An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an essential solution for businesses across the globe, especially in this age of digitization. However, enterprises especially the small and mid-sized ones (SMEs) who have a limited budget, must always consider the deployment type of an ERP system. More importantly, before investing in any platform.
Talking about deployment types, you have two primary categories – first is the cloud-based ERP system, or the second is that which is installed locally. The way you are going to deploy your ERP solution will decide what impact it would have on your resources, staff, budget, and your overall business in the long-run.
SAP Business One, also known as SAP B1, is a leading ERP solution that is specifically designed for SMEs, to help them manage their day-to-day business functions. This software platform features all the necessary functional modules for customer relationship management, finance, production management, reporting and analytics, warehousing and inventory management, purchasing and procurement, billing and invoicing, and human resources. This software mainly aims at automating and streamlining these key business processes, thus enabling one to transform their firm into a profitable place for growth.
What is SAP Business One Solution and What are its Types?
But before opting for an SAP Business One solution, the immediate question that crops up in the mind of the users is which one to choose – whether to keep everything in-house or to use the Monthly Subscription version for every user. For the ease of multiple businesses following various business modules, SAP Business One runs both on-cloud and on-premise. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, both are intended towards serving specific small and medium-sized businesses as per their needs and demands.
The traditional on-premise environment takes care of all the hardware requirements of the SAP B1 platform that is purchased. In the case of the on-cloud solution of SAP B1, on the other hand, one can do two things. First, one can buy the software, and secondly, one can also choose to go for the On-Demand solution of SAP Business One.
Deploying your system in the cloud would mean that the ERP application of your company and all associated data will be centrally managed by the solution vendor. Thus, allowing you to access it easily via a web browser.
On the other hand, if you choose an on-premise solution, you can install your application locally on the servers and hardware of your company. Which also means that your own IT staff would manage the entire solution. Considering your unique business requirements and after comparing the benefits you would get with each of the deployment models, you can easily be able to make the right selection.
What is On-Cloud SAP Business One?
In an On-Cloud system, the application is deployed through the internet. So, customization is easy. This is a modern trend in ERP systems, and it is easily accessible via browsers that are running on smartphones or other mobile devices. Also, it is possible to integrate the On-Premise platform with other third-party platforms or applications.
As mentioned earlier, if you are using On-Cloud SAP Business One solution, then you will have two options. Either you can purchase the software, in which case the SAP partner would host the application on your behalf within the data center. Alternatively, you can also choose to rent the system every month and use the SAP B1 On-Demand solution, instead of purchasing the entire software.
Advantages of On-Cloud Model
Irrespective of the business module, an On-Cloud SAP B1 ERP system can serve the modern-day organizations in the following ways –
Quick and Enhanced Return on Investment:
Even though you are no doubt having to make an initial investment here, the returns are much higher in terms of long-term profit and growth. Moreover, not only the returns are a lot quicker, but it also ensures the minimum disruption for your business. Thus, enabling you to run your everyday operations smoothly.
No Hardware Management:
With an On-Cloud SAP Business One solution, users no longer need to purchase any third-party Server platform or Firewall. This system runs on a pay-as-you-go module, which is more preferred by businesses of today. Nobody likes to invest more time, money, and resources in additional hardware.
Automatic Software Updates:
The SAP B1 On-Demand solution is generally customized to a standard level. Thus, keeping the fundamental ERP features intact for all the customer instances. This further helps to push the software’s version and patch updates to the instance quite easily. Therefore, the On-Demand platform is more easily upgradable as compared to the On-Premise SAP B1 solution.
It is recommended for the fast-growing SMEs to better choose the SAP Business One On-Demand or Hosted solution over the On-Premise solution. This is because the former is highly scalable as far as Hardware resources are concerned. Therefore, one can find it easy to add more RAM, and add better internet connectivity and speed. Also, increase the instance storage size, add more processing power, and achieve many more, unlike the On-Premise model.
Good Data Security:
In the On-Cloud SAP B1 model, you can rest assured that all your data is well-protected. Besides that, data is encrypted as it is stored in secure data centres, along with an array of physical as well as network safeguards. Although many organizations are a bit sceptical about the security concerns of the On-Demand model, it is in fact the best solution for all small and medium-sized enterprises.
The fixed monthly subscription plan for the software and the user covers all the significant features that one looks for in an ERP system if you are using the On-Demand model. Moreover, several SAP Partners host SAP B1 in the local data centres. While offering the solution in a monthly per-user subscription plan.
Better Utilization of Resources:
The Hosted or On-Demand SAP B1 solutions also mean that you will be able to use your internal resources more efficiently and economically. You will get the help of a third party to handle tracking, managing, monitoring, maintenance, and support system. So, you can make sure that your IT staff is focusing only on adding value to your firm.
What is On-Premise SAP Business One?
If you deploy the SAP Business One ERP system in the conventional On-Premise environment, all your SAP hardware will be hosted and managed within your server. In addition, the customer can manage everything right from the HANA database, the data centres, applications, Operating Systems, servers, middleware, networking, and virtualization.
However, running an On-Premise SAP B1 ERP solution can be quite time-consuming at times. It also required the users to put in much effort and money while setting up as well as managing the internal server. No matter whether the resources were readily and freely available.
Advantages of the On-Premise Model
With the On-premises SAP Business One platform solution, businesses can have the following advantages –
Most organizations generally have strict data security compliance of their own. They are the ones who are not willing to sync any of their critical business data to any third-party system. This includes supplier information, product pricing, product price lists, volume, and period discounts. Most importantly, the customer and their order details. Hence, if these are the policies that your company widely adhered to, the SAP Business One On-Premise is the recommended solution for you.
The On-Premise SAP Business One model supports highly customized business flows more efficiently as compared to the On-Cloud solutions. Anyway, there aren’t any restrictions put on customization options for the On-Premise system. Moreover, if yours is a unique and exceptional business scenario, tailoring your ERP application as per your demands is possibly the only solution towards survival. So, it is better to go for the On-Premise model.
Besides, you must also take into consideration third-party integrations. Most companies would use multiple systems to carry on with their business operations together with the SAP Business One system. These include CRM for sales employees, the POS system of retail stores, eCommerce, and other marketplace websites for online retail businesses. While the 3PL software platform for shipment is followed by order fulfilment processes. The integration methods for all of these essential POS, eCommerce, CRM, and 3PL systems can be better achieved through SAP Business One On-Premise solutions.
You may have well-deployed and well-maintained on-premises infrastructure for your business. However, practically there is no point in abandoning your internal servers if you are still continuously generating a good ROI. Also, there would be absolutely no sense in replacing it with a third-party centre or a platform. For which you would have to pay a fixed monthly fee. Instead, you might consider migrating the concerned infrastructure only when it is up for up-gradation or renewal.
In a nutshell, you must choose a deployment solution that would be flexible enough to grow along with you. There’s nothing like having an ERP application that would streamline all your business processes and your overall business module. The right ERP solution would facilitate a healthy business structure and environment.
Summary: SAP Business One Deployment Options; On-premise and Cloud