There's a reason old-guard ERP developers ran their businesses the way they did. It worked. Expensive maintenance contracts, calcified feature sets and costly hardware requirements didn't help your clients or your bottom line, but it certainly supported theirs. And every vendor wanted to play by the same rules: the names were different, and sometimes the preferred database or server platform varied, but there was nowhere else to turn. Now that cloud ERP has broken those rules, companies are breaking free of the old limitations. Here's how Solution Provider partners can help your clients plan their own day of liberation from on-premise systems:
Like any major project, you should start by guiding your client to organize a leadership team, project charter, and tangible business goals. Doing business in the cloud can boost productivity, streamline processes and reduce administrative costs. What will your client do with that newfound freedom and cash flow?
Identify the client's business requirements, including data migration and integration needs. If they are like most on-premise ERP users, they probably have a wish-list a mile long of capabilities and integrations they would have liked in the old system, but could never afford or simply could not achieve at any price. Switching to a modern, extensible cloud architecture will open up those possibilities.
Assemble cross-functional teams to design the dashboards, workflows and reports your client needs to be more successful, and plan early to train the users on how these capabilities will fit in to normal business activities. Planning for training is a must—cloud computing can shave months or even years off the typical deployment time for on-premise software, so it will be needed much sooner than a previous on-premise deployment would require.
Many companies seize up when faced with the prospect of transferring customer and transactional data to a new system. At NetSuite, we have helped thousands of companies transition from on-premise systems to the cloud, so we know how to succeed. Still, be prepared with the validation cases and stress tests your client needs to see in order to assure all stakeholders that the new solution is ready for action.
Deploy the solution in the manner best suited to the client (departmental pilots are still considered a best practice, if you prefer to avoid a "big bang" rollout) and be ready to accept input and feature requests. Changes in the cloud are not nearly as cumbersome, costly or time-intensive as they are for on-premise systems, so you can further enhance the client's solution on the fly to ensure ongoing success.
Customers tell us all the time that they see tangible bottom-line improvements simply by switching to NetSuite—saving money on support, maintenance and servers, benefiting from real-time insights into business performance, and enhancing security while expanding access to any mobile device. These steps will help NetSuite business partners in prepare your clients for their own Liberation Day.
Amede Hungerford - Sr. Director, Partner Marketing