Organisations looking to upgrade their SYSPRO ERP and other business systems are increasingly turning to the Cloud.
However, it is fair to say that there is still some confusion around the Cloud-based platforms available to businesses and which are most appropriate for both the application and their own unique requirements. With that in mind, here are ten pointers for SYSPRO customers considering deploying their ERP in the Cloud. Let’s get into it!
Migrate to Office 365
SYSPRO customers must deploy the requisite Microsoft Office licensing within a hosted environment to use the full functionality of SYSPRO in the Cloud. This includes many of the time-saving keyboard shortcuts your employees will use daily. Customers using an Enterprise (“E”) version of Office 365 can deploy in a hosted environment at no additional cost, while those who purchase traditional Office licensing packages will effectively have to duplicate licensing costs to cover their on-premise and hosted environments.
Take out Software Assurance when purchasing SQL Server licensing
SQL Server licenses are part of the Microsoft Mobility Program which means that customers with Software Assurance can migrate their existing SQL Server licences to a hosted environment. Customer using standard SQL Server licensing will have to purchase new SPLA licensing, which can be costly.
Have a budget in mind!
Hosting is not “one size fits all” and there are many different hosting packages available. Companies should offer a range to suit all business, from single servers on the K3 Cloud, right through to managed platforms. Having a budget in mind helps your consultants design the most appropriate platform for your business.
Define roles and responsibilities
Most customers will tell you that they don’t want anything to do with the day-to-day management of their platform – but is that right for your business? A managed platform solution is convenient but if you have in-house technical resource and are prepared to do just a little work yourself, the savings can be significant! Conversely, if you don’t have the technical capabilities, think hard before taking on too much responsibility. Remember, being open about proficiency at this stage will save you the headache and unanticipated costs further down the line.
Plan around ‘natural’ hardware refresh cycles
The fastest way to see any ROI on an investment in a hosted solution is to align a migration to the Cloud with your natural hardware refresh cycle. ERP upgrades are also a great time to consider a hosted solution as it is highly likely that new hardware/software licenses would be required to move to a more current version of the software anyway. Two birds, one stone.
Redefine the roles of key staff
If your business is lucky enough to have talented tech-savvy staff members then their time shouldn’t be spent performing day-to-day admin tasks. Most ERP projects fail because they lack the requisite sponsors within organisations who can successfully align business processes with technology. A Cloud migration allows your organisation to use these staff members to your advantage by freeing up their time to drive forward projects that offer you a tangible business value and give you a real edge on your competition!
Organisations often pursue a Cloud migration as a means to save money and this is perfectly reasonable and attainable. However, do not by any means expect a Cloud migration to be cheaper than purchasing a single physical application server and deploying on-premise. A Cloud migration is a transformative project which redefines the way a business delivers technology to your user base, both internal and external. In order to understand the true, like-for-like costs of hosting versus a traditional deployment, you need to incorporate all of the costs of running your own IT in-house and not just the cost of a single box!
Get clued up!
At K3, we understand that most of our customers, particularly those in SMEs, are forced to wear many hats daily. Even if you are not necessarily a typical ‘techie,’ try to understand what the available options are. You don’t need to be an expert in technical infrastructure elements but without understanding your options, you run the risk of ending up with the wrong solution. That is where we are here to advise!
When considering moving to a managed cloud deployment, commercial terms dictate that bigger is better, primarily due to the infrastructure elements required to guarantee high availability. This doesn’t change whether you have 20 users or 60, with logic dictating that the more users you have on this infrastructure, the cost per user decreases significantly.
Are there other companies or units within your wider group that could migrate at the same time? Are other companies or units looking at an ERP system of their own which SYSPRO could work for? These are a couple of cost-effective suggestions that could help you get the most out of potential investment. Of course, our K3 Cloud offering is also great for deployments smaller than 20 users too!
We understand that it is software which drives real innovation and growth within your organisation. However, whilst it’s easy to get excited about the functionality of the software, infrastructure considerations are just as important. Don’t wait until you’re ready to push the button on a new system or an upgrade to engage with us early. Take a measured, controlled and structured approach to both the software and the infrastructure deployments.
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Charles and I’m the internal Channel Account Manager for K3 Starcom, working predominantly with the K3 Syspro team.
In that time, I have worked with dozens of organisations utilising SYSPRO to manufacture a large variety of products, ranging from small family-run businesses through to multinationals.
My role is primarily to assist SYSPRO customers with the infrastructure considerations associated with an ERP deployment or upgrades. I’m here to make recommendations based on the industry-leading services we can provide and your precise requirements.
If you would like to discuss a SYSPRO deployment, migration, upgrade or have general questions relating to Cloud, Infrastructure or IT support services, please feel free to get in touch with me directly or via your K3 Syspro account manager.