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Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison 2501 938 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Microsoft Dynamics has a range of products that are designed from the ground up for different functionalities.
  • As an enterprise, picking the right product (for eg. Data migration from NAV to Business Central and choosing between Business Central vs Finance and Operations) requires intricate knowledge about the in’s and out’s of these platforms.
  • The Microsoft Dynamics family of products offers a wide array of business applications that can provide you with the maximum efficiency and ROI for your enterprise.

Microsoft Dynamics is known for upgrading or in some cases even overhauling its range of products to:

  • Make them compatible with the changing technologies (rewriting on-premise enterprise products for the cloud)
  • Enhance business applications
  • Streamline operations management, resource planning, and/ or financial management functionalities

As an existing Microsoft Dynamics suite customer or an enterprise looking to invest in a modern product, it can be an overwhelming decision to understand the differences between Microsoft’s vast range of products. Whether it’s understanding the minute differences between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Finance and Operations, or determining the additional features that these products offer, making an informed decision is critical.

This article discusses the major differences between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Finance and Operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Picking the Right Enterprise Resource Planning System

First, it’s essential to understand that Dynamics 365 encompasses both Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Business Central is essentially a cloud-based ERP solution on its way to replace the older Microsoft Dynamics NAV product. The dual functionality of Business Central (on-premise and on the cloud) is what makes it more efficient for operations management and resource planning. The cloud functionality of business central can be leveraged to access data 24*7 anywhere you go. This can be especially useful in recent times where remote work has jumped in scale.

Here’s an In-depth Comparison Chart to Understand the Difference Between Dynamics Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Business Central Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations
User-base Previous Dynamics NAV Users Financial Compliance Teams, Vendor Management, Inter Company Stock Transfers etc
Analytics Maturity Dashboards, Reporting, Ad-hoc Analytics Advanced and More Intricate Analytics, Richer Reporting Options, Machine Learning-enabled Features, Advanced Business Intelligence Tools
Options for Customizations Developers can access open codebase for customizations Multiple plug-in options, Many Modules Available on AppSource
Implementation Cost Generally, 30% of Cost of Implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations All infrastructure costs are included
Licensing Subscription-based Model Monthly Subscription-based Model

Dynamics Business Central vs Dynamics for Finance and Operations are often compared for their scale. While Business Central is usually targeted towards smaller-scale operations (companies that want to move on from basic accounting models to intricate business analytics functionality), Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers two ERP products: Business Central and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

It’s widely considered that In time, Business Central will take center stage, possibly phasing out Dynamics NAV completely. Here are some of the more compelling reasons for this hypothesis.

Dynamics Business Central Key Benefits and Distinguishing Features:

  • Easily accessible on-cloud and/or hybrid models available
  • Better safety with its cloud-based and web-based applications
  • With Business Central, companies can get maximum use and ROI from other applications such as SharePoint, MS Excel, Outlook, and MS Word
  • Business Central offers a variety of new functionalities
  • The flexible upgrade and licensing model allows companies to be digitally agile in the implementation of software
  • Data migration from Nav to Business Central is a fully-supported, streamlined process
  • Overall implementation of Business Central is much faster, thanks to customization options, add-ons development and combination option with other Office 365 products.

In conclusion, companies that are looking for nimble, cloud-based software options for their enterprise’s accounting requirement can opt for Dynamic Business Central. On the other hand, companies looking for intercompany stock dealings, transportation management, and financial compliance solutions should opt for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Depending on the requirement of companies, their IT infrastructure maturity and growth strategies, an informed choice has to be made.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dynamics 365 is an umbrella encompassing Business Central and Finance and Operations ERP solutions.
  • Business Central offers intricate analytical functionalities with the option of going cloud-based or local (on-premises) or hybrid.
  • Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations has a more niche user-base.
  • Companies can get support from experts and consultants to make the right call and for faster, smoother implementations.

