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ERP Integration Event: ESTES INTEGRATE 2022

ERP Integration Event: ESTES INTEGRATE 2022

Upward and Onward: ERP Integration Software Options

Integrations are a key consideration in the management of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Epicor’s Prophet 21® application has long-been an ERP platform conducive to third-party integrations, and the P21® partner community has been hard at work helping the P21® user base expand and extend their application.

ERP Integration Software Event

As a P21® cloud hosting provider, we’ve worked with nearly all of the vendors in the Epicor® space. Setting up a private cloud often involves constructing a robust hybrid cloud — when you move your ERP into the cloud, all of the integrations need to come along for the ride. This is successfully accomplished by working hand-in-hand with the P21® vendor community.

Vendor collaboration is key.

Collaboration implies community. At the recent P21WWUG CONNECT 2022 event, a litany of third-party solution providers engaged the user community, providing exposition as to how to best improve and extend their P21® ecosystem and better serve the needs of their businesses — not to mention their customers, suppliers, and employees.

Whether you intend to coordinate your outbound shipments, extend your application to your customer base via e-commerce, or internally optimize your inventory levels, making the most of your ERP system often means looking outside of its perimeter. In doing so, companies are able to reach out to third-party solutions that provide best-of-breed capabilities and resolve the challenges that affect companies most severely.

But as the P21® foundation continues to evolve, organizations continue to fine tune approaches, as vendors reinvent themselves to adjust to the new architectures. With the increased use of the Prophet 21® middleware server and web user interface, the questions regarding the future of P21® integrations outnumber the answers.

Answering these questions requires collaboration — between users, cloud providers, and third-party vendors. In that spirit of collaboration, EstesGroup is hosting its first ever INTEGRATE event — a day-long opportunity to review the many ways in which solution providers are extending the P21® ecosystem. 

Join us on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, as the Prophet 21® third-party vendor community comes together to share their collective industry knowledge at ESTES INTEGRATE 2022. Each vendor will be presenting an hour-long session on their customer’s challenges, and how their own solutions address these challenges.

What can third-party integration software do for your ERP system?

If you are curious as to some of the third-party solution options in the areas of e-commerce, automation, document management, shipping, accounts receivable, CRM, business intelligence, and inventory management, then this is the place to be.

Do you just have a few areas of ERP system extensions that you wish to review? No problem! Register and attend only the sessions that you’d prefer.

Are you simply looking to kick the tires on a specific ERP integration solution? Excellent — there will be plenty of time in each session for that!

What is an ERP integration, and what topics will be covered at ESTES INTEGRATE 2022?

ERP integration involves extending your base application with software assets that enhance your enterprise resource planning strategy. ESTES INTEGRATE 2022 will offer insight and solutions in each of the following areas:

  • E-commerce
  • Automation
  • Document Management
  • Shipping
  • Accounts Receivable
  • CRM
  • Business Intelligence
  • Inventory Management

AGENDA – NOVEMBER 30, 2022 – 9AM to 7PM (EASTERN)

Get ready for 2023 with top experts in the Prophet 21® software community!

  • 9AM-10AM: EstesGroup – Hybrid Cloud Considerations for your P21® Ecosystem
  • 10AM-11AM: DCKAP – Ecommerce Integration Platforms
  • 11AM-12PM: Recurrency – Sales and Purchasing Automation in P21®
  • 12PM-1PM: ShipSource – P21® Shipping Integrations
  • 1PM-2PM: White Cup – Don’t Let the Wrong CRM Cost You Profit
  • 2PM-3PM: Enlighten.Net – Digitizing and Automating your Document Processes
  • 3PM-4PM: Unified A/R – A/R Automation for P21®: Bringing Margin, Efficiencies & Innovation to Life
  • 4PM-5PM: Slimstock – Optimizing Inventory Levels
  • 5PM-6PM: SimpleApps – Prophet 21® E-Commerce Integration Considerations
  • 6PM-7PM: EstesGroup – System Administration Considerations for your P21® Integration Platform
Data Center Strategy: How To Cloud Up For Uptime

Data Center Strategy: How To Cloud Up For Uptime

A Cloud is a Data Center and a Data Center is a Cloud?

