What It Stands For: Enterprise Resource Planning

What It Is: The big back-office systems that run companies
(e.g., Payroll systems, HR systems, finances systems, Customer Relationship Management, etc.)

Think of It Like: Plumbing for your business

No matter your industry, every company has the same back-office issues—they need to pay their employees, track inventory; etc. ERP is essentially a massive IT system that handles these functions via a software package. Providge Consulting can help companies choose which specific packages they need to implement and then customize and configure those systems with the goal of lowering operating costs and preserving competitive advantages.

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What It Stands For: Business Intelligence

What It Is: It’s the cool new buzzword for reporting, forecasting, and modeling what might happen in the future based on the data from ERP systems.

Think of It Like: Actionable information; it’s data with a roadmap and destination.

Business Intelligence devolved from ERPs in a business process and technology sense. Its aim is to develop reporting and analytics that provide clear, concise views of current, different, and future realities for a business. ERP is about monitoring and planning—it involves looking at what your business does and helping you do it better. Essentially, business intelligence is the synthesis of a massive quantity of data that is not useful unless you know what it is telling you.

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What It Is: Cloud software and hosting allows companies to use applications via virtual access instead of having to host them locally and manage the hardware.

Think of It Like: Renting a home; you get the comforts of home without the liabilities and costs of ownership.

Utilizing the cloud lowers the barriers to entry when it comes to setting up businesses. It’s a way to lower your costs of ERP and BI by giving these services to another vendor to be hosted. Providge advises clients on whether or not to do it and how to do it best. Overall, the utilization of cloud services is about outsourcing what you’re not the best at, so you can be better at what you do.

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