Tip of the Week #112 – 5 Reasons to Move Your Print Business to the Cloud
Marketing Coordinator Michael Bradley brings us this week’s tip.
Five Reasons to Move to the Cloud
Can five reasons be one tip? Well when it comes to ever-expanding subject of cloud computing, this tip of the week is just the tip of the iceberg.
For about 15 out of 20 years of working in the print industry, I ran various presses on the shop floor and had basically zero contact or understanding of any operating system software that print companies use to capture and manage their data.
The internet was nascent at the time, but even by the later 2000’s the company I worked for was still running a DOS-based system for estimating and Quickbooks (what else?) for bookkeeping. By that time, I had moved into sales and customer service, so I got a good taste of the foibles of inadequate internal IT infrastructure. Like many small print companies, no doubt, we were forced to rely on the skills of the one guy in the front office who had some computer acumen. If something in the system went down and he wasn’t there, we were screwed.
That wasn’t so long ago, really. Around 2008. But goodness how things have changed! Since joining the PrintVis team a few years ago my exposure to tech, software, MIS, ERP, SaaS and the bottomless well of Microsoft acronyms is through the roof.
And then we have the cloud.
That fluffy, blue-sky concept that seemed rather blah when the first Microsoft commercials began to air. I still hope to come up with a term that captures all the meaning of “the cloud” but manages to be more…edgy. Clouds are not edgy (at all!) and it can be rather challenging to come up with engaging marketing content for such a…soft…topic.
However, there are many reasons a print company – of any size – would be very smart to consider retiring its obsolete legacy systems and deploying Microsoft Dynamics NAV and PrintVis (buy one, get the other, a complete solution for the whole business) as a cloud-hosted solution. And here are five.
COST: Obviously the first and biggest consideration, especially when so many print companies struggle to survive every day. Your up-front costs are hugely reduced. There’s no need to invest in more hardware or servers or IT staffing. You also get fast and easy upgrades, saving even more money and avoiding problematic downtime.
FLEXIBLE DEPLOYMENT: PrintVis is completely scalable. For example, you can start with just one full user on the estimating module to get things rolling, and deploy other modules incrementally, adding users and training as needed until you’re running a full-blown ERP. Grow – or contract if need be – quickly and easily. With a subscription plan you get amazing, affordable freedom.
SECURITY: Many people have the misconception that operating from the cloud makes their data less secure than on-prem systems, but you do all your company banking online now, don’t you?
Your PrintVis system will be hosted on Windows Azure; the Microsoft public cloud. There are multiple security measures built around this setup, and all of Microsoft’s Azure technicians live and breathe for your action speed and the security of your data. Azure is a secure platform that encrypts important data and information. Read more here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/what-is-azure/
SUPPORT: Most of the heavy lifting of system support is handled with your cloud solution, and remember, you’ll avoid hardware costs or on-prem maintenance duties.
You know your business best – and you have to be in charge no matter what system you work with. We offer our experience and best practice suggestions to you so you can pick our brains when an issue comes up. Rest assured there will always be some other customer who has struggled with the problem you encounter – or the new machine you bought – and there is always a colleague who has seen it before. Also, it’s very easy to log your questions to our PrintVis Support Portal. There you can upload documents and describe to us what problem you are having. We’ll confirm your Case and respond with helpful instructions.
MOBILITY: With an on-prem system, your data is essentially parked at your location and inaccessible to colleagues (such as your salespeople) working from the field, home or during a meeting. I recall my days as a CSR were largely spent answering phone calls from the salesman, looking for a job’s status. I would have to physically walk to the plant and find out. With our Shop Floor and PrintVis apps those days are over – and real-time production data can be captured and accessed from any mobile device at any location, anytime.
Of course these are just a few things to consider. But I hope they give you food for thought. We have several cloud implementations going on right now in the U.S. which should eventually show up on our Customer Case Studies page. Meanwhile, learn more about PV Cloud here. And when you’re ready to discuss your exact situation and needs, reach out to us here!