While we’ve been talking a lot about ERP, let’s not forget our buddy CRM! CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is a strategy for managing your interactions with customers, clients, and sale prospects. CRM software not only allows the organizing of customer information, but also provides the means to track sales leads from the time they are obtained until the sales are closed. Yup, that’s right all the work is done automatically and even has the ability to detect sales trends. Without a focus on sales how would your business succeed?
SAP Business ByDesign is a key component to the SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) CRM strategy. With SAP Business ByDesign, your company will be able to apply CRM features to drive sales and maximize customer satisfaction. In a recent conference, SAP announced its current development of a CRM application tying together its Business ByDesign CRM functionality with a collaboration tool. The ultimate goal is to achieve sales activity monitoring. Exciting!
How does Business ByDesign’s CRM functionality look now? Lets talk frozen yogurt or “fro-yo.”Frozen yogurt is catching on more and more, and the ever popular Pinkberry emerges as one of the most rapidly expanding frozen yogurt franchises. Business systems analyst with Pinkberry, Judson Eli Wickham, recently replaced the local accounting system with Business ByDesign and one Excel spreadsheet that served as its CRM system with Business ByDesign’s CRM. The business development team can now and drive sales and maximize customer satisfaction while Pinkberry executives are informed exactly where they stand in the licensing process. The difference between SAP Business ByDesign and other CRM-only applications is that SAP has the back-end processing along with the CRM. That way, once sales closes the deal, the workflow passes automatically to the fullfillment side of the company. No more messy integrations and duplicate entry!
With all this talk about sweets, it’s time for me to grab a margaretia and hit the luau…see you by the roasted pork!
So many choices! SAP, the worlds largest Enterprise Software company with it’s vast library of solutions and track record with the largest companies in the world, may be a little intimidating, like a huge wave about to crash of you. That’s why the market is so excited about SAP Business ByDesign – the product that SAP wrote from the ground up to be delivered via the cloud, speficially for small and mid-sized businesses.
ByDesign give world-class functionality in all areas of the business; Finance, Vendor / Supplier management, Customer and Marketing management, Project and Resource management, Supply Chain management, Human Resources, Compliance management, and integrated Analytics (Dashboarding) and reporting – all available on day one, right from install. And you don’t have to install everything at once, you can use what you need, and when the time is right, more areas can be turned on and opened up.
All this for $149 per user, per month, and implementations taking on average 10 to 12 weeks. Yes you read that correctly.
Focused industries are; Automotive, Consumer Products, High-Tech, Industrial Machiner & Components, Manufacturing, Mill Products, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution.
SAP Business ByDesign offers starter packages for different areas such as: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Professional Services, and Financials. Starting packages allow you to start with one SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) solution (such as CRM) to address an immediate pain point. Then as you grow you can turn on more modules as you them. CLICK HERE FOR A SHORT CLIP ADDRESSING STARTER PACKAGES
So don’t let the big guy scare you. To ride a big wave, you have to start from the small end. Just jump on and enjoy the ride.
1. Budget – A brand new system is a significant investment. What is your budget? One school of thumb is a company will spend between 1.5 and 3% of one years total revenue on a new system – that’s software, hardware and services. Yes that’s a lot! Good think you only have to do this once (if you pick the right package…) In the last few years, we have seen Cloud ERP systems really catch on.
2. Benefit vs. Risk – Of course upgrading your systems can be like swimming with the sharks - gnarly. Even with a SaaS based implementaiton there is risk. Though if your business is growing, it’s better to do it sooner or later. Let’s face it, the bigger you get, and the more people you have working, the harder it gets. Putting in a new system allows you to manage and control the growth. Check out our case study on a cusotmer who doubled without adding any internal staff.
3. Information– Are you getting the information you want in real time? If not, you have a problem. New systems can give you what you need at a click of a button. With pretty graphs and everything. And the data is current, in real time.
4. Adoption – Are your users happy with the current system? Do they complain a lot, or are they resigned to entering data two, three and four times? Growing, successful business change. Period.
5. Efficiency – Is your time being optimized? An ERP system is built to improve your business and free up resources. How many systems do you have “talking” to each other? I bet they all speak different languages too…which means you aren’t getting what you want, and what you do get takes a long time.
Time to go swimming with the sharks.
OK so we told you what Cloud Computing is. Now on to the applications! Let’s start with good ol’ ERP.
Is it for everybody? Of course not. Since “Cloud computing” is the new buzzwords, and everyone hears about companies able to very quickly implement, access the system from anywhere, get invoiced on a monthly basis, and eliminate costly upgrades. Questions arise, however, concerning the benefits of accessing information “on the cloud” versus a traditional server. By using SaaS (Software as a Service) based system, the servers are run by a 3rd party, and users remotely access the system. The traditional, familiar concept of accessing a server tends to give people a sense of security; by allowing companies to see where their data is being stored, they achieve a sense of control (more on this in a later post!). However, beyond the surface structure there are other differences that a company should take into consideration when selecting the type of ERP system they wish to employ.
On Premise Cloud Server On-Site Hosted Remotely Systems / Data / Security Handled locally Handled centrally IT Staff IT Staff Heavy IT Staff Light / Non-Existent $$ Upfront Cash Expenditures Pay-As-You-Go Growing (and Shrinkage!) Issues with Scalability Real-time Scalable (both ways) Implementation Slow Deployment Rapid Deployment Configuration Unlimited Customizability Best Practices Upgrades Upgrade Incrementally Upgrades Automatically
Selecting a hosted ERP solution, or an on-site ERP software system is a decision that all companies who plan to implement an ERP solution will have to make. In the meantime, have fun with this information, as I see a nice wave coming…
Yesterday I was about to bust out my next blog entry right before hitting the surf, when boom – the electricity went out in the office. Everything went dark. I went outside our office and talked to the neighbors, and sure enough it was the whole area. Yea SDGE (San Diego Gas and Electric.)
