Derek Singleton

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Top Stories by Derek Singleton

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)

Can Open Source ERP Succeed?

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)

Calculating the Total Cost of Ownership for On-Premise and SaaS Solutions

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)

Cloud Computing: It’s Not About the Web Browser

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)

How MRP and Production Planning and Scheduling Software Differ

Without a doubt, one of the most difficult stages of manufacturing production is the planning stage. Minor errors in predicting demand or planning materials can lead to costly mistakes such as producing too much or carrying excess inventory. To drive out waste and produce at the most efficient levels, manufacturers increasingly rely on information technology during the planning stages. Two of the most popular planning applications on the market today are material requirements planning (MRP) software and production planning and scheduling software. While it's generally understood... (more)