Cloud applications ultimately sit upon the foundation of a server stack. You can view a cloud-based server as someone else’s computer, and picture these servers housed in a data center, which is their most likely location.

A data center can be simply described as a specified space within a building designed to securely house computing resources.
Data Center Considerations

Servers

Power

Communication

A large data center normally involves an extensive open area, which is divided into racks and cages, to hold the servers themselves, as well as the power and communication connections used to link each individual server with the rest of the data center network. This network would reside in a building with sufficient architecture to allow for rapid data communication, and similarly high-performing connections to the outside world.

The building itself is normally a large and highly secure edifice, constructed from reinforced building materials, as to prevent physical compromise. It is often located on a campus that is itself physically guarded with high fences and rigid gates.

Server

PHYSICAL SECURITY 

DATA CENTER HARDWARE

Cloud Security

CLOUD-BASED SECURITY

DATA CENTER STRATEGY

The Servers Themselves: What Is In Your Data Center?

Inside the building (the data center) exists a complex cooling and ventilation system, to prevent the heat-inducing computing devices from overheating. The campus is supported by redundant power systems, to allow the network to run, even if the main power grid experiences interruption or shutdown. The inner workings of the data center are designed to prevent downtime, but the materials used in construction can vary. Consider a pencil made from wood vs. a pencil made from plastic. Consider further a pencil manufactured from metal built to protect a thin and fragile graphite fragment. 

The ways in which end users can attain access to the resources in a data center can vary due to the fact that cloud provisioning can occur in many layers.

Option A: Cloud Provider = Data Center

Sometimes the cloud provider is itself the data center. Most often this is the case when you want to use server space from a data center, or else wish to collocate your hardware in a data center. For instance, as a customer, you might procure new hardware and move it to one of US Signal’s data centers in a colocation arrangement. This allows you to benefit from US Signal’s physical security, network redundancy, high-speed fiber network, and peering relationships, to allow for a broad array of high-speed communications. 

Option B: Cloud Provider = Data Center Management Firm

Sometimes the cloud provider is an organization that manages the allocation and management of cloud resources for you — they serve as an intermediary between the end customer and the data center. For instance, EstesGroup partners with US Signal. We help customers choose the right server resources in support of the application deployment and management services that we provide for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) customers.

Moreover, not all data centers are created equal. Data centers differ in countless ways, including (but not limited to) availability, operating standards, physical security, network connectivity, data redundancy, and power grid resiliency. Most often, larger providers of cloud infrastructure actually provide a network of tightly interconnected data centers, such that you’re not just recruiting a soldier — you’re drafting an entire army. 

As such, when choosing a cloud provider, understanding the underlying data centers in use is as important as understanding the service providers themselves. That said, what are some of the questions that you should ask your provider when selecting a data center? 

Is the provider hosting out of a single data center or does the provider have data center redundancy?

Geo-diverse data centers are of great importance when it relates to overall risk of downtime. Diversely-located data centers provide inherent redundancy, especially beneficial when it comes to backup and disaster recovery.

But what defines diverse? One important consideration relates to the locations of data centers relative to America’s national power grid infrastructure. Look for a provider that will store your primary site and disaster recovery site on separate power grids.

This will bolster you from the potentially of an outage to one of the individual grid locations. Think of the continental divide. On separate sides of the divide, water flows in one of two directions. When it comes to national power grids, support comes from different hubs. Look for a provider who has redundant locations on the other side of the divide to protect you in the event of a major power outage.

Are they based on a proprietary data center, collocated, or leveraging the state-of-the art technology of a leading data center? 

A provider of hosting services may choose to store their data in one of many places. They may choose to leverage a world-class data center architecture like US Signal’s. Conversely, they may choose to collocate hardware that they already own in a data center. Or they may choose, like many managed services providers do, to leverage a proprietary data center, most often located in their home office. 

Colocation is not uncommon among first steps in the cloud. If you own hardware already, and would like to leverage a world-class data center, colocation is a logical option. But for cloud providers, owning hardware becomes a losing war of attrition. Hardware doesn’t stay current, and unless its being procured in large quantities, it’s expensive. These costs often get passed along to the customer. Worse still, it encourages providers to skimp on redundancy, making their offerings less scalable and less robust in the event of disaster events. 

