“Moving to the cloud” is a phrase you hear a lot with technology these days. Touted as faster and more secure, cloud presents as an ideal choice. But many distributors still feel more comfortable with their feet on the ground and are hesitant to make a change. Often, it comes down to the ROI – how much the migration will cost and its time to value. Before you decide to stick to your on-premises solution, let’s break down some common myths about the cloud.
Myth 1 – Cloud Is Too Expensive
While there is certainly an upfront investment with any new system, cloud can actually help save your business money. Hosting software on premises racks up significant cost and risk. Servers are expensive—not only the purchase price, but also in terms of power, support, and maintenance.
Moving to the cloud means freeing up the extensive IT resources dedicated to the acquisition and maintenance of physical servers. The burden of deploying, running, and upgrading systems shifts to the cloud vendor. This allows your IT personnel to become strategic shareholders driving innovation. Plus, cloud deployments allow payments over time. That makes the initial cost just as accessible to smaller businesses as larger corporations.
Recently, Radwell International moved its distribution business to the cloud by transitioning multiple systems to Epicor Prophet 21 software–on the cloud. Headquartered in New Jersey, the company provides a large line of industrial automation products. The cloud-based solution allows them to compete with the big guns like Amazon. With a 30%-40% faster pick ratio, the organization can offer same-day shipping, provide stellar service, and scale the business.
“We’ve been able to process orders faster. We’ve been able to collect cash faster. We have been able to grow revenue more efficiently.”
-John Janthor, Vice president of Information
Technology at Radwell International Inc.
Myth 2 – The Performance Isn’t as Good as On Premises
Cloud offers the most powerful tools to help ensure top performance for your business. It can be hard to trust someone else with decisions that impact the speed and performance of your essential systems, but cloud offers its users the most powerful tools available. Cloud providers regularly update their software to the latest and greatest. Customers get the most up-to-date software delivered automatically. And all of this comes without having to put your IT staff through time-consuming updates and upgrades. Epicor monitors cloud performance 24×7 and can rapidly scale to address demand. This keeps everything running smoothly for your organization.
Myth 3 – You’ll Be Forced to Update Software Before You’re Ready
Updates are easier than ever and can happen on your timeline. It’s understandable to be apprehensive about having to train staff on system upgrades during a busy period. But one of the greatest benefits of choosing cloud is that your business always runs the latest version of the software. With cloud, you get the earliest access to new features, industry best practices, and competitive innovations. Not only does this keep you on the forefront of your industry, but it also sends security patches that automatically keep your system locked down.
We also understand what it’s like to get through a busy season and business time constraints. For major releases, Epicor offers options to defer upgrades to better fit in with your timeline.
Myth 4 – Cloud Isn’t as Secure
Your data is protected and constantly backed up on the cloud, which makes it more secure than on-premises environments. When you host a system yourself, the servers on premises are vulnerable to break-ins or even natural disasters. Plus, the data itself is vulnerable on premises with most enterprises hosting email on the same network as their ERP system. Email is the number one way hackers can infiltrate a system. Isolating ERP and finance data onto the cloud virtually eliminates that risk with the constant stream of security patches.
Cloud providers continuously update their servers to combat the newest cyber threats. Your data also is continually backed up in separate servers–often thousands of miles apart–to account for anything happening to a specific physical location. Cloud hosting providers can afford these capabilities due to their scale, giving them leverage for greater financial and expert resources than a single organization could feasibly commit to.
MPT Drives, Inc., a distributor of power transmission parts in Michigan, moved their Epicor Prophet 21 system to the cloud after a ransomware attack. President Keith Nowak said they had been considering the cloud prior to the attack, but hesitated to make the switch due to initial costs. After the attack, he contacted Epicor and quickly moved his ERP to the cloud. He was able to get back online within hours, and back to work. His advice?
“Move to the cloud, I will be telling everyone. Don’t be afraid of the initial cost. I don’t have to buy new servers every 5 years, I don’t have to maintain the servers, and the software maintenance is rolled into the monthly cost. It may seem like a lot when you first look at the per user cost, but when you factor it all in, it just makes sense.”
-Keith Nowak, President of MPT Drives
Myth 5 – It’s Harder to Use Third-Party Tools
Being a tech innovator in your industry means having access to the latest tools. Moving your core ERP system to the cloud offers the agility you need to link with other applications. Using API integration, you’ll have relevant, accurate operational data all in one place—in real time. For example, Wipaire Inc, a multi-generational family-owned business that specializes in designing and manufacturing flotation devices for small and medium-sized aircraft, uses a cloud-based ERP system to connect all their business’ key systems. They deliver superior customer service by leveraging a third-party CRM solution. Since it’s hosted in the cloud, it’s always updating and providing real-time customer information.
Getting Comfortable in the Cloud
It can be hard to trust something you can’t feel or touch. Regardless, cloud-based computing is the way of the future. It’s your access to the latest innovations in your industry and top-notch security, no matter the size of your organization. Migrating to the cloud offers your business an agility that keeps pace with your toughest competitors and clears the way for future growth.
As the leader in industry productivity solutions, Epicor is already the trusted partner to thousands of distributors worldwide. This report reaffirms that the future of distribution is in the cloud. At Epicor, we’re leading the way to empower a world of better business.