Cloud ERP provides opportunity to look at business functionality
Cloud ERP provides an opportunity to look at how you would like your business to function and not to start building customised solutions to every business problem you have. Whilst Cloud ERP provides a simple method to deploy new technology in an evergreen method (i.e. always updated with the latest patches and upgrades), it also requires a company to deploy as much standard business processes as possible. The curse of many ERP implementations is the special customisations and allowances that are made for every single business exception instead of or “despite” standard processes having a potential to work.
Many companies we have interacted with are quite confident that their process is unique and therefore needs a customisation to align. Sometimes this is true but often, if more functionality is moved to the ERP or if the process and business architecture is simplified, the standard processes can be accommodated. Cloud ERP’s are much better if customisation is limited, allowing the vendor to constantly innovate and provide updates to processes and functions in their ERP. In our case as Altron Karabina, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations has one of the most extensive set of functionalities in the market. Microsoft releases updates at least 8 times in a year with major releases at least every 90 days. Some of these releases could be solutions to previously not addressed functionality required. A simple example could also be a legislation change such as recently experienced in IFRS 15 and 16. Dynamic 365 natively allows for subscription billing options and is aligned for revenue recognition in terms of the changes in legislation. For customers with customised billing engines and specialised revenue management engines, this change could mean a whole cycle of development, testing and change management, even in terms of ancillary reporting platforms for comparative period analysis. This is where Cloud ERP provides a simpler method of update and alignment.
Whilst the adoption of Cloud ERP is still gaining momentum, there are some customers, including ourselves at Altron that have launched into the world of Cloud ERP. Our internal deployment of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations will extend to the Group of companies, brings standardisation and efficiencies as we deploy further across the various Business Units. Consolidation of disparate and legacy applications, together with improved visibility will help our business transform and provide the transparency into the operations. With major improvements in the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations platform, including advanced Warehousing and extensive solutions for Enterprise Asset Management, we expect that more of the solution will be deployed. The seamless ability to share data across Dynamics CRM and ERP will also allow for a single view of customer interactions and allow visibility into how we serve our customers across a large and diverse base of service offerings.
As Cloud ERP technologies advance, it will be good to see how vendors start to offer standardised and simpler offerings to Small Medium Business, allowing fast and seamless deployment, intuitive interfaces and quick adoption of the technology. Smaller businesses suffer less from antiquated and customised locked-in solutions and can pivot to cloud ERP quicker. We are also leveraging cloud to embed this fast turnaround into other areas including Business Intelligence with standard analytics packages that enable the liberation of this data into simple dashboards providing visibility into these ERPs. Perhaps the vision of running a business from your remote location, on a device of your choice, becomes a universal reality sooner than we think.
This article was originally published on Intelligent CIO.