Proprietary data centers add several layers of concern to the colocation option. In addition to the hardware ownership challenges, the provider is not responsible for all the infrastructure responsibilities that come with data center administration, such as redundant power, cooling, physical security, and network connectivity.

Moreover, proprietary data centers often lack the geo-diversity that comes with a larger provider. Beyond infrastructure, security is a monumental responsibility for a data center provider, and many smaller providers struggle to keep up with evolving threats. In fact, Estes recently onboarded a customer who came to us due to their Managed Service Provider’s propriety data center getting hacked and ransomed. 

Is the cloud provider hosting out of a public cloud data center? 

Public cloud environments operate in multi-tenant configurations where customers contend with one another for resources. Resource contention means that when one customer’s resource consumption spikes, the performance experienced by the other customers in the shared tenant will likely suffer. Moreover, many multi-tenant environments lack the firewall isolation present in private cloud infrastructures, which increases security concerns. Isolated environments are generally safer environments. 

Is the cloud provider proactively compliant?

Compliance is more than the adherence to accounting standards — it is a means to guarantee that your provider is performing the necessary due diligence in order to ensure the business practices of an organization do not create vulnerabilities that can compromise the security and reliability assertions of the provider. What compliance and auditing standards does your cloud provider adhere to?

Is your cloud provider compliant according to their own hardware vendor’s standards?

Hardware providers, such as Cisco, for instance, offer auditing services, to ensure their hardware is being reliably deployed. Ensure that your provider adheres to their vendor’s standards. How about penetration testing? Is your provider performing external penetration testing to ensure PCI security compliance? In terms of industry standard compliance frameworks, such as HIPAA, PCI/DCC, and SOC I and SOC II, ensure that your provider is being routinely audited. Leveraging industry standards through compliance regulation best practices can go a long way to make sure they are not letting their guards down. 

What kind of campus connectivity is offered between your data centers and the outside world?

Low national latency is of utmost importance from a customer perspective. Efficient data transfer between the data centers themselves and from a given data center to the outside world is fundamental to a cloud customer. Achieving transactional efficiency is achieved in multiple ways.

For a network to be efficient, the data itself must take as few “hops” from one network to another. This is best achieved through tight partnerships between the data center and both the national and regional ISPs that service individual organizations.

Within the data center network, an efficient infrastructure is helpful. US Signal, for instance, has a 14K mile network fiber backbone connecting its data centers and connecting them to regional transfer stations. This allows US Signal to support 3 ms latency between its 9 data centers, and to physically connect with over 90 national ISPs. This results in an extremely low national latency.

What kinds of backup and disaster recovery solutions can be bundled with your cloud solutions?

Fundamental to a cloud deployment is the ability to provide redundancy in the event of a disaster. Disaster recovery is necessary to sustaining an environment, whether on premise or in the cloud. But a disaster recovery solution must adhere to rigorous standards of its own if it is to be effective. Physical separation between a primary and secondary sight is one such baseline need. Additionally, the disaster recovery solution needs to be sufficiently air-gapped, in order to hit your desired RPO and RTO targets, while avoiding potential cross-contamination between platforms due to an event of hacking, viruses, or ransomware.

What kinds of uptime and reliability guarantees are offered by your data center?

All of the above aspects of a data center architecture should ultimately result in greater uptime for the cloud consumer. The major public data center providers are notorious for significant outages, and this has deleterious effects on customers of these services. Similarly, smaller providers may lack the infrastructure that can support rigorous uptime standards. When choosing a provider, make sure to understand the resiliency and reliable uptime of the supporting platform. EstesGroup can offer a 100% uptime SLA when hosted in our cloud with recovery times not achievable by the public cloud providers.

Uptime has a planned/unplanned component that must also be considered. Many larger cloud providers do not give advanced warning when instances will be shut down for upgrades, which can be extremely disruptive for consumers, and result in a loss of control that conflicts with daily business initiatives. Ensure that planned downtime is a service that is communicated and understood before it happens. 

