Cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among small businesses. Let’s get into the journey to understand how a cloud ERP can be the best choice for your small business.
But first, let us get a bit briefed about - Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system(s).
ERP systems are software platforms that help businesses manage and integrate different processes, such as accounting, human resources, and supply chain management.
Earlier, ERP systems were used by large organizations because of the higher costs and complexities involved with the then software development engines.
However, the rise of cloud computing has made it possible and easier for small businesses to reap the benefits of ERP systems for manufacturing as well.
Cloud ERP systems like Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing are hosted on remote servers (or private servers that cost a ton of money) and accessed via the internet. Thus, businesses don't need to worry about IT hardware, maintenance, and updates.
This makes it an attractive option for small businesses that unfortunately lack the resources to invest in an on-premises ERP system like Dynamics NAV 2018 or an affordable cloud ERP - Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Even so, the question remains, are cloud ERPs safe for SMBs? Let’s find out.
What is Cloud ERP?
Cloud-based ERP or a Cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a piece of software that enables an organization like yours to manage business processes.
It is a centralized system – meaning, a single source of truth for everyone in an organization. Such a platform includes different modules, ranging from financial management, supply chain management, and human resources to customer relationships (CRM).
For instance, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 - a suite of modern business management applications.
In a cloud-based ERP system, the software, and the data it manages are stored on servers that are owned and managed by the cloud solution provider (CSP).
The businesses that are using the cloud ERP system access it over the internet through a web browser like Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or any other chromium web browser.
Meaning, your employees do not have to worry about installing and maintaining the cloud ERP software and the associated hardware needed to run the ERP system.
How is the data safety for Cloud vs. On-Premises ERP Systems?
One advantage of cloud-based ERP systems is that the data is stored on servers that are managed by ERP providers like Dynamics Square. This means that the Cloud Solution Partner (CSP)/ERP provider handles keeping the security of the servers and the data stored on them.
Cloud-based ERP systems also often have built-in security measures, such as encryption and secure login protocols, to protect your precious data.
On the other hand, on-premises ERP systems store data on private servers (owned and managed by the organization). That is, the organization is responsible for maintaining the security of the servers and the data stored on them.
However, it can become more complex and may require more resources. But some organizations may prefer to have complete control over their data and the systems that stores the data.
Ultimately, the best choice for an organization will depend on its specific needs and resources. So, it is always recommended to carefully evaluate the security measures in place for both cloud-based and on-premises ERP systems.
Hence, choose the option that provides the best level of data safety for the organization.
Is my data safe on a Cloud ERP System?
Cloud-based ERP solutions can be a safe and secure option for small businesses for the following compelling reasons:
Extreme Data Security: Since cloud-based ERP solutions are hosted on servers in secure data centers across the globe. Your data is stored in a physically secure location where these data centers are located. Data centers have multiple layers of security, including physical security measures like biometric scanners and 24/7 surveillance, as well as electronic security measures like firewalls and encryption.
Robust Disaster Recovery: Cloud-based ERP solutions also offer built-in disaster recovery capabilities, which means that if there is a natural disaster or another event that disrupts your business, your data remains safe and recoverable. It is crucial for small businesses that sometimes lack the resources to invest in their disaster recovery solutions.
Top-notch Scalability: Cloud-based ERP solutions can also be more scalable than on-premises solutions, which means that you can easily add or remove users or features as your business grows or according to the evolving market changes. Or it can be useful for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to expand their reach among different markets around the world.
Reduced IT costs: With a cloud ERP solution, small businesses do not have to invest in expensive hardware or IT infrastructure. This can help businesses save money and allocate their resources elsewhere.
Flexibility: A cloud ERP solution can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, giving small businesses the flexibility to work from anywhere.
Accessibility: With cloud ERP, small businesses can access their ERP systems from anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially useful for businesses with remote employees or those that need to access their ERP systems on the go.
Integration: Cloud ERP systems can easily integrate with other applications and platforms, such as CRM and e-commerce systems. This can help small businesses streamline their operations and improve efficiency.
All-in-all, a cloud-based ERP solution is a safe and secure option for small businesses in 2023 and beyond, since they offer several benefits that help businesses run their operations more efficiently and effectively.
It’s now enough about what a cloud ERP is and how secure it can be. Let’s introduce ourselves to such a cloud ERP system which is employed by more than 4000+ enterprises in the USA. It is none other than the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
So, let’s see how it can help SMBs in 2023, and beyond.
How can Dynamics 365 Business Central help small businesses in 2023?
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is designed and developed by the tech giant, Microsoft to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their financials, operations, and customer relationships. Here are some ways in which Business Central can help small businesses in 2023:
Financial Management: Business Central offers a range of tools for managing financial operations, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash management. It also provides real-time visibility into financial performance, allowing small businesses to make informed decisions and stay on top of their finances.
Supply Chain Management: Dynamics 365 Business Central can help small businesses streamline their supply chain operations, including inventory management, purchasing, and sales. It also offers tools for tracking and analyzing supplier performance, helping small businesses identify areas for improvement.
Customer Relationship Management: Business Central includes tools for managing customer relationships, such as sales forecasting, customer segmentation, and marketing automation. It also provides a customer dashboard, giving small businesses a comprehensive view of their customer interactions, and helps your sales team orchestrate their journey towards what customers are looking for.
