Manufacturing software vendors are making aggressive moves to the cloud. In
the past year alone, four vendors rolled out a full suite
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings for the industry. That brings the
current tally of SaaS players in the manufacturing arena to five: Epicor
Express, Infor SyteLine, NetSuite, Plex, and SAP Business ByDesign.
The buzz around the cloud has manufacturers asking if a cloud solution is
right for them. To help answer that question, I'll explore the features and
functionality each vendor offers, and the ideal target market for each. Many
more vendors are redesigning their software for the cloud, but I thought I
would spotlight the five that are already there.
First, here's a brief introduction to the vendors.
In May of 2010, Epicor released Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition (Epicor
Express), the SaaS version of their Epicor 9 produc... (more)
If you're like me, you rely on a host of cloud applications to get your job
done each day. While the convenience and familiarity of apps built for the
web is great, I can't help but notice the difference between each user
interface (UI) I use. Currently, all cloud-based ERP software vendors are
approaching the user interface with their own design style. For users that
work with multiple cloud apps each day, this can be disorienting - not to
mention bad for productivity and usability.
As more products are built for the cloud, I believe that we ought to start
thinking about creati... (more)
Open source has been a great success for infrastructure software such as
Linux, Apache and MySQL. Here at Software Advice, we've made use of all
three. We've also made extensive use of open source development libraries
like jQuery. For apps, however, we have either rolled our own or deployed
commercial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.
We're not alone in that decision. Open-source applications have failed to
gain mainstream acceptance. Despite passionate communities and a compelling
value proposition, businesses just aren't buying open-source enterprise
applications. The l... (more)
Disclaimer: This article discusses evaluating the total cost of ownership
(TCO) for on-premise and SaaS solutions. However, information in this article
should not be construed as financial advice.
Six months ago my boss sent me an interactive calculator that the New York
Times created to help people decide whether it's a better financial decision
to buy a home or simply rent one. He shared the calculator with me because,
at the time, we were looking for interesting ways to visualize data and
relate it back to our work at Software Advice where we review enterprise
software system... (more)
The primary innovation behind software as a service (SaaS) is the web-based
architecture - users accessing the system through a web browser rather than,
say, a Windows application. Proponents of SaaS have trumpeted the benefits of
this technological shift. Meanwhile, vendors with older client/server
products have evolved their architectures to offer web-based deployment. Some
systems are more elegant than others, but today just about every enterprise
software vendor offers a web access option.
Why then is the new class of SaaS (or cloud) application vendors racing ahead
with gre... (more)