cloud-native applications. In fact, it’s a big driver for Oracle purchasing NetSuite — to get some true cloud cred and another path forward for its on-premise ERP customer base.

Head Starts Come From Experience

Customers have countless options when considering a new ERP system, but only a few that are truly cloud-native. And given the rapid pace at which the cloud applications market is growing, and the market having effectively established that cloud applications will displace the on-premise market, companies would be remiss if they did not pursue their evaluation with a “cloud-first” mentality.  

There is a unique competitive advantage to choosing a proven cloud market leader for your enterprise application needs that goes well beyond cost savings: EXPERIENCE. Being a leader in cloud ERP takes time. There are no shortcuts, but the payout for companies using their services are many:

Deep Innovation: To put that into more practical terms, true market leaders like NetSuite have the broadest base of functional modules by far. That means going well beyond finance and HR (the “classic” 2 first modules for any ERP) to include the likes of order management, inventory, ecommerce, CRM, asset management, etc.

Field Tested/Reliability: While new offerings like Dynamics 365 may technically have the functionality of more established platforms. It takes a lot of time and a lot of user feedback to “smoke out” issues to give features depth and reliability.

Customer Successes/ Proven Case Studies: Cloud ERP service providers with a longer record of successful deployments also have more resources available to help you understand their offerings and more managed service providers well-versed and ready to help you truly optimize your investment.

Identifying the Market Leaders: NetSuite was founded 18 years ago. It is a pioneer in building a truly cloud-architected ERP system (way back in 1998), and has strong, time-tested solutions for CRM, finance/accounting, wholesale distribution, manufacturing, and more. And when they say they’re “The World’s #1 Cloud Business Management Software Suite,” they have nearly two decades of experience to back that up.

Likewise, Workday was founded more than a decade ago and today is the industry leading provider of cloud based HR solutions. Both solution sets are robust and proven - with NetSuite boasting 30,000+ deployments, and Workday having earned many dozens of the world’s largest corporations as customers (along with 100s of other midsized organizations).

Can Microsoft Dynamics 365 or other legacy enterprise technology companies make the same claims?  And how long will it take these newer cloud solutions to reach feature parity, predictably smooth customer implementations, and readily available resources in the market with the expertise to help you support your new system?

Charting Your Course

So as you evaluate your path to the cloud, you have a choice to make: do you make the laborious and uncharted transition to the cloud with a new-to-market solution like Dynamics 365, or do you choose to use to your advantage the market-leading option with an 18-year head start?

As a NetSuite managed service provider with one of the most committed relationships with NetSuite, ManageForce can help you get an 18-year headstart on your organization’s journey to the cloud. Learn more about how we can help here: Contact ManageForce

And learn more about the benefits of switching to NetSuite in this complimentary white paper: "Why Customers Are Switching from Microsoft Dynamics GP to the Cloud to Drive Growth"

New Call-to-action

Topics: Cloud Strategy, Cloud, ERP

Written by John Hughes


Recent Posts