SaaS and On-Premises Software Disaster Recovery Plan

September 8, 2015

SaaS and On-Premises Software Disaster Recovery

You can’t predict when your offices will experience an event such as a power failure or a bigger disaster, such as flooding, however you can protect it to minimize the damages that can occur as a result of such a situation.

Many companies rely on their Accounting ERP software on a daily basis for managing their business, and any time without access to it can result in loss of sales, loss of income and loss of ongoing business.  Having a disaster recovery plan (which does not have to be complex or costly) can mitigate the damages caused by downtime.  Yet many small to mid size businesses do not have such a plan in place.

While a full blown plan should start with a risk assessment, followed by complete documentation of procedures and steps to follow, the key components of a basic plan include immediate backup power, data backups and facilities from which to access the data.

Immediate Backup Power

It is critical that servers hosting key data, a workstation and a printer all have an un-interruptable power supply (UPS).  In the case of a power failure, depending on the power of the UPS this should give a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes of time to save documents, complete transactions which are in the middle of being processed, download any spreadsheets or other documents onto portable storage and print any key documents which will be needed.  If using a laptop, as long as the batteries are charged this acts as a built in UPS.

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Is Cloud Based Wholesale ERP Software Right for Your Business?

January 27, 2015

is-cloud-erp-software-right-for-your-companyDeciding to make the switch to a fully integrated ERP system as a wholesale distribution company – whether you’re transitioning from existing software or manual processes – requires a lot of time and resources.  It also involves making a choice between implementing a system on-premises or hosted through the cloud.  So which method is better suited for your business? Although there is no single right answer to this question, there are certain elements that could make a strong case in favour of a cloud solution.  Companies are increasingly opting for this method from the get-go, and others are switching from their current on-premises installation. To better understand why and when it would make sense for your company to seriously evaluate hosting software through the cloud, let’s first take a look at exactly what we mean by each implementation method.

On-premises software was historically the only option available to companies looking for wholesale ERP software which made it more feasible for larger companies.  On-premises refers to software applications installed on-location on a client owned server.  This requires up-to-date hardware and either internal or outsourced personnel for IT management.  It also requires a bit of a larger initial investment when it comes to cost as companies buy the software licenses outright.

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Cloud vs. On-Premises Cost Comparison

September 12, 2013

Cloud vs. On-Premises CostsThere are several aspects to consider when choosing to implement a fully integrated inventory and accounting (ERP) system – one of them being whether or not to implement the software via the cloud or as an on-premises solution. The term “cloud” is often used interchangeably with the terms “hosted” and “SaaS”, and refers to the deployment method whereby the client pays the vendor an ongoing “subscription” fee for access to the software (off-premises) via the Internet.  The vendor takes care of maintaining hardware, upgrades and backups. In contrast, on-premises implementations are installed on the client’s server, on-site and the hardware is managed by the client.

Download our Cloud vs. On-Premises Cost Comparison

Cloud implementations have made it more affordable for small businesses and start-ups to implement a proper ERP system with advanced automation, systems that were historically only available to larger organizations with deep pockets.  But without performing additional research, there is no simple answer as to which method is better suited for any specific business.

Choosing an implementation method is dependent on many factors, among them: cash flow, number of users, available hardware, existing infrastructure, physical space, IT skills, level of desired hardware control and internet connection.  Smaller businesses and start-ups tend to lean towards cloud implementations because of their ongoing, monthly payment structure — an affordable and predictable cash flow.   On-Premises implementations require an up-front investment that is much more substantial, but may be a better fit for businesses with an existing IT infrastructure and IT staff.  Costs to consider include: license fees, maintenance fees, implementation costs, external consulting and customization costs, infrastructure upgrade costs and internal costs.

Because the vendor for cloud implementations hosts the software, the client does not handle upgrades, maintenance, IT issues or backups.  This is beneficial for smaller businesses that lack an IT department. However businesses that prefer to own the software and control the hardware will lean towards an on-premises solution.

Cost Comparison - Cloud & On-Premises

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Common eCommerce Integration Mistakes

August 20, 2013

Guest post by Samantha Hornby

eCommerce Integration MistakesMy colleague, David Silva, and I recently presented at Demac Media’s eCommerce Meetup to discuss common eCommerce integration mistakes.  Although Dave and I only presented on the most common mistakes that we see when engaged with prospects, the discussion quickly grew as others at the meetup expressed their concerns and pain points when it comes to integration. Below is a recap of some of the most common mistakes we discussed.

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Blue Link and eCommerce: Your Gateway To Success

September 24, 2012

Guest blog by Josh Hines, Integration Developer at Demac Media

Blue Link is an extremely robust ERP system.  At the heart of it, I know it best as Inventory Software, dealing directly with the Blue Link ERP system, the Blue Link API, and even leading members of the Blue Link team themselves.  Our role in working together is too ensure not only that your data is correct on the Blue Link side of things, but also ensuring that your data is consistent and accurate on your own Magento driven eCommerce website.

success_babyMy experience with Blue Link is still rather new, but it doesn’t take more than a quick glance to see that just from the inventory side of Blue Link alone, there is a lot of information that you can store in your Blue Link ERP system.  All the typical data like price and weight, as well as some more advanced features such as giving one item multiple different sizes (and giving each size different prices and such as well).

