How Eliminating Customizations Benefits Vendors & Customers

Last week, we discussed why the need for customizations is eliminated by a cloud-based system. Let’s dig into why it is beneficial to keep the version the same for all customers. There's a tremendous advantage to doing so, both for the vendors and customers. The one that you mentioned that is the most important is the vendor is the only one supporting the version of the software. Anyone who has worked as a vendor would agree that even when there was only an upgrade once every one or two years, eventually you’ll end up maintaining multiple versions. Having your customers running dozens of versions of software makes it very challenging from a support standpoint and when it comes to statutory requirements like a tax change. All of those things came into play to making ERP systems very difficult to support.

The good news is that with CloudSuite, everybody is running the same version and it's easier to support. The bad news is nobody can put one of these systems in like you install Microsoft Office. You don't just drop it in and start writing it – you configure it, extend it, customize it to meet your specific needs (not by changing the course source code but in in terms of the small stuff). In the past, you would change an ERP system one of two ways: either by writing something and sort of plugging it in on the side, or by taking the core code that the vendor delivered to me and changing it. Once you do that, you're not running the same software delivered to you by the vendor, instead you're running custom software. What creates the challenge is that you have to undo that if you need to do an upgrade, so keep this in mind before adding a bunch of customizations.

In other words, the good news about the Cloud is that you don't have the ability to go in and change the core code of the application. The vendor delivers capabilities through an enterprise application platform. In the case of Infor, they leveraged Amazon Web Services and they put the applications on top of it. Then they built a platform that's designed to support their enterprise apps like HR, Finance, Supply Chain, and that platform gives customers the ability to extend the application. I want to build a custom module that I can plug into HR, a custom application, your supply chain system, or even interface the system to a third-party product. The platform gives you the ability to plug those things into your core ERP system without changing the core source code, making it a lot more flexible and easier to use.

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