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The Sky's The Limit: Cloud Technology for Mid-Market Companies

Join us on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012; 9:30 - 10:30 am CST for our free cloud ERP webinar: The Sky's The Limit: Cloud Technology for Mid-Market Companies

Today’s Cloud ERP solutions encompass the full range of ERP functions, including Production / Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Finance Management, Business Intelligence, Procurement and Sourcing, HCM (Payroll and HR), Project Accounting, and Sales and Marketing. In particular, Microsoft Dynamics AX, a powerful new generation in ERP solutions, offers Cloud-based functionality that rivals the rich functionality provided by onsite deployments, but at a fraction of the cost.

This solution gives your Mid-Market company:

  • Real-time information across your organization
  • Easy-to-use inquiry tools
  • Powerful analysis and reporting capabilities

When Cloud ERP is paired with Finance & Accounting Outsourcing Services in a Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) model, the sky really is the limit! Most Finance & Accounting functions don’t increase a company’s competitive edge, and companies can remove under-performing accounting functions to F&A outsourcing to maximize workflow, reduce staff redundancies and improve profitability, all while enjoying the benefits of a Cloud-based ERP system powered by Microsoft.

Join Finance & Accounting experts and Microsoft Dynamics Experts from Sutherland Global Services and Merit Solutions to learn:

  • How you can implement a BPaaS solution in your Mid-Market company now.
  • How your organization can benefit from Cloud ERP technology.
  • How you can be sure your data is secure in the Cloud.
  • How we meet the specific business process outsourcing and best in class ERP needs of the mid-market with a single solution with rapid implementation.

And before the event, read Everest Group's latest BPaaS whitepaper to learn more about what this unique solution can do for you!

Reserve your spot today!

Gain Simplicity, Agility, and Value with Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX is designed to empower your people to be more productive and your systems to last longer, with the ability to scale to accommodate growth while delivering the insight you need to respond quickly in an ever-changing world of business.

Simple to Learn and Use
Simplicity is at the core of Microsoft Dynamics AX. It is easy to learn and use because it works like and with other familiar Microsoft technologies, such as Microsoft Office. And Microsoft Dynamics AX works the way you work, so it’s easier for you and your employees to make better decisions and get more done. Simplicity is built into every aspect of your experience—from initial purchase and deployment to ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

Delivers Agility in the Face of Rapid Change
Today’s business landscape is changing at an ever-increasing pace. To stay ahead, you need a business management solution that is designed to help you meet evolving demands. Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers the agility you need to adapt new business processes and extend functionality quickly, making it easier to enter new markets, add capabilities, or reallocate existing investments. In addition, Merit Solutions offers Microsoft Dynamics AX Cloud ERP to give you flexibility to expand or contract as business conditions change.

Drives Value for Your Business
Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers value for your business in three important ways. First, you can increase your return on investment as you boost productivity and create new ways to control expenses, helping to drive profitability. Second, Microsoft Dynamics AX offers interoperability with the other technologies you already use in your organization to help lower your total cost of ownership. Finally, you can achieve maximum benefit from your technology investment through improved time to value, especially when you don’t want or need an extensive IT infrastructure.

Whether you choose an on-premises or a cloud ERP deployment model, Merit Solutions RapidOn Implementation Methodology can get you up and running quickly with tools to accelerate installation, set up and extend core functionality, and migrate data from your legacy systems. And there’s more. Microsoft Dynamics AX is backed by a commitment from Microsoft that includes a 10-year support life cycle for each major release—combined with an ongoing investment in research and development—so that you can grow your business with confidence, knowing that your business management solution can keep up with your ambition.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a concept that really confuses a lot of executives today. The funny thing is that most of us already use cloud computing on an every-day basis. Hotmail, YouTube, Twitter, Bing, LinkedIn and Skype are all examples of cloud services most of us use on a weekly, if not daily, basis – we just don’t normally think of them as “cloud computing”.

Cloud computing can be formally defined as "a model of computer use in which services stored on the internet are provided to users on a temporary basis." As a confused CFO, CEO, or CIO – someone that’s out there that’s actually researching cloud computing and how it can benefit them - does that really help me out? I’m going to guess probably not.

So... what is cloud computing?

I think the best way that I've had cloud computing described to me is to think of consuming IT as a utility.

If businesses today consumed electricity the same way they consumed business software - like enterprise resource planning or customer relationship management - then every company, and every individual location, would have its own power plant. The power plant would require heavy up-front expenses so you can purchase generators and everything else you need for the power plant. And this is just so you can turn your business on every day. Then, at the end of their useful life, you would replace the whole thing again and start over with new generators and equipment - another heavy investment! Along the way, the power plant would need to be staffed by a team to maintain the generators and keep everything running.

So we know this isn’t how we all consume electricity. Instead, somewhere out there is a large power plant that is producing enough energy to power millions of homes and businesses - not just ours. We don’t have to worry about staffing the facility, maintaining generators, or performing equipment upgrades. The only thing we really need to be concerned with is paying the monthly bill on time. Otherwise, whenever we're at home or at work, we expect the power to be ready and working when needed. If it’s not, and we have a problem, then we call the power company and file a service request and hope the issue is fixed quickly.

And how does this relate to cloud computing?

Cloud computing is fundamentally about consuming IT as a utility. In our example, the power plant is your data center, and instead of giving you power, it provides access to your business systems and data. Just like our power plant concept, companies can preserve capital, free up resources, and achieve a quicker time to value by moving their business systems to the cloud.

You still receive your “power”, or access to your business software and data, but you’re not actually generating it and managing it yourself. You don’t need to staff a team to run your data center or upgrade your equipment. Instead, you work with a trusted Cloud Partner like Merit Solutions to host, maintain, support, and upgrade your systems. Just like your energy company, you receive a bill each month charging you for the amount of energy you used - which, in this case, is the number of users you have each month. In return, you are given immediate access to your business systems whenever and wherever needed. And, if you have a problem with the system, you contact your vendor, file a service request, and hope the issue is resolved quickly.

In this model, all organizations have access to the enterprise applications and systems that were previously only available to the largest companies.

About MAXCloud Cloud ERP powered by Microsoft Dynamics AX

Merit Solutions' Cloud ERP offering, MAXCloud, enables customers to take advantage of the industry-leading ERP capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX at a decreased cost - without the up-front investments in hardware and infrastructure. Unlike other Partners, Merit Solutions is not just a consulting firm, but is also an engineering and software application development firm that understands infrastructure and how to build IP. This provides clients with a high reliability factor from an infrastructure standpoint, and enables them to have a quicker, lower cost deployment without sacrificing quality.

And while there are Partners who are experimenting with Microsoft Dynamics AX in the Cloud and attempting to offer it in a traditional consulting model that takes 9-12 months to deploy, we have built software configuration tools and packaged services that not only increase the reliability of our cloud offering, but introduces a completely different model for how companies deploy and implement business software. As an example, we just helped an organization rapidly deploy MAXCloud in less than 60 days – with strong financial controls, systems, and processes in place to meet government regulations.

Get your Cloud ERP Free Trial today!

Security Concerns Preventing You From Moving to Cloud ERP?

One of the first questions that organizations contemplating a cloud ERP system often ask is, “Just how secure is our data?”

It’s a legitimate question, since entrusting private business data and applications to an outside hosting service makes some organizations uncomfortable. But the fact is data security is a legitimate concern no matter whether an organization subscribes to a Cloud ERP solution or licenses ERP software and implements it onsite. In any deployment model, ironclad safeguards need to be in place to ensure safety of critical client data.

If you are considering a new ERP solution, and security is your biggest concern regarding the cloud, ask yourself the following security-related questions. Are your answers better than ours?

