Evaluating the Cloud: Cloud World and HCM World

Cloud World and HCM World—have you heard of them? They’re not what you might first think; not OpenWorld and definitely not a mythical world up above. These are real-world conferences focused on all things “Cloud” and HCM. Top thought leaders discuss what they’ve seen; and better, what they see coming for services in the Cloud.

Sierra-Cedar has attended several Cloud World conferences in the past and found them very worthwhile. At HCM World this year, we will have a kiosk where we’ll discuss our HCM expertise, Cloud experience, and share our HR Technology Survey. Read more

Integration in the Cloud: Some Basics

The Cloud is great, isn’t it? It opens so many doors, removes some major barriers when it comes to organizations getting a system up and running quickly, and it… well… also poses some questions to those who are new to it. This blog post will deal with one very common question asked by both business and IT users: how do I handle integration with applications that are in the Cloud? In an attempt to stay consistent with other blog postings in this series, I will address the business user audience as opposed to the IT team. Plus, most of the online content you can find today focuses on technical architectures while leaving the business user’s head spinning with acronyms. So this one is for the non-techies. Also, for the purposes of this blog post, Cloud applications will refer to SaaS (Software as a Service) applications that reside in the public Cloud. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: How Much is the Cloud?

how-muchAs the holidays approach, most of us receive emails about shopping opportunities, special deals, and anything to encourage us to buy—and most focus on price. Those of us who enjoy a deal are often concerned about our personal budgets and also budgets in the professional realm. When considering any new purchase, one of the first two considerations are, “How much does it cost?” and “What do I get for my money?” This is easier to answer if you’re purchasing a toy for your child, but here at Sierra-Cedar, our HR Systems Survey looks at the cost of various HCM technologies; we have hard facts and insights based on cost data for both SaaS and on-premise solutions. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: What is – Cloud?

Lately everyone I talk to asks me whether they should they migrate their on-premise system (Enterprise Resource Planning/ERP) to the Cloud, invest in their on-premise ERP, or do nothing. Before I answer this question, let’s explore what organizations are defining as the Cloud. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: How does it Fit in Your Company BI Strategy?

Cloud computing is clearly one of the hottest technology trends. What started out as simple social media solutions (such as Facebook, YouTube, and Gmail) grew into departmental solutions (such as Customer Relationship Management) and then into full operational ERP system solutions. There’s an obvious appeal to hearing that you no longer need to worry about hardware or upgrades and that approved users can access the solution from any web enabled device. But where does a company’s BI strategy fit into the Cloud? Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: What is Driving User Adoption?

2014_coverIn the last blog, I said we would be looking at whether it’s better to upgrade your on-premise system or move to the Cloud/SaaS. I’m pushing that subject back a bit, in order to address some readers’ questions about one of the findings from our annual HR Systems Survey. (The most recent results are online for you to download. This is the complete report and it is free.)

Sierra-Cedar’s 17th Annual HR Systems Survey White Paper provides detailed HR technology data and presents unbiased results—as Joe Friday from Dragnet said, “Just the facts Ma’am.” Several readers asked about one of the Survey findings, “… are organizations moving to the Cloud for improved end user experience?”

The answer seems to be “yes.” Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: On-premise vs. Cloud, where is the Functionality?

About four years ago, my wife asked me if she could have my old laptop. She wanted it so she could go on the web, research, and email without being tethered to her desktop. I understood, but knew that my laptop was heavy, hot, and a has-been. While it would accomplish what she wanted, it also lacked a key attribute—the ability to fit in her purse and go with her. I looked at the then newly introduced iPad. It was light, portable, and met her requirements for web, research, and email. Problem solved, although she still used (and uses) her desktop PC for some tasks where a PC/Mac is better suited.

I’ll start with my conclusion on Cloud vs on-premise solutions. Which is the best, a Cloud solution or an on-premise solution? Well, it depends. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: What is in the Cloud?

I expect many people have heard of the Chinese company Alibaba – which is actually a group of internet-based e-commerce businesses with sales greater than eBay and Amazon combined. Its September 2014 IPO, at $25 billion, was the largest in IPO history. With all the recent buzz about Alibaba, I just had to see it for myself and easily blew a half hour looking at offers to sell everything from 300 metric tons of fish heads to a small tractor.  (I’ll agree that looking at the fish heads was a waste of time, but doesn’t every guy need a tractor?). The point being is that from services to products the web has grown, matured and has much to offer us.

But, I digress. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: How Real is the Cloud

by Richard George

Cloud Post 2 Image 1

This year the Cloud has officially become a major player in the IT world (maybe the major player). But what is it? And why do companies use Cloud technology? I recently conducted a non-scientific, but random survey of what people thought of when I said the word “cloud”. Answers mostly included thoughts of those white fluffy things that float in the sky without a care in the world. When I added some context to my question, i.e., computing or technology services off premise or just SaaS (Software as a Service), I would get nods indicating they understood the concept but few had any specific examples of actually using the Cloud. Today we’ll leave the clouds in the sky and head down the internet superhighway to take a closer look at that emerging Cloud arena. Read more

Introducing the “Evaluating Cloud Solutions” Series

by Richard George


Welcome to our newest blog and to the rarefied air of cloud technology. This an overview of a series about systems, applications, and more. Technology that is run in the Cloud instead of at your location (on premise). We’ll not limit the discussion to a single application domain like Human Capital Management (HCM), Financials, or Supply Chain. Instead, we’ll discuss all of these and others, including Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses with Analytics, and Customer Relations systems and cover what systems can do in the Cloud, what the value is, and what we’ve learned through experience.

Our goal is to share timely and objective information about using technology you may currently run on premise in the Cloud as well as information about technology running in the cloud that isn’t available to run on premise. Read more