Getting the Most Out of Your ERP System: Databases, Digital Marketing and Minimal Disruption

Cecile Baltazar

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Get the most out of your ERP

If you’re wondering how your ERP system stacks up to some of the latest and greatest cloud-based systems, there are more than a few things to consider. On-premise ERP platforms are going to require hardware and storage space, which can potentially add to your overhead costs. Then comes questions about how to customize an antiquated ERP system. As the old adage goes, “It’s hard to teach old dinosaurs new tricks.” But does this mean you need to completely overhaul your ERP and invest in a more nimble, SaaS-based Enterprise Resource Planning solution, like Acumatica or NetSuite? It really all depends.

When assessing an ERP system, companies should ask themselves:

  • What are my organization’s needs from top level to subsidiary level to department level?
  • What new ERP solutions exist to achieve what we need within budget?

When it comes to assessing your ERP system, we’re witnessing some common considerations across various industries as they review their system’s capabilities. Here are some you may be considering too.

Price, Performance, and Security

When determining the cost of operating an ERP system, there are few factors that organizations should take into account: the cost of software vs. the cost of hardware, on-premise licensing fees vs. software implementation fees, and the cost of IT labor to manage an on-premise platform.

When it comes to scalability and pricing, cloud-based ERP systems are winning hands down. Take for instance one healthcare company that has experienced exponential growth over the past fifteen years. After their proprietary ERP system failed to capture data and eventually crashed, they implemented a cloud ERP solution that not only provided the reporting capabilities and visibility that they needed but was also both affordable and scalable for future growth.

Scalability is one of the biggest advantages of cloud-based ERPs. While expansion into other locations would require multiple appointments for companies with an on-premise ERP, expanding is much easier with cloud-based ERP solutions and can be done remotely without the need for more hardware or installation time.

What are the advantages of on-premise ERP systems? One of the more obvious upsides is that companies still have access to their data even if the internet goes down. Also, those with on-premise ERPs feel like they have more control over the security of their data since it is managed in-house by their own IT folks as opposed to a third party vendor offsite. This security advantage is often debated as many top cloud providers maintain and stay abreast of the highest security standards.

Digital Marketing

Although organizations look to their ERP systems mainly for operational and financial fluency, organizations would falter without digital marketing capabilities, especially in today’s day and age. With a cool 3 billion users on social media, how is your ERP working to drive sales and marketing initiatives on top of collecting data on customers? This is where integrating ERP systems with marketing automation systemslike Marketo, Hubspot, or Eloqua come in handy. Today, we’re seeing a steady trend of companies integrating their customer, product, inventory, and sales ERP modules with a marketing automation system.

Integrating a marketing automation system to an on-premise ERP is a great place to test run the flow of an integration and implementation with your IT team involved. If integration becomes time and cost prohibitive, the answer may be found in a SaaS-based ERP or a hybrid ERP solution. Advancements in data integration services have empowered companies to control their own data management destiny without having to divert their IT department from other priorities.

Minimal Disruption

Did we just say a hybrid ERP solution? Yes, we did. Because on-premise deployments are slower due to infrastructure requirements to run the system, companies can add cloud-based components that are usually much faster, especially when deployed across multiple locations. Take for instance xByte Technologies that noted the ease of integrating various softwares with Acumatica’s hybrid ERP solution.

When deployment and implementation time are concerns, a hybrid cloud and on-premise solution may make more sense for organizations that cannot afford to disrupt daily business processes during an organization-wide ERP implementation. Data integration companies, like Vertify, can help their clients navigate ERP selection and integration with a hybrid approach that minimizes risk and disruption. These SaaS companies connect systems and leverage processes that can accelerate an organization’s time to market for new innovations. Companies may also leverage a hybrid approach to assess if a SaaS ERP tool should replace their on-premise solution entirely.

Database Functionality

As a progressive organization, what would you do without efficient access to operational and customer data? How is your data managed, extracted, and presented to give you what you need to stay a step ahead? What data capabilities does your current ERP system have? For instance, does it have a CRM module to provide you with quick user access to complete customer data in one place for shipping, billing or marketing purposes?

Your enterprise resource platform can be the key differentiator for a business. Take for instance a fast-paced packaging manufacturer that gained a competitive edge through its ability to make quick decisions using real-time data through its ERP platform. Their platform not only allows the company to organize, analyze and act on data efficiently, it can customize the system to the way it does business.

Some of today’s leading ERP providers, like NetSuite, also offer cloud-based GRC solutions which reduce risk mitigation activities performed by your IT Department, like running regular backups or establishing data recovery methods. A data integration service can integrate this GRC solution into an ERP system to handle increasingly complex regulatory, operational and compliance challenges customized to specific needs.

What industries are leveraging data integration services to streamline their data? Read about it here or visit Vertify to learn how you can integrate your on-premise or cloud-based ERP with marketing automation systems.