Because of the nature of cloud-based software, it’s not strictly necessary that you have it implemented in-person, with the project team actually visiting your site.
While a remote implementation can have its advantages, there are many benefits to having your software partner undertake an in-person implementation.
Here we look at the pros and cons of each type of implementation to help you decide which is best for your company.
Benefits of a Remote Implementation
The beauty of NetSuite ERP software is that it is fully cloud-based. To use it, you don’t need special servers or hardware; no software needs to be installed on your employees’ computers; and you don’t require any special network access or configuration. All you need is a device – a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone – and an internet connection.
The same is true when it comes to the actual implementation of the software. The software sits in the cloud and all your customisations and data are there too. All updates and maintenance are done fully remotely, without any intervention from you or your software partner.
Because of this, it’s simple for an experienced software consultancy to set NetSuite up for you, configure it to your company’s needs, integrate it with your other software, migrate all your data for you and test everything.
Using online video call platforms and screen-sharing, your software partner can work collaboratively with your teams to integrate, customise and implement your new ERP system. They can even deliver remote training and support.
The benefits of working this way became obvious during the pandemic. We, like many other software partners, were obliged to complete some of our projects remotely. Remote implementations allowed us to adhere to legal constraints and maintain a safe working environment.
Some companies no longer have offices, though. A survey found that 37% of US companies had permanently closed all their office space. If you have done the same, then it is of course impossible for you to have an on-site implementation – unless it is undertaken in a non-office location, like a warehouse or factory.
Now that restrictions are now longer in force, many workers have returned to the office – albeit this is often in a hybrid fashion. This still lends itself to a remote implementation. If not all members of the project team will be in the office on the same day, then video calls and online meeting software can be used to ensure that everyone can still meet and be a part of the project.
If you are based a long way from your implementation partner, then one benefit in having a remote deployment comes from reducing – or eliminating – their travel charges. With fuel and transport costs on the rise, too, then we may well see remote projects becoming much more prevalent.
A remote implementation comes into its own when you are working with a partner based in another country. If you have operations throughout Europe, but are based in the UK, then choosing a UK partner might be the best option – to ensure language compatibility, for a start. But your European sites will benefit from remote implementation. There is no travel needed and no issue with time zone differences.
Benefits of an In-Person Implementation
When you have an on-site implementation, it’s easier for your deployment partner to get to see and experience your company. By visiting and being taken through the processes and workflows, they can properly and thoroughly understand your needs. In-person meetings help by improving empathy and comprehension, giving more chance to fully appreciate complexities and take in some of the more subtle nuances of a business.
More than that though, every company is different. Understanding its complex needs means literally having a walk through the business, speaking to stakeholders, and understanding their issues. In this way, your software partner gets to see your operation in action and can spot obstacles or needs that you may not be aware of. They do not have to rely on information that has been relayed to them. Instead, they can see the business first-hand, which gives them more familiarity with it.
In particular, warehouse operations are all quite different. Even those that operate in the same types of industry or selling space will have unique requirements according to what they sell, in what volumes and to whom. For example, an ecommerce retailer of furniture selling through third-party marketplaces will have very distinctive workflows concerning how orders are labelled and at what point in the picking process. These would be very different from a seller that supplies small items only to end-customers.
Remote or In-Person – Which is Best for Your Business?
Some ERP providers no longer offer in-person implementations and have transitioned their software deployment, customer transactions and after-sale service to a fully remote operation.
At NoBlue, we offer both remote and in-person implementations. Sometimes it’s obvious that a company needs a remote deployment, perhaps due to its working practices or if it insists on it.
But we do prefer to undertake in-person implementations. This is simply because, through site visits and in-person meetings, we are better able to get to know a company and this helps us to provide a better service.
If you would like to talk through the pros and cons of remote and in-person implementation for your company – or would like a quote for NetSuite ERP – get in touch today.