I recently read a white paper by PWC about moving the ERP to the cloud.  I found the article supported the direction that we have taken at AdvancePro and have been promoting this year to our customers.

“As a wide variety of information technology services move to online offerings in the cloud, more and more executives are considering whether to move their ERP systems there as well.”PWC

First of all let’s answer the question What is the cloud?  In the simplest of terms, the cloud is the ability to access information technology systems from the web as opposed to the traditional locally installed server network.   Most of you are likely familiar with the terms SaaS (software as a service) which we often think of as a product that is located on the web and is multi-tenanted, which means that all its customer data is being served from one single application hosted by the provider of the service.   This however is not the only cloud solution.   The idea of taking what is normally hosted on a local server and placing those applications in the cloud is done through server hosting and access from the web is facilitated by connecting technology.  These systems remain single tenanted, which means you do not share the platform with anyone else.Cloud_vs_Local

Advancepro has strategically made the decision to move to a single tenanted hosting solution and we have partnered with Citrix solutions and 151frontstreet.com to do so.   Citrix is the leading technology provider in connecting to the web and 151 Front Street is one of North America’s most secure and dependable hosting facilities.

There are a number of considerations that make moving to the cloud a sound decision.

Costs:  The AdvancePro cloud solution costs starts at $125 per user and scales to $75 per month per user after 10 users.  Compare this cost to what hardware, software, and IT services cost you today.   Our cloud package includes the cost of ACCP support.  We find that most of our customers technical issues come from their local IT which we cannot control.  With the cloud hosted solution we have largely eliminated this.   I would beg to guess that your costs per user long term far exceed the cloud service we offer.

Accessibility:  AdvancePro cloud hosted services mean that you can access your applications and data from anywhere at anytime and from any devices.  The benefits are substantial especially in the case where you have stakeholders and satellite operations in multiple locations.  The traditional way to handle this connectivity is through VPN which requires expensive IT maintenance and support and at the end of the day will always be subject to your internet speed capacity and dependability.

Hosting:   With AdvancePro cloud hosted services you will host AdvancePro and Quickbooks so access to both these applications are in the cloud.  This can save money on Quickbooks licensing.   You can also expand the size of your hosted server to host other applications as well.  While we will not take responsibility for maintaining these applications their data will be backed up and you will have complete server access just like in your office.

Flexibility and scalability:  The AdvancePro cloud offering allows you to scale users up and down without the hassle and costs involved with setting up client machines.   We provide you with a sandbox test company to train and QA upgrades.  You can also run AdvancePro in a concurrent server environment.  In other words, save more money by determining how many users need access at the same time.  You can scale up and down as you need without notice.

Rapid deployment:  Once you make the decision to go to the cloud the deployment takes less than two weeks.   We charge an implementation fee as part of our Set up For Success program.  This give us and you an opportunity to make sure you are optimizing the use of AdvancePro and to retrain your company users.

Security, Data Backup and Speed:  AdvancePro hosted services are located at one of the most secure facilities in the world. With AdvancePro Cloud Hosted Services you get proactive system monitoring, redundant backups, 24 x 7 x 365 Security, redundant power supply and 25 diesel generators, more than 25 diverse fiber-optic points of entry into the building. With APT Cloud Hosted Service, your data security and connectivity is ensured.

The only risks I see associated to the cloud is going to be your internet connection on a local level.  If your internet goes down you lose your access to your cloud.   Think about it though, how many applications do you depend on today that requires internet?  Your banking, email, CRM etc.  At AdvancePro we recognize this risk and offer an emergency local backup and can have you up and running, off line, within hours.   However this would be the result of a sustained catastrophic event and I believe in that case our problems would be greater than just local service outage.   Most companies today have stable internet access and we suggest redundancy.  We recently advised a customer that was in a non-fibre optic serviced area to install an antenna for internet and use 4G as a back up.  The solution worked brilliantly for them and it is completely scalable to their needs.

Conclusion:  Going cloud is the way to go and eventually local hosting of your server will be a thing of the past.   It makes complete sense and it all part of the leveling of the playing field.  The good thing about AdvancePro cloud hosted services is that if you are not happy you can easily and quickly revert back to the local hosting.   Every customer of AdvancePro that has moved to the cloud has been very happy with the outcome.  Our team is standing by to take your company to the next level.

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