How scalable is the overall platform?

Scalability has to do with flexibility and speed. How flexible can the resources of an individual virtual machine (VM) be tweaked and how quickly can these changes be made. Ideally, your cloud provider provides dynamic resource pool provisioning — this allows for dynamic allocation of computing resources when and where they are needed.

Some provider environments support “auto-scaling,” which can dynamically create and terminate instances, but they may not allow for dynamic resource changes to an existing instance. In these cases, if a customer wishes to augment resources of any instance, it must be terminated and rebuilt using the desired instance options provided by other providers. This can be problematic. Additionally, provisioning, whether to a new VM or an existing one, should be quick, and not require a long lead time to complete. Ensure that your cloud provider specifies the lapsed time required to provision and re-provision resources.

What are the data movement costs?

The costs associated with the movement of data can significantly impact your total cloud costs. These are normally applied as a toll fee that accumulates based on the amount of data that moves over a given time. So these costs can be unpredictable. But what kinds of data movements occur?

  • Data ingress: data moving into the storage location, as it is being uploaded.
  • Data egress: data out of the storage location, as it is being downloaded. 

Data centers rarely charge for ingress movement — they like the movement of data into their network. But many will charge for data egress. This means that if you want your data back, they may charge you for it.

Sometimes these fees even occur when data is moving within the provider’s network, between regions and instances. If you’re looking for a cloud provider, check the fine print to determine whether egress fees are applied, and estimate your data movement, to understand your total cost. EstesGroup gives you symmetrical internet data transfer with no egress charges, so your data movement does not result in additional charges. This means that your cloud costs are predictable.

Does the cloud provider offer robust support?

Downtime can come from one of many situations. Your ISP could experience an outage, and may need to fail over to your secondary provider.  Or you may encounter an email phishing scam resulting in a local malware attack.  Or you may experience an outage, due to a regional power grid issue. In these extenuating circumstances, you may find yourself in need of contacting your cloud provider in a hurry.

As such, you’ll want a provider that offers robust pre-sales and post-sales support that is available 24/7/365. Many providers offer high-level support only if you subscribe to an additional support plan, which is an additional monthly cost. Wait times are also an issue — you may have a support plan, but the support may be slow and cumbersome. Look for a cloud provider that will guarantee an engineer in less than 60 seconds, 24/7/365.

Are you ready for a tour of one of the best data centers in the world? Meet with the EstesCloud team to get the right cloud strategy for your business.

The Distribution Industry Heads to Texas

The Distribution Industry Heads to Texas

On August 29th, EstesGroup heads to Texas for one of the most important events in the distribution industry. Visit us in booths 6 and 7 at P21WWUG CONNECT 2022 in San Antonio August 29th – August 31st! We are proud to be the Platinum Sponsor for this year’s show!

What is P21WWUG CONNECT?

Organized by the Prophet 21 World Wide Users Group (P21WWUG), CONNECT is an annual gathering of Epicor Prophet 21 users from across the globe. Members of the distribution community head to exciting cities (i.e. Atlanta ’21 or San Antonio ’22) to meet, collaborate, and learn more about the Prophet 21 application. Attendees interact and learn from other members of the P21WWUG community, from Epicor consultants and product managers, and from third-party solution providers, like DCKAP, our partner for a pre-show charity walk that will benefit children in need. With multiple days of educational sessions, the event offers excellent opportunities for Prophet 21 users to expand their use of the Epicor P21 application, and better leverage P21 ERP to serve the needs of their organizations.

Distribution Industry Texas Cloud

With multiple days of educational sessions, the event offers excellent opportunities for Prophet 21 users to expand their use of the Epicor P21 application, and better leverage P21 ERP to serve the needs of their organizations. Visit us at CONNECT booths 6 and 7 to learn more about application hosting, cloud migrations, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), IT support and services for companies in the distribution industry, application optimization through partnership with an Epicor Prophet 21 expert, and more.

Who is P21WWUG CONNECT for?