Trouble choosing between Dynamics 365 Business Central and F&O? Get help from experts today!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Why companies are moving to the cloud

Top Reasons Why Companies Are Actively Moving to The Cloud

Top Reasons Why Companies Are Actively Moving to The Cloud 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Cloud computing has remained a hot topic for quite some time now and businesses are rapidly shifting their processes to the cloud for streamlined workflows and increased productivity. With cloud efficiency saving millions of dollars, companies are eagerly coming forward to reap its benefits. Let’s find out how moving to the cloud is helping companies transform themselves.

Top Reasons Why Companies Are Actively Moving to The Cloud

Have concerns migrating to cloud? Book your free consultation with a cloud expert today!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Rising data security risks in chemical plants

Rising data security risks in chemical plants

Rising data security risks in chemical plants 2400 1200 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

Digital security threats are increasingly targeting industries—including the chemical sector—to the point the Department of Homeland Security is now issuing cyberterrorism guidelines. Among the protection and detection resources a few chemical softwares available are:

  • Free detection and protection tools for small and midsize chemical companies from Homeland Security.
  • A free report to help companies detect abnormal behavior in a computer network before damage occurs from the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST).
  • Several ways to protect distributed data on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

Introduction

Using technology to automate factories has the potential to revolutionize the biochemical and pharmaceutical industries. The same technology permitting rapid development and customization, though, also exposes these factories to new risks from outside actors.

Factory technicians have the ability to track progress at every stage, permitting adjustments when required. Whether it’s creating a new drug virtually and using technology to anticipate how it will perform, and then tweaking it to get the right results, or producing medicines customized for a single patient, all of these methods share common tools: computers.

These same smart factory methods permitting efficient manufacturing also open the facilities to new vulnerabilities in the form of undesired computer modifications, known colloquially as hacking.

Potential Threats to Production Facilities

Connecting sensors and devices, along with accessing vital systems and information remotely, “results in manufacturing networks with greater vulnerabilities to cyberattack,” a recent article in Quality Digest states.

The most recent example occurred April 11 at Iran’s Natanz nuclear processing site. A power system used by centrifuges required to process uranium was demolished, requiring an estimated nine months of work to bring it back online. Another example cited in a 2014 The Wall Street Journal article explained how a targeted email sent to a German iron plant allowed intruders to cross into the production network. The result was an inability to shut down a furnace normally, causing severe damage to the entire system.

Types of Cyber Attacks

Cyberattacks can come in several forms depending on the attackers’ goals. These include:

  • Stealing sensitive and important information, such as materials covered by patents.
  • Installing malicious software, allowing attackers to control critical systems.
  • Damaging production control systems

Cyber attackers usually have one of two goals in attacking anyone or anything, including a biochemical or pharmaceutical production facility. The goals are:

  • Money in the form of a ransomware attack demanding payment to release control of these systems.
  • Sabotaging machines with the goal of hurting a plant or company.
  • Political motivations (e.g., Iran claims the April 11, 2021 attack was caused by Israel)

 

3700customer records were taken from LC Industries in June 2015

40,000 research files were taken from DuPont by a former employee

900,000customer records stolen from Hanes Brands in mid 2015

40,000 million was stolen from aircraft manufacturer FACC in early 2016

Source: Digital Guardian

Monitoring Industrial Systems

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released its “Securing Manufacturing Industrial Control Systems: Behavioral Anomaly Detection” report, which is available free.

Behavioral anomaly detection (BAD) monitors industrial systems for unusual events and trends. Using smart factory technology such as the industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensors, BAD looks for real-time evidence a system is being compromised. Instead of reacting to an attack already underway, or finding evidence a cyberattack happened in the past, BAD monitors industrial control systems and operational technology (OT). This lets factory technicians monitor what is happening.

When an operator sees signs of an unauthorized connection or device, the operator can stop it. One example cited in the Quality Digest article is knowing what communications are allowed with the programmable logic controller (PLC) common in many industrial machines. Unauthorized connections can generate an alert, letting the human operator know intervention may be required.

