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  • Master data management software helps manufacturers control product data

    Strategic tools in master data management software can also improve ROI of ERP systems. Continue Reading

  • A glimpse into the future reveals business apps in the cloud

    Not too long ago, few organizations considered putting all their business apps in the cloud. Moving applications off-premises was an innovative tech experiment only the most adventurous undertook. Today it's a different story. Cloud computing is practically a mainstream option, with more and more organizations placing more and more of their business apps in the cloud.

    What they're not doing is doing it wholesale. They're moving applications bit by bit, and these gradual rollouts often turn into enterprisewide cloud deployments. "They are picking where they start, and they're figuring out what's an area of low risk or saying, 'I've got to automate this process that we've done on spreadsheets, ' " said Christine Dover, an IDC analyst, in the cover story of this issue of Business Information.

    Tony Kontzer's story explores cloud projects at chain restaurant operator Ovation Brand and One Call Now, a provider of mass-messaging services. Ovation turned to software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps to replace its aging Oracle system, putting business apps in the cloud one by one. One Call Now started using SaaS applications after outgrowing on-premises software.

    Such is the state of business applications today -- and tomorrow. Another story looks at another side of that future: organizations juggling lots and lots of apps. James Denman talks to folks at Arizona State University and Canadian phone directory publisher Yellow Pages about their project portfolio management (PPM) initiatives. One is far ahead in the practice, which centralizes the handling of processes and technologies; the other has work to do.

    Also in the issue, columnist Mary Driscoll looks to surveys to figure out who is likely to put financial software in the cloud, Jan Stafford tells why many developers won't be sheepish about Amazon's AWS Lambda and Ed Burns closes with a word of warning: Use security analytics to protect your sensitive data -- or else. Continue Reading

  • Enterprises see the light on marrying front- and back-office systems

    Marrying front- and back-office data is becoming increasingly important to all sorts of business operations. Continue Reading

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  • Tailor your big data strategy with role-specific analytics

    Organizations will try to supercharge their mobile systems with big data -- but giving users access to that much info won't work. For a powerful big data strategy, they need to get specific. Continue Reading

  • Manufacturer finds success with cloud-based ERP system

    When it came time for international expansion, Shaw Industries turned to a cloud-based ERP system. The company couldn't be happier. Continue Reading

  • Mobile ERP makes for a powerful, if mismatched, combo

    The manufacturing and supply chain industries were among the earliest adopters of enterprise-class mobile applications and hardware, but as platforms have evolved, with interfaces resembling cheaper smartphones and tablets, IT strategists have had to rethink their plans. To better make use of the increased potential of mobile ERP, organizations must first tackle a host of knotty hardware, security and software-design issues.

    In this three-part guide on mobile ERP applications, SearchManufacturingERP contributors outline the new use cases made possible by mobile computing technologies as well as the new concerns facing interested manufacturers. First, technology writer Lauren Gibbons Paul cautions organizations exploring cloud-based ERP. While many see mobility and the cloud as a perfect match, the reality, she writes, is ERP vendors’ software-as-a-service applications often don’t support mobile access. Next, Beth Stackpole reports on the advantages next-generation tablets and smartphones bring to warehouse applications. Brenda Cole, who was site editor of SearchManufacturingERP until recently, closes with answers to several frequently asked questions about mobile ERP. Continue Reading

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