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We have all seen the dramatic switch to “the cloud” over the past few years.  From baking, to iTunes, to CRM tools like SalesForce, it seems the world is moving into the cloud.  However is it the right thing to do for business critical tools like your inventory management system?

The short answer is, No.  But there is a better choice.

There are many advantages of a true cloud/SaaS solution.  Primary to that is remote access.  Being able to get critical information and perform transactions where ever you are gives you freedom never before available to the small business.  IT expenses can be dramatically reduced or eliminated.  Servers, backups, security and IT personnel costs can add up quickly, not to mention the headaches of down systems and hardware failures. You need to focus on your business, not running an IT service.  A cloud solution moves all those IT issues off your premises and puts them in the hands of your service provider.

What’s wrong with the Cloud?

The problem with a traditional Cloud/SaaS service is their limited functionality and “multi-tenant” environment. With most cloud offerings you are sharing the hardware and database with all other clients on that system.  If something goes wrong with the hardware or database, all users can be affected.  It is analogous to living in an apartment building.  You’re paying rent to share the building but a fire in one unit can bring down the whole building.

In addition, most cloud solutions are relatively new and limited in their functionality. They are typically transaction based, performing fairly simplistic tasks and only doing a few things. They are not as functionally rich as more established desktop software.  You tend to need many different cloud solutions to build a piecemeal end-to-end business process management system.  Getting all these different systems to communicate and work together can be challenging or even impossible.

What is the answer?

Cloud-Hosted Service

A Cloud-Hosted Service moves your powerful, full featured and mature software and puts it “in the cloud”.  You get the best of both worlds.  The freedom to work anywhere and reduced IT headaches combined with security of a single-tenant environment.

In a Cloud-Hosted situation you get your own server, your own database, your own backup.  It’s equivalent to moving your single family home into the most expensive and secure gated community with all the amenities and privileges. In a Cloud-Hosted solution you benefit from the weeks of backup power generators, the virtually unlimited internet bandwidth, the top level physical security, the hardware redundancy and all for a low monthly payment.

AdvancePro is now offered on a Cloud Hosted environment giving our customers the best of both worlds.  You can now access AdvancePro from anywhere, on any device.  You can easily connect multiple warehouses in different locations.  Support is faster.  You no longer have to perform manual updates on all client computers. The responsibility for IT has moved onto AdvancePro’s shoulders.

Subscription services are the wave of today.  Many of the most progressive companies have moved in the subscription direction to provide their customers with better service, better products and a more flexible implementation. Microsoft 365 is replacing desktop licenses, Adobe no longer sells Creative Suite in favor of subscription only.

The software world changes rapidly.  AdvancePro releases between 4-6 upgrades every year. Moving the IT responsibility on to AdvancePro’s shoulders frees our customers of having to spend employee time or IT resources upgrading on each computer.  It ensures faster response time for technical support, as we no longer need to have our customer’s employees let us connect to their computers.

Cloud-hosting service can also give you the ability to access QuickBooks from anywhere. With the appropriate security access, assigned users can log into AdvancePro from anywhere on any device.  This can give your accountant the freedom to work remote and not have to commute to your office, or let you CFO pull month end reports at 11pm from home.

Moving to the cloud makes sense for the vast majority of small and medium sized businesses, but only if they keep the security and performance of mature business operations management tools.  Cloud-Hosting will give you that security and performance and much more.  To discuss moving to the cloud, or if you are currently using other technology, starting on the cloud, contact AdvancePro today and one of our Business Operations Experts will help you determine if AdvancePro Cloud Hosted Solution is right for you.

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