Figure: 1 An example of computer alerts in the Cyber X console (courtesy NIST)

computer alerts in the Cyber X console

Tools and Resources for the Chemical Sector

“Securing these chemicals against growing and evolving threats requires vigilance from both the private and public sector,” the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) states in an article on the Chemical Sector. This sector includes pharmaceuticals. Tools and resources are available to small and midsize chemical facilities through the CISA designed to aid chemical facility owners and operators, risk managers, business continuity planners and others.

CIST states these resources are not to be confused with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), which focuses on high-risk chemical facilities. The program identifies and regulates high-risk facilities, reducing the risk of hazardous chemicals being weaponized by terrorists.

NIST also has tools available through its Cybersecurity Framework webpage.

Azure Has Tools to Fight Cyber Attacks

While many small and mid-sized businesses lack the financial resources to fight cyberattacks, commercial tools do exist. One advantage is they remove much of the computing burden from on-site servers and move it to the cloud. Especially in a business environment where many employees and managers work remotely, possibly in different countries with varying degrees of cyber security, the ability to protect data and operations becomes critical.

One of the top products of this type is Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform with services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Using remote data servers (i.e., cloud computing), Microsoft uses a layered approach to ensure its physical facilities storing data from remote factories are secure. Access approval is required at the facility’s perimeter, the building’s perimeter, inside the building and on the datacenter floor. Customer networks are isolated in Azure. Per Microsoft the isolation improves performance and security.

Physical access to computer hard drives is not a typical security issue for most companies. Stealing or damaging the data on them, though? Worrying about that can lead to sleepless nights. One benefit of using Azure is its ability to accept data from Microsoft Office 365 programs such as Access and Excel. Microsoft Azure Sentinel provides intelligent security analytics. The Azure data security platform also provides other forms of security. This includes:

  • Structured query language (SQL) authentication
  • Multi Factor authentication by users
  • The ability to lock various computer resources
  • Constant security updates automatically applied to the overall system by Microsoft

Multi Factor authentication, for example, sends a code to a user’s email account or cellphone. The user must input this code to gain access. Azure also has its own Security Center that provides an overview and recommendations for making each subscriber’s virtual network and virtual machines more secure. Reports are exportable in a format readable by programs such as Microsoft Excel. Azure’s Security Center also provides:

  • Details on security incidents with recommended actions to prevent similar issues
  • Built-in remediation proposals, requiring only mouse clicks to activate them
  • A wealth of information based on industry-specific policies for a specific country or region

Final Thoughts

Cyber attacks on industries are increasing worldwide and a better infrastructure without the maintenance hassle is the direction that more companies are preferring. Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform includes many security features designed to protect data when using a distributed workforce.

Aiming to transform into a risk-free organization with Azure? Start the free trial!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

ERP competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Investing in an effective ERP solution today is essential for the smooth operation of any business.
  • A prediction by Statista estimates the global ERP market to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 growing with a CAGR of 8%. cv
  • Your ERP system manages various aspects of your business like materials, inventory, sales, distribution, and even your accounts, making it essential to focus on a smooth transition from legacy systems to the cloud.
  • As there is so much sensitive data hosted on the cloud, the transition from on-premise systems to the cloud should be done carefully, taking several factors into consideration. Steps taken to ensure a smooth transition can range from prioritizing applications to the geographical constraints and regulations put on data sharing.
  • According to a prediction by Dell, companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security tend to see a 53% revenue growth as compared to their competitors.

Investing in a good ERP system is the biggest responsibility for any company. Choosing the right ERP system is not only a huge financial responsibility but as large companies like Oracle and SAP announced plans to phase out support for the older versions of their ERP software, business executives everywhere are forced to rethink their own ERP strategies.

What today’s companies need instead of just a flexible system is one paired with rapid responsiveness to customer needs and which can lead to increased business opportunities. The next generation of ERP implementation strategies is likely to have a smaller core of critical business processes and easily manageable connections for industry data that lives on the cloud including third-party solutions.

