Australian marketing company Salmat plans to move everything it can into the cloud following a highly successful initial SaaS implementation.
Australian marketing company Salmat plans to become a cloud-only operation within five years, after a project to replace highly customised on-premise systems with cloud software proved a huge success.
In 2014, the marketing giant, which has 4,000 staff across four countries, was struggling with its Oracle JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) legacy system, which required an expensive upgrade.
Instead, it moved to a cloud-based suite of software from Workday. By doing so, the company’s chief technology officer (CTO) says it rid itself of expensive and time-consuming upgrades and gained a list of benefits that is “too long” to explain. It also spurred the company to set a timeframe in which to become cloud-only.
Salmat CTO David Glover tells Computer Weekly that its decision to try cloud computing was driven by its legacy system requiring an expensive upgrade and the company’s need for a dedicated HR system, having been using the limited HR function in its payroll system.
The company was faced with the choice of either upgrading or replacing. At the same time the IT department was “stretched to its limit”.
“Our analysis showed us that an upgrade would require similar effort and cost as a replacement, but it would not deliver the changes we needed,” says Glover.
He says the company decided software as a service (SaaS) would be ideal going forward to free it from the expensive upgrade cycles associated with on-premise systems.
But it also wanted to focus more on supporting the business on the front line. “More than anything we wanted to shift away from managing our internal systems to focusing even more on external initiatives that would help our clients,” adds Glover.
A long list of cloud benefits
Workday, which took only six months to implement, was the first major initiative in the company’s cloud journey.
All of Salmat’s operations now use the same system, delivering efficiency improvements across the operation, which had grown in siloes through acquisition.
Glover cites some of the benefits as: no more complex upgrades; a continuous stream of new features; a flexible chart of accounts that enables rapid and comprehensive reporting; functions available from anywhere on any device; a single source of truth for all staff details; and reduced admin resources. But he added that the full range of benefits was “too long” to list.
One area normally cited as a reason to be cautious about the cloud is security. But security has improved at Salmat since migrating to the cloud.
“We place a huge emphasis on data security
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