Cloud/SaaS is the Perfect Solution for the Small-Medium Manufacturer
Many manufacturing Leaders are continuing to evaluate the need for an ERP Cloud. They are unaware of the significant reduction in CapEX and OpEx, the increased ROI that comes with benefit of the Total Cost of Ownership.
Additionally, other significant advantages of ERP Cloud/SaaS will Help the Small and Medium Manufacturers achieve world class benefits.
AT A GLANCE
- This paper describes how cloud, or Software as a Service (SaaS), ERP systems help manufacturers operate more efficiently and profitably.
- Cloud/SaaS solutions are maintained off-premises, providing real-time, anytime access to data.
- Cloud/SaaS eliminates the burden of internal maintenance and associated costs.
CLOUD/SaaS FOR THE SMALL -MEDIUM MANUFACTURER
As small -medium manufacturers attempt to operate as efficiently as possible, many have found their management systems are neither lean nor able to link locations and operations in real time.
In the past, they have had only two options. First, they could live with systems or a patchwork of systems that do not meet current needs. Or, second, they would have to make large investments in IT personnel, computer and network storage upgrades and expensive software until the next upgrade came along.
Most companies would rather not continue indefinitely diverting resources into software systems or adding costly IT resources.
That’s why ERP systems that use a cloud, or Software as a Service (SaaS), delivery model are great choices. The cloud solution providers handle the maintenance and management of data off-premises. Employees can access real-time data anytime, from anywhere, using a simple Internet connection.
Fast becoming the preferred delivery model for companies in many manufacturing industries, the cloud model is rapidly being adopted by leaders in all industries.
Simply stated, cloud and SaaS are interchangeable terms for an application delivery model in which the user accesses software over the Internet. That is why this model is also referred to as “on-demand.”
Management and maintenance of the system that serves the software is outside the responsibility of the user — one less burden for the manufacturer.
Cloud solutions are available via subscription-based pricing, rather than the “perpetual license” that usually accompanies client/server software.
In true cloud applications, all users run off a robust infrastructure and a single instance of the software. Authentic cloud applications are delivered from a “multi-tenant” system, which means that there is a single instance of the software running, and multiple companies use this system as if it were dedicated to their own use.
Non-technical evaluators sometimes worry that their data may somehow “be mixed up with another company’s data.” However, modern database structures and security technology easily prevent this from happening. More importantly, only multi-tenant systems can be combined with new software development models to deliver the long-term advantages of the cloud model.
“Cloud technologies are rapidly being adopted by leaders in most manufacturing.”
Cloud-based on-demand ERP systems provide real-time data that is accessible anytime, from anywhere. This is not only a benefit, but often a necessity for manufacturers with operations in more than one location.
Because all information is always available to all users, there’s no need for manual consolidation of data from different locations. Cloud users report increased productivity as those manual functions become unnecessary. Also, managers can identify issues sooner and nip problems in the bud. Most importantly, they can make better decisions as they have complete, constant visibility into the day-to-day operations of their businesses.
At Oracle system availability and business continuity are at the heart of what we do, and our success is dependent upon delivering 99.9999 % uptime, a higher availability level than even the best companies can deliver with their own internal IT staff.
Eliminate the disruptive ERP software upgrades and infrastructure upgrades and scaling concerns, both are automatic and done in the background with Oracle data centers and continuous innovation.
World-class cloud/SaaS solution providers plan for the unexpected in many ways, including the use of a system known as Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA). Security FMEAs continuously try to find security holes in the systems and attack vulnerabilities, staying ahead of potential hackers.
Oracle data centers are graphically dispersed by more than thousands of miles and are streamed data via multiple state of the art parallel SONET and Ethernet data connections to ensure teal-time switch over if any connection fails. There are five layers of physical security including biometric access. Oracle expert teams are fully dedicated to delivering unparalleled system availability assuring a level of IT focus no manufacturer could practically afford.
Potential SaaS users may fear that off-premises servers are more likely to crash because they are out of the users’ control. There is a much greater likelihood that a company’s on-premises system will fail.
Most SaaS/Cloud systems provider not only backups, but backups to the backups. These built-in redundancies ensure that customers’ data remains safe and accessible by multiple fiber cables. Storage Area Networks used by SaaS providers are “fault-tolerant,” meaning there is no single point of failure that could crash the entire system. Every single operation is performed and then performed again in an isolated back-up system ― just in case
“Built-in redundancies ensure that customers’ data remains safe and accessible.”
Business Continuity for ERP is a strategic imperative that goes beyond backups and recovery plans. Focus on your core business and leave business system availability to experts who provide world class service with 99.9999…% uptime.
The single most common point of failure in any business is the Internet connection. That’s why SaaS solution providers rely on two, sometimes even three, separate Internet service providers for optimal connectivity and robust “fail over” connections to ensure uninterrupted service. If one provider goes down, traffic is handled by the different circuit, or circuits, automatically, with no business disruption.
SaaS is provisioned with back-up systems for electrical power high reliability and failover redundancy through their data centers to avoid any service downtime or interruption.
System availability relies on both data center assurance and software assurance. The data center requires physical security, dedicated space, server redundancy, redundant power and communications, reliable environmental controls and ongoing hardware maintenance. Software assurance includes application and databases recovery from network or datacenter outages, quickly re-synching to ensure consistency of data across the enterprise.
The disaster recovery plans used by SaaS providers are more sophisticated than anything one individual manufacturer could build and support on its own.
The disaster preparedness of the Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, an industry recognized Cloud/SaaS ERP system, is one example. Oracle fully redundant data centers are built with the highest level of hardened building construction and facility security access. Each features solid concrete walls, redundant and secure HVAC systems and are designed to withstand significant natural disasters.
THE LOGICAL SOLUTION
Cloud/SaaS models are truly the next wave of the future. Real-time, anytime data enables manufacturers to more efficiently and effectively manage their day-to-day production. It also allows them to expand geographically without losing any visibility into their operations.
Manufacturers who have adopted SaaS are able to conserve capital, become more competitive and better meet customer expectations, all while avoiding the hassles of systems maintenance, and backups.
These are the main reasons Cloud/SaaS systems are quickly becoming the preferred choice for manufacturers.
About ERTechnologies as your Cloud Partner?
ERTechnologies is the leading Oracle partner delivering The Oracle Manufacturing Cloud for manufacturers. ERT has pioneered cloud solutions for the shop floor, connecting suppliers, machines, people, systems, and customers with capabilities that are easy to configure, deliver continuous innovation, and reduce IT costs. With insight that starts on the production floor, we help manufacturers see, understand and uncover the value hidden in their Oracle technology investments by capturing unexpected opportunities to fuel growth and profitability in every aspect of their business ecosystems, enabling them to lead in ever-changing markets using Oracle technologies.