  1. Is your production equipment housed in a state-of-the-art facility? An ideal data center should be secure, free of windows, and built with cement or steel fortifications. It should also be located somewhere that is not prone to inclement weather.
    • MAXCloud Data Centers are housed in state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar facilities with building fortifications. For example, our main Data Center is housed underground in a facility that is designed to withstand an 8.3 magnitude earthquake.
  2. Please describe your facility’s physical security arrangements. Are they in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year? Similar to a privacy policy, you should have well-defined and robust security arrangements that are in place at all times. 
    • MAXCloud Data Centers maintain stringent physical security policies 24/7/365 - including armed security guard patrols and video surveillance monitoring with video storage for non-repudiation.
  3. Do you contract with an independent, third-party organization to conduct periodic external and internal vulnerability scans? In addition to maintaining an intrusion response system and a prepared response plan, you should frequently commission both routine and unannounced security audits.
    • MAXCloud Data Center perform rigorous internal vulnerability scans, log threats, and are audited for SSAE 16 Type 2 compliance.
  4. How often do you back up data, and where are the backups stored? You should have a rigorous program in place for data backups with offsite storage in a secure location remote from the main data center.
    • All MAXCloud ERP customers receive full nightly backups, which are stored daily in an off-site location and are maintained for 7 years. 
  5. Do you offer full hardware redundancy to avoid the negative consequences of a power failure? Your company’s data center and backup location should have redundant power supplies, such as battery and diesel generator backups, to avoid the negative consequences associated with a power failure.
    • MAXCloud Data Centers have multiple power sources and redundant incoming lines provisioned in an N+1 configuration for continuous power. Our main Data Center’s backup generators can power a city of 25,000 people - which allows us to go off grid for 28 days without water, electricity, sewer, or natural gas feeds.
  6. Does your staff include a highly qualified operations team that monitors the site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? You should have many certified experts on staff to provide technical support.
    • MAXCloud Data Centers are monitored 24/7/365 by operations staff and security guards. Clients also receive 24/7 technical support from certified industry and product experts.

    By deploying MAXCloud ERP, customers can rest assured knowing their ERP system complies with the highest security and reliability standards at a dramatically reduced IT cost.

    Are you considering a Cloud ERP solution? If so, sign up now for your very own risk-free, no-obligation 30 day trial of MAXCloud ERP. We will not ask for any credit card / payment information - we just require a business email address.

    MAXCloud: Cloud ERP for Microsoft Dynamics AX

    Rapid globalization, demanding customers and shareholders, and intense competition are challenging today’s organizations like never before. As a result, decision makers are increasingly looking to technology to overcome these formidable business issues. To maximize the business value of IT investments, organizations need to choose solutions, business models, and IT platforms that meet their business needs today and yet are flexible, agile, and forward-looking enough to meet their requirements tomorrow.

    Welcome to MAXCloud ERP - the number one Microsoft Dynamics AX Cloud ERP solution for managing your business in the cloud.

    Whether you need core Finance and Accounting software or end-to-end Cloud ERP business management solutions, MAXCloud ERP enables your people to access critical business data, from anywhere, at any time - with the click of a button - while improving competitiveness and speeding growth.

    Implementing a new ERP solution is an investment in your business. And even though new ERP has been proven to add value, most companies fear taking away their “tried and true” ways of working. Employees are used to working in disparate systems, re-entering manual data, using Excel to “patch” gaps, and waiting for responses to business-critical information. We often overlook the cost-implications of these time-consuming tasks, and instead focus on “what’s worked for years”. And in our fast-paced world, time means money...

    So how can you ensure that your ERP project delivers rapid value? And how do you maximize the return on that investment?

    First, you need to keep your upfront costs low by choosing a comprehensive, integrated solution offered with subscription based pricing and fixed price packaged services. And that’s what you get when you choose MAXCloud for Microsoft Dynamics AX! MAXCloud delivers built-in, flexible functionality that provides business value now and into the future. It simplifies your business processes with a single enterprise solution that connects financials, manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing, project management, human resources, and services information. It improves productivity by providing your employees with familiar, easy-to-use tools that work like and with Microsoft Office. Plus, it is flexible and easily customizable, enabling you to adapt to growth and change.

    Next, you need to streamline processes and optimize the software - ensuring that your ERP solution meets all of your unique business needs. For this, you need to work with the experts - people with years of hands-on experience managing hundreds of ERP implementations - not just cheap software engineers and flashy sales representatives. You need a Partner that is committed to your success - a Partner that understands who you are, how you work, and what makes your company unique. And they need to be able to provide high value and high quality services. These are the experts you get when you work with Merit Solutions!

    Finally, you need a rapid deployment and fixed price implementation services designed to speed time to value and maximize return on investment - while minimizing the risk to your organization. The Merit Solutions Rapid On implementation methodology reduces the cost, complexity, and time required to realize the benefits of your ERP investment. Every project is managed against a clearly defined scope, with a fixed, affordable price. We are the only Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner to offer our customers predictable results at a predictable cost - reducing your risk and setting your business up for success. Either way, your MAXCloud ERP project will follow a clear, predictable, and cost effective plan.

