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Understanding the Role of SaaS at Modern Businesses

Mar 17, 2019

The speed of business continues to increase, companies face new threats from competitors and those businesses who fall behind feel the pain. Add to this higher-than-ever customer expectations, compliance concerns nationally and globally, and ongoing threats from cybercriminals, and you may feel like it’s harder to operate than ever.

At Wipfli, we’ve been in the accounting business for nearly a century and have watched the landscape change. As a provider not only of advisory services but also of technology consulting, we’ve been a major player in the push toward the cloud. Today we’ll explore how cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools deliver the innovation, freedom and flexibility you need to compete in the modern business world.

Cloud and SaaS ERP: More Freedom, More Flexibility, More Innovation

There are many reasons businesses choose to leverage the cloud to deliver their ERP. From increased security to easier integrations, we’ve been there to help businesses like yours discover the true benefits of true cloud, including the following:

Frequent User-Requested Updates

While many people may think of ERP as slow to change and “clumsy” — only releasing a couple big updates over the life of the software alongside a few hotfixes — today’s ERP is continually changing. Most cloud ERP applications not only offer two to four updates per year but also often make these changes in direct response to user needs and to improve the way the software works.

In turn, companies who use ever-evolving ERP get an increasingly powerful ERP tool that can grow with them through the life of the product with no need to worry about support schedules, planned obsolescence or finding a developer who can make changes to an outdated product. With software always up to date and continually improving, businesses get a better picture of where they stand and request new features if they need them.

Only Pay What You Need

One of the most pressing challenges many businesses faced in the previous era of ERP had to do with the number of users. Relying on server allocation and perpetual licenses, companies would buy additional licenses in advance to capture bulk license discounts. Today’s ERP, on the other hand, allows you to add or remove users as you please.

By paying only for those who use the software, adding or removing users as needed, pricing is much more transparent and accurate. Need to scale up for growth, tax season or to close the books? It’s as simple as making a call. Need to remove a few users? Just as easy. This flexibility provides businesses with real value and helps your business to avoid license lock-in.

Anytime, Anywhere Access

Today’s business has multiple locations and many people doing different roles. When a salesperson needs information on a client on the way to the client office, or a CFO needs to see a financial report from the airport, they need to get it when and where they are. Cloud ERP offers ready-to-use information for users wherever they are, whenever they need it and however they hope to access it.

Rather than relying on email, which may or may not get to them, or attempting to connect to software through a remote desktop or VPN, todays users can access ERP securely through their laptop, tablet or mobile phone. This freedom gives you the power to make better decisions faster, doing so 24/7/365.

Be Wary: Fake Cloud Applications Make Promises but Don’t Deliver

While the cloud provides many benefits to businesses, the “fake cloud” just makes promises they can’t keep. Fake cloud applications — on-premises applications re-imagined to look like cloud applications — say that they are in the cloud but rarely offer the innovation, freedom or flexibility today’s businesses need. A 2014 Forrester article warned of this trend, dubbing such practices as “cloudwashing.”

“There’s a disturbing trend reemerging in our client inquiries of late: rising demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions and purchases of solutions that are not really SaaS. When we inform clients that the solution they’re talking about isn’t SaaS, we are increasingly hearing, ‘So what? As long as I don’t have to run it, it’s better.’

“This is a trap that can cost you more, result in less agility and lock you into a poor sourcing decision. These solutions (provided by ‘cloudwashing’ vendors) inevitably fail to live up to customer expectations for agility, standardization, and efficiency.”

A recent Sage Intacct blog looked to dispel the myths and discuss the differences, separating true cloud from fake cloud and helping you to make an informed decision. Learn more here.

Sage Intacct and Wipfli: Delivering True Cloud Innovation and Value

At Wipfli, we have worked to deliver true cloud innovation to our clients, including SIFMA, Galaxy Media, Eagle Hill Schools and so many more. As a leading provider of Sage Intacct, we help your company recognize the value of deploying your ERP in the cloud, integrating it with other highly-focused applications through our connectors and supporting you as you grow. Learn more about our work with Sage Intacct, get to know more about our integrations and contact us for a free consultation.


Stephanie M. Smith
Senior Business Developer
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