Business Intelligence: Built-in business intelligence and analytics tools in Business Central help small businesses gain insights into their operations and make informed decisions. It also offers integration with other Microsoft applications, such as Excel and Microsoft Power BI, making it easy to analyze data, create reports, and seamlessly share among different departments of your organization.
In summary, Dynamics 365 Business Central is a sure help for small businesses in 2023. Because it provides a range of tools for managing financials, operations, and customer relationships, as well as business intelligence and analytics capabilities.
So, now arises a question – how to implement a cloud ERP system like Business Central?
How to Implement Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central involves the following steps:
Plan the implementation: This includes identifying the business goals and objectives for the ERP system, as well as determining the scope and timeline for the implementation.
Set up the system: This involves configuring the system to meet the specific needs of the business, including setting up financials, supply chain management, and customer relationship management modules.
Import data: Business Central allows you to import data from other systems, such as accounting software and customer relationship management systems. This can save time and ensure that the ERP system has accurate and up-to-date information.
Train users: It's important to ensure that users understand how to use the system and are trained on any new processes or procedures that are introduced as part of the implementation.
Go live: Once the system is set up and users are trained, the ERP system can be rolled out to the entire organization. It's a good idea to have a plan in place for addressing any issues that may arise during this process.
Monitor and review: It's important to regularly monitor the system to ensure that it's meeting the needs of the business and to identify any areas for improvement.
Overall, implementing Dynamics 365 Business Central requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a smooth transition and successful adoption of the system. It may be helpful to work with a partner or consultant who has experience implementing ERP systems.
Also, read: How to implement Dynamics 365 Business Central? – By Dynamics Square
Well! Even if implementing the cloud ERP may so compelling but there can be numerous reasons or circumstances that make you get confused whenever you try deciding about upgrading your legacy system like Dynamics NAV.
No need to worry. I’ve made it simple for you in the below subheads of this blog.
Is upgrading Dynamics NAV to Business Central a wise choice?
Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central can be a wise choice for businesses that want to take advantage of the latest features and capabilities offered by the newer ERP system.
The benefits of upgrading to Business Central include:
Improved financial management: As compared to NAV, Business Central includes advanced financial management features, such as real-time financial reporting and budget planning, which can help businesses make more informed decisions.
Enhanced supply chain management: Business Central offers tools for managing inventory, purchasing, and sales, as well as analyzing supplier performance.
Better customer relationship management: Against NAV, Business Central includes features for managing customer interactions, such as sales forecasting and marketing automation.
Increased business intelligence: Business Central includes a range of business intelligence and analytics tools that can help businesses gain insights into their operations and make informed decisions.
Overall, upgrading to Business Central can provide businesses with a more powerful and comprehensive ERP solution that can help them streamline their operations and improve efficiency. However, it's important to carefully consider the costs and resources required for the upgrade, as well as the potential impact on current business processes. It may be helpful to work with a partner or consultant who has experience upgrading to Business Central.
What if I do not want to upgrade NAV to Business Central?
First. It’s natural or obvious to ask. So, if you do not want to upgrade to Business Central, you can continue using your current version of NAV for as long as you like.
However, it is worth considering that Microsoft will eventually stop supporting older versions of NAV, at which point you will no longer receive updates or technical support for the software.
Below is the table that shows when your Dynamics NAV will stop getting support:
|Dynamics NAV 2009 R2
|Dynamics NAV 2013
|Dynamics NAV 2013 R2
|Dynamics NAV 2015
|Dynamics NAV 2016
|Dynamics NAV 2017
|Dynamics NAV 2018
Additionally, newer versions of NAV and Business Central include various new features and improvements that could potentially help your business.
If you have specific concerns about upgrading, it might be helpful to speak with a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner or a Business Central consultant like Dynamics Square to get a better understanding of the potential benefits and drawbacks of upgrading.
So, if you’re ready to implement Business Central or upgrade your Dynamics NAV, contact us right away to inform us of the latest offers and additional implementation perks.
What is the Subscription Model for a Cloud ERP Solution?
Cloud ERP systems are mostly subscription-based with a monthly or annual fee to use the software – popularly known as the Pay-as-you-Go model. They can be a good choice for enterprises that want to outsource the management and maintenance of their ERP system to a solution provider, or for organizations that do not have the resources to support and maintain an on-premises ERP system.
For example, the Dynamics 365 Business Central, which is being leveraged by more than 4000 SMBs, has the following subscription details:
Business Central Essentials (Full User) costs $70 Per-User/Per Month, which includes Financial Management, Inventory Management, Order Management, Purchase Order Management, Project Management, and Additional Capabilities.
Similarly, the Business Central Premium (Full User) costs $100 Per-User/Per Month, and Business Central Team Members (Additional User) $8 Per-User/Per Month.
Note: If you want to explore more about it, follow the link: Pricing and Licensing for Dynamics 365 Business Central.
In conclusion, a cloud ERP solution is a safe and cost-effective choice for small businesses in 2023. It offers enhanced security, improved data recovery, scalability, reduced IT costs, and flexibility, making it an asset for small businesses looking to optimize their operations.