What IT managers ask us about transitioning to SaaS

From Disaster Recovery to configuring printers – here are answers to questions we’re often asked by IT teams about making the move.

When talking with our customers’ IT and infrastructure managers about making the transition from their legacy on-premise ERP solution to our SaaS platform, lots of questions inevitably come up. Here are some of the more common ones – from what’s involved for your own IT team to our in-built load management and Disaster Recovery provisions.

What’s involved for our IT team in transitioning to SaaS?

Having successfully transitioned over 500 customers to our SaaS platform, we have a well-proven methodology. The process is run as a two-way street from the start. During the planning phase, we conduct several workshops. We ask you to provide us with specific information to enables us to design your SaaS platform. After that, the majority of the effort is down to TechnologyOne, with minimal engagement required from you.

We’ve covered some things you can do upfront to prepare in our article Five ways to ease your journey to SaaS.

During transition, how much time should we expect to spend on UAT?

The objective of our proven transition methodology is to get you up and running on our SaaS platform as quickly as possible – so we encourage you to plan for the UAT phase from the very start. The number of resources you can allocate will dictate how much time you spend – but obviously you still have a business to run!

The time required also depends on complexity. For a simple transition, we recommend two to four weeks, while a complex transition can take anywhere from eight weeks or more, subject to the level of testing that’s required.

For more detail on the transition process, download our whitepaper, Making the move to SaaS: A guide for transitioning from on-premise to SaaS ERP.

How will users download and upload files to the SaaS environment?

There are two methods for uploading and downloading files to and from the SaaS environment. The most commonly used used method by users: a simple drag-and-drop of a file from a local folder on the client desktop or a local network, directly into the browser. That automatically uploads the file into an attachment grid or even a server folder.

To download, they simply select an attachment file or a file in the server folder which triggers a download locally and the file opens up within the relevant application. They can then print the file using any directly connected printer.

How do we configure our printers in the SaaS environment?

Fortunately, there's no need to! As part of the transition process, we change the default output from Crystal Reports to PDF files. When a user runs a report and generates a PDF file, they just select it within their browser and it opens in a new tab. They can then print that PDF using any directly connected local printer.

If you’re running software such as Follow-Me printing or PaperCut, we can configure a printer email service or have multifunction devices allowing emails to come in as print jobs.

Will our users still be able to use Excel reports?

Absolutely. That functionality is maintained in SaaS, so they can still upload Crystal Reports to different formats, such as PDF, Excel, Doc, XML and so on.

When and how do you apply SaaS upgrades and bug-fixes?

Apart from major upgrades providing new functionality twice a year, we offer minor software releases on a weekly or monthly basis. These are typically to improve performance, provide legislative updates, fix reported bugs and enhance security. You can choose from our Fastline or Mainline cadences:

Fastline updates your non-production environments weekly, out of business hours, and includes the latest updates to the current major release you’re running.

Mainline updates production environments on the first week of each month, also out of hours, with the latest Fastline snapshot of at least one week old.

These updates are issued by default based on your environment. – You can request to switch to Fastline for your production environment if you need to receive a patch as soon as possible. This can be done by raising a case through our support teams.

How does the SaaS platform handle additional users and workload?

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a SaaS solution is not needing to worry about how your own IT infrastructure will handle demand spikes and all the other intricacies of on-premise capacity planning.

Our Global ERP SaaS solution has been built around the auto-scaling capabilities of our upstream service provider, Amazon Web Services. We have complex algorithms calculating user load continuously, capable of triggering auto-scaling events to spawn servers on different layers of the SaaS platform. As the load increases, the system triggers these events in a linear fashion – and the converse occurs as the load decreases.

What are your Disaster Recovery (DR) processes?

A critical question when you’re entrusting us with managing your core operational applications.

The TechnologyOne SaaS platform is built on an Active/Active/Active application architecture. All elements are actively replicated across multiple distributed data centres and work simultaneously across your user’s activities. Should one data centre fail, the others would pick up the load without any service interruption. This offers a considerably safer DR model than traditional failover, as our systems are built to automatically repair instead of failover.

Can you supply customer references in our industry?

We definitely encourage any customer planning to transition to our SaaS platform to talk to their peers. You can post questions to our customer community portal and find others happy to share their experiences. Alternatively, reach out to your TechnologyOne Account Manager and they will provide introductions to people in your industry sector with ERP set-ups similar to your own.

Publish date

16 Dec 2010

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Ready to learn more?

If you would like discuss transition specifics with a member of our Transition Team, request a virtual consultation or talk to your TechnologyOne Account Manager.