When implemented properly, a cloud-deployed ERP solution provides a major benefit to small-business operations. There are many software partners that offer cloud solutions, but how can companies find the right provider?
Successful software providers
Recently, Microsoft commissioned the International Data Corporation to collect information from the company’s existing cloud partners, the Redmond Channel Partner reported. IDC created the “Successful Cloud Partners 2.0” study to demonstrate how many providers have grown and improved operations by offering cloud-deployed Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions.
This increased performance is due to a higher demand for cloud services. IDC projects public IT cloud service spending will show a compound annual growth rate of 23.5 percent between 2013 and 2017. More businesses turn to the cloud everyday.In 2017, emerging markets should account for 21.3 percent of public cloud business.
According to the report, Microsoft software partners with at least 50 percent of their revenue generated by cloud services have increased their number of new customers, improved recurring revenues and seen an overall growth in profitability.
Small businesses looking for partners
What does this report mean for small businesses? The IDC report said success could not be solely credited to the products offered. Software providers have to be aware of how cloud operations effectively transition into business procedures. Here are some of the attributes a cloud provider should exhibit:
Focused solutions: Small businesses want to find an ERP consultant that has experience in their industry. Cloud Tech, a cloud computing resource, said companies can become overwhelmed by the many software features available to them. Cloud-deployed solutions provide even more options, so a partner has to help businesses narrow down their choices to the ones best suited for their particular operations.
Companies have to approach partners after carefully analyzing their current systems and establishing goals for success. A software partner has to offer tools to meet the business’s goals, not just services popular at the moment.
Plenty of time for implementation: A software provider shouldn’t just sell a company a product and move on. The IDC report said cloud partners should introduce their business partner to the cloud in steps. When a small business shops for a cloud product, it should also search for an ongoing relationship with a technology expert.
A cloud partner has to help a company design a realistic implementation strategy. It is usually wise to start with a hybrid cloud approach, one that moves pieces of company procedures to offsite servers instead of overhauling the entire system. In the selection process, companies have to see which partners offer the best long-term plans for cloud-deployed ERP solutions.
Also a client: One of the best indicators of product quality is whether the provider uses the solution themselves. Cloud partners shouldn’t just show case studies of previous customers who found success in offsite performance, they should also use the cloud for their own office activities. Partners have to speak to new clients about how the technology has personally benefited operations. Firsthand experience can be essential when answering questions or proving the value of new solutions.