Now, a few years ago, we might as well have packed up and called it a day. This happened around 1:00 PM and can’t stop working unannounced and unplanned in the middle of the day.
We are big believers in practicing what we preach. A few months ago we moved all of our internal servers and IT to the Cloud. So when the electricity went out, we kept on working. The developers and consultants went home and logged on from there (are remote people weren’t even affected!), the salespeople went to the local hotel bar and used the wireless internet. And I went…to the beach.
So the next time you have an issue with your internal servers, or electricity, or there is a natural disaster, think of this post. And realize, if your servers were in a professional hosting enviornment, you would still be in business!
So we’ve talked to a lot of people recently who want to know what this mysterious “Cloud” is. Well, I could look it up in a dictionary or an academic website and tell you what the technical definition is, like we’ve seen many times before…except that’s boring. Let’s break it down to something simple.
Basically, when people say, “The Cloud” they mean you can use something on your computer that connects to a server which isn’t at your place. You can’t see the server, and that’s why everyone calls it the “Cloud” – i.e. your information is going up there somewhere, and it’s working, but you just can’t see it. So it’s going into a cloud. Hey don’t look at me like that – it wasn’t me that coined the term.
Some basic examples are free e-mail systems: gmail, hotmail, me.com, aol.com, and so on. You are connecting to and using these systems, and the e-mail server isn’t in your office – at least I’m pretty sure it isn’t, unless you have a really big office. So you connect “To The Cloud” and link up with these centrally managed e-mail systems, which are secure (most of the time – more on that in a future post), robust, and accessible from anywhere. And they have great functionality: no more upgrading your e-mail systems, and you can connect to them anytime at work, while traveling, at home, at the beach, etc. all right from the browser.
That’s why we are selling the SAP Business ByDesign and Microsoft Dynamics products in the Cloud. Nothing to install – just get trained, move some data over, and away you go. And, with the right secure login, your people can access it from anywhere.
More to come on these later. But, for now, I want to make sure we have the basics covered.
Time to surf. Aloha.
I have been talking to a lot of people about the Cloud, aka OnDemand, aka Hosting, aka SaaS, everyone always brings up security. Yes for sure security is a big issue with everyone. And since we represent SAP Business ByDesign, which is an ERP and CRM system, who would ever want their financial and sales data to be stolen. Not much could be worse!
Well when you hear about these horror stories about Sony PlayStation and all the other guys having issues, this is actually a good thing. Because the fact is that will make the companies like Microsoft and SAP really tighten down on their security, as they see what a little bad press can do.
I liken this to airplane and car crashes. Statistically there are much more car accidents and you are much more likely to be injured or die in a car crash. An airplane ride is much more complex and difficult mode of transportation, and even with all the flights in the world every day, there are only a very small number of accidents. The thing is every time there is one, it is front page news and you hear about it.
Same with Cloud security breaches. At the end of the day, the Cloud providers are a lot safer, as they have much more sophisticated defenses. And smaller organizations get hacked all the time – you just don’t know about it – in fact, a lot of times they don’t even know it happened. That makes the Cloud a pretty good place to hang out. Don’t let the stories out there scare you.
Maybe this will clear up some of that fear about flying in the Cloud. Oops I’m getting my metaphors mixed up.
Great news everyone! I talked to my guys, and they just came back from a session with a new customer of ours, who is mainly a Mac shop. Turns out SAP Business ByDesign works on their Apple Mac computers. They have a few PC’s, so they are a mixed-mode company.
A few small hiccups – the online training doesn’t come through correctly on them. Good news is we found out from the big guys at SAP that they are going to fully build out the product so it is fully functioning on Mac’s, and that will be something they always continue to do.
So for all you users who have Macs and don’t know what ERP product can work on your Apple systems, now you do!
Whoa did you see that wave! Gotta run!
Screen Shot of SAP Business ByDesign on Apple Mac
Welcome to our blog, where we talk about our experiences with SAP, Business ByDesign and the Cloud. We are a ByDesign partner with our global HQ in sunny San Diego, CA, and we like to mix our business with a little fun and relaxation.
As a company, we have been working with small and mid-sized companies since 1995, and I’ll tell you we are as excited as we’ve been in years. This new product that SAP has put out is just awesome. If you didn’t know, SAP Business ByDesign is the new Cloud based (aka SaaS or Hosted) ERP and CRM system. It is very affordable (at most $149 / user / month) and can be deployed in literally a few weeks. Imagine being on SAP, the world’s premiere business management software, in a few weeks for a small amount per month, accessible from anywhere!
SAP Business ByDesign is so revolutionary that we decided to write this blog to show different capabilities of the product (i.e. the cool stuff), keep everyone in the loop to all the happenings at SAP and throw some general cloud information in there as well. It will include product demos, news updates, articles, infographics, and even interviews with customers and SAP people.
I (Michael Anderson) have been working with ERP since the mid-90’s and am the founder and CEO of Radiant Technologies. Brian Donohue, our Services and Delivery Manager (and ByDesign product manager) is a 20 year veteran in this industry (yes he’s old, hahaha), and actually quite a bit smarter than me. Don’t tell him that though.
Feel absolutely free to drop us a line about what you would like to see or hear about. And leave comments below so we can answer your questions and get some discussion going! To subscribe to the blog, press the subscribe button on the right.
OK everyone, looks like the surf is up, so we are going to head to the beach for a while….see you when we get back…
Hang Loose dudes and dudettes!