29 Jul Questions to ask before purchasing Cloud ERP
If you are planning on purchasing cloud ERP anytime soon here are a few questions to ask about the software and vendor services to protect your company and improve your return on investment. This post focuses mainly on applications, but you can learn more about what to expect from a hosting provider and how to compare pricing and services for ERP hosting in another article we published here.
How hard or easy is the application to learn and use?
If a system is hard to learn, it doesn’t encourage adoption among employees. If a system is difficult to use it doesn’t inspire creativity. When learning curves go down, training costs go down and return on investment goes up.
Is the software solution you are considering simple and intuitive? Does it offer a role-specific interface, personalized tasks and reports, and easy to set up workflows.
Does the solution come with built-in productivity tools? Does it connect and integrate your finances, supply chain, and operations with the productivity tools in Microsoft Office using a single sign-on? When you simplify tasks and navigation in the system you increase efficiency.
Does the solution support the new technology and new ways of working?
These days, users expect that the software they use to be similar to the consumer products they use in their spare time while being accessible from any type of device, and always available. Does the solution you are considering offer access via the devices your team uses most, whether they’re in the office, at home, or working from a remote location?
Does the vendor offer deployment options that fit your business?
A cloud-based solution can eliminate large, upfront hardware investments and reduce staffing needs, while offering anytime anywhere access. This is a significant advantage but who knows what the future will hold? As you grow, go public or scale up your production, your needs might change. Does the cloud vendor you are considering offer the ability to move data on-premises in the future, with data ownership policies and easy portability that will allow you to keep your options open?
What is the vendor’s service model after the sale?
While many vendors offer competitive pricing on cloud services, you need more than just cloud infrastructure for your ERP system. Does your provider have an expertise in the software you are deploying with a background in both on-premises and cloud based implementations with a focus on security and compliance? Are software updates and service packs included in your monthly service subscription? Do they maintain strong relationships with ERP VARs and consultants to assure that you receive the support and service you need after the sale.
Does the vendor understand the needs of businesses large and small?
Ideally, when you deploy a business management system, you’ll achieve benefits that go beyond mere automation of manual processes. New business management software can help an organization:
- Increase sales with fewer sales discounts
- Improve sales-force efficacy and average order size
- Increase inventory turns while reducing stock-outs
- Reduce production costs
When purchasing cloud ERP you are choosing a solution that will be a vital part of your businesses operations for years to come. It isn’t enough to evaluate just the software, you also need to understand the vendors process and offerings to ensure that the system is deployed, configured and maintained in a way that will help you gain the most ROI possible from the system.
Check out this case study to see how one emergency services company stays compliant with cloud ERP: