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In-House Hosting vs. Cloud Based Hosting

In-House Hosting vs. Cloud Based Hosting

If you’ve recently decided to implement an ERP system like Epicor ERP at your company, you have a couple of options for where to deploy the system. You can either have it hosted on your in-house server or it can be hosted on a cloud server. Here is a look at each of these options.

 

In-House Servers

In-house servers are a more traditional route to providing the software your team needs to get its job done. The server is physically located at your place of business. Some of the reasons why this is still the best answer for many companies include:

  • You maintain complete control of the server. You are not reliant on the cloud for your security, but rather are able to find a custom solution to handle your security needs on your own
  • You can upgrade your system any time you’d like without paying additional hosting fees
  • All of your critical data remains in-house, with no access by third-parties

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to in-house hosting as well, including:

  • A large upfront investment in hardware and infrastructure
  • Space for your server room is required, as well as IT support
  • You have no guarantees regarding uptime or the time it takes to recover your data
  • You are responsible for backing up your data and you may be more likely to suffer data loss if there is a disaster in your area

 

Hosted Cloud Servers

Hosted cloud services allow you the opportunity to have access to the same software you would use with an in-house server, yet the software is accessible in the cloud. The benefits of host-based cloud services include:

  • The ability for your staff to access files even when they’re out of the office. Cloud-based services are available anywhere where there is an internet connection
  • You avoid the stress and expense of maintaining an in-house server, including the expense of having IT staff
  • Your host provides security, a disaster recovery plan, and an uptime guarantee
  • Hosted cloud services are scalable, meaning you pay for the services you need, when you need them, rather than shelling out money for services you don’t need simply because they were available in your big-box solution
  • You can initiate backup and restore processes from anywhere. Data on the cloud can be backed up in intervals as short as every fifteen minutes, which minimizes the potential for data loss
  • Your host will provide upgrades when they become available, ensuring that you’re using the newest technology available

The downside to hosted cloud servers includes:

  • The inability to access your files if your internet is down
  • You must pay a monthly hosting fee for the service
  • You may be limited on the amount of data and files you can store due to storage availability and cost

 

Which is Better?

Which solution is best for you depends greatly on the size of your business, the potential for growth, and the industry you’re in. If you have limited funds for investing in IT staff or infrastructure, or you don’t want the stress of maintaining your own server, a hosted cloud server may be the ideal solution for you. However, if you wish to be in control of your server, or if you deal with a lot of sensitive information — such as customer health records or financial data — and don’t feel comfortable with allowing a third-party to access that information, you may fare better with hosted services in-house.

 

Conclusion

EstesGroup is pleased to provide expert assistance in determining whether your business is best served by hosted cloud services or hosted services on your in-house server. Contact us today so we can begin exploring your options with you.

 

Download our Epicor ERP On-Premise (In-House) vs Cloud Hosted Calculator by filling out the form.

 

Why Cloud ERP is Right for Your Business

Why Cloud ERP is Right for Your Business

Cloud-based computing allows users to access their software applications on shared computing resources, thus avoiding the costs of managing and maintaining their own data center. It’s an ideal option for those who need guaranteed up-time and want the most up-to-date software applications available. More and more business is turning to cloud ERP software as well, as it provides the anywhere-access of all cloud applications and features a lower up-front investment.

What Is Cloud ERP Software?

ERP software integrates your business processes to foster automated workflows and provides you a full view of all of the various aspects of your business that make it work, including sales, finance, and production. The only major difference between cloud ERP software and on-premises ERP software is the physical location of the software. However, if that physical location is at the vendor’s data center and made available to you through the internet, you are able to access the software from anywhere.

The History of Cloud ERP

ERP software is now entering the phase where data is flowing freely across all aspects of a business and providing the ease and precision of automated workflows. It wasn’t always that way, however.

In the early 1960s, the original ERP was the pioneer computer system installed at a manufacturing plant in order to track materials. Two decades ago, business solutions were maintained on space-eating machines on premises of all types of businesses. ERP software was sold in large, cumbersome packages with questionable functionality.

Customizing that software required hiring someone to configure it through millions of lines of software code. If you had a problem, it would take a team of engineers to figure it out.

There were a number of issues that necessitated the progress of ERP to the cloud. The biggest of those issues is that the expense of the data center, the IT team, space for the computers, the computers themselves, the code writer and the engineers caused the powerful benefits of ERP software to be little more than a dream to everyone but the largest and most profitable companies. Further, the processes of inputting and accessing the information left little room for alternatives, and noncompliance with procedures was high as frustrated employees refused to conform to the system’s process changes.

Benefits of Cloud ERP

In addition to providing a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, without the demands of on-premises deployment, cloud ERP offers many other benefits, such as:

  • No upfront software licensing fees
  • The vendor handles all software updates and upgrades, meaning you and your employees always have access to the latest versio
  • Access to your data wherever you are
  • You pay only for the cloud services you need and you’re easily able to add more as your business grows or your needs change
  • A fixed monthly rate for the software that you rely on
  • Data is backed up regularly and there is a disaster recovery plan in place
  • Your vendor provides data security and your vulnerability to attacks is diminished, as your data is not located on premises
  • A limited amount of time is needed for implementation, meaning you can take advantage of the benefits of your cloud ERP a lot sooner

Why Cloud ERP Is Right for Your Business

Is your business in the process of growing and, therefore, requires a scalable solution? Do you have limited funds to invest in hardware, software, and IT personnel? Do you want guaranteed up-time and the knowledge that your data is recoverable in the event of a disaster? Do you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how much you’re going to pay each month for the business technology you require? Are you ready to start using your ERP system as soon as possible? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then cloud-based ERP is a great solution for you. Contact us for more information.

Want to know if EstesCloud Epicor ERP Hosting Makes Cents for your company? Download our free Epicor ERP On-Premise vs. Hosting Calculator

Cloud vs On Premise ERP

Cloud vs On Premise ERP

In-House Hosting Compared to Cloud-Based Hosting

When you hear about Cloud vs on premise ERP hosting, the conversation is about the server infrastructure on which your software applications run, and your data is stored. Both on premise (or in-house) and cloud-based options have benefits and downsides, so choosing between the two often comes down to costs, how much uptime you need, and the other specific needs of your company at this time.

What is In-House Hosting and Cloud-Based Hosting?

In-house hosting means that you house your infrastructure on-premises at your company. You have absolute control over your data, including how it is protected. Cloud-based hosting involves having your applications and data stored on a public or private cloud that is accessible to you over the internet.

The Benefits & Challenges In-House Hosting

Pros:

  • Physical control over your data and backup
  • Access to your data is not reliant on an internet connection

Cons:

  • Requires an investment in hardware and infrastructure, which depreciates rapidly — often within about four years
  • Requires dedicated space at your business, as well as a dedicated IT support team
  • Disaster recovery is difficult and there are no guarantees that your data can be recovered

The Benefits & Challenges of Cloud ERP

Pros:

  • A great option for small to medium-sized businesses who cannot afford the large investment needed to develop, maintain, and secure their data
  • Scalable, meaning that your solution grows along with your business
  • Backup, security, restoration, and support are all provided for you
  • You can back up your data as often as you’d like
  • You can access your data anywhere you are, as long as you have an internet connection

Cons:

  • You can’t access your data without an internet connection
  • You’re limited by internet speeds
  • Although your data is backed up, restoring large amounts of data may take some time, even with a fast internet connection

In Conclusion

When it comes to Cloud vs on premise ERP, there are good and bad points to either option. Cloud-based hosting is a good alternative for small to medium-sized businesses who wish to focus on all of the services that make the business great while resting in the knowledge that the data is monitored and secure. Cloud solutions remove the need to focus attention, time, money, and staff resources on building and maintaining your own personal data center that may “feel” safe, but actually comes with no guarantees.

For more information on our Cloud based hosting services – contact EstesGroup today.

Announcement: EstesGroup Awarded Epicor Managed Hosting Partner Certification

Announcement: EstesGroup Awarded Epicor Managed Hosting Partner Certification

Hosted Epicor Certified PartnerWe are proud to announce that EstesGroup is an Epicor Software Corporation Certified Managed Hosting Partner. EstesGroup is certified to host Epicor ERP and host Prophet 21 ERP systems. 

 

We are the only Epicor Partner to be Certified for Epicor Hosting, Epicor ERP Sales & Implementations, and Prophet 21 ERP Sales & Implementations.

 

This accreditation means that EstesGroup has met and exceeded Epicor Software Corporation’s rigid data center and expertise capability requirements for being awarded Certified Hosting Partner status. To learn more about these requirements please contact us.

 

“We are honored to be an Epicor-Certified Managed Hosting Partner for Epicor Software Corporation, and the only hosting partner to be certified for Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 ERP systems,” said Bruce Grant, CEO of EstesGroup. “Our company has both functional and technical consultants on staff who know Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 systems.  This means we not only know Managed IT, but we know the industry’s best-practice business processes and the underlying software as well. We provide a full-service solution to fit our clients’ needs.”

 

Epicor Software’s Chief Information Officer Rich Murr said, “Epicor and I would like to congratulate EstesGroup for becoming a Certified Epicor Managed Hosting Partner. EstesGroup has a long history in working with Epicor Software Corporation and our clients as a reseller and implementation consulting organization. Last year they became the first and only US Partner to be certified in Epicor ERP and Prophet 21, and now they achieved Hosting Partner for those products as well. EstesGroup continues to provide clients with a solid foundation of experienced consultants and high level hosting standards. We are looking forward to continued growth and excellent service with the EstesGroup team.”

 

EstesGroup is Certified by Epicor Software Corporation to host and manage clients’ Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 ERP systems. As a Certified Managed Hosting Provider, EstesGroup guarantees better than 99.5% uptime Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for clients’ ERP systems (to see EstesGroup’s 99.7% SLA click here).  EstesGroup is also a Microsoft Cloud Services Partner with SQL Administration, Security Administration, O365, MS Exchange, and Disaster & Recovery expertise.

 

To learn more about EstesGroup’s EstesCloud Epicor Hosting, visit our Epicor ERP Hosting page.

Contact EstesGroup today to learn more about Epicor ERP Hosting or Prophet 21 ERP Hosting.

 

 

 

 

 

About EstesGroup

 

Headquartered in beautiful Loveland Colorado, and established in 2004, EstesGroup (www.estesgrp.com) employees averages 25+ years of discrete manufacturing and distribution industry experience which they leverage to ensure client success. Their employees are spread-out throughout the United States which maximizes talent and local presence for their clients. EstesGroup is a certified reseller, certified implementor, and certified hosting provider for Prophet 21 and Epicor ERP 10. They implement full service cloud, hosted, or on-premise solutions based on client needs and requirements.

 

 

About Epicor Software Corporation           

 

Epicor Software Corporation (www.epicor.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is a manufacturer of Enterprise Resource Planning software solutions. Today, over 20,000 customers in 150 countries around the world rely Epicor’s  expertise and solutions to improve performance and profitability.

 

Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by EstesGroup and/or Epicor Software Corporation.

Cloud Computing Is Key To Recession Proofing Your Business

Cloud Computing Is Key To Recession Proofing Your Business

Recession-Proof Investments: Cloud Computing and the Refrigerator of the Future

We’ve long been told that necessity is the mother of invention, but when necessity is out of a sense of privation, reactions vary. Born and raised into the world of residential and commercial construction, I’ve felt the motion sickness that results from the ups and downs of the building cycle well into my earliest memories. And I‘ve been in business long enough to have stomached enough down-cycles to observe how different companies react to these changing economic climates.

 

As the current bull market gets slowly walked to the slaughterhouse, managers at all levels begin to wonder what it will mean for their own place within America’s larger business landscape. There is always the search for the investments that could be considered “recession-proof”—investments that will yield value during the current crisis, but would also serve as a foundation for future success. Simple cost-cutting is rarely such an investment—it yields short-term savings, but often at the expense of long-term objectives: I’ve never seen a hiker make it to the top of a peak faster by trimming down the soles of his boots.

 

That is, the most reactionary of companies looks to simple knee-jerk reactions to trim costs in order to get in line with shrinking revenues: eliminating optional programs or reducing essential services to their bare minimum. More innovative companies utilize this newfound necessity as a means of transforming their current state by getting ahead of the competition.

 

At the consumer level, the most well-known example of this phenomenon was the advent of the refrigerator. It was the Great Depression, of all things, that led to the broad use of the refrigerator by America’s large middle class. While it was, at the time, a significant capital expenditure for any given household, the refrigerator allowed families to save time and money: the ability to extend the life of the day’s victuals allows families to reduce waste, and thus cut costs, while also allowing them to expend the physical labor that would have been spent on the next meal on other activities. This rendered the old-fashioned ice box obsolete. In this way, times of downturn often have a way of surfacing new innovations—products that outpace their competitors suddenly emerge because the competitive landscape has reduced the viability of their less-innovative competitors.

 

Similarly, as America hit rock bottom in the late 2000s and early 2010s, cloud computing grew rapidly at the same time, as companies looked for ways to reduce cost and risk, while scaling up for the future. In this way, cloud computing may very well serve to become the coming recession’s refrigerator—the tool that will allow individuals and companies to strategically equip themselves not only for the hard times ahead, but also for the good times thereafter.

 

For Epicor customers, cloud computing surfaces as an opportunity to avoid the costs of replacing outdated hardware. Also, by moving installations into hosted environments, customers are able to eliminate the cooling costs required to keep their stacks on ice. Estes Group’s Epicor Cloud Managed Hosting offering (ECHO) is ready-by-design to protect and carry your company through the down-cycles and get you back into the saddle and riding the next bull market to better times. Looking to recession-proof your business? Please reach out to our team, and we’ll help you innovate a cloud computing strategy that will keep you ahead of the storm.

 

Are you looking for cloud computing options, or have questions on how we can help make your systems more flexible? Contact Us today or let us know below.

Data Center Location is Critical to Your Company’s Success and Survival

Data Center Location is Critical to Your Company’s Success and Survival

Looking California When You’re Feeling Minnesota: Where is the Best Data Center Location?

 

For manufacturing companies, the advent of “cloud computing” has raised a lot of questions.  Luckily, you don’t have to wander lonely as a cloud to find answers to your questions surrounding cloud solutions for your business.  Not as complicated as a cumulonimbus or as feathery as a cirrus, a cloud in the field of technology is as simple, or as complicated, as someone else’s computer.  But of the many questions a manufacturer may have, one frequently surfaces in relation to the location of the data: “So where is my data located, anyway?”

 

This isn’t a small squall of a question: if you are looking for an on-premise installation or a server stack in the cloud, your primary and secondary data centers’ location is a decision of atmospheric proportions—one with direct business impact.  

 

Whether choosing hosted or cloud solutions, your data center location is critical.  You must be wary of where exactly your data center servers are located, for all clouds are not created equal.  Downtime is the great fear when it comes to all things computing, and is often the result of natural disasters—and do you remember how long it took to get the power grid functioning in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria?  Clearly, minimizing the risks of mother nature is a central concern.  Let’s take a down-to-earth look at some of the natural dangers facing your company’s data.

 

Earthquakes

 

When I worked in Arkansas a number of years ago, in an area that was on the edge of the New Madrid seismic zone, I noticed the strange cross-bracing in one of the factories, and I asked a local about it.  He explained the seismic risks in the area, and recounted the family lore about the quake of 1812.  Then he looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatever you do, don’t blame Arkansas—it wasn’t our fault.” 

