Understanding Cloud ERP and Saas ERP


As East Africa’s biggest economy, Kenya has been steadily growing as an industrial hub with a huge manufacturing and industrial sector booming due to the population’s growing purchasing power and improvement in infrastructure such as roads and houses.

Kenya has also seen a growth in its technology, automotive, aerospace and healthcare sectors as well as its agribusiness, hospitality and consumer goods and retail sectors.

As the economy grows, so do companies operating in it, thereby leading to the need for specialised software to streamline all their critical business areas such as Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Order Processing, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Data Services. That’s where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software come in.

Enterprise Resource Planning is the automation and integration of a company’s core business. An ERP system automates and integrates a company’s core business processes such as customer orders, scheduling operations, and keeping inventory records and financial data.

Ideally, business decision makers need to have access to all relevant information in a single location, and this is where ERP solutions add value. Data that exists in a silo is of little use to them – they need to make decisions based on a range of variables, each of which is impacted by the others. Centralizing data in an ERP system overcomes this obstacle and ensures all relevant factors are considered.

Depending on the size of an organization and its security requirements, a single-tenant cloud ERP may be the best option to give it a greater internal control over the software while another may prefer an external SaaS ERP due to its lower initial costs, easy scalability and room for fast implementation by external software providers.

However, selecting and successfully implementing an ERP, is not as easy as the above paragraph and can be a complicated and confusing task leading to firms struggling to choose between on-premise ERP, software-as-a-service (SaaS) ERP or cloud ERP as each comes with specific advantages and disadvantages depending on the type and size of the businesses.

But with nearly three-quarters of current ERP customers ditching on-premise ERP to focus on cloud versus SaaS ERP, there is need to look at their differences though both cloud versus SaaS ERP are subsets of cloud computing.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is a type of service-based ERP hosted remotely and allows for quick deployment since ERP providers set up and manage the software on behalf of the organization, helping them avoid costs on internal IT teams for installation, updates, or maintenance.

SaaS can be accessed by paying a subscription fee and used as a service via the internet. The SaaS platform offers ease of deployment yet offering you tremendous value to your business. On the other hand, a cloud-based ERP system offers a similar solution to the SaaS model but with a few key differences. Like SaaS, the cloud ERP system is also hosted on the cloud and managed by your service provider but it’s a web-based ERP application that is customizable, flexible, and a more economical for use.

Most organizations are opting for cloud ERP software because they can get a customizable system that is flexible allowing them to add or remove features whenever necessary. The Cloud-based ERP software is entirely outsourced, and a user relies on their service provider to modify system features, fix bugs, install updates, and conduct regular maintenance based on what services you have paid for.

Due to cost and functionality, the cloud system allows organizations to get the latest and most evolved technologies with a regular software update.  Cloud-based ERP software supports for additional customization in exchange for additional fees while SaaS ERP allows a user to utilize the available features and do not require customization.

On security, Cloud ERP systems offer safer data storage options and are likely to have disaster recovery and backup protocols to reduce chance of data breaches while SaaS ERP vendors rent out the application to you and manage the system and retain full control of the data.

An example of a  Cloud ERP is SYSPRO. It is a functionally-rich cloud ERP system that can be securely accessed via a web browser on any device, from anywhere. It provides a complete, and adaptable business solution that includes software capabilities, infrastructure services, and support, as well as optional extensions a business can take advantage of as and when they are needed.

With SYSPRO Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Kenyan manufacturers are able to gain full view of all business activities, including financial, warehouse and inventory management, across your supply chain and business operations.

Specializing in the Manufacturing and Distribution sectors, SYSPRO ERP provides the solutions, processes and tools to assist you to manage manufactures’ data and gain insights into their business, hence the need to understand Cloud ERP and Saas ERP.

SYSPRO’s latest release offers a web based UI for universal access, 24/7 on all devices, exciting innovative capabilities, industry-specific functions, and the flexibility to customize. It is continually evolving, designed to simplify complexity and add significant value to manufacturers and distributors that are keen to digitalize and streamline their supply chain.

Syspro’s modular system allows firms to customize the platform to their particular needs, including warehousing and inventory management by simply purchasing the modules they need and they can add or delete modules as their business changes.

In conclusion, the Cloud-based ERP option is good for larger organizations that aim to retain tight control over their ERP data and using a single-tenant web-based ERP, they can achieve some of the benefits that cloud ERP provides, including flexibility, mobility, easier partner connectivity, and reduced IT expenses while SaaS ERP is fully managed by the provider and is a great fit for smaller organizations that do not require much customization.