When it comes to Office Productivity Software, Microsoft Office remains the predominant player. Over the past few years Microsoft has been working hard to improve the functionality of its web based Office 365 Suite and is driving all users to subscription based pricing. ERP providers like Sage and SAP follow Microsoft closely and have been integrating the suite into their products in various ways.
Other than maintaining their historical integration with the traditional locally installed copy of Word or Excel, the cloud changes the way people work with the productivity suite:
- Sage Software is using the Microsoft Flow add-on for Office 365 to actively query their Sage 100cloud product and retrieve customer information inside of Outlook. With this innovative tool, you can see customer contact information and a variety of information about the customer account without logging into Sage 100. This feature is available in the new Sage 100cloud version 2019. Look for more innovation using flow to provide greater access to Sage 100 for non accounting or ERP users in the near future.
- At the recent SAP SMB Innovation Summit, the SAP development team demonstrated the new version 10 of SAP Business One integrated with the web native version of Excel. This feature was shown with new web native components of SAP Business One as SAP continues to move functionality out of the client application and into the database.
Where Sage is looking for its products to be "cloud connected," SAP is looking to make its products "true cloud." People argue ad nauseum about cloud strategy, and which one is better. We choose to leave the finger wagging to others and prefer to package the technology into solutions to meet the needs of our customers. If you are in a single location, a cloud connected solution may make more sense for you, where if you have a geographically diverse organization and multiple integrations, a "cloudier" deployment may make more sense.
By seeing the trends in technology, we can stay ahead of them. Since 1999 we have taken the technology provided by Sage, SAP, Microsoft and others and figured out the best way to deploy them in a cloud environment. Since Microsoft made it clear that Office 365 was the way of the future, we built our Cloud 3.0 architecture to integrate with the Microsoft Azure "federated services" to enable single sign on from your local windows device through to your ERP application and your Microsoft Office 365 subscribed software. This new model required changes in our cloud, but also requires changes in the way customers consume their software and login to their applications.
Not everyone will want the new single sign on model, just as not everyone will put their ERP in the cloud. However, when you are ready, we have the option for you! I-Business Network has been managing cloud infrastructure since 1999, long before the cloud was even called the cloud. We specialize in hosting Office 365, SAP Business One, Sage 100cloud, Sage 300cloud, Sage 500cloud, Sage CRM, Sage FAS and Sage BusinessWorks in multiple SSAE 16 data centers. For more information about hosting your ERP in the cloud, contact Bob Tobey at firstname.lastname@example.org.