Cloud Computing And SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System For SMB/SME
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet). The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts remote services with a user’s data, software and computation.
There are many types of public cloud computing: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), Software as a service (SaaS), Storage as a service (STaaS), Security as a service (SECaaS), Data as a service (DaaS), Business process as a service (BPaaS), Test environment as a service (TEaaS), Desktop as a service (DaaS) and API as a service (APIaaS).
The business model, IT as a service (ITaaS), is used by in-house, enterprise Information Technology organizations that offer any or all of the above services.
How Can Cloud Computing Help My Business?
When using software as a service, users also rent application software and databases. The cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms on which the applications run.
End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or a light-weight desktop or mobile “app” while the business software and user’s data are stored on servers at a remote location. Proponents claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.
Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network. At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services.
The origin of the term cloud computing is obscure, but it appears to derive from the practice of using drawings of stylized clouds to denote networks in diagrams of computing and communications systems. The word cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the standardized use of a cloud-like shape to denote a network on telephony schematics and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents. In the 1990s, telecommunications companies who previously offered primarily dedicated point-to-point data circuits, began offering virtual private network (VPN) services with comparable quality of service but at a much lower cost. By switching traffic to balance utilization as they saw fit, they were able to utilize their overall network bandwidth more effectively. The cloud symbol was used to denote the demarcation point between that which was the responsibility of the provider and that which was the responsibility of the users. Cloud computing extends this boundary to cover servers as well as the network infrastructure.
Cloud Computing Features and Benefits
These are just some of the most noteworthy features and benefits “Cloud Computing” provides:
Application programming interface (API) accessibility to software that enables machines to interact with cloud software in the same way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. Cloud computing systems typically use REST-based APIs.
Cost is claimed to be reduced and in a public cloud delivery model capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure. This is purported to lower barriers to entry, as infrastructure is typically provided by a third-party and does not need to be purchased for one-time or infrequent intensive computing tasks. Pricing on a utility computing basis is fine-grained with usage-based options and fewer IT skills are required for implementation (in-house). The e-FISCAL project’s state of the art repository contains several articles looking into cost aspects in more detail, most of them concluding that costs savings depend on the type of activities supported and the type of infrastructure available in-house.
Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they are using (e.g., PC, mobile phone). As infrastructure is off-site (typically provided by a third-party) and accessed via the Internet, users can connect from anywhere.
Virtualization technology allows servers and storage devices to be shared and utilization be increased. Applications can be easily migrated from one physical server to another.
Multitenancy enables sharing of resources and costs across a large pool of users thus allowing for:
o Centralization of infrastructure in locations with lower costs (such as real estate, electricity, etc.)
o Peak-load capacity increases (users need not engineer for highest possible load-levels)
o Utilization and efficiency improvements for systems that are often only 10″“20% utilized.
Reliability is improved if multiple redundant sites are used, which makes well-designed cloud computing suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery.
Scalability and elasticity via dynamic (“on-demand”) provisioning of resources on a fine-grained, self-service basis near real-time, without users having to engineer for peak loads.
Performance is monitored, and consistent and loosely coupled architectures are constructed using web services as the system interface.
Security could improve due to centralization of data, increased security-focused resources, etc., but concerns can persist about loss of control over certain sensitive data, and the lack of security for stored kernels. Security is often as good as or better than other traditional systems, in part because providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford.
For Cloud Computing, SaaS, On-Demand Software and Support Please Contact Cornerstone Consulting
If you are the owner of a small or medium-sized manufacturing, wholesale distribution, or online retail business and are considering deploying business applications in the cloud, please call Cornerstone Consulting. Since 1983, Cornerstone Consulting has been providing enterprises with streamlined financial accounting, customer relationship management, sales management, inventory control-tracking-management, warehouse management and more essential business applications. In 2005, Cornerstone Consulting became trusted SAP Partners and resellers of SAP Business One. This enterprise resource planning system (ERP) combined with the customization expertise of Cornerstone Consulting, allows a company to implement a state-of-the-art business management solution, and have the software system tailored to meet its specific business needs. Instead of your business adapting to the software, the SAP ERP system can be easily configured to meet the specific needs of your operations. Further, the SAP Business One ERP system can be deployed in your own private cloud.
Cornerstone Consulting’s areas of expertise include, but are not limited to:
- SAP Business One ERP
- Sage Pro ERP
- E-commerce Application
- Mobile Apps
- Cloud Computing
- Web Design and Development
- Custom Programming
Want to jump start your company’s performance, confidently lead your business into the mobile future, or strategically out-run your competition? SAP Business One has many benefits to offer your small or midsized business including: the ability to access the enterprise resource planning system on your iPhone and iPad; better analytics via Crystal Reports; instant, “real time” access to information from finance, manufacturing, warehouse management, customer service and sales departments, as well as automatic “workflow alerts” that provide warnings based on individualized business rules. To learn more about how SAP Business One ERP can help your small or midsized business, contact Cornerstone Consulting at 813-321-1300.
(1) Extracted in substantial part from this Wikipedia article which contains an abundance of very interesting information regarding the creation and astounding growth of the Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing