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QAD offers adaptable cloud ERP system for any type of manufacturer

To make their cloud ERP system work for most manufacturers, QAD offers different add-ons and editions of their full-featured software suite, QAD Cloud ERP.

QAD Cloud ERP is a cloud ERP system designed to run the internal, end-to-end business functions that most companies have, but it presents the opportunity for companies to utilize all of these applications in a cloud-based setting instead of in an on-premises deployment. QAD Cloud ERP is a full-featured ERP software suite and offers the same functionality as the on-premises QAD ERP, without the need for corporate IT to maintain it.

QAD's "sweet spot" is manufacturing. Users come from the automotive, consumer product, food and beverage, high tech, industrial, and life sciences.

The core functions of QAD's cloud ERP system

QAD's cloud ERP system has several core modules that make it a full-fledged ERP suite.

Enterprise financials address all of the everyday financial functions of an enterprise like creating a general ledger of accounts and managing accounts payable and receivable. It also tracks and depreciates fixed assets, budgets, consolidates financials and manages cash and credit.

Another core module is customer management, which includes functions for creating sales quotations, booking sales orders, determining how orders will be delivered to customers, configuration products for customers based upon customer requirements and pricing the products.

The manufacturing module allows enterprises to manage components, specifications and instructions about products. It also helps plan and track product manufacturing and can create production schedules and run quality control checks.

Enterprise asset management aids enterprises with capital project accounting, plant and equipment maintenance, and replacement management.

Another QAD Cloud ERP core module is supply chain management, which includes purchasing, supplier performance tracking and supplier quality management functions, along with the ability to manage consignments to suppliers and perform product release and planning.

The service and support module lets enterprises schedule, support and manage service for both fixed and mobile services and technologies.

There is also an analytics module that enables data browsing and drilldown, basic reporting and the ability to measure performance against operational metrics.

Alongside the core modules, QAD offers add-on options, which include:

  • QAD Cloud DSCP (Demand and Supply Chain Planning);
  • QAD Cloud TMS (Transportation Management);
  • QAD Cloud QMS (Quality Management);
  • QAD Cloud EDI (full electronic data interchange software as a service); and
  • QAD Supplier Portal (SaaS supplier management).

Editions and integration options with QAD Cloud ERP

QAD Cloud ERP is architected as a single, virtualized instance cloud offering with cloud data centers around the world operating at multiple cloud service providers. QAD also offers its own brand of multi-tenancy with a hybrid approach to hosting where, through QAD's domain architecture, a customer can run cloud and on-premises instances simultaneously with full, real-time data synchronization. This supports manufacturing ERP customers who prefer to convert one or a few sites at time to cloud, rather than all at once.

QAD offers a specific Automotive Edition of its cloud ERP system, and there is a specific QAD Cloud ERP Life Sciences Edition that offers an FDA qualified environment.

Integration requirements for clients that wish to use QAD Cloud ERP vary by client. Newer companies might have very little integration to perform. At the other end of the spectrum, there are established manufacturers with many different systems to integrate. QAD offers Q-Xtend for data integration between o- premises and cloud-based QAD ERP. For QAD-to-third-party application integration -- e.g., QAD to Salesforce -- QAD offers QAD Boomi Atomsphere through its business partner, Dell Boomi. For third-party-to-third-party integration, QAD resells Dell Boomi. Customers also have the option to use their own integration software.

Clients accessing QAD's ERP cloud system require a combination of virtual private networks and regional internet that can obtain and maintain the required speed of access. Rendering software -- e.g., web browser, .NETUI, and in some cases native or HTML5 mobile apps -- is also required on the client side of access.

When QAD releases patches and updates, clients have the flexibility to choose when to upgrade, in collaboration with QAD.

How does QAD support its customers?

QAD Cloud ERP includes global, around-the-clock support for system conversion, integration, implementation and customization. QAD also works with third party resellers, integrators and consultants who provide similar services. To date, clients have accepted 99.5% system availability, and QAD indicated that it actually delivered 99.9% system availability during 2015. QAD Cloud ERP contracted service level agreements are 99.5% for system availability. QAD offers basic training through its online e-learning portal, but also through general as well as client-specific classes. Implementation is provided by QAD Global Services and partners. Support is included, but implementation and training costs vary widely by customer.

Although QAD does not own its own data centers, it operates its own in-house development, cross-cloud management software, which uses internet of things feeds and big data analytics to perform predictive outage prevention and tuning. The company maintains data centers in the United States, France, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, with disaster recovery data centers located in the United States, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. QAD performs a disaster recovery test exercise with each of its clients at least once per year. For large customers, disaster recovery is tested at least twice every year. QAD cloud operations -- separate from its data centers -- are ISO certified, with audits conducted annually and with additional, incremental audits occurring every six months. Users can obtain copies of these audits.

QAD sponsors an annual user conference as well as numerous regional and local conferences and user groups that meet throughout the year. For clients wishing input into QAD product development, QAD has several customer advisory councils. It also maintains product and module specific forums and a customer database for suggested enhancements. QAD endeavors to meet with every customer each year to learn about their strategic goals, using information from these meetings for product development.

QAD does not offer free trials of its QAD Cloud ERP, but in select cases, it does offer early adopter programs.

QAD sells its cloud ERP system to clients both directly and through a network of business partners on a subscription basis that includes facilities for test, development and production.

Next Steps

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This was last published in June 2016

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