According to Statista, the overall ERP market is expected to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 depicting a compound annual growth rate of 8%. Companies are rapidly moving from legacy systems to the cloud to reap its benefits. In fact, a recent report by SelectHub showed that the global cloud market is expected to reach $411 billion by 2020.

ERP in Core Operations Management

An ERP software manages essential information for different departments of a company. They provide software assistance in most areas like –

  • Materials and Inventory: Managing stock levels, material requirements, and vendor requirements.
  • Manufacturing and Assembling: Helping in planning, scheduling, and forecasting production and material requirements.

Figure: 1Must-Have ERP Modules

Must have ERP Modules

  • Sales and Distribution: Ensuring real-time data tracking for increased visibility on customer orders and distribution requirements.
  • Accounting: Managing essential back-office processes, tracking all transactions, and supporting financial reporting.

Most companies need stable and multitask-capable systems to work on to meet the needs of their customers at a faster pace to stay at par with the competition. The only real solution is to adopt a legacy system replacement strategy using flexible microservices which can offer a competitive advantage.

Enterprise Resource Planning – On-premise and cloud

Currently, most ERP systems run on either on-premise or private clouds. According to a report by Panorama in 2018, 15% of companies use on-premise ERP solutions, 64% of companies use SaaS whereas 21% use cloud-based ERP solutions. On the other hand, in the year 2017, 67% of companies used on-premise ERP solutions, 6% used cloud and 27% used SaaS.

Figure: 2On-premise vs Cloud

On-Primise Vs Cloud ERP

The rapid increase in cloud solutions adoption shows that companies are slowly becoming comfortable with moving to the cloud and working on cloud-hosted systems. Cloud computing makes it much easier for vendors to deploy rapidly changing technologies using the internet of things (IoT), artificial learning, machine learning, and data analytics to keep their systems updated. This is the paramount reason for the cloud to dominate in the future. As and when this happens, the cloud will not only provide you efficiency and deliver valuable insights but will also enhance predictability.

This is not an overnight change because customers and users take time to mature and invest in current systems, the change is yet inevitable.

Steps to take before embarking on ERP modernizing journey

Moving to the cloud is a big step which means certain things should be done very carefully –

  • Prioritizing applications – Separating applications that help in business expansion and staying on par with the competition is essential. Applications like email, messaging, calendars, and other Office-supported apps are lower priorities compared to other business-critical software. Companies can make do without these less important apps for short periods. This helps in gaining a clearer understanding of which apps should immediately be moved to the cloud and which ones can wait.
  • Workload levels and demand levels – As many see the cloud as a solution for applications with major shifts in demand, public clouds offer increased server support when required. Running workloads with rapidly changing demand on the cloud increases efficiency and increase the financial support offered.
  • Importance of customization – When considering a shift to the cloud, workloads which require customer architecture require customization if performance is heavily dependent on a specific configuration. In cases where your internal organization has limited features and configuration capabilities, the cloud helps by increasing flexibility and provides resources necessary to identify workloads for optimal conditions.
  • Geographical and regulatory variables involved – Regulations can complicate your data framework immensely. Hybrid architectures help you successfully host your sensitive data and alleviate these challenges. Understanding these hurdles beforehand can save a lot of time and money. The regulatory requirements in different geographical areas also play a key role in moving data to the cloud. The broad presence of the cloud gives you the redundancy, content delivery network (CDN) capabilities and supports customers at any location that they access the data from without any additional costs. This also helps you by easing the complexity of operating geographically dispersed on your own.
  • Security threats – Security is a focus point for both private cloud providers and ERP software. Cloud providers operate at a larger scale, with increased security experts on staff and more experience protecting tenant data from new threats. When transitioning to the cloud, conducting a thorough assessment of both existing vulnerabilities and potential risks associated with service provider facilities before making your decision is extremely essential.

