Cloud Based ERP vs Cloud Security

By BAASS Consultant | Oct 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM
 

Looking at Cloud Based ERP, you may be wondering if it is right for you. So let's see if we can clarify some things for you. The implementation of a cloud based ERP has become a means to increase a businesses growth in revenue, and reduce operating costs. This allows the ability to gain greater control over all of the aspects or functional modules of their operations. However, in terms of security there are concerns that may cause some to steer away from using an ERP based solely in the cloud. The following areas are in question when it comes to security.

  • Physical Location
  • Data Transmission
  • Access/Perimeter
  • Storage 

It is understandable that having a cloud ERP means having the same security measures in place as found with an on-premise ERP system. Looking at possible security breaches with an on-premise ERP, we must consider that people or persons will intend to, maliciously, attempt to undermine the integrity of the system. This type of intrusion could be for embezzlement, disrupted service, or other type’s data manipulation. This can happen only if they have access to the location and to the software i.e. a workstation within the confines of the corporation.

In a scenario where the use of a cloud ERP is in place, the physical location is off campus, and possibly in another part of town. Additionally, the types of security measures to the location come in the form of retina scans, fingerprint ID badges, security cameras and other access limiting measures. Furthermore, all administrators work for the cloud provider or the software vendor. This means that no representatives from the company that purchased the software will ever be present.

The concern for privacy during data transmission between the server, database, and the user is remedied by encrypting this data between the destination and the source. The best encryption is with a secure socket layer, (SSL), algorithm. We find this security measure utilized with all web browsers and is the standard for the healthcare, and banking industries for example.

In the case of perimeter security where keeping intrusion attempts from outsiders is mandated a firewall is implemented. This works for both ERP’s, on-premise, and cloud based. Specifically, when there are multiple users for the cloud service. Firewalls are put in place for all utilizing the same service as a countermeasure to ensure security between customers.

All ERP data are considered proprietary and therefore it is imperative to protect this data from unauthorized access. This is accomplished via encryption. Although the database is administered by a non-employee of a given client, the cloud service provides a means to encrypt specific data stored within the database from unauthorized personnel. These same measures may apply to securing data to specific users within the customer’s user groups. This is done normally, through business logic or using a database layer system. Once an individual retains access, the business logic controls what the individual can see. In the case of multiple customers, the database layer system separates the data between the companies.

Having full-featured software that offers a solution with online access to CRM data is pertinent to any accounting software. Additionally, ownership and control in a secure environment is essential as well. You can also read more in our blog post series part 1 and part 2. To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us.

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Why everything you think you know about Cloud Security is wrong - Part II

By BAASS Consultant | Aug 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM
 

Continuing my previous blog regarding cloud security myths we start with the next myth on the list:

Myth: Cloud Security is a New Challenge

The truth is cloud security isn’t new, it’s not even unique. “Security concerns are really independent of the cloud”. They’re just an extension of what's being dealt with in the physical infrastructure. Cloud computing changes the playing field but most of the underlying security concerns such as protecting the infrastructure and data are old news and within the scope of today's capabilities. Security requirements are the same regardless of physical or cloud components. Best of all these issues are dealt with by the cloud provider in most cases freeing you to focus on high priority, profitable issues.

Myth: The Cloud is a fad

Although “the cloud” became a buzzword in popular culture in the past few years, neither the concept nor the technologies underpinning it are all that new. The idea that computing should be organized like a public utility goes as far back as 1961, when computer scientist John McCarthy talked about it at MIT’s centennial celebration. It wasn’t until the Internet matured, however, that the vision became practical. Salesforce.com began to deliver applications through a Web site in 1999, and Amazon (whose owner also owns The Washington Post) launched its cloud-based services in 2002.

What’s changed more recently is the level of investment in the cloud — and that ensures it isn’t going away anytime soon. The research firm Gartner predicts that companies will spend $788 billion on public cloud services in the next four years. And the McKinsey consulting firm forecasts that cloud technology could have an economic impact of $1.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion a year by 2025.

Myth: Cloud Computing is for Geeks

A mother tells her son. “I need all my company contacts saved from my company cloud to my cloud, my personal cloud. Can you do that?” Her son replies, “Mom, you have no idea what any of those words mean, do you?”

She’s not alone. A survey commissioned by Citrix in 2012 found that a majority of American adults didn’t understand what “cloud computing” meant, with 51 percent believing that stormy weather could interfere with it and 54 percent saying they never used it — even though 95 percent actually did.

Cloud-computing powers online banking and shopping, e-mail programs such as Gmail and Yahoo, social networks, online photo and music storage, and digital libraries such as Netflix and Kindle. It’s also increasingly what supports American workplaces. The annual North Bridge Future of Cloud Computing Survey found that 75 percent of companies were using cloud services in 2013, up from 67 percent in 2012.

The basic concept is that data and applications stored remotely can be delivered over the Internet, turning computing into a utility like electricity and water. “The cloud” is just a metaphor; nothing actually happens in the sky. For individuals, it means we can use our computers, phones or tablets to access our information wherever we are. For businesses, it means they can access computing resources on a scale once available only to companies with enormous amounts of money and technology know-how. The cloud can help them get by without hiring lots of geeks.

Stay tuned for the final 4 cloud security myths in our next post.

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Working “Smart” with Intacct (Part 2)

By BAASS Consultant | Apr 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Intacct puts many powerful tools at your disposal; two in particular stand out as powerhouse customization utilities – Smart Rules and Smart Events.  Today we’ll be looking at Smart Events and what they can do for your organization.

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Working “Smart” with Intacct (Part 1)

By BAASS Author | Jan 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Intacct puts many powerful tools at your disposal; two in particular stand out as powerhouse customization utilities – Smart Rules and Smart Events.  Today we’ll be looking at Smart Rules and what they can do for your organization.

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Managing Global Business And Multi Entity Issues

By BAASS Consultant | May 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM
 
Companies today face multi-entity and global business management issues far earlier in their life cycle than ever before. It’s not uncommon for a small company to start their business in one city, then open an offshore development office, house customer service in a yet another location, and grow to have sales offices scattered across the country and internationally – all within the first few years of business. As exciting as that kind of growth sounds, it’s a nightmare to manage for a traditional financial system.
 

In a multi-entity environment, each office typically operates autonomously, subject to varying currency, tax, and reporting requirements – such as currency translation, exchange gain/loss accounting, local reporting, and an increased risk of non-compliance. But that’s not all they have to deal with. In addition to managing organic growth, mergers and acquisitions are common in many industry. And with each new business acquired comes more separate entities, their unique challenges, and often a second financial management system. 

Presented with these challenges, finance team often struggle to perform critical tasks such as consolidation, reporting, and analyzing operational and financial information across the disparate sites. They are forced to use cumbersome spreadsheets and add-on reporting solutions along with their traditional financial systems to try to cobble together meaningful data to help management make informed decisions. Instead, the process is manual, slow and error ridden. Data from the multiple entities is collected and consolidated manually, currency conversions are calculated by hand, and the number of inter-entity adjustments and eliminations increases. 

The use of multiple systems and the lack of automation lead to two critical problems for multi-entity or global businesses: diminished operational visibility and a dramatic increase in cost. 

Read the rest over at Intacct's blog here

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When your Accounting System is Bigger than You

By BAASS Consultant | Apr 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM
 
 

Cloud V On-Premise Software Costs

There can be many reasons why your current accounting system no longer makes sense for your business. Maybe your company didn’t grow as big as you first anticipated. Maybe you had to downsize and let staff go. Either way, the end result is the same. You are losing money by maintaining an accounting system that is too big for your needs, as well as the expensive upkeep of servers and workstations.

Maybe you weren’t around during the discovery phase and didn’t have any input into the system chosen. Maybe you were, and you were sure it was the right decision at the time. But now we are where we are, and you hold the power to save the company thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and make it more effective at the same time.

Switching accounting systems doesn’t have to be a major, traumatic experience. There are tools in place that can easily migrate your data to a new system, quickly and effectively. And with the advances in cloud technology, the deployment time has been significantly reduced. Rather than continually investing in new hardware and software upgrades, you can just pay one fee to have your data securely hosted in the cloud, and accessible from anywhere.

If you feel like your accounting system is too big for what your business really needs, why not go for a best-of-breed system like Intacct. You essentially just add on additional features as you need them but the best part is that it grows with you so if you do get much larger down the line, you won’t have to switch systems again.

Intacct’s sole focus is on building amazing professional-strength financial management and accounting applications that fit into your existing business infrastructure and integrate well with the key applications you use to run your business—giving you the freedom to choose and deploy the best applications for each of your departments. Intacct delivers a comprehensive, fully integrated financial management and accounting system that meets the needs of your evolving business.

If you feel that your current accounting system is no longer in line with the requirements of your business, contact BAASS Business Solutions today, to discover if Intacct is a suitable solution for your future needs. We currently have some great discounts available for clients who switch from the larger ERP systems to Intacct so call today and contact us.

Join a webinar or take a tour of the product here

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Why would you want your ERP in the cloud?

By BAASS Consultant | Sep 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  

BAASS Businesse Solutions has recently become a Certified Intacct Reseller and when talking to client and prospects about this new Cloud ERP offering we often get asked the question above.

I think there are 5 principle reasons to move your ERP system to the cloud

  1. Lower initial Software Cost - with pay as you go subscription pricing, upfront costs are a fraction of on premise ERP pricing.
  2. Rapid Deployment - installation does not occur on your server or workstations so the roll out is much faster. PC's just require an internet connection and browser.
  3. Reduced IT Staffing - Cloud ERP's require little or no IT staff to manage it
  4. Low Cost and Seamless upgrades - upgrades are managed by the Publisher and are transparent to the user. In the on premise world upgrades can cause customizations, forms and reports to stop working which may require significant effort and cost to ensure compatibility with the current version.
  5. Scalability - Cloud ERP is scalable and does not involve a lot of cost. Costs increase as the users capability to pay does.

If the above resonates with you, please contact us to discuss how moving your ERP system to Intacct and the Cloud might be beneficial.

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