Cloud ERP: Freedom to Move, Freedom to Innovate

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Cloud ERP: Freedom to Move, Freedom to Innovate

This article was originally published by Oracle NetSuite. To read the original posting of this article, click here.


People use iPhones and other mobile devices in all sorts of ways—texting, phoning, listening to music, watching movies. But to a large majority of business professionals, these devices and others like them, including today’s ever-lighter laptops, mean one thing more than any other—freedom to move.


Think about it. Just a few years ago, the idea of telecommuting was more a dream than a reality, partly because it was hard to do. For the telecommuter, working from home meant buying or borrowing a desktop or laptop, then fighting your way into the corporate database through VPN connections that were slow and frustrating. For the business, telecommuters meant more work for the IT Help Desk, and more spending on network switches and other gear.


Today that model has been flipped on its head, thanks much to Internet-friendly laptops and other mobile devices, but also to Internet-friendly cloud ERP software. In fact, for years conventional ERP locked people and organizations in to conventional thinking and planning because of the high costs of change. By contrast, cloud ERP gives us the freedom to move, whether it’s user telecommuting or organizational decentralization and, at a higher level, the freedom to find innovative solutions. Here are two examples:


Telecommuting ROI


Telecommuting used to be difficult for a business to cost-justify because of the increased expense in IT resources, as well as the potential losses in worker productivity. Today, thanks to Internet-enabled devices and cloud ERP architectures, it doesn’t take a week, a day, or a high-priced CPA to figure out the ROI for telecommuting users.


The Louisiana Advocacy Center, a NetSuite customer, is a vivid example of how telecommuting can benefit an organization.


The center originally brought in NetSuite following Hurricane Katrina, because it didn’t want to risk losing conventional network connections in the event of another large-scale emergency. What they didn’t foresee, however, was having to deal with a six-month renovation of the center’s New Orleans headquarters. With a conventional ERP setup, they would have had to rent temporary office space, costing a minimum of $60,000. Instead, the Advocacy Center instead set up a telecommuting operation, with staffers working out of their homes or other branch offices.


Decentralizing Business


Want to take user mobility a step further, to include remote branch offices? Fine. Same rules apply. Setting up a new branch office used to be a major hassle and a major expense, and the more remote in terms of geography, the more challenging. Again, the business has to determine if the time and expense—for setting up servers, extending networks, and finding, hiring and training staff­—are justifiable based on the potential increase in business. Today, thanks to Internet-friendly devices and cloud ERP, it’s much simpler to achieve a positive ROI.


And because cloud ERP isn’t limited by geography, it can mean more than just saving time and money—it can help a company develop a global footprint that would have been impossible with conventional ERP.


An example is Sundia Corporation, a multimillion-dollar fresh produce brand based in Oakland, California. With customer support in the Philippines, accounting in India and the executive team in California, Sundia needed to get operations up quickly while maintaining an efficient ongoing cost structure. It went to cloud ERP so its personnel around the globe can access, manage and even innovate with the ERP system in real time.


Brad Oberwager, Founder, Chairman and CEO, observes that Sundia’s organizational structure would have been untenable with conventional, centralized ERP. “We simply wouldn’t be in business with the old way,” he says.

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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.