Webinar Video: What's Stopping CFOs from Moving Accounting To The Cloud

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Chief Financial Officers & Cloud Computing Free Recorded WebinarCFOs are well informed on the potential benefits of the cloud. But recent surveys indicate that CFOs are still reluctant to fully move their back office operations into the cloud, citing integration issues, security concerns, and the pain versus gain of implementing new processes. As the market has matured, the offerings related to integration, security, and other implementation issues have become even more diverse. During this webcast, we cover the lesser understood challenges of moving accounting & ERP into the cloud, including what to look for, and what to guard against. When it's time to move your back office into the cloud, you'll understand how to maximize the gain without the pain.

This Chief Financial Officers & Cloud Computing webinar video is from the Proformative webinar "What's Stopping CFOs from Moving Accounting To The Cloud?" held on February 20, 2013. The webinar features presentations from Bob McAdam, Vice President of Finance, Dynamic Communities Inc. and Greg Pierce, Vice President, Concerto Cloud Services.

 

Chief Financial Officers & Cloud Computing Webinar

 

"Full of quick learning objectives to [hit] here. I won’t go through these each but at the end of the day we, certainly, want you be far more better informed on the potential benefits; the upside and the downside of the Cloud and how companies and finance professionals are dealing with these issues today and successfully, moving their companies into the Cloud.

Thanks so much for joining us today. It’s my pleasure to introduce the two speakers who will be helping us out today. First up is Greg Pierce. Greg is the Vice President at Tribridge Concerto Cloud Services. Greg is a 20 year Technology Consultant with a passion for developing highly optimized solutions. Greg is one of the foremost experts on Cloud computing trends, system integration and deployment strategies. Greg is an avid speaker at Fortune 500 Enterprises, industry conferences and [user] groups.

As VP of Concerto Cloud Services Greg develops a strategic direction, vision and product offerings for the firms Concerto Cloud Services and manages service and delivery for all Cloud based deployments. Prior to joining Tribridge Greg owned and operated two companies that provided a variety of IT managed services and Cloud computing solutions for customers throughout the U.S., including platforms for the delivery of ELP and other core business applications via private Clouds since 2004. Greg has also served as the [CIL]. He holds an MBA from USF.

Our second speaker today, or joining Greg I should say, is Bob McAdam. Bob is the Vice President of Finance at the Dynamics Communities (inaudible 00:01:46). Bob has spent several in the Dynamics GP partner channel where he sold, designed and deployed Dynamics GP Solutions in a variety of industries. Prior to joining DCI Bob was actually involved in Microsoft Dynamics GP User Group, serving on the User Groups Summit Planning Committee and Academy Board.  Bob began his Dynamics GP career in 1998 of working with ePartners as Implementation Consultant, later becoming an IT Director. Bob has earned an MBA from Clarkson University.

With that, I think, we’re through with the introductions. Greg and Bob welcome, thanks so much for joining us today.

Greg Pierce:  John thank you very much. Thank you to Profomative for hosting us today.

John Kogan:  You bet.

Greg Pierce:  What we’re planning to cover today are several items related to Cloud computing and the benefits that can be derived from Cloud as well as some of the things that are real and perceived hurdles for companies to move to Cloud. Specifically we’re going to look at some of the things that tie to moving accounting or ERP systems to the Cloud and top of mind concerns for CFOs and in some cases others in the organization.

What we’ll start off with today is some information on how Cloud accounting can benefit you and what some of the pros are to moving your ERP systems to the Cloud. Also we’re going to go through in, pretty, great detail a listing of things that are concerns and fears for CFOs when they’re looking at moving to the Cloud. Some of those things John alluded to earlier and it comes down to security, data control and, really, a level of trust with the Cloud provider.

I think also important to cover is when is it appropriate and when is it beneficial to actually move your systems to the Cloud as opposed to maintaining a traditional on premise implementation and what does it look like when you move to the Cloud as far as the implementation and some of the pros and cons as you move forward whether private Cloud or public Cloud as the right solution for you.