Better performance with modern ERP systems

Following the steps above can help companies go on to transition from their on-premise software to the cloud. They can effectively plan to modernize their ERP and transform their organizations. The experience of leaders who have been a part of such a transition shows that effort leads to significant gains including better and more secure access to data and increasingly efficient use of resources at reduced operational costs.

One particular benefit was seen by an industrial company with operations spread across the globe. They aimed to reduce operational costs by improving performance. They planned to do this by effectively managing their financial transactions. The easiest solution to this was to improve the connections between their ERP systems and the data being circulated both internally as well as externally. This in turn improved decision-making using automated data flows reducing the time that the company spent in gathering data and boosting the company’s financial intelligence.

Key Takeaways

No transformation of such a large scale can be easy or convenient. It’s not wrong to fear these kinds of transitions but it’s essential for companies to step up and take control so they can reduce their operational costs, increase connectivity and host sensitive data on more secure platforms. Moving data from on-premise software to the cloud can be made easy by answering the questions about the scope and nature of the upgrade. Adhering to a few simple and practical guidelines can also make this process simpler. Once this transition takes place, executives can manage the risks of modernizing their ERP solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Thinking of restructuring your ERP strategy to boost your bottom line? Get started with XcelPros!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing

3 actions CEOs need to take to get benefits of cloud computing

3 actions CEOs need to take to get benefits of cloud computing 1500 750 shahid.anis

At a Glance

  • The decisive role of C-suite executives in a company’s digital transformation is crucial in driving business towards success.
  • When it comes to the goals and benefits of cloud computing, CEO’s need to take charge and be involved in the strategies to make sure that the blueprint matches the company’s requirements.
  • CEOs need to align with the CTO’s and CIOs to get the maximum advantages of cloud computing and make sure that the digital transformation journey is a smooth one.

The last decade has seen accelerated growth and transformation in various industries as they embrace the digital thread. There has been a pressing need for companies to streamline their processes and optimize their operations to go agile. However, the Covid-19 pandemic left a mark on every industry and made agility (along with flexibility) an inevitable aspect of business growth. To that end, companies are now looking to go for. This pandemic made remote working the new normal and thus advantages of cloud hosting became quite apparent. The benefits of cloud computing are many. Top executives are looking for ways to move their practices and applications to a better tomorrow.

These strategic moves have to start at the top to be cascaded down for maximum efficiency. This is where CEOs come into the picture as they can accelerate growth and take their companies on the path of agility and digital transformation while exploring the benefits of cloud computing.

32%

of IT budgets will be dedicated to the cloud within the next 12 months.

Source: IDG Cloud Computing

‘Above 30%’ of the budget is a huge amount. When such a big investment is made by a company, a lot rides on the shoulders of the chief person in charge- the CEO. So, if you are a CEO who is guiding the company towards a path of digital overhaul and you wish to harness business & economic advantages of the cloud, you need to take certain decisive actions! Read on to know more about this.

3 Game-changing Actions CEO’s Need to Take When it Comes to Cloud Adoption

First, it is important to understand why the role of a CEO in cloud strategy is so important. In order to make cloud adoption a success for your company, as a CEO you need to strategize the transitional moves and make sure that all the cogs in the wheel are functioning properly for a smooth journey.

According to David Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, “Organizations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment.”

So here’s what you need to do to ensure your employees understand why cloud computing is important and your company can get the benefits of digital transformation:

1.Communicate and Inculcate Behavioral Change in the Organization: As a CEO, this might be one of the most important actions that you would need to take in order to ensure successful cloud implementation. Any disruptive change creates certain resistance amongst the employees. While some might be worried about their skills becoming obsolete, others would be apprehensive about security when it comes to cloud-based systems. However, when the communication is direct and concise, employees can be in the know-how. The behavioral shift can also be supported through in-house communication campaigns, alignment with the heads of respective functions, preparing HR policies in place, and ensuring talent acquisition for smooth cloud implementation.

