Will ERP tools be leaving your server rack?

The funny thing about working in a small company is that everyone wears many hats. This is my attempt at wearing the hat of "techie blogger." My goal is to post here on a regular basis about the roller coaster ride of taking enterprise level functionality and trimming it down for the force.com world.

When we first started out with Force.com over 5 years ago, the biggest question was "Is the manufacturing world ready for the next generation of tools that will change the way they think about ERP software?" So far, the reaction has been mixed. We are finding that smaller businesses tend to be more flexible in their ability to try out the Force.com model with Ascent loaded in. Many of these companies have never actually had a "business system" and are used to working with spreadsheets to manage their inventory, materials planning, order management, etc. These types of businesses have been very successful in utilizing the cloud for their ERP needs since they can get their users trained easily and the investment of transitioning is minimal.

The larger businesses is where the path gets a little rocky. Many have invested in larger systems with heavy consulting fees and "installed software." We have a customer today that left Microsoft Dynamics after a failed implementation and is enjoying great success with us. According to their testimonial, Ascent has given them a significant ROI. Based on this customer's experience and several other within our pool, it is become more and more comfortable to say that the next place for ERP software to thrive, is in the cloud. The journey has begun and Ascent has signed on as one of the tour guides along with salesforce.com. More to come on this story as we travel around...

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