The P21WWUG CONNECT conference is designed to address the needs of a broad base of the P21 community. Attendees of the event range from business owners and executives to managers and functional specialists, in areas such as purchasing, accounting, sales, inventory and warehouse management. This event helps both the members of the P21 community that use the data from the P21 application to make executive decisions, and the folks in the trenches, using the P21 application to make their companies function.

Who will I meet at P21WWUG CONNECT?

Your peers and colleagues, to begin with. End users, power users, local experts, IT admins — individuals who’ve worked with the Epicor P21 system for years and have learned its inner workings, and have solved countless problems in and through its use. They bring their collective knowledge to the P21WWUG CONNECT event, to share their hard-earned lessons with others. Beyond the user community, an extensive vendor area allows you to interact with providers of integrated solutions that enable companies to extend their P21 applications by bringing it into contact with customer and suppliers, and to automate processes internally, increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

What will I learn from the Prophet 21 World Wide Users Group?

It takes a lot to make your business succeed. To address your needs, P21WWUG CONNECT offers a range of networking opportunities, keynote speakers, educational sessions, roundtable discussions, and workshops, that address your current challenges and the challenges of the future. 

That said, what you learn depends on what you’re looking for. 

Maybe you are an inventory control manager, already well-versed in the P21 application, but in search of more information about inventory management, stocking levels, cycle counting, or units of measure. 

Or you could be a power user, responsible for data management and updates, and wish to better understand using excel in conjunction with P21, improving your skills in reports, queries, financial statements, data extraction, SSRS or Crystal Reports. 

You might be a developer, looking to learn more about Dynachange, business rules, data streams or business process automation. You might be here trying to extend your P21 ecosystem, interesting in talking with P21 third-party vendors, or attending sessions to learn more about shipping integrations, credit card processing, or ACH integrations. 

Or you might be an uber-techie, concerned with database administration cloud capabilities, cybersecurity or middleware APIs. Many users simply come trying to better understand P21’s Web UI, and whether they are ready to take the leap.  

Business leaders and owners come to P21WWUG CONNECT to talk with other business leaders and better understand the current landscape.

Are you thinking of attending P21WWUG CONNECT? Are you trying to sharpen your business acumen, to make better decisions in rapidly fluctuating times? Perhaps you are trying to better understand continuous improvement in the distribution industry, or you wish to learn how other distributors are dealing with supply chain issues. Your concern might be sales strategy, or mastering the challenges of recruiting, retainment, and employee development. If you’re a business leader, CONNECT might be the place to help you use Prophet 21 ERP to take your business into the future. 

Chances are that if you have questions about the distribution industry, EstesGroup ERP and IT experts at P21WWUG CONNECT 2022 will provide the answers. The event will offer sessions, users, vendors, and experts to help you find the answers that you are looking for. Visit us at booth 6 and 7 this August!

Where and when is P21WWUG CONNECT 2022?

The Prophet 21 World Wide User Group will be hosting CONNECT 2022 from August 29th to August 31st at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.

EstesGroup is hosting a pre-event Charity Walk with our partner DCKAP. DCKAP simplifies commerce for distributors. Get better results faster with DCKAP’s simple, yet powerful, product suite. 

Any other considerations concerning this distribution industry event?

To attend P21WWUG CONNECT, you need to be a member of the P21 World Wide User Group.  Are you a member already?  If not, check out the P21WWUG website for more info.

Cloud Server

Walk for Charity with EstesGroup and DCKAP on August 29th in San Antonio! (P.S. You don’t have to be in the distribution industry to attend.)

Walk for Charity at P21WWUG CONNECT in San Antonio

Walk for Charity at P21WWUG CONNECT in San Antonio

Technology is on the move. Chase it down at P21WWUG CONNECT in San Antonio this August. Cloud options, web client deployments, integrations, middleware installations: the road ahead is replete with opportunities and obstacles, with shortcuts and fast lanes — not to mention the occasional blind alley. 

P21WWUG CONNECT in San Antonio Charity Walk

EstesGroup is excited to be the Platinum Sponsor for the Epicor Prophet 21® event of the year! We will begin the show with a cause dear to our hearts. In the spirit of meaningful motion, DCKAP & EstesGroup teams have banded together to walk for charity at P21WWUG CONNECT in San Antonio.

