Submitted on Thu, 2014-10-09
By Jim Laverty

The fifth part in our ongoing series on how to best budget for and purchase new technology within your supply chain.

Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Cloud WMS Technology

Would you rather buy a new car from 1995 or 2014? The 1995 model may still be “new” in the sense that it’s never been driven before, but it’s missing 20 years of technology and innovation that have pushed the industry forward. You’re getting 1995 technology, but paying the same price as if it had 20 more years of technological improvements behind it.

This is essentially what is happening when you buy a fake cloud WMS. You’re entrusting your business to a version of software written long ago that’s just been superficially patched to seem like it’s brand new. The basic functionality built into new systems isn’t going to be there, the ease and speed isn’t going to be there, and you’re going to be stuck covering huge sums of built-in extra costs the vendor incurs from their own shortsighted decisions. It’s a mess, and nobody is going to feel it more than your business.

 

What is a Fake Cloud WMS?

A company selling a fake cloud product shows a fundamental unwillingness to invest in their clients’ success. They won’t commit to embracing technology and they’re stuck playing catch-up, way behind the competition. It’s a short-term money grab to quickly jam a bunch of twenty-year-old pieces together into a delivery method they never anticipated and definitely haven’t developed for. They can market it as “the cloud” all they want, but it offers nowhere close to the functionality a real cloud solution does; and their clients are going to feel the pain from it.

You can often spot a fake cloud because you’ll need to login through a separate portal before you can even access your WMS. It’s akin to running your warehouse by clumsily controlling somebody else’s computer over a GoToMeeting. The biggest red flag for the fake cloud though, especially when dealing with legacy providers of on premise warehouse management systems, centers on a concept known as multi-tenancy:

The True Cloud

The Fake Cloud

 

Multi-Tenant: In the true cloud, every WMS is hosted as part of a singular whole. It’s like four people riding harmoniously in a single car.

 

Single-Tenant: In the fake cloud, every WMS is still hosted individually and separate from one another, like four cars tethered together all trying to do their own thing. Each application is trapped in its own silo, just like on premise deployments.

 

Instant Upgrades: Everything is kept on a single instance, with your data secured and only accessible through your specific login credentials. Your cloud provider only has to push through an update one time and every tenant on their system will be upgraded simultaneously. The cloud-based WMS can be upgraded throughout the entire user base of thousands at once.

 

Slow, Costly Upgrades: The single-tenant approach of the fake cloud means that every WMS hosted still has to be customized or upgraded individually, which means a lot of extra time and money. Every WMS they host will have to be upgraded individually.

 
The true cloud provider can seamlessly upgrade every system under their control at once, and doesn’t incur the needless extra costs that fake cloud providers are forced to pass on to you in order to keep their fake cloud afloat.

 

The Real Costs of Moving to a Fake Cloud Platform

How long can a company faking it stay around? In the short term, you have to deal with higher installation and support costs on top of decreased performance. Over the long-term, your costs will continue to increase. The slow and expensive upgrades will become a huge annoyance, not to mention the opportunity costs of operating without the latest WMS functionality to improve business processes. Even if there is some longevity to the company, the model of individually hosting is not a sustainable business practice (as that provider will soon find out). Eventually, the company is going to have to move to a true cloud model. Support for your WMS on their fake cloud is going to become non-existent as the company moves all of its resources to the cloud in a last ditch effort to stay afloat. Sooner or later, your WMS investment is going to be in an unsupported platform from a no-longer-existent provider, and you’re going to be the one left to pick up the pieces around your warehouse.

 

What Makes a True Cloud-based WMS?

Creating a true cloud platform requires large investments of time and resources into the latest technology available. We set a team of experienced cloud experts loose to code a WMS from scratch that is optimized for cloud deployment. Combining the expertise that comes from our 30 years in the business with that of our seasoned cloud development team, we’ve built one of the first truly Cloud-based warehouse management systems in existence that can serve the needs of every company, no matter how large they are or fast they grow.

 

irms|WM helps your business thrive through our multi-tenancy approach and partnerships with established data centers. Our WMS is fully supported and frequently upgraded to keep all of our clients on the absolute cutting edge of performance, without the huge costs associated with fake cloud or on-premise solutions. Future-proofing technology is not something that can be faked, so make sure you’re purchasing a product from a provider dedicated to your success, instead of making a shortsighted buck. Your company will grow because of your warehouse system, and not be burdened by technology that can’t keep up.

Only 8% of warehouses are currently utilizing a cloud-based WMS, and we’d venture a guess that a surprisingly high number of those companies are on the fake cloud. Systems like irms|WM just don’t exist in the industry yet, and we’re proud to be leading the supply chain into a more efficient and effective future. Learn more about our cloud-based WMS and its ability to produce blazing-fast ROI for your business today by submitting a quick quote request.

 

Related Blog Posts

This is the fifth part in our ongoing series about how to best budget for new technology within your supply chain.  Learn more about how irms|WM’s supply chain solutions will fit in your budget and help boost revenue and business growth by reading the previous entries in the series.

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Innovative Technology Solutions