By Tom Rumberg, Vice President of Technology
Too often, a company’s sales pitches are just that… a sales pitch. Companies put together compelling stories to entice customers to purchase their wares, but often have little substance behind them. In the software space, a true gauge of the validity of a sales pitch is whether the sales rep is using their own software or subscribe to similar methodologies when they are on the other side of the table.
Here at Provade, we offer our industry’s only ERP-class VMS and BI software, delivering our products as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering in the cloud. Our sales pitch speaks to accessibility of Oracle applications at a far lower cost of ownership through SaaS than a traditional software license model. Our product is in the cloud and is instantly usable when our customers sign on the dotted line. Our message outlines the benefits of being able to get up and running on our cloud application without infrastructure or IT teams. Inevitably during the sales cycle, I hear our reps say, “You are a financial institution (or whatever their industry might be), not a software company. Why try to be something you are not? You can leverage Provade’s applications and expertise at a fraction of the cost.”
This isn’t just a sales pitch to us. We truly believe in offering software as a service, or the cloud model. Not only do we leverage our own software for procuring a contingent workforce, we also have a host of partners that we lean on for their cloud applications or experience. We offer Single Sign-On to our application via Ping Identity Management, a cloud-based SSO provider. To avoid the large costs of rolling out MS Project or Visio to the company worldwide, we leverage cloud application providers: Gantter for projects and Lucidchart for diagramming. Our CRM and Sales teams leverage Salesforce.com. We shunned the brick and mortar aspects of our growing organization by leveraging the Alteva cloud for our telephone system. And quite possibly our most important partner is Datapipe. Their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering is second to none. We get premium service, lighting fast hardware and a quintuple-redundant network to run our Oracle systems out of their world-class data centers.
So next time you are given “the pitch,” validate it by asking if your sales rep practices what they preach.
Interested in learning more about Provade’s VMS in the cloud? Contact us to learn how our SaaS model can benefit your organization.
By Edward Jackson, President
As the demand for actionable business intelligence grows at today's leading corporations, the focus for information leaders is finding the best way to fold niche applications into their existing ERP platform. The ultimate goal is to eliminate information silos to the greatest extent possible so that executives can view their organization in a more complete, holistic way.
Cloud-based applications have clear advantages in terms of upfront costs and speed of implementation, although the thought of integrating SaaS with on-premise systems puts some CIOs in a cold sweat. Common concerns include connectivity issues and the security of sensitive business data. These are all valid considerations, although frequently the perception is a lot scarier than the reality.
A number of SaaS providers are offering technology that can be integrated "out of the box" with common ERP systems such as Oracle and SAP, eliminating the need for time-consuming interface development. Applications built on an enterprise architecture also enable many of the rich features offered by the "parent" software. Security is another key concern for information leaders, as it should be. The fact is that most large companies have their data off-site already, and their encryption and security protocols may not be as strict as those enforced by the on-demand software vendor. Often, the more questions a client will ask about a vendor's privacy and security features, the quicker it disappears as a worry.
As these issues are addressed, the benefits of cloud-based software become apparent, particularly for key administrative functions such as HR, accounting and procurement. Major companies, typically aren't ready to invest in large upfront outlays for new applications. The generally high cost of upgrades only adds to that challenge. By utilizing hardware more efficiently and charging clients based on actual use, on-demand applications help on both these fronts.
Rather than worrying about data center and equipment issues, IT personnel are freed up to do tasks that actually add value to the organization, such as improving reporting capabilities. Perhaps the quickest converts to on-demand apps are front-users, who gravitate toward the familiar feel and more intuitive layout of a web-based program.
Just because your enterprise software is on-premise doesn't mean your company has to build out its data management capabilities using that approach. Given the budgetary and workforce limitations most organizations are faced with today, the agility and value of SaaS makes a compelling case.
By Peter Parks, Director Product Strategy
In the contingent workforce management and Vendor Management System (VMS) industry, we hear the word “enterprise” used a lot these days. And it has different meanings depending on the context.
The reason for its popularity is clear – the primary VMS target customer is a large, often multi-national enterprise and in order to appeal to their sense of size and strength VMS players identify themselves as providing “enterprise solutions”.
Mega corporations all manage their businesses on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms. In the 1990’s, these companies made substantial transformative investments to implement ERP systems to run back office operations. This was a major architecture change from main frame and internal IT systems to a single vendor enterprise platform.
Today, major corporations would never entrust their critical business processes to niche, or boutique software packages. These companies invested tens to hundreds of millions in their ERP infrastructure, which delivers the technical foundation required to support the procurement, HR and financial activities required to run the business. And it is not a static foundation; it is forever evolving through regulatory changes and new market realities. The foundation consists of labyrinthine matrices of languages, taxes, wage and bill structures, overlapping hierarchies, mission-critical security and permission logic and workflows. This technical foundation is precisely what makes ERP platforms invaluable to large corporations, the same corporations who are ideal targets for VMS solutions.
The major ERP providers spend untold millions every year maintaining their systems, testing integrations across platforms and generally ensuring the safety of their customers’ data and their compliance to regulatory requirements. So, why would these companies, so rightfully concerned with compliance and security, be willing to entrust what is typically their single largest category of spend (services) to anything other than a true enterprise-class system, complete with that critical foundation?
Effectively managing services spend requires significant customization and in-house expertise that few companies possess. So going it alone is not a cost-competitive option. And since the expectation was that the multi-million dollar investments made in ERP infrastructure would support these businesses for the following two decades, new software capabilities need to be aligned as extensions to those investments.
Here comes the shameless self-promotion…
Provade VMS is the only truly enterprise-class SaaS VMS solution available today. (And it can, of course, be used enterprise-wide!) Built on the Oracle platform (not just running on an Oracle database), Provade brings to bear all of the elements of the enterprise foundation that are so critical to our customers and their security.
So, kick the tires and look under the hood. As you are evaluating your VMS options, ask providers what they mean when they say “enterprise.” Ask them about their architecture and security. Ask them how they stay up to date on all of the compliance and regulatory requirements. And get the clarity you need to make the best decision for your business.
Want to learn more? Click here for Jason Ezratty's discussion on ERP and VMS in CWS 30.