 

It can be a surprise to discover that one the largest earthquakes in North America’s recorded history was not along the California coast but was actually along the New Madrid seismic zone in Missouri—of all places!  This was the quake that briefly caused the Mississippi River to run upstream back in 1812, the year almost exclusively famous for the conflict between America and England.  But while the Americans were locked in battle with the British on the East Coast, they were unwittingly losing the war with nature in the Midwest.   

 

This might serve as a warning if you locate your data center in a seismic zone—if your server gets death-rattled into oblivion, it’ll be your own fault.

 

 

Tornadoes

 

Nothing can lay your blades out like a deck of 52 quite like a tornado.  Tornadoes pry open buildings like nature’s proverbial can opener, allowing copious rain and debris to decorate your server room like a third grade art project, and you don’t want to see your data garnished with nature’s glitter.  Tornadoes pose a risk not only to your data center itself, but they also tend to knock out your primary—and even your secondary power supplies.  Backup generators are often located adjacent to a building, making them a potential target for mother nature’s twisted wrath.  So while a twister might leave a building unscathed, it might take out your external generator, rendering backup power systems useless.  Of course, that’s a moot point if the contents of your data center are laid out across the lawn like your laundry, for all to see.  Luckily, a proper data center location can help you avoid an unfortunate game of 52-pickup.

 

 

Floods

 

I reached out to one of my customers after a series of tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, and he gave the all-clear: “The twisters missed us, but the water levels are so high, some folks can’t get into work.”  That is to say, a natural disaster can be more sneaky than a weather channel headline.  While things like tornadoes get a lot of attention, water levels can do a lot more damage over time.  As such, one might think twice about locating a data center on a floodplain.  While all my gamer buddies are hyped over water-cooled CPUs, I don’t quite think this is what they’re referring to. 

 

 

Hurricanes

 

Hurricanes amount to the worst of wind and water, with the ability to pummel your data center into paste from above, or dissolve it into a silicon solution from below.  And while the zone immediately affected by hurricanes is rather small, the extended zone where hurricane-related storms transform into inland berserkers is much larger.  Locating your stacks in a place that is far-removed from the hurricane fallout zone will serve you well in reducing wind and water risks. 

 

 

Heat

 

Another sneaky disaster when it comes to all things electronic is heat.  Not too long ago, I was in Charlotte, NC with a coworker.  One morning after breakfast, we were about to head to the customer site when my coworker ran back into the hotel to retrieve his coffee mug, leaving me in the parking lot.  I stood out in the morning heat for maybe a minute or two.  Now, being a Canadian, I generally overheat reading the newspaper, and the morning temp in Charlotte was obliterating.  By the time we got to carpooling, I was already a puddle.  And this was still in the early morning!  Servers are like Canadian consultants—they work better in temperate climates.  When choosing a shack to hang your racks, look to locate it in a place where your cooling systems won’t be fighting a losing battle with the heat index.  Servers generate enough heat on their own—they don’t need any help! 

 

The Cloud

 

While the notion of “The Cloud” brings with it visions of the ethereal, it is in reality quite terrestrial in nature.  Hosting a customer’s ERP system is a huge responsibility, and not one to be taken lightly.  The cloud itself can be just as risky as a hurricane.  As such, the EstesGroup is all about maximizing service while minimizing risk.  In support of our Epicor Hosting initiative, we keep our data center located in Michigan, which has a favorable climate for keeping servers cool as a cucumber, while avoiding the many environmental pitfalls noted above.  Moreover, by having our data center location in the Midwest, we provide centrality that allows us to rapidly service a broad region.  With optimal location and cloud infrastructure, the team at EstesGroup can serve your business needs by providing ideal solutions for your data, regardless of the weather. 

 

If you find yourself looking to the sky for answers to your worldly business questions, please give our team a call.