2.Keeping the Financial Flow Stable: The goals and benefits of cloud computing can be met only through proper funding. As a CEO, it is important to create a financial funnel that supports every step in the company’s cloud transition journey. It may take some time for your business to get complete advantage of cloud computing. It is thus important to make sure that the financial backing is stable and consistent.

Figure: 1Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud Adoption Strategy Drivers

3.Create a Business Strategy Blueprint for Cloud: A business transition is only as efficient as the planning that goes behind it. It is crucial to create a business strategy and a supporting technology operating model to get optimal value from cloud computing. Such a model harmonizes processes for collaborative interaction between IT and business and will unleash the potential.

In summation, the advantages of cloud computing can be reaped through a high-level strategy. A seamless harmony between the CEO, CIO, and CTO can turn a digital transformation journey into a profitable avenue for the business.

Key Takeaways

  • CEO’s need to look into cloud computing strategies from a long-term point of view and ensure that the company is allocated with the budget and resources for cloud implementation.
  • Right communication is the key in migration to the cloud: the employees should get these communications from C-suite executives in order to develop trust and ensure adherence to governance guidelines.
  • Simply implementing cloud is not going to generate value for a business. Higher-level executives (especially the CEO) need to take lead in the journey towards digital transformation.

Take your first step towards moving to the cloud with a free consultation from XcelPros.

Register Now

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Clearing the Air About Cloud- 7 Cloud Myths Debunked

Clearing the Air About Cloud: 7 Cloud Myths Debunked

Clearing the Air About Cloud: 7 Cloud Myths Debunked 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Cloud migration is one of the most prominent IT overhaul strategies that many companies need go through to become more agile.
  • As often witnessed with any new technology (and its offerings), there are certain misconceptions about cloud computing, migration to the cloud and data security.
  • To harness the most out of your company’s investment in the cloud, you need to understand the misconceptions and be able to see past them.
  • Upper management needs to realise the significant business gains when moving to the cloud.

Agility and flexibility are perhaps two of the biggest drivers for companies looking to overhaul their IT infrastructure. For many companies, cloud adoption is an important step in that direction.

74%

of participant companies have moved a cloud-based app back on their premises after failing to see an anticipated return.

Source: HIS Markit

The upper management and IT departments of most companies often start with a vision of unlimited possibilities when they begin exploring the idea of integrating their IT strategy into the cloud, and often get discouraged because they buy into certain cloud myths and misconceptions. These myths can often poison an otherwise perfect vision, making it difficult to see the real benefit that migrating to the cloud can offer any business. From an early stage, it’s imperative to understand that simply transitioning to cloud computing is not a one-step-solution for better performance. You will need to make it work for you – and that’s the beauty of computing in the cloud, you can customize your experience to suit your unique business needs.

The first step is to dispel misinformation in some of the most commonly heard cloud computing myths.

7 Common Myths about Cloud

1.Cloud is All About Cost-efficiency:Many CIO’s we come in contact with have a notion about the cloud – that it is (or should always be) the cheaper option. Truely, when you compare CAPEX vs. OPEX, the cloud is most certainly a cost-effective option. Unfortunately, this is a somewhat layered and nuanced determination. It should be understood that the initial migration of workload to the cloud can be a very disruptive and resource-intensive process. There can be latency issues and if the entire strategy is not in place before the migration begins, these issues can multiply rapidly.

2.Everything in Cloud is Automated: The cost of skilled resources often gets forgotten when a company believes that the cloud can operate without interaction. While it is true that the cloud offers high levels of automation and many self-reliant features, there will still be a need for skilled professionals to manage the infrastructure. Additionally, simply managing and maintaining the cloud will continue to require human intervention.

3.Security on the cloud is not on par with in-house data centers: This is by far one of the most prevalent cloud myths that becomes a major sticking point and concern for CIOs. While data security is not something to be taken lightly, the fact is that cloud computing security issues only occur because of failure to adhere to regulations and governance guidelines. In fact, in recent years, cloud service providers (CSPs) have invested millions in strengthening their security capabilities.