Are you attending the annual P21WWUG CONNECT event?

CONNECT is a great opportunity to learn more about Epicor’s P21® application — what it can do, how it can be used and, most importantly, where it’s headed. Applications are always on the run. Events like P21WWUG CONNECT are a great opportunity to catch up and head them off at the proverbial pass.

Run Your Business With Prophet 21®, Walk for Charity with EstesGroup ERP Experts

WHO: EstesGroup, DCKAP, and YOU!

WHAT: A charity walk that will benefit the Save the Children Foundation (FREE to attend, as donations are optional, with FREE breakfast following the walk)

WHEN: August 29th from 7 AM to 10 AM (CST)

WHERE: At P21WWUG CONNECT in San Antonio at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort

WHY: Find community with ERP, technology, cloud, and commerce experts while supporting a good cause!

This is a great opportunity to clear your head, and meet some great people while helping the world, before the P21WWUG CONNECT event activities and festivities commence.

Walk With EstesGroup and DCKAP this August

Get some exercise and enjoy a good meal afterwards! We’ll meet at a designated area on the grounds prior to the P21WWUG Connect event, where we’ll start the day with coffee and refreshments before heading out on the walking path. Then, we’ll provide attendees with a hearty breakfast and grab-and-go goodies, too.

Taming Your ERP System With Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Taming Your ERP System With Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud ERP: Confused as a mollusk and dumber than a brick wall?

In discussing integrated application ecosystems, metaphors are often helpful in understanding the challenges associated with cloud migrations and the implications associated with the options selected when migrating an integrated ERP platform. Sometimes conceptualized as a “hybrid cloud,” any time an ERP system integrates with application extensions, homegrown solutions, or third-party applications, we move beyond a simple cloud platform into a hybrid ecosystem. Read on to learn more about hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud migrations can be complex, especially when a migration includes more than simply an ERP system. A stand-alone ERP system can be assessed at face value: depending on the needs of the business, the functionality of the various versions of the software, and the resources available, a company can come to a relatively clear deployment decision. But when we begin to discuss the company’s hybrid cloud architecture — the ERP application and its integrated extensions — the waters get inky-dark and murky in a hurry.

Enter the confused octopus. One helpful metaphor in understanding cloud migrations is to liken an application’s ecosystem to a confused octopus.

Hybrid Cloud ERP Integrations

An ERP hybrid cloud is a body with many tentacles. And the tentacles don’t always get along with the head — or with each other, for that matter. While each tentacle is joined in some manner with the head, the lifecycle of each tentacle is independent of the parent ERP system. While an ERP system may move from an on-premise architecture to a Software-as-a-Service model (SaaS), a given extension may be designed to only interact at the database server level and may no longer be receiving updates. Simply put, the tentacles advance at their own pace — some may advance more rapidly or more slowly than the main ERP system.

As such, if we were to view a private cloud migration as the movement of an octopus though the ocean, you’d discover that some tentacles keep up with the head, while others may actually surpass the head, while others still stand in place, slowly stretching and extending their ever-thinning connection as the head moves further and further away.  And in some cases, a tentacle may stretch so far as to snap off entirely. For instance, if the head of the mollusk slithers into SaaS and one of the tentacles still languishes in the deep trenches of SQL stored procedures, we might be in deep… water!

So why is it that the movement of the ERP animal’s head might estrange one of its third-party tentacles?  

Perhaps another metaphor would help clarify our conundrum. Let’s talk about brick walls. The truth is, there’s a hidden brick wall hovering in the cloud, as it relates to access and control. When it comes to the level of access and control required to integrate with third-party extensions, the differences between Software-as-a-Service and private cloud architectures are monumental. 

On the SaaS side of the wall, interactions are only allowed at the API-level of the parent application. Conversely, a private cloud platform can allow interactions at any level, whether the API, the business logic level, or even at the database, if necessary.