Blue Link makes it very easy, for me, a data integration developer at Demac Media, to maintain your eCommerce website’s product data and inventory.  So, what a data integration developer do? Well I keep your product data updated on your eCommerce website.  Got a sale starting?  I get it on your site.  Got a new line of products to sell online?  I’ve got you covered.

Not sure your products will work with Blue Link?  Don’t despair! Blue Link is robust enough to fit every vendors needs.  On top of this, Demac Media’s Data Donkey is powerful enough to put your data integration needs into action.  I’ve had time to work directly with Darren Myher, the V.P. Operations and CTO, of Blue Link to ensure that a client’s needs between all three of our companies (Blue Link, Demac Media, and yours!) are well met, well-formed, and well understood.

The thing that amazed me most about working with Blue Link is how flexible they were in their installs and how willing they were to make a change to make a process on our side or the client’s side so much easier.  This was made possible by the incredible amount of attention to detail, and the great and consistent communication from Blue Link’s end.  When a change is made, the instructions are thorough and precise with visual representations.

Blue Link is a truly great product, spanning functionality across every facet needed for an ERP system.  You’ve got your inventory management software, and your accounting software at the core of it, and Blue Link offers extensive interactive tours of some of the features you’ll find within it.  Always working side by side to ensure that all your inventories are always at their correct counts, and all sales data is calculated properly.  They even offer to host your install of Blue Link on their own On-Premises server!  When it comes to eCommerce and data integration, these guys are at the top of the game.  They know what needs to be done to get your product information up and running, and Blue Link (as well as Demac Media) will help you out every step of the way to ensure your specific needs are met.

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About Josh:

Josh Hines is a data integration developer for Demac Media.  Josh maintains data of many of Demac’s current clients, and is always working with new clients to get their specialized needs realized.


Cloud ERP Software Popularity Still on the Rise

August 18, 2012

cloud-erp-software-popularity………….

Previously we wrote about the benefits of cloud ERP software, and it appears that the trend towards the cloud is continuing, perhaps as a result of its many benefits.

Here’s a brief recap of the benefits of cloud ERP software:

–          Reduced up-front investment in software licenses

–          Eliminate hardware expenditure & maintenance

–          Reduce/eliminate IT staff and IT management

–          Increased data security via a secure data centre

–          Predictable IT expenditure and cash flow

With these benefits and more, it’s no surprise that cloud ERP software continues to rise in popularity. According to a Gartner forecast, cloud-based enterprise applications will amount to 16% of all enterprise application expenditure by 2015, up from 11% in 2010.[1] The numbers in favour of the cloud may be even higher in certain situations, with some vendors reporting as much as a 50/50 split between on-premises and cloud-based software implementations.

One of the main drivers of increased cloud interest and market growth is education. Just a couple of years ago, many business owners would not have been aware of cloud software or its benefits, but many have now researched the alternatives and have gone out specifically in search of a cloud solution. Cloud software still has a long way to go for true market dominance, but has already proven itself as a viable and popular alternative to on-premises solutions – particularly amongst smaller businesses.

Another driver of cloud ERP software popularity is the simplicity it offers for small and medium businesses. While large corporations may have access to significant IT resources, small and medium businesses can enjoy professional hardware and software management without having to employ IT professionals.

All things considered, a cloud solution is not necessarily always the right fit for everyone. It’s common for a vendor to offer one deployment method or the other, but if you can find vendors who offer both on-premises and cloud software, they can help you work through the advantages and disadvantages of each to make an informed decision.



Popularity Contest: Hosted, SaaS & Cloud Software

February 2, 2012

After many discussions with individuals looking for new software, we have come to the conclusion that there is no consistent term used to describe hosted ERP software. Some people refer to it –most accurately – as a hosted solution, while others refer to it as SaaS or cloud software. So the question is: why one is most popular?

A Google Trends analysis was able to shed some light on which terms generated the most online traffic.

popular-hosted-saas-cloud-google-trend

The above graph illustrates the comparative use of the terms. You can see that the term SaaS was not being used until 2006 and Cloud Computing was not used until late 2007. This skewed the results towards hosted considerably as hosted was being used to refer to website hosting and other concepts long before SaaS and cloud computing came along. Yet, despite these trend-polluting factors, it still seems as if hosted is the consistently preferred term over SaaS and cloud computing – now relating to a vast number of cloud-based consumer applications – is now more popular than them all. Of course, each of these terms refers to a different concept, however, they are all closely related and many people that are not technology experts tend to use them interchangeably.

With the benefits of Hosted ERP Software becoming more apparent, hosted software will continue to increase in popularity at an astounding pace. As such, we expect to see the term hosted used more and more, particularly when dealing with ERP applications. It will be interesting to revisit these figures in a few years to see what has changed.

Note: Although the data presented is US data, the figures were very similar for Canada as well.


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