What if you could set up a portal that would let your partners fill new orders automatically, without any intervention from your employees?
Think of the time your staff could save. Think of the outstanding customer service your partners could provide—and how that would reflect back on your business. Think of how much you could grow without the need to scale up your headcount or IT infrastructure.
It’s all possible with cloud ERP. You may already be experiencing some of the benefits of partner portals that talk to your ERP system. If so, you’ve probably run into some of the frustrations, too.
How User-Based Licensing Hinders Cloud ERP Success
For many businesses that try to deploy partner or customer portals, the biggest hurdle is user-based ERP licensing. Most ERP systems require you to purchase a license for every user, with no exceptions. Want to give 10 partners access to your system through a portal? Then you’ll have to buy 10 more licenses.
But it gets worse. It’s highly likely that each of your partners will want to access your portal from at least a couple of different devices. That’s the great thing about the cloud, right? We can now work from anywhere. It’s not hard to picture your partners logging on from a desktop computer at work, a smartphone on the train ride home, and a tablet in their living room late in the evening.
Well, many ERP systems will require individual licenses not only for each user, but also for each device used by each user. Those 10 partners you’re adding to the system may need upwards of 20 licenses.
This is where you might stop and ask yourself, “Is cloud ERP even worth the investment? Couldn’t I get a better ROI from some other project?”
Maximize Your ROI from Cloud ERP
It’s not hard to see why most cloud ERP vendors continue to charge by the user: it boosts their profit. A vendor that spends years designing a powerful ERP platform in the cloud wants to maximize their return on that investment. And because most customers have always paid by the user for their on-premises software, they probably won’t complain about doing so for their cloud applications.
But at some point, most cloud ERP customers will figure out that user-based licensing is hard to manage, presents a financial burden, and hinders their scalability and growth. Fortunately for you, vendors are also beginning to realize that user-based licensing simply doesn’t make sense in a multicloud world. Many of them are changing their licensing policies.
Acumatica is leading the charge. Our
Even Microsoft is now following our lead. They’ve changed their policies in SharePoint 2016 to allow unlimited access for extranet devices. As a result, customers who want to extend access to their partners no longer have to purchase SharePoint Internet Connector at a price of about $15,000.
By Sean Chatterjee, VP, Partner Sales, Acumatica