Following a recent announcement by ERP Consultancy firm Panorama that the cloud ERP market has grown from six per cent to 16 per cent over the last two years, K3 Syspro (K3) is also reporting significant growth in cloud-based SYSPRO ERP solutions being implemented at SME firms
K3’s ‘SYSPRO in the cloud’ package offers manufacturing companies in particular considerable benefits such as ‘enhanced flexibility, ‘work anywhere’ access, ‘state-of-the-art and stress free hosting’, ‘scalability’ and ‘cost of ownership’.
Well established UK manufacturer, S & P Coil Products Ltd (SPC), a specialist producer and supplier of heating and cooling equipment to the public and private sectors, is typical of SME businesses who have taken advantage of this growing and popular option to have their ERP deployed from the cloud.
As a world leader in heat exchange and recovery with additional manufacturing capability in Dubai and Qatar, SPC is able to provide bespoke solutions and help customers with special requirements and tight project deadlines thanks to its flexible manufacturing operations. SYSPRO in the cloud plays a critical role in this process and has been confirmed as necessary for growing the business.
The company has been operating SYSPRO in the cloud for over a year and seen the benefits of such a move literally go skyward.
"We needed a solution that would enable us to move forward and it was important for the software to adapt to the evolution of the company. We’ve seen our work volumes increase and SYSPRO in the cloud allows us to scale up and improve our efficiencies. This is particularly important as we operate just-in-time business processes and need these to be effective," says Ali Soomro, MIS Project Manager for SPC.
The company first approached K3 in 2011 and opted for a tailored and cloud hosted SYSPRO ERP solution, provided as a fully managed solution by sister division K3 Managed Services.
There were two important security reasons for SPC choosing a cloud solution: rapid data recovery, as SYSPRO can be fully restored quickly, and limited data loss because the system regularly backs up data automatically. System failures are rare but when they happen K3 Managed Services responds immediately to get the system restored to full operational status. Therefore, system up time is maximised by the resilience of SYSPRO in the cloud and the expertise of K3 Managed Services.
As Ali Soomro explains: "I wanted to get away from the blame culture associated with ERP systems whereby a problem results in a nonproductive situation where the user’s IT department blames the vendor and vice versa. "By having K3 Managed Services hosting and managing SYSPRO for us, we can monitor how effective it is for our business. If there is a problem, we know that K3 Managed Services will resolve it for us. We have 24/7 support and this frees our internal IT team from general system and network management and troubleshooting, which allows them to concentrate on developing our products.
"It is reassuring to know that our critical business data is being looked after offsite in a data centre that is shared by other big businesses and recognised brand owners. It means that we don’t need lots of IT hardware onsite and that experts are looking after our data. This gives us peace of mind at all times."
A recent report from the Aberdeen Group states that 70% of companies that invest in cloud ERP do so in order to reduce their overall cost of ownership and the same is true for SPC. The decision to deploy SYSPRO in the cloud has fitted in well with the company’s strategy as it looks to expand even further over the next few years, adding workforces in a number of countries. Adding new users to the company IT network is easy, fast and cost effective when using a cloud solution.
"By having SYSPRO deployed in the cloud, we are able to easily add new sites to the solution. It just makes our whole working infrastructure so much easier. Staff can access the cloud from anywhere on a multitude of devices and we pay per user. This helps us to continue to move forward without having to constantly return to the office for menial administrative tasks."
"We have been impressed with SYSPRO since we went live with it in Leicester and in our Middle Eastern offices, So far we have integrated our sites in Leicester, Dubai, Saudi, Qatar and our workshops in the Middle East onto the K3 cloud. We are also looking to expand the business into India, concluded Ali Soomro."
Another firm to benefit from SYSPRO in the cloud is automotive lighting manufacturer Invertec. Having an international presence again steered the choice of ERP system to a fully managed cloud solution.
SYSPRO has replaced an old, bespoke system built by Invertec and last updated 10 years ago. Rather than spend time and money updating the existing system, Invertec sought a modern solution to help reduce order lead-time, better meet customer expectations and replace a weak existing material requirements planning (MRP) system.
K3 was responsible for delivery of a global solution and undertook implementation locally in Malaysia whilst utilising local SYSPRO partners in the Asia-Pacific region. This approach ensured easy integration of data throughout all of Invertec’s worldwide offices; its Far East division in Malaysia and two sites in the UK via the K3 cloud network. K3 co-ordinated the entire solution to ensure that Invertec’s ERP solution was updated with all the local legislative and governance requirements.
A recent report from YouGov states that 20 per cent of CIOs think their ERP system is flexible but a cloud hosted solution can grow alongside a company. Updating ERP was previously a problem for Invertec but by deploying SYSPRO in a cloud environment, K3 Managed Services handles this task within the K3 cloud network. Like SPC, Invertec simply adds or remove users on demand. This means Invertec has a modern, fully managed solution that can grow or contract along with the company’s own growth patterns.
Both SPC and Invertec have reported significant gains since converting to SYSPRO in the cloud; enhanced customer responsiveness, greater data security and better flexibility. K3’s own experience of cloud ERP reinforces the fact that cloud-deployed ERP solutions are experiencing greater popularity than ever before.