Figure: 1Know Your Cloud Concerns: Myth or Fact?

Cloud Concerns Myth or Fact?

4.Application-wise transition to cloud is the best way to go:A lot of planning goes into cloud adoption and migration strategies. However, a common misconception is that the transition needs to take place for each individual application. Doing it this way results in significantly higher costs for the company as they end up paying more for the in-house data centers and the CSPs to host the apps. The right way is to move entire business domains to the cloud at once.

5.The downtime in cloud migration will have a huge impact on business:While it’s true that any big transition can be intimidating, companies are most often apprehensive about migrating to the cloud because of the misinformation regarding downtime and other difficulties involved. This is one of the older myths, no longer applicable as the larger number of experienced service providers available to help companies smooth the transition all but eliminates this risk.

6.Cloud is yet to approach maturity:We may have all heard this by now, and we’ve been hearing it a long time – the benefits sound enticing, but the cloud is still at a nascent stage and the many disadvantages of cloud computing present red flags, but this is no longer entirely true. In fact, the rapid pace of new innovations when it comes to the cloud is because the cloud in fact has reached maturity, and will only get better from here.

7.Moving to the cloud can cost jobs:Cloud adoption often meets with resistance as there’s a big misconception that it will lead to resources becoming obsolete. Fortunately for us, this couldn’t be farther from the truth as the constant innovations in the cloud are actually paving the way for more opportunities for skilled professionals. In the future, we should see educational branches dedicated to training young coders and developers in shared, public and dedicated cloud environments.

Misconceptions can lead a company in the wrong direction. Knowledge about the cloud and understanding the benefits helps you discern the myths to unlock your business’s true potential. Modern cloud computing capabilities far outweigh the difficulties in cloud adoption and should support your vision every step of the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Companies need to look at the cloud as a comprehensive step towards agility and flexibility and not simply as a cost-effective investment.
  • Getting skilled professionals onboard is imperative to dispel cloud myths and get the maximum ROI.

Book a free consultation on cloud migration.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

The Role of an agile & cloud-based ERP in Chemical Manufacturing

How a cloud-based ERP helps in Chemical Manufacturing?

How a cloud-based ERP helps in Chemical Manufacturing? 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

Modern Manufacturing

In recent years the chemical industry has witnessed a radical change in production methods. With technology gaining more attention in almost every sector, including manufacturing and distribution, business leaders need to upgrade their technology stack and outdated processes to meet the changing demands of the market. A rapid transformation of the Chemical manufacturing value chain is required to improve efficiency, productivity, quality, precision, pricing, and more.

While “Complexity” serves no good for business, it has been part and parcel of the chemical industry for decades. Many companies suffer from siloed department structures, disparate systems, inefficient data management, and a lack of streamlined processes due to lack of an agile ERP solution. These have all helped create roadblocks that hurt the bottom line of the business. Most companies don’t realize the gravity of the issue until the lack of integration between the floor and functional areas rears its head. As a result, it’s been easy for orders to get lost and product quality to suffer thanks to suboptimal production runs or poor capacity planning.

Chemical manufacturing companies need to take action by redefining their business models and re-evaluating their IT roadmaps. Chemical companies invest in transformation projects such as integrating a cloud-based ERP solution with operations to streamline processes, drive collaboration and efficiency, and offer much more informed decision-making.

Figure 1Agile ERP Solutions in Various Phases of Chemical Manufacturing

Unforeseen Circumstances: COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc, severely impacting every industry. The functioning of departments such as production and shipping became increasingly challenging. As a result, hundreds of companies had to scale down their manufacturing operations by as much as 40-60%. With such fewer raw materials being supplied, by February, the global production of chemicals had dropped by 2.4%.

The drop in business severely impacted revenue in Chemical companies. On top of that, transportation costs have gone up, and priority has shifted to essentials. This sort of financial pressure has forced companies to downsize the workforce, yet having to continue the business, which now is enforcing rapid technology transformations at an optimal cost.

An Agile ERP in Manufacturing

Unlike many other sectors, businesses in the chemical industry may not be able to stop production and send workers home. On the flip side, many chemical companies are pivoting operations to meet the demand of the market.

Add to this, a unique share of challenges that already exist for the chemical industry, including issues like

  • Fluctuating prices of raw materials and their impact on margins
  • The need for constant product innovation
  • Increasing risks in supply chain & manufacturing
  • Tightening regulations
  • Market uncertainty, budget & controlling costs
  • Difficulty in resource management

To overcome these complexities, companies need to possess a detailed overview of the market to identify the shifting customer dynamics and plan appropriately. Cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing can help identify market needs, shape the manufacturing processes, and finance a chemical company’s financial business processes.

6 Ways Implementing ERP will Improve Operations in Chemical Manufacturing

01.Improved Visibility

An agile ERP unifies data across departments, increasing the visibility of information across an organization, and eliminates unnecessary infrastructure costs while providing higher data security. Within a chemical company, process automation add-ons to the cloud ERP eases resource overload by optimizing workforce utilization on the shop floor. All departments across the company, including inventory management, purchasing, accounting, human resource management, production, and finance function together with a minimum breakdown and maximum clarity in operations. Agile cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing can help a chemical company access real-time data on a uniform platform and boost throughput to reduce downtime.

02.Enhanced Flexibility

As market demand fluctuates, there is a growing need for increased adaptability in the manufacturing and supply chain, enabled using the right ERP solutions. A Chemical company can share important updates and revised manufacturing plans/ schedules utilizing the supply chain planning system to plan stock availability. An agile ERP system for chemical manufacturing should follow a tiered approach comprising

  • secure database
  • simple user interface and higher accessibility
  • easy integration with external tools

The Chemical industry has a unique set of functional requirements to accommodate Environment health and safety and OSHA regulations. Cloud ERPs give Chemical companies the flexibility to customize the solution to suit their needs without migrating data or altering the entire piece of software.

03.Better Collaboration and Transparency

Data associated with the right ERP leads to better collaboration across the enterprise. Complex business procedures often are simplified, and simpler processes with no controls are made more stringent due to an ERP implementation project. All modern systems have enough restrictions to enable a disciplined method of functioning, that companies may have missing. A process and rule-based system improves transparency and sets the organization for growth.

04.Better Supply Chain Efficiency

A successful ERP software implementation eases the complexity of supply chain management with better-informed demand and supply management. Data insights collected from a well-designed ERP system for chemical manufacturing can reduce inventory cost, enhance supply chain efficiency, and optimize production processes that, in turn, build a robust supply chain. Building supply chain efficiency has further benefits such as decreasing expenditure on raw materials, increasing profit leading to capital growth for any company.

05.Improved Production

Chemical companies often pay a hefty price if the system they use is lacking functionality. The typical end-to-end chemical production process comprises – scheduling lot production, estimating the cost of the lot produced, recording consumption of raw materials, recording route operations, quality control check on lots, and accurately recording yields. This process exchanges multiple hands and devices. A poorly designed manufacturing execution system can hinder the batches produced, draining resources, and add unplanned costs to the company. All you need is an agile, cloud-based ERP system for chemical manufacturing.

06.Enhanced Customer Service

With the right suite of ERP and CRM solutions, it is possible to fulfill the customer-centric objectives such as understanding the customers’ needs, improving service levels, and enhancing customer experience. An agile ERP that supports companies to attend to their customers’ needs and resolve issues faster ultimately drives customer retention.

Final Thoughts

A Chemical manufacturing company holds its share of challenges. Be it specialty chemicals, bulk chemicals, private-label, co-pack, or a contract manufacturer, having the right cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing helps to build operational efficiency, bring products to market faster, reduce the cost of operations, be more agile, and responsive to market changes.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com