Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Sage advice on cloud computing

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
June 06, 2011

Just where is ERP in the cloud today? That’s the question I put to Himanshu Palsule, executive vice president of strategy for Sage North America, last Friday.

Whether you call it cloud computing, on-demand or Software-as-a-Service, this new model for the delivery of business software systems is one we’ve all been hearing about for the last year. When it comes to ERP, most of the conversation has been from NetSuite. Now, other ERP vendors, including Sage, are developing solutions for the space.

According to Palsule, Sage is taking a different approach to what it will deliver ERP solutions. “The cloud has created a huge opportunity to provide remote access to a software application,” he says. “But much of the focus has been on users with access to an Internet connection. The focus is now shifting to the user who isn’t on their computer, whether that’s a CFO getting on a plane or a warehouse manager who needs to look at inventory when he’s outside the four walls. We’re using that as an opportunity to change how things are done.”

In Sage’s view, it’s customers – and there are about 6 million of them globally – don’t want to toss out the investment they’ve made in their existing ERP systems. Instead, they want to leverage their current investment by taking advantage of what’s happening on the web.

Sage will continue to offer an on-premise ERP solution. However, the provider is offering services that augment the ERP in the cloud. “Features that a customer may want to use now and then will be added in as services they can consume at their convenience,” Palsule says.

An application to take physical inventory is an example of the type of service that an end user could subscribe to in the cloud. “Customers don’t have to take a physical inventory every day,” Palsule says. “They can access it in the cloud and only pay for it when they use it.” EDI is another example that might be relevant to supply chain users.

Sage is also planning on rolling out several different ways to access ERP, depending on where your business is positioned in its growth.

An online business solution, the pure cloud model, might be appropriate for a customer just getting started with ERP but without an IT infrastructure in place.

An on-premises solution will still be available for those businesses that want to run their ERP in a conventional fashion.

Or, a user can use a hybrid model of on-premises ERP with additional services in the cloud.

“If they want to use the solution on premise, we’re fine with that; if they want to use it entirely in the cloud, we’re fine with that. And, there are connected services whether they’re on premise or in the cloud,” Palsule says.

As to supply chain execution solutions, like warehouse management, Sage does not offer those yet. But, like NetSuite, they are talking to their third party partners, like Accellos, to offer solutions in the cloud. “Our traditional supply chain execution partners are converting their products into cloud services,” Palsule says. “We’re not there yet, but I think you’ll see more parts of the enterprise that will be automated in the future.”

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Conveyor manufacturers revise growth estimate up from 2% to 5%.

Experienced executive joins provider of automated storage and retrieval systems.

This white paper will outline the use of automated, software-driven picking technologies such as horizontal carousels, vertical carousels and vertical lift modules for inventory picking. These automated picking technologies can slash fulfillment times, labor needs and warehouse footprint requirements, while vastly improving throughput and worker productivity. This supports same-day and next-day delivery objectives and boosts customer satisfaction. Download the complimentary white paper.

How to identify and reduce the six types of waste common to every battery room.

Most departments to double in size, electrical controls department to increase four-fold.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. Contact Bob Trebilcock.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA