Selecting ERP for Software Plus Services

Cloud computing is one of the most heavily written and talked about topics in IT today. Cloud computing comes in many different forms, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The differences between these models are often misunderstood, and in some cases used interchangeably. Regardless of the terminology, they all refer to the remote provisioning of software applications over a (typically wide area) network, usually with some form of “on demand” or “pay as you go” compute model. Using modern, highly scalable, highly virtualized servers together with specialized IT services, cloud computing can reduce the total ownership and management cost of application software. But with the shift to cloud computing can come unintended consequences, such as the level of control the end customer has over the application software (upgrade timing, configuration and customization), and importantly, the degree to which cloud-based software applications can be integrated with other applications, either in the cloud or deployed on-premises. Software plus services, the ability to integrate or “mash up” cloud-based applications with on-premises applications, will likely become more and more prevalent in instances of enterprise resources planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and other forms of enterprise software. In this whitepaper, we will explore the reasons for this, and some of the necessary technological underpinnings that an enterprise software product must include in order to facilitate software plus services.

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