For the past few decades, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has proven itself to be a critical component to manufacturers everywhere. By integrating a variety of processes— planning, development, sales, marketing, communications, and more—into a single database, ERP allows you to concisely and efficiently manage your company. Implementing ERP is a huge step forward for a manufacturer, and the process should be handled carefully.
If you are considering purchasing ERP software, there are a few key decisions to make throughout the process including whether you should implement the software on-premise or in the cloud (more commonly known as software as a service, or SaaS).
On-premise works just how the name suggests—the software is installed and run using computers that are located on the same grounds as your company. The technology stays within your four walls, meaning that all the necessary applications, middleware, servers, storage, and networks are owned and managed exclusively by you and your team.
SaaS is licensed software issued by a third-party provider where the database and applications are provided remotely through the cloud. While you still own and manage your company’s data, all applications, middleware, servers, storage, and networks are provided and managed through a subscription to your provider.
Once you have decided which ERP solution is the best fit for you —on-premise or Saas— it is time to explore the variety of software options available. ICG highly recommends Infor Cloudsuite Industrial Syteline (Infor CSI) as it requires less customization, shorter implementation time, and fewer IT resources to maintain. Available for both on-premise and SaaS customers, Infor CSI allows manufacturers to accelerate production and meet demands in a timely fashion.
Infor CSI On-Premise
With Infor CSI, you will be responsible for managing every facet of the system. Everything from the hardware and operating systems to database management and software will need to be acquired and properly configured. It is crucial to hire a team member with the technical ability to configure and manage the platform, ensuring the systems are properly monitored and the environment secure. In addition, you will also need someone to look after the CSI, including patches and backups. Keep in mind, depending on the supervision needed, the depth of knowledge required for this task can be significant. Just as manufacturing tasks require skilled personnel to manage, every technical activity will require someone who possesses the tools and skillset to manage them.
Infor CSI SaaS
Infor CSI provides flexibility and options for additional software features such as modules for Infor Operating Services, APS, external payroll interface, sales tax, credit card management, and more. In addition to these features, Infor CSI uses SecureVPN to ensure highly secure internet access, as well as SQL server and database management to provide automatic patches and upgrades—a feature that will prove critical to your company. This software system also provides disaster recovery and database backups, which without, your company could fall into utter chaos. However, SaaS implementation requires a 3-year commitment, though the first 6-12 months will be spent implementing and learning the software.
In conclusion, on-premise ERP keeps everything within your walls, but requires the right resources and personnel to properly maintain the system, while SaaS minimizes the autonomy that on-premise provides, including additional features that could prove vital to your company. Although the decision for which solution would best serve your company can be a difficult one, ICG is here to help guide you through the process. Contact us today for more information on how our solutions and team of experts can help you succeed.