“In times of economic and business uncertainty, cybercriminals are taking full advantage of the situation,” says Emma Vas, Director of Product Marketing for Distribution, Epicor, in an Exclusive interview with Enterprise Talk.
Why is cloud ERP going to be the preferred solution in low business times?
Cloud ERP software is going to be the preferred solution in low business times because it brings a predictable cost model for operating ERP software. With the cloud, IT expenses to move from capital expenses to operational expenses. The cost of maintaining servers, other hardware, disaster recovery, back-ups, even keeping the air-conditioning running in the server room go away. Once that predictable cost model is in place, distributors benefit from greater efficiency as their IT resources can spend more time prioritizing the business and driving real strategic value, rather than getting stuck in administrative tasks. IT teams don’t have to spend time worrying about an expensive server replacement looming ahead.
By standardizing technology investments in the cloud with a few or single trusted service providers, distributors simplify their application and infrastructure strategy to one that is able to scale as required by business needs.
Some of our distributors have had to deal with several vendors for their hardware and their applications to manage their ERP operations. With the cloud, they can replace them with a single enterprise solution- giving them one hand to shake.
Letting an expert service provider manage the administrative aspects of running IT, keeping systems updated, and keeping the business current with the latest technologies, means their IT team can refocus on the highest value business projects. Distributors that choose cloud deployed ERP solutions will be the ones that can stay focused through industry change, and maintain an advantage against competitors who would otherwise get distracted.
Furthermore, Epicor recently interviewed over 2,000 professionals in our ecosystem as part of the Epicor 2019 Global Growth Index survey and found 84% saw the cloud as playing an essential role in their growth strategy, 90% run cloud applications today (with 31% saying they use cloud significantly), and 92% are planning to invest in cloud applications this year. When looking at industry trends like this, it’s clear that the cloud is here, and distributors see it as the type of investment that can generate quantifiable returns.
Will the upgrade of Prophet 21 provide added security functionalities since that seems to be the biggest enterprise challenge today?
We had customers come to us saying, “Our servers are at end-of-life, so we need to replace them. I’d rather avoid the cost. I’m also worried about securing them.” By upgrading to a cloud environment, companies are reducing the cost and risk of data loss, compliance, and overall cybersecurity with capabilities like antimalware, 24×7 system monitoring, powerful threat intelligence, best-practice backup, disaster recovery practices, and high-quality solutions. This is to ensure business continuity, and in the event of a component failure, they can recover their data quickly and minimize disruption. Today this is a must-have.
In the current mass remote working scenario, how does a cloud ERP solution help in higher efficiencies?
Given the need today for remote work or wherever a distributor’s team is, they need reliable and secure communication tools to drive business continuity and rapidly respond, especially to customers or suppliers that are critical or essential to the business. Having a cloud-based ERP that runs in a browser from any device, from anywhere, without the hassle of a VPN, is important to a business’s future-proof strategy.
Cloud-based ERP solutions provide real-time availability of data, but how do they assure the security of that data? How does azure help?
Some of our on-premises customers have shared that they have been hit by ransomware, or they know that their competitors and suppliers have been. They come to us telling us they need help to protect their systems better.
Just recently, we’ve seen that in times of economic and business uncertainty, cybercriminals are taking full advantage of the situation. If you don’t have adequate security measures in place, you are vulnerable. In fact, one of the most popular ways that cybercriminals will infiltrate an organization is through email. Phishing is widely cited as the most popular cyber-attack, and if your company runs its email on the same servers or network as your business applications, that is the perfect highway for a hacker to get in and bring down your business. VPNs are even proven to be vulnerable. You need a smart isolation strategy that separates your business applications like ERP software, from your email.
Emma Vas is the Director of Product Marketing for Distribution at Epicor, where she is responsible for the go-to-market strategy for Epicor’s Distribution Products. Most recently, Emma served as Senior Director of Marketing, Product, and Campaigns for Zilliant Inc. Emma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin.