Prepare Your Business for the “Cloud Generation”

01/12/16 | 8:00AM | Posted by TEAM Software

CATEGORIES: Best Practices, Solutions

Cloud Icon-01Technology trends track much faster today than in the past. When the telephone first came on the scene, it took 75 years to get 50 million people to adopt it. It took 13 years for that same number of people to embrace television. The Internet took only four years. The Angry Birds app? 35 days.[1]

A month may be a stretch, but onboarding new technologies is happening much more quickly. 2016 will definitely see the rise of the Cloud Generation. Advanced analytics and big data are gaining traction. 3-D printers are being used in manufacturing and production. Mobile is ubiquitous. And companies are getting much more comfortable with the Cloud. A new report by Verizon Enterprise Solutions shows that cloud computing is finally mainstream, with nearly every company using it in some way in their business. A third of those surveyed said that at least half their workloads are in the cloud; Oracle is predicting this will be 70% by 2025.

Many ERP providers have seen significant increases in cloud users recently. In fact, Epicor saw a 71% year-over-year increase in cloud users in the last year. Why? One key factor is that SaaS solutions generally offer the same (or better) functionality without requiring expensive upgrades, multiple systems management or dedicated IT resources. In fact, Nucleus Research found that cloud applications deliver 1.7 times the ROI of on-premises applications and Oracle estimates that the cost of ownership of on-premises solutions is 30 to 50% more than Cloud

In addition to ROI and cost-of-ownership benefits, Cloud solutions enable companies to evolve their systems with new capabilities through their ERP partner or third party provider. What capabilities should you consider? That largely depends on your business, but a good rule of thumb is to automate wherever you can to save time, money and resources. Experts generally concur that if you’re not automating at least some of your business processes, you’re lagging behind your competition. According to Gartner, 75% of companies employ an average of four automation technologies. Much of your everyday workload can be automated. Affordable and efficient SaaS options allow you to more efficiently manage human resources and benefits management, payroll and finances, order fulfillment, inventory management, demand planning and, of course, tax compliance.

Automating sales and use tax is a huge time and money saver for businesses. Forrester Research ran an economic impact study on several ERP customers and found that these companies had the equivalent of two accountants spending 70% of their time manually invoicing customers and determining sales taxes. After automating this process in their ERP systems (EPICOR in this instance), these same companies saved the equivalent of 1.4 accountants’ time and expense annually (an average of roughly $385,000 over five years). TechValidate surveyed Avalara customers and found that these companies were able to reduce the time spent on sales and use tax management by 50% or more by using automation software.

The whole point of an ERP is to help your business grow efficiently. Leveraging the Cloud lets you make faster decisions, often in real time, and scale operations or shift gears as needed. Done right, adding other Cloud capabilities to your existing ERP system should be a smooth process. And there’s no better feeling for a business than starting a new year with a (re)fresh perspective.

TEAM Software has partnered with Avalara on an automated sales tax solution integrated with WinTeam, our core financial and operations solution. Want to learn more? Contact us or check out an on-demand webinar that gets under the hood on how an automated sales tax solution can work for you  (to watch the whole webinar, you’ll need to click the blue “download” button in the top right corner of the screen).

TEAM Software is committed to providing our clients with the best possible solutions to help them profit from efficiency. One way TEAM does this is by partnering with other companies who provide innovative technology solutions that complement TEAM’s existing suite of products. That’s why we developed a strategic partnership with Avalara, a company developing best-in-class sales tax compliance software. This article was modified and used with permission from Avalara.

[1] Citi Digital Strategy Team