    You can learn more about MAXCloud and our Rapid On Implementation Services by visiting our Cloud ERP Software website.

    By investing in MAXCloud with Merit Solutions, you give your business the software it needs to succeed - and you get a partner that’s invested in your success!

    MAXLife Cloud Featured in Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Merit Solutions is featured today in the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog for "Kati Unplugged", a blog series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead. In the article, I explain how Merit Solutions was able to help a leading medical services industry player - Innovare Health Advocates - implement a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Life Sciences Cloud ERP Solution that fits their needs and budget like a glove.

    You can read the full article here: Kati Unplugged: How Merit Solutions Implemented its Cloud-Based Vertical Solution to Help Position a Client for Growth

    Missouri Life Sciences Company Chooses MAXLife Cloud ERP

    Merit Solutions is proud to announce that a Life Sciences company based in St. Louis, Missouri, has selected Microsoft Dynamics AX in the Cloud with Merit Solutions’ MAXLife Cloud software. Our client will use MAXLife Cloud to support rapid growth plans while maintaining an integrated, end-to-end ERP solution built for the Life Sciences industry.

    Our client’s primary focus is to improve and preserve the long term health of individuals one patient at a time. To be successful in this regard, our client needed to utilize up to date information technology to better serve its customers. Prior to selecting MAXLife Cloud, our client was managing their business with spreadsheets and QuickBooks. Company data was located in fragmented silos of systems and machines, causing redundant manual processes and a duplication of effort. As the company developed an aggressive business model that included expansion plans, they needed systems that would improve visibility, streamline processes, and support exponential growth. For these reasons, our client began looking for a new ERP solution.

    They ended up choosing Merit Solutions’ MAXLife Cloud because it is simple to use and deploy, is a comprehensive ERP solution that connects all departments with real-time information, and gives them the flexibility to grow, expand, and adapt as needed. MAXLife Cloud was the most cost-effective solution for the company because it works like and with familiar Microsoft technology they use every day. Connectivity and integration with Microsoft SharePoint and other products will enable them to maximize IT investments, minimize training, and increase user adoption. With MAXLife Cloud, our client will utilize integrated document management capabilities, enabling them to control access to business information, provide full versioning, and FDA compliance support. And by deploying MAXLife in the cloud with Merit’s RapidOn Implementation methodology, they can take advantage of lower costs, a more rapid deployment, regular updates, and secure data.

    “We are very excited that our client has selected MAXLife Cloud with Dynamics AX to help drive their business growth,” said Mike AuBuchon, Director, Merit Solutions, Inc. “Our team is looking forward to helping them realize the benefits of an integrated Cloud ERP system that will improve efficiency and productivity, enable profitable growth, and support their unique document management needs. We’re confident MAXLife Cloud will be a great fit for them, and other Life Sciences companies with similar business requirements.”

    Microsoft Dynamics AX: Rapid Implementation

    Reduce the cost, complexity, and time required to realize the benefits of your Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment with the Merit Solutions Rapid On Implementation Methodology. Take advantage of the only Microsoft Dynamics AX rapid deployment packaged service offering worldwide, which delivers a fully configured, ready-to-go customer environment within 30 days - complete with your chart of accounts, customers, vendors, and master data.

    Benefits of a Rapid On Implementation include:

    • Gets You Up And Running in 30 Days
    • Predictable, Transparent Costs
    • Deploy a Scalable, Adaptable Solution
    • Fixed Price Packaged Service Offering
    • Minimize Implementation Risk
    • Leverage Best Practices
    • A-la-carte Services Menu
    • Reduce Up-front Costs
    • Reduce Internal Resource Requirements

    Contact Merit Solutions to learn how you can maximize the value of your Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment - while minimizing risk!

    Merit Solutions is a Bronze Sponsor at Microsoft Convergence 2012!

    Merit Solutions is excited to announce that we will be a Bronze Sponsor at Microsoft Convergence 2012 in Houston!

    Microsoft Dynamics Customers and Partners come to Convergence from all corners of the globe to experience all that the event has to offer. Loaded with a wealth of informative sessions and other creative ways to learn, customers discover how to extend the power of their solution across all areas of their business. They also get a first look at new product releases and hear about future plans for their software. Convergence is the annual event where connections are generated, best practices are shared, and business relationships are built and renewed.