As such, understanding the necessary level of access and control to support hybrid cloud integrations is fundamental to a successful cloud migration. If you move your base ERP system onto a platform that the third-party applications cannot successfully interact with, you might discover that you’ve left several applications behind, no longer able to leverage them as part of your hybrid cloud ecosystem. I have seen cases where customers moved their ERP systems to a Software-as-a-Service deployments, only to realize that they had to essentially re-write their third-party integrations, and even some of their third-party applications entirely, to be able to interact with their new SaaS platform. They ran head first into the cloud’s hidden brick wall and spent six months of development and integration time and expense for their troubles.

While the explanations are metaphorical, the implications are as real as it gets. Are you considering a migration to the cloud? Carefully consider the implications. Take a thorough audit of the third-party extensions that comprise your hybrid ecosystem, and understand how they are constructed.

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Integrations

 Then understand how they might also migrate in order to be able to interact with the parent ERP system in each deployment scenario, be it in a SaaS environment or as part of a private cloud. These considerations can help save a lot of grief and trauma during implementation, so make them before you bind yourself to a given path.

Mixed metaphors, even in hybrid cloud infrastructure, are rarely a good thing, so I doubt I’ll run into many mushy mollusks swimming though the ether and squishing themselves up against hidden walls in my future cloud adventures. Until then, I will have my eyes set on both the sky and the sea.

Watch a “Cloud Stories” Webinar on Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure for ERP Systems

How ERP Deployment is an Environmental Decision

How ERP Deployment is an Environmental Decision

Have you wondered if your business is making sustainable decisions when it comes to choosing and managing the hardware and software systems that maintain your enterprise? Let’s look at enterprise resource planning (ERP) deployment options to see why hosting your application in an off-site data center is a green decision. Have you seen an environmentally-friendly on-site server lately?
In today’s world, businesses that ignore sustainability are making a mistake. This is especially true for manufacturers and distributors. At the end of the supply chain, consumers value eco-friendly products and services more than ever. The younger generations that grew up on technology and hyper-connectivity are getting older and taking on more leadership roles in corporate America, and 6 out of 10 millennials are willing to pay a premium for sustainable purchases.
Green Cloud ERP Deployment

Green ERP Deployment, Sustainable Environmental Impact

There are many ways to make your products greener. Popular options include reducing energy consumption or donating to an eco-friendly cause. What you might not realize is that your approach to how you deploy and manage the technology that supports your business can boost your reputation as a business while also saving you money.

How is your ERP deployment strategy hurting or helping the environment? A migration to a managed hosting solution in a premium data center will quickly help your business become more efficient. EstesGroup’s ECHO (EstesCloud Hosting) platform is a great example. Efficiency and sustainability go hand in hand. What’s good for your profit margin is also good for the planet. Keep reading to learn why choosing EstesGroup for ERP hosting is an environmental decision.

Modern Supply Chains and Your Carbon Footprint

Enterprise resource planning, also known as ERP, is a type of business software that demands complex technological infrastructure. ERP manages business processes such as supply chains, manufacturing, accounting, services, and more. Enterprise resource planning systems should be tailored to your business and implemented by trained professionals.

Modern supply chains are often wasteful due to poor logistics. The rush to produce and deliver products causes excess. Waste contributes to environmental destruction through carbon emissions and unnecessary resource use. An ERP system can improve the situation by being the right software solution for your business, to increase productivity and streamline business operations.
When deployed and managed using sustainable technology, implementing a tailored ERP system reduces waste. It creates a more accurate supply chain. If you choose cloud hosting, your business system is managed in an environmentally-friendly data center by experts in your software. Effective ERP systems are an example of how technology solutions can reduce your company’s carbon footprint. When you implement with a skilled team of ERP consultants, you will achieve optimal productivity and efficiency. This means you’re making sustainable business decisions. The long-term management of your ERP system should be good for your business and also good for the earth.

Energy efficiency: ERP software results in cost savings and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Green-grid, energy-star processes: An advanced ERP system is an essential component of successful “green” manufacturing and distribution.

Here are some more green benefits of applying an ERP system to manage your company’s processes:

  • Matches supply with demand to cut waste from the supply stream
  • Sends information through the supply chain in real-time, continually optimizing processes
  • Reduces product transport distances and lowers carbon emissions
  • Eliminates excess production
  • Gives suppliers an idea of what you are going to need
  • Minimizes the need for storage space

Achieve Lean and Green Manufacturing

In terms of the supply chain, the ultimate goal of an ERP system is lean manufacturing. Pioneered by Toyota, it’s a method to get rid of waste without slowing productivity. Lean manufacturing eliminates steps that fail to add value.

