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A Cloud Solution for XYZ Company


Presentation by: Fahmeena Odetta Moore

Course: MIS-7005 Enterprise Network Architecture
Presentation Outline

Goal: To review a proposed cloud solution for the Sales

First, review why a new solution is needed.
Look at the current as is ERP architecture with
Next, review the benefits of a new cloud architecture (using
examples). Then, review weaknesses.
Zero in on specific/special concerns & challenges at this
Why a new solution?

New solution needed mainly because of growth. Sales

department affected in a big way.
Lots of new sales locations / territories which makes
obtaining updated/real-time data on sales more
Having sales staff go to their office everyday no longer a
viable solution.
Concerned about sales staff attrition and other related
My task was to look into options, especially cloud
Current / As-Is ERP Architecture

The Sales Department currently uses an on-the-premises

ERP solution to: (1) provide quotes, (2) take customer
orders, and (3) change or cancel orders.
Employees in the remote offices/locations need to use the
corporate system (at headquarters) so that sales data is
These employees use Virtual Private Network (VPN)
from their office to connect to the corporate system.
Currently, there are 55 employees accessing the
system from remote offices.
Current / As-Is ERP Arch. (Cont'd)

The company spent significant resources on the current

ERP solution. There was a fair bit of customization to meet
company needs.
The solution works, but there are some issues/limitations.
The main issues/limitations of the current solution include:
System implemented over 10 years ago. It is in need of
an upgrade it uses outdated technology, and so on.
Volume (lots of people connected) could lead to slow
VPN slow connections.
ERP Options To Solve Problems

Since an ERP solution is already in place, there is the

decision of whether to upgrade the current solution (would
remain on-the-premises with improved network and so on)
OR move to the cloud, maybe with a new ERP
The Cloud or cloud-based computing refers to
applications, data storage, and so on available over the
internet. Unlike traditional ERP systems, cloud ERP
solutions are typically on servers dedicated to cloud-
based computing (off-site). Installing the ERP software on
the company's servers is not required.
Benefits of a Cloud Solution

A cloud provider would host the ERP system the
software, database, server. The provider would put the
company's information on the cloud using a VPN. All
employees could then access the system using VPN.
(CBStockard, 2013)
This solution is similar to the current (in architecture). Users / sales
staff would use VPN to connect to the main or central cloud via
their office (they do not have to be physically at the office). The
central cloud uses VPN to connect to the application.
Benefits of a Cloud Solution (Cont'd)

The cloud-based solution would provide greater

accessibility, speed, and security at lower cost.
Employees will be able to access the system at any time
using any device (using internet). Sales staff could use
mobile or special devices.
No need for customer to ever purchase new server
capacity. Cloud-based solutions make it easy to add
users and processing capacity when needed.
No need for costly new hardware. IT support also taken
care of by the provider. ERP customizations handled
when there is an upgrade.
Benefits of a Cloud Solution (Cont'd)

The provider selected should be one that offers high

security. Cloud-based providers can provide best in class
security, server redundancy measures and data and
power-supply back-ups through the data centres which
host the cloud solutions and provide 24/7 guarded
access (Bizpro, n.d.).
Cloud solution would be good for disaster recovery.
On-the-premises systems generally considered capital
expenditure (large expenditure up-front) while cloud-
based systems are considered operating expenditure
(regular payments of overhead costs).
Benefits of a Cloud Solution (Cont'd)

There are good options out there Harrist (2015) reported

that over 2 years, 1300 companies in over 60 countries
purchased Oracle ERP cloud. Oracle ERP cloud includes
about 190 new features, provides an easy-to-use modern
user experience, and so on.
Harrist (2015) provided company examples such as Boise
State University an organization that discovered
upgrading/replacing their on-the-premises ERP solution
would require too much effort and cost & decided to
select cloud-based, and GE a company that wanted to
move certain functions to the cloud.
Issues with a Cloud Solution

Some companies see the use of a vendor/provider as an

issue. Those companies would prefer to own major
systems & servers (makes them feel more secure).
There are hybrid solutions where a part/portion is still in-
house or on-the-premises.
There is the need for a close relationship with the vendor.
The relationship will be long-term.
Integration with & management of other company
applications/systems need to be worked out. More apps to
the cloud?
Cloud Options/Opportunities

Since an integrated or unified view of customer data could

be important for the customer experience & sales, an
option is to include/move data to the cloud.
Similar to the Salesforce Financial Services cloud discussed in
Wainewright (2017), the company could provide customers with a
unified experience (by breaking down silos). Sales people could
have a unified/combined view of the customer using data from
various areas within the company.
Could later adopt/use new technologies that analyze customer data
& provide customer/competitive intelligence. These are both
This could be a decision to move a data mart or data
warehouse to the cloud.
Data Concerns

Security of data is very important. The sales system will

use & store customer data. Security breaches of customer
data could result in lawsuits and large payouts.
Data stored on the cloud could be more vulnerable. There
is also the issue of risks due to the transfer/sharing of
data from on-the-premises systems.
Access to data must be restricted (in accordance with
policies) and monitored,
Frequent or real-time updates of sales information is very
important. Updated data needed for decision-making.
Special company concerns

Company is medium-sized & IT resources is an issue. A

cloud-based solution would lessen use & dependency on
IT resources. It would also cost less.
(The company needs to balance this with the need for staff
with specialized cloud skills.)
Since an ERP solution is already in place, there is the
decision of whether to upgrade the current solution (would
remain on-the-premises with improved network and so on)
OR move to the cloud, maybe with a new ERP
Special company concerns

Company is medium-size, has a good technical team (that

raises issues and so on), and would like to maintain its
technical staff.
A cloud-based solution would lessen use & dependency on
IT resources. The company will likely not need as much
technical staff/resources.
With a cloud-based solution, the company may need staff
with specialized cloud skills. The company needs to
balance the need for these skilled staff with the reduced
need for IT resources.
Fit of Cloud-based Solution

Use of a cloud-based solution for the sales function would be

a good fit for this company. It would lead to many benefits.
The sales application would be in the cloud (accessed via VPN).
I am proposing transferring/creating a customer data mart in the
cloud so that sales personnel would have access to unified
customer data.
The company could use in-house staff for some support
There is the option to move other functions/applications to
the cloud at a later time. The company would have more
knowledge of and experience with providers.

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