Finally, we’ll go into a greater understanding of Cloud contracts, how Cloud contracts are priced and some of the behind the scene things that happen when a Cloud providers putting together contracts and some of the negotiation items and some of the clauses you going to want to look for as you move into a Cloud contract. With that I’d like to hand it over to McAdam, as John had mentioned he’s Vice President of Finance for Dynamic Communities. Bob’s going to speak a little bit about Dynamics Communities and what they do and some of the reasons they move to Cloud and some of the concerns they have, Bob?

Bob McAdam:  Okay, Greg. Thanks very much for inviting me today. I really appreciate it. Thank you John, good afternoon everyone. My name is Bob McAdam. I’m Vice President of Dynamic Communities here in Tampa. Dynamic Communities is administrative organization behind the software user groups that are in and around the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM line.

Editor's Note: When you get a chance, take a quick look at some of the many other recorded webinars in Proformative's video library, such as: Business Analytics For Corporate Finance Webinar, Corporate Financial Planning Webinar, Career Networking Webinar, Budgeting & Planning Webinar and Netsuite Webinar, to name just a few.

Our groups are run by the users and each of the groups has a Board that governs it. We are the behind-the-scenes folks that help make it all work and support each of these organizations so that the users and the partners who leverage our services becomes smarter and more efficient with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the various Microsoft Dynamics ERP applications. Our mission in essence is to the development and growth of these groups so everyone involved can be more inclined and more efficient with the products they use everyday.

As someone who’s in charge of the back office we spent some time in the past couple of years contemplating moving our accounting into the Cloud. The company is, probably, six or seven years-old, has 30 employees, roughly and in the past couple of years we’ve really seen some nice growth. We were running Dynamics CRM with a different provider, in a different Cloud space.

As our company grew we decided that we needed to exit our smaller “mom-and-pop shop” software for ERP and graduate, if you will, to something more robust, preferably something on Microsoft [sequel] server. That’s when we started accessing what it is that we were going to do going forward. How were we going to make this change for ourselves and also integrate with what we had already? Those were some important aspects. There are a lot of variables that we discussed internally, trying to determine if we were going to do this ourselves, move to the Cloud completely or, maybe, find something in the middle with a dataset.

While there are plenty of variables to discuss the four main ones are listed on this slide. It really helps bring our discussions into perspective. Security concerns for me were the first items that I was concerned over. When I talk about security I’m talking really two-fold: (A) What’s it’s going to be like for me as an end user no matter where I’m at? Okay, traveling a lot you’re on Broadband on an airplane, in a hotel, at your home, at your office, are all those connections going to be secure.  Secondly, if I’m in the Cloud, if my data’s in the Cloud my data lives there at the end of the day whether I’m extracting data from the databases or I’m putting data in there myself. I need to know whether that that environment is secure behind solid firewalls and my data has a good place to rest each night as far as backups and what have you goes.

For me while cost is, certainly, important and I listed that second, security concerns are really top priority. If I can’t have a solid connection and know that my transmissions and my data’s final resting place, if you will, are secure then the cost is really going to be irrelevant. I’m not going to be happy and I’m not going to be satisfied working with out data. Cost, of course, was important. We had to access if we were going to do this ourselves what infrastructure investments would we have to make? What resources would we have to hire to manage these infrastructure pieces?

Dynamics Communities is a company of around 30 people. As we’re growing and trying to do more over in Europe to run parallel with what we’re doing in North America for our members we don’t have the resources to take on large projects like growing out an ERP on premise or share point server or exchange, this of that nature. We access the cost of doing it ourselves on premise or going to a data center and working a deal with the data center where we could be hosted. We’d still be responsible for equipment, etc. Cost, going to the Cloud made sense for us as we looked at all the numbers, and our size, and our needs and how fast we wanted to roll out new applications from Microsoft.

The third item here is integration capabilities. Again, we had CRM, Dynamics CRM …"

End partial; Chief Financial Officers & Cloud Computing Free Recorded Webinar

 

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