As companies of all sizes have begun embracing cloud technology, the number of enterprise cloud-based services has grown exponentially. Such services provide an immense variety of options for IT control and support, which can make the cloud marketplace seem intimidating to newcomers. With new software and platforms popping up every day, how are business leaders to know if they are choosing a reliable cloud-based purchase order solution?
Obviously, there’s no one-size-fits all solution; that’s why there are so many options. Business leaders must look inwardly to determine which cloud-based purchase order solution would be the best fit for their IT infrastructure. More importantly, they must also decide exactly what type of functionality is needed to meet their business goals. This guide will highlight the seven features that you should look for in any cloud service.
1. A Free Trial
Thankfully, many cloud services let new customers try out their applications before making a financial commitment. Often, you don’t even have to contact the vendor. Trial runs allow employees to offer input on an application’s usability, and executives can get a sense for how the service impacts their bottom line. You should be able to easily find a cloud-based purchase order solution that offers a free trial option. For example, businesses can try Digital Purchase Order, or DPO, with all of the features enabled for 30 days at no cost.
2. Easy Integration
A good cloud-based purchase order solution is designed to seamlessly integrate with other software, but different platforms integrate in different ways. The amount of time needed for implementation will depend on the number of integration points and whether the service uses a CSV, APIs or an integration server. Digital Purchase Order lets customers choose between downloading a default CSV export or making use of an API connection. DPO also facilitates automated integration with QuickBooks Online.
3. Cross-Platform Compatibility
If you work at a company where employees use different devices, operating systems and browsers, you need applications that works for everyone. Choosing a cloud-based purchase order solution that is cross-platform compatible will give your team greater flexibility. Some services even offer mobile support, which is especially helpful for staff who are constantly on the go. For instance, Digital Purchase Order comes with mobile apps for IOS, Android and BlackBerry.
4. Free and Regular Updates of cloud-based Purchase Order Solution
One of the biggest perks of using a cloud-based purchase order solution is that new features and other updates can be deployed much quicker than is possible with on-premise applications. Nonetheless, you should make sure that a service does indeed offer free and frequent updates before signing up. Research the version histories of every product you consider to gauge how often upgrades can be expected. Some services, like Digital Purchase Order, deploy new features almost every week.
5. A Training Program
Implementing new software always comes with a learning curve, and good cloud services offer training wheels to newcomers. The amount of time and training necessary to fully implement a cloud-based purchase order solution depends partially on the skills of employees, but adequate training programs can accelerate the process. Additionally, any cloud service you use should provide 24/7 customer support in case you encounter technical challenges. Digital Purchase Order provides several training programs including a video tutorial library that is constantly being updated with new content. The company even provides free team training sessions via a screen sharing demo.
Speaking of training, restricting employee access to just the features they need can reduce confusion and prevent mishaps. Digital Purchase Order’s admin interface lets system administrators assign rights and permissions, which removes unnecessary buttons and fields from individual user interfaces.
Cloud technology is still young, and with so many newcomers to the market, you should investigate a vendor’s viability before settling on a cloud-based purchase order solution. Consider how long the company has existed, and make sure there have been no instances of security breaches. Digital Purchase Order has been around since 2013, so it was one of the early innovators in the field. Four years later, its system continues to expand, so DPO is largely considered a safe bet. The service also provides a high-level security infrastructure, which is constantly monitored by third party penetration tests.
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