A business’ ERP application is something that is mission critical and usually is something that is only replaced every 15 years or so; typically it has large amounts of information, is used by many different areas of the business, by many different users, and is critical to the running of the business. As such, not something that is easily “replaced.”
Because of the critical nature of these systems, ERP vendors have been hesitant in the past to embrace the SaaS business model and I believe even more concerned with deploying in the CLOUD – mostly because of the uncertainty around security and reliability.
It is also true that there was no simple, cost-effective way to take an on-premise ERP application and just host it in the cloud, without doing some work to “re-architect” the application to support the new business model. So that begs the question – is the tide changing and will we see these large ERP applications finally make the MOVE to the Cloud?
We are beginning to see the SHIFT. We have seen ERP vendors not having to completely re-write their applications – but instead taking advantage of technical shifts and new capabilities in application platforms that enable the move to be more efficient and secure. Meaning, they do not have to rewrite the application—which could cost millions of dollars and take years—and instead focus on a new form of application modernization—one that transforms their current on-premise-built application to a Cloud-enabled application, all without having to re-write any of the existing business logic.
Some Progress ERP partners have used the latest release of the OpenEdge platform to move their applications to the cloud. They simply have gone through an application modernization process to transform their database and update the user access management functionality. In fact, one of our customers did this with only 18 lines of code.
Particularly important for ISVs like Infor, is the flexibility to add an additional level of security and separation of data at the database level. By physically storing tenants (or users) in separate locations at the database level, adds one of those critical areas that were a concern before – ensuring the application data is SECURE.
The SaaS business model also helps ERP vendors to expand their reach to small-mid-sized companies that could not afford on-premise solutions in the past.
Ultimately, the low-cost business model, strong collaboration capabilities and reliable security of multi-tenancy are driving SaaS adoption by ERP software vendors.
Colleen Smith is Vice President, Customer Advocacy at Progress. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring customer focus and accountability for improving the company’s relationship with its customers and partners, as it relates to the use of Progress core products. Smith joined the company in 2005 with 20 years of enterprise software marketing, sales and product strategy experience, and has helped transform software companies into industry leaders, built strategic partnerships, designed acquisition strategies and moved companies through aggressive growth stages.
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