ERP software achieves lean manufacturing by using real-time data to boost efficiency. Your supply chain becomes more flexible and easily adapts to changes in the market. Efficiency means better service for your consumers. Expect on-time deliveries, positive feedback, and customer loyalty.

Eliminate Waste From Your Processes

Common causes of supply chain waste are overproduction and over-purchasing of materials. Human forecasting errors can also leave you with a surplus of unused components. Transporting goods over long distances increases your carbon footprint for no good reason. All of these issues can be eliminated with an ERP system.

But waste isn’t limited to manufacturing materials and fossil fuels. Employee time is valuable and should also be used wisely. In-house installation and hosting of your ERP software are expensive and time-consuming, and it can be stressful to monitor and maintain cybersecurity standards and compliance.
Drop the need for internal servers, updates, and repairs with managed application hosting in a private or hybrid cloud. You will save your team from the headaches of on-site data management. Best of all, it’s cost effective and a green choice.

Best ERP Deployment Strategy, Better for the Environment

Your process management software will benefit from dedicated ERP hosting. An off-site hosting option is ideal for manufacturers and distributors because you get backup, disaster recovery, business continuity, cybersecurity, compliance, and support built into your platform from the beginning.

On-site hosting comes with significant costs and challenges. With EstesCloud managed hosting, you never have to worry because the responsibility is on us. There are no security breaches or technical difficulties to deal with. Our team is here to protect and support you at all times.
In-house servers are energy-intensive. You are sure to end up consuming more electricity than necessary. Our managed services team offers consumption-based application hosting in a private or hybrid cloud that’s built to fit the specific needs of your business, as they are, when they change, and as they change.
Instead of requiring an entire system, you can share with others. In consumption-based models, the customer pays based on their individual resource use. This eco-friendly approach incentivizes resource conservation and leads to energy savings.

PEAK ERP Implementation Methodology

Are you wondering about the process of implementing an ERP system with support from EstesGroup? We use our PEAK ERP implementation methodology to make things as straightforward as possible for you.

First, you will work with our experienced ERP consultants to identify the perfect software solution for your business. EstesGroup is your implementation partner and service provider for Epicor Prophet 21, Epicor Kinetic ERP, SYSPRO, and Sage. All are state-of-the-art systems built to support businesses as they grow and change.
For an ERP implementation or upgrade, we begin with an in-depth process review to understand your business and its specific needs. We consider how your processes can be simplified using an Epicor ERP product. A demo is provided to help you assess what you’d like to do with your software. Next, we train your team before the system is implemented. This ensures a smooth transition. Finally, we build, put in place, and stabilize the system. If extra training is needed, we provide it. Our goal is to leave your team feeling confident and satisfied with their new tools. After the transition, we are always here when you need us. Our managed hosting services offer application support, security, and access from anywhere.

Choose Managed Hosting for Sustainable ERP Deployment

Setting up an advanced ERP system for your business is a smart, green choice. By reducing waste throughout your business processes, you will protect valuable resources. You can also reduce your company’s carbon emissions. Other benefits include cost savings, employee efficiency, and customer satisfaction. You will be able to pursue new business opportunities with confidence. Your buyers will appreciate your efforts to operate sustainably. They might be willing to pay more for your products.

Our implementation process makes the transition to your new ERP system seamless. Add personalized application hosting for continued support and guidance from our experts. Contact us today to begin greening your business with the best ERP software support for the manufacturing and distribution industries. We can also tell you more about managed hosting services and how cloud services can provide an environmental data management strategy that is not only green, building a better world, but also profitable, creating a better business world. Our experts know the cloud and know your application. This means that if you need Prophet 21 consulting, you have access to the best experts in the industry, with the added support of P21 cloud hosting consultants. The same goes for Epicor Kinetic, Syspro, and Sage ERP.

Please fill out the form below or contact us now to schedule an ERP deployment consultation and get a cloud demo.