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13/01/2015

The top 8 reasons it makes dollars and sense to move to the Cloud

Why move to the Cloud?


The top 8 reasons it makes dollars and sense to move to the Cloud

 

It took us some time to move to the Cloud for our own internal systems but we're glad we did. Now we're helping wineries of all sizes make the transition to VINx2.

For a number of years we used accounting software configured on a PC within our own network.  When travelling we weren't able to get access to key accounting information to answer even the simplest of billing inquiries. All requests had to go via the office and tied up another staff members time.

You may have the same problem when visiting a distributor, customer or custom crush client. It's often critical to get your hand on account status, inventory levels, wine composition and analysis in order to make decisions and close deals. The Cloud gives you that advantage.

When Xero, a Cloud based accounting package, was launched we didn’t take too much convincing to move all our accounting needs over to their platform. Now we have anytime access to our information and can effortlessly link accounts with our CRM and Quoting tools all of which are Cloud based. A quote can now be delivered to a customer in minutes instead of half an hour. It was one of the best decisions we made.

Imagine getting the same results with your TTB/compliance filings, management reports or sales and purchase orders. You too can leverage the Cloud for simpler compliance and traceability and here are the top reasons to make the switch:

 

Zero capital costs

Cloud applications are typically pay as you go instead of traditional capital intensive software purchases. Businesses get a lower start-up cost and predictable operating expenses.

According to a 2013 US study by Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, 70 percent of SMBs have reinvested money saved as a result of moving to the Cloud in areas such as product development, innovation, marketing and expanding into new markets.

 

Disaster prevention and recovery

There are thousands of non-descript and secure office buildings around the country housing data centres with teams of people in place to ensure uptime, reliability and redundancy. Your risk of data loss from a computer crash is practically zero. By leveraging the Cloud you no longer need complex disaster recovery plans.

The Aberdeen Group found that businesses which used the cloud were able to resolve issues in an average of 2.1 hours, nearly four times faster than businesses that didn’t use the cloud (8 hours).

 

Work from anywhere

In the wine industry its common to have staff on the road at small tasting events and meetings with large distributors. Imagine being able to quickly and easily check your bulk and bottle inventory levels from your tablet or enter a sales order on the spot with confirmation emailed directly to the customer. With the Cloud all you need is a device like a tablet and Internet access and your staff can work from anywhere.

This flexibility improves productivity and empowers your road warriors to find information themselves without needing to call into the office.

 

Security

Over 8,000 laptops are left in just 7 of the largest US airports each year. That can have a huge financial impact but when everything is stored in the Cloud you'll only have to replace the device and not the data. 

According to a Microsoft study, 91 percent of SMBs said the security of their organization had been positively impacted as a result of Cloud adoption.

 

Environmental benefits

Cloud computing uses less electricity and reduces your carbon footprint. By using the Cloud and sharing infrastructure instead of managing your own you get fantastic economies of scale while also saving on energy use.

According to Google, a switch to Cloud computing for office applications alone will save between 68–87% on energy use, compared to managing the applications internally, while also reducing a company's carbon footprint by a similar amount.

 

Automatic and regular software updates

Cloud computing vendors such as VINx2 provide all the server and backend maintenance themselves including security and regular software updates. This frees up your reliance on IT staff to manage traditional computer infrastructure.

Updates to VINx2 for example are all part of the subscription, don't cost any extra and are installed for you.

 

Lower people costs

Good IT people are expensive. According to the Microsoft study, SMBs that leverage the Cloud spend half the time managing IT and a saw 50 percent reduction in internal IT resources. With staffing costs always a large item on your balance sheet this saving can be better invested into your marketing budget.

 

Better collaboration between staff, vendors and customers

Using VINx2 as an example, winemakers are able to communicate in real time to growers using email alerts as fruit is weighed at the winery. Sales orders can instantly be emailed to customers confirming their purchase and purchase orders centrally managed for any vendor inquiries. Custom crush clients can log-in and view their own winemaking history instead of phoning or emailing your staff freeing up valuable time.

 

 

Author, Joshua Abra is Managing Director of VINx2 Winery Software and has more than 10 years' experience helping wineries transition to the Cloud using VINx2.

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