    Merit Solutions is thrilled to be a Bronze Sponsor because we have had a very exciting year - one that has seen multiple product launches, experienced an increase in customer satisfaction, and received numerous awards / recognition within the Dynamics Community:

    • This year, we announced MAXCloud ERP, our Microsoft Dynamics AX Cloud Solution. MAXCloud enables companies to take advantage of the industry-leading capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 at a decreased cost - without sacrificing security or functionality.
    • One of the main benefits of MAXCloud ERP is our Rapid On Deployment and Fixed Price Packaged Services. With Rapid On, you can take advantage of a 30 Day Deployment and the freedom to select only the implementation services you require - all at fixed prices.
    • We also had exciting announcements for our Microsoft Dynamics AX industry-specific products, MAXFood ERP and MAXLife ERP. Earlier this year, MAXLife passed the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics AX Software Solution Testing. More recently, it was named one of the Top 15 Add-Ons for Microsoft Dynamics AX. 2011 also witnessed the launch of MAXFood ERP, a Microsoft Dynamics AX Food Safety solution. We are pleased to announce that both products are now available in the cloud! Learn more about MAXLife Cloud and MAXFood Cloud.
    • At WPC 2011, we launched the Merit Solutions Partner Program, designed to provide partners with the sales, service, and product support needed to present competitive industry bids and win more deals. We invite you to join the Merit Solutions Partner Program!

    We hope you are able to join us this year to celebrate the Microsoft Dynamics Community!

    Register now!

    MICROSOFT CONVERGENCE 2012
    March 18 - 21, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    George R Brown Convention Center
    Early Pricing = $1395 – Before 11:59pm Pacific Time on January 25, 2012
    Standard Pricing = $1695 – After January 25, 2012

    MAXCloud: Cloud ERP for Microsoft Dynamics AX

    Rapid globalization, demanding customers and shareholders, and intense competition are challenging today’s organizations like never before. As a result, decision makers are increasingly looking to technology to overcome these formidable business issues. To maximize the business value of IT investments, organizations need to choose solutions, business models, and IT platforms that meet their business needs today and yet are flexible, agile, and forward-looking enough to meet their requirements tomorrow.

    We believe that acceptance of Cloud ERP will begin to accelerate as organizations increasingly discover that security is no longer a barrier to the many benefits Cloud ERP systems can provide. We believe that companies will soon begin to understand the efficiencies of cloud applications and will begin to demand that their ERP applications be delivered through the cloud as well.

    MAXCloud ERP is a single, powerful solution that is simple to learn and use so you can deliver value faster, take advantage of business opportunities, and drive user involvement and innovation across the organization.

    RAPID, FIXED PRICE DEPLOYMENT Take advantage of MAXCloud ERP’s Rapid On Deployment to get your business up and running in less than thirty days. Choose the service options that are right for you based on your business requirements, resource availability, and budget.

    SECURE AND RELIABLE
    Located underground in a multimillion dollar state-of-the-art facility, our data center is SAS70 Type II Audited, guarantees 99.9% uptime, provides 24/7/365 live technical support, performs nightly data backups, and offers advanced disaster recovery services.

    COMPLETE AND INDUSTRY SPECIFIC
    Rich core ERP capabilities across the entire solution efficiently support end-to-end business processes of mid-sized and global organizations. Prebuilt industry specific functionalities support safety, quality and compliance, track and trace, document management, and more.

    MAXCloud ERP shifts the burden of ongoing software management from your team to ours, freeing up your staff to focus on value-adding tasks. Other benefits of MAXCloud ERP include:

    • Real-Time Visibility Into Critical Business Data
    • Support for Global, Multi-Site Organizations
    • Complete Supply Chain Integration
    • Compliance Support and Validation
    • Automate and Optimize Business Processes
    • Low Total Cost of Ownership
    • Powerful Embedded BI and Analytics
    • Agile and Flexible Deployment Alternatives
    • Simple, Familiar, and Intuitive User Interface

    We invite you to take some time to view our interactive, click-thru MAXCloud ERP Demos. Or, better yet, feel free to sign up for our Free 30 Day Trial of MAXCloud ERP.