Perpetual Licenses vs. SAAS

Perpetual Licenses vs. SAAS

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SaaS (Software as a Service) is relatively new software product made possible by the cloud. In the past, the vast majority of software products were made available via one-time installs and used “perpetual licenses.” A perpetual license gave a business the exclusive, perpetual use of the software that they bought. Businesses were legally limited in the amount of times they could install each program, but up until the last 15-20 years, software companies had no practical way to prevent multiple copies.

Today, with Microsoft and Adobe both offering their business software suites on a monthly subscription platform, the industry is changing. For businesses, the difference between the former perpetual licenses and SaaS is significant.

Perpetual Licenses

Perpetual licenses cost more up-front, but a business could use one indefinitely if it was not a core part of your operations. Licenses can allow for selling your software once your company decides to stop using it. The disadvantages for perpetual licenses were substantial, though. The up-front cost of the software and the need to update any core components to your business created logistics and budget strains.

Many companies would have to update on a periodic basis. These updates required software engineers to install the new software, update old files, and upgrade out-of-date hardware. The install time created down times for each business. Individual employee’s computers all needed to be updated also. Installs could sometimes take weeks or months of planning.

SAAS

SaaS attempts to offer a solution to business’s many problems with perpetual licenses. The idea of software as a service is as old as “You’ve Got Mail”, where AOL offered dial-up software suites on a monthly subscription service. SaaS has only recently grown in popularity and usability as advances in networked computing (the Cloud) has enabled companies in some cases to offer cheap and free data to software users.

SaaS solves the problem of expensive installs because, once installed, the software is typically updated automatically for the life of the subscription. Also, the integrated nature of subscriptions gives support feedback immediately. This feedback gives information to the software company, enabling patches and customer support to be more efficient.

SaaS also creates interesting resources businesses never had with Perpetual Licensing. Cloud based control panels give companies the ability to control their business remotely, set up multiple offices without expending capital (employees work from home), and offer customer service 24/7. The cheaper installs (no one-time software fees) also give companies access to larger software suites. This allows for greater customization and integration of multiple business systems (Customer Service, HR, time management, accounting). Companies can order SaaS plans that are customized and implemented by a 3rd Party, reducing the costs of initial installs, and preventing the need for hiring software engineers, programmers and designers if software is not your business.

While there are some disadvantages to SaaS, for a business whose main thing is not software (manufacturing, service, retail, etc), SaaS can revolutionize the way you do business.

To find out how SaaS programs can benefit your business, please contact us.


MaxQ Technologies’ 2015 Cloud Computing Predictions: Enterprise Adoption Soars

MaxQ Technologies’ 2015 Cloud Computing Predictions: Enterprise Adoption Soars

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Cloud Computing

Enterprises are moving beyond cloud computing for cost reduction alone, looking to build strong relationships with customers and grow sales faster than before. 

These and other insights are from a recent Forbes article, KPMG’s 2014 Cloud Computing Survey: Enterprises Quickly Moving Beyond Cost Reduction To Customer-Driven Results . KPMG interviewed 500 C-level executives from enterprises with $100 million and $20+B representing more than a dozen industries.

Combining the KPMG survey’s insights and our experiences providing enterprises with secure, scalable cloud-based solutions serve as the foundation for our 2015 cloud computing predictions provided below:

  • Cloud-based ERP (like Acumatica ERP) adoption will be fastest in manufacturing followed by service industries.  Analyst firms who work with large-scale enterprises who have significant investments in on-premise software are quick to downplay the fast adoption of cloud-based ERP system.  In fact what many of these analyst firms is too conservative.  Cloud-based ERP systems will continue to accelerate in 2015.  For an analysis of how this will happen, please read the Forbes article Why Cloud ERP Adoption Is Faster Than Gartner Predicts.
  • Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) will dominate enterprise adoption and spending through 2015.  The KPMG survey found that analytics was a key factor in 35% of enterprises adopting cloud computing in 2014.  This will accelerate in 2015 as enterprises seek to gain greater insights into their operations.
  • As enterprises place a high priority on supporting sales, service, quality management and supply chain teams in the field, adoption of cloud-based enterprise mobile platforms will accelerate in 2015. Orchestrating mobility across an enterprise requires a scalable, secure cloud platform. Supporting cloud-based accounting, analytics, business intelligence (BI), CRM and ERP systems on mobile devices will become commonplace as well.
  • Cloud-based applications are going to be major contributors to improving service automation (72%) according to the KPMG study. Enterprises are going to invest in cloud adoption to better drive customer satisfaction and service as a result.

For more information on how MaxQ Technologies can accelerate your business’ growth using cloud-based solutions please contact us today.


Cloud Computing A Key Factor In Gartner’s Top 10 Strategy Technology Trends For 2015 – Part 2

Cloud Computing A Key Factor In Gartner’s Top 10 Strategy Technology Trends For 2015 – Part 2

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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner announced its top ten strategy technology trends expected to impact organizations including the use of cloud computing. As these trends were cited, it was noted that immediate action may not be necessary in every area. However, organizational response to these major trends is recommended over the next two years.

Here are the additional trends that Gartner identified on its top ten list:

Software-defined applications and infrastructure – Organizations will increasingly find that digital business can work only in the presence of agile programming. Everything from basic infrastructure to applications must be served by adaptable, flexible programming.

Internet of things – As everything is digitized, data services and data streams will be increasingly combined by using four basic models that allow organizations to manage, monetize, operate and extend. Cloud computing will inevitably play an instrumental role in this process.

Advanced, pervasive and invisible analytics – As data volume rapidly increases in embedded systems, analytics will becomes ever more important. The focus will increasingly shift from dealing with the vast amounts of data to focusing on the answers that can emerge.

Context-rich systems – As widespread analytics combine with embedded intelligence in more environments, systems will emerge that are both alert and responsive to their surroundings.

Risk-based security/self-protection – As Gartner puts it, every path to the digital future passes through the all-important issue of security. At the same time, security concerns cannot be allowed to paralyze progress. As enterprises realize that a completely secure environment is not always attainable, they will embrace more advanced risk assessment techniques and employ more sophisticated mitigation tools.

At MaxQ Technologies, we keep an eye on the important global trends that invariably impact businesses everywhere.

To learn more about how our software services can address the needs of your organization, please contact us.


The Best Things about Cloud Computing

The Best Things about Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing is becoming all the rage nowadays, but is it really worth your time?  I mean, with the recent cloud hackings, is it even safe?

These are questions that many businesses have when thinking of switching to cloud computing.  These services are usually just as safe as hosting your own servers inside of your buildings, if not safer.  Cloud infrastructure companies have a pretty big interest in keeping their data safe, since their entire business is modeled on having a safe place to store their customer’s data.  They use security best practices and security experts (hackers) are hired to try to break into their systems and fix the holes before someone who shouldn’t be there gets in.  These businesses have competitors, and they want to give you a reason to be their customer, not the competition.

It can also save you money in the long run.  I’m sure you’ve had to upgrade your servers before, and that probably cost enough money to make you at least shed a tear.  In most contracts, the costs of upgrading servers is usually included in the subscription cost, so you won’t have to shell out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to upgrade your own.  You also won’t have to pay for the staff needed to manage these servers, as these companies have their own staff ready to do the same, and you’re splitting the worker’s bill with many other companies, allowing them to split that worker’s cost across more companies than just you, with no pay decrease to the worker.

It can also save your business some time when upgrading.  You don’t need to even think of how to upgrade your servers, since these companies upgrade their own on their time, not yours.  They also backup and restore your data for you, so you don’t need to worry about that.  I’d still recommend you keep you own backup copy of your own data, just in case something really bad happens to the company.

So, with decreased cost, better disaster recovery, better security, and less mental bandwidth dedicated to your virtual bandwidth, cloud computing can help you save your money and your time.  You can contact us to learn a little more about cloud computing.


Cloud Computing A Key Factor In Gartner’s Top 10 Strategy Technology Trends For 2015 – Part 1

Cloud Computing A Key Factor In Gartner’s Top 10 Strategy Technology Trends For 2015 – Part 1

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The top 10 Gartner strategy technology trends including cloud computing for 2015 were first announced at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Gartner Fellow David W. Cearly suggested that each of these trends will potentially impact enterprises over the next three years. Therefore, he urged that action be taken over the next two years to address the impact that these global forces will have on one’s enterprise.

The top 10 technology trends for 2015 extend across three primary themes:

  • The merging of real and virtual environments
  • The arrival of intelligence everywhere
  • The impact of digital business on technology

 

Here are top trends that Gartner has identified:

Cloud/client computing – Centrally coordinated applications will become more prominent as cloud computing and mobile computing continue to converge. These applications will be readily delivered to a wide variety of devices.

Web-scale IT – World-class computing will be increasingly deliver large cloud service capability in an enterprise IT context. More enterprises will be able to emulate the Amazons, Googles and Facebooks of the world as they build applications and infrastructure.

Computing presence – Attention will shift from mobile devices themselves to addressing the needs of users in increasingly varied environments.

Smart machines – Smart machines will usher in the most disruptive phase in IT history. Gartner sees a rapid evolution in robotics, autonomous vehicles, smart advisors and virtual assistants. Current prototypes will quickly lead to ramped-up production of these smart machines.

3D printing – This revolutionary answer to so many manufacturing and other needs will go mainstream over the next three years. Lower-cost 3D printers will increasingly impact industrial production. The use of such printers will make the transition from prototype development to regular production.

At MaxQ Technologies, we develop software solutions that help enterprises to respond to the forces shaping and transforming the way in which they relate to their markets and environments.

For further assistance, or to learn more, please contact us.


The ROI of Cloud Computing

If you’ve tried the list of software gimmicks, market predictors, and data miners maybe another investment rolls your stomach. It’s said that a fool and his money easily part, but when you invest in cloud computing, your money has kids.

When an average business invests a dollar, they hope to make back two. When a stellar business invests a dollar, they hope to make back ten. Yet with all the things to invest in, the trends to follow, and the coattails to cling to, many businesses cross their fingers in the thin hope their investment breaks even.

The good folks at Frost & Sullivan found that companies which invested in collaboration technology had a 400% return on investment. With a percentage like that you can bet your odds cloud computing does a darn good job.

When you and your business work with the cloud, collaboration spikes tenfold.  All your employees – wherever they are on the globe – can sync up, log in, and work together on documents, reports, and critical issues all updated in real-time.

If your business knows the value of agility and speed, good old-fashioned emails aren’t up to specs. Traditionally, documents were passed back and forth like a hot potato between colleagues, as each took their turn working on files and giving them hundreds of new names.

Cloud computing does better by keeping all your business files stored in one central location, accessible anywhere, anytime, and from nearly every media device. Employees can chat together, make revisions, and collaborate in harmony working from one central copy.

According to one study, “73% of knowledge workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly”.

When everyone is on the same page, it strengthens collective efforts and productivity, improving nearly every aspect of your company.

Now while though cloud is a way to give every member of your business access to company data, it’s the teamwork made possible that boomerangs your investment back into a huge ROI.

Take GE Aviation. Everyone knows their mother company, General Electric – the brainchild of Thomas Edison. They wanted a way to connect their sales force while also building closer connections with customers. Turns out, the cloud suited their needs.

Their reps used cloud computing to share documents, ping-pong ideas, answer questions, and share instant feedback. In short, the project was a success.

“What might’ve taken a team—in the best case—a week, can now be done in minutes,” says GE.

Smaller businesses should follow their footsteps. As our globe connects, tunes in, and shares, you and your employees must combine your brains to keep pace with the times.

If you’re ready to make a successful investment that will enhance your productivity, efficiency, teamwork, and ROIcontact us today and arm your business with the tools of the future.


How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Your Business

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How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Your Business

In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building. Nowadays, cloud computing allows people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. This means that as long as employees have internet access, they can work from anywhere. The following are a few more ways cloud computing can be beneficial to your business.

Cost efficient. Cloud computing is probably the most cost efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade. Traditional desktop software costs companies a lot in terms of maintenance and support. Adding up the cost for maintaining multiple users can prove to be very expensive. The cloud, on the other hand, is available at much cheaper rates and hence, can significantly lower the company’s IT expenses. In fact, with pay-as-you-go computing, businesses only pay for the computing capabilities they use.

Speed and agility. In a cloud computing environment, new IT resources are only ever a click away, which means you reduce the time it takes to make those resources available to your developers and users from weeks to just minutes. This results in a dramatic increase in agility for the organization, since the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop is significantly lower.

Security. One of the top concerns of cloud skeptics is the fear of sacrificing data security when allowing company data to exist outside the internal firewall. Security is actually increased when using cloud solutions due to strict ISO security standards that cloud providers must adhere to, in addition to the regular security audits. This means no more worrying about lost laptops with confidential data and treacherous hacking threats.

Disaster Recovery. Disasters can happen at any time, such as fires or even theft, causing you to lose valuable data. When companies start relying on cloud-based services, they no longer need complex disaster recovery plans. Cloud computing providers take care of most issues, and they do it faster. This makes the entire process of backup and recovery much simpler than other traditional methods of data storage. Furthermore, the start-up after a system failure is almost instantaneous, enabling you to ramp up your processing power and get your system back up as quickly as possible.

Updates. Software updates and renewals are typically handled by the cloud vendor and occur several times a year at no cost to the customer. This ensures that the user interface remains modern and up-to-date with business demands.

The advantages listed above are simply a few of the benefits available to your business when you switch to the cloud. Whether you are running applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or you’re supporting the critical operations of your business, cloud computing provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources.

For more information, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at MaxQ Technologies, Inc. today.


Tips For Effective Cloud Computing

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Tips For Effective Cloud Computing

The cloud computing industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. Cloud Computing is now a common and valuable tool among businesses and independent online users alike. When migrating a business to the cloud, things like security, capacity, reliability, and employee training are just a few of the issues you’ll need to be aware of. The following are simply a few tips to ensure your cloud computing experience is effective for your business.

Backup Data

Always backup your data. One of the most overlooked aspects of cloud computing and one of the easiest way to increase the control of your data is to make sure that whatever happens, you have a secure backup of that data. Not only is it important to maintain up-to-date backups of your data, it’s also important to routinely test those backups for data integrity. Also, make sure you keep those backups stored in a location that is different from the source.

Test Security

One of the biggest cloud security concerns is the risk of breaches resulting in loss or theft of sensitive private data. The only way to make sure something is secure is to test it. It is not uncommon for highly data-sensitive organizations to hire a skilled ethical-hacker to test their security provisions. Vulnerability scanning and assessments are just as important inside the cloud as they are outside the cloud. Chances are that if you can find a way to get unauthorized access to your data, someone else can as well.

Research

Begin by studying potential cloud providers’ marketing literature. Read reviews and ask around to get a feel of the providers level of success. Of course, to find out details about how the service works, you will have to talk to them. Ask specific questions, such as, where and how data moves and where it resides, what security controls are in place by default and the extent to which the provider is willing to tailor a security solution to your needs. You will also want to know what types and levels of encryption the provider can offer to ensure that even if data is leaked it cannot be read.

The Near Future

If you have heavy applications that will not run properly on a cloud environment, don’t just write them off yet. Start by planning to change your app architecture to a cloud-centric model step-by-step. In the near future, the version and hardware of these applications will evolve and you will only have to take advantage of the changes to complete their move to the cloud.

The cloud has come a long way over the past few decades. What was once a dream is now achievable for most businesses. Establishing a stable, dynamic cloud infrastructure is one of the best decisions you can make. With the above tips in mind, you will be on your way to effective cloud computing in no time.

 


For ERP, It’s really not about the cloud!

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For ERP, It’s really not about the cloud!

My daughter came home from high school and stated that “the cloud was broken”. Astounded, I asked what she was talking about. She replied, “I could not print from a Chrome book at school because, according to the school technical support person, the cloud was broken”. It is apparent that the cloud is misunderstood.

Wikipedia defines Cloud computing as “computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow the centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources. Clouds can be classified as public, private or hybrid. Probably not what you were thinking of when you heard that last TV commercial or ad mentioning the “Cloud”

I tend to think of the cloud in more technical computer terms, as an example, on their web site,www.searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com, cloud computing as the following; “A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic — a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider.”

This is not what most people think of when they hear the term “Cloud”. To them, like my daughter, the “Cloud” is this mysterious thing, that in it, the things they want just work (or so they hope). They use the cloud to get their emails, their music, and their videos whenever they want without much thought to the technology involved.

Which is why in regard to ERP, for now, it’s really not about the cloud. What ERP users really want is to access their applications from anywhere, at any time and on any device. Instead of music and movies, they want to be able to do the things they need to get their job done without the hassle of local software installations and profiles tied to only their office machines and the hassle and expense of keeping those machines up to date. Want to check on an order or the day’s sales statistics from your tablet while in your hotel room on a business trip, why shouldn’t you be able to? Need to be approve a time card with your phone while traveling or enter your expenses, why shouldn’t you be able to? After all, you can easily watch your cable recordings or read your daily newspaper from anywhere.

Do not get me wrong, there can be significant economic savings when using public cloud infrastructure or security and disaster recovery choices on private (or public) clouds. But to the majority of the ERP users they are thinking about that one big wish “anywhere, at any time and on any device” and when they get this they will say “thanks for the cloud” regardless of how they system is really hosted.