Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM: Which Will Secure Your Data Best?

Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM: Which Will Secure Your Data Best?

on-premise and cloud crm

In September, 2017, 2.5 million Americans and some 100,000 Canadians were affected by a cyberattack on Equifax databases.  The company, a consumer credit reporting agency, had known about the attack since July 29. However, it waited close to two months to report the hack to the public.

I was horrified upon hearing the news. In the past 5 years, I purchased home and car insurance, installed internet and cable TV, and leased a new car. To be eligible for all of these services, the companies I was doing business with used Equifax to check my credit score. Knowing how sensitive my information was, I expected Equifax to add more care to it.

Upon contacting Equifax and waiting 2 hours on the line I was told, “We host all our information in the cloud. Our cloud-based database was hacked into despite efforts to squash them. The only way to protect yourself is to subscribe to our free monitoring services. We will contact those affected by mail.”

Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM Debate

My experience with Equifax reignited a debate: Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM. Which one will secure my data best?  I am sure everyone by now is thinking the same thing.

Many businesses with a small IT budget and few resources feel cloud-based CRM is a far more viable option for them. That’s because the CRM system requires little to no intervention from the IT department and are hosted be the developers. The product developers own the servers, handle the updates and are responsible for the general management of the platform. If there are any issues with the system, it is the responsibility of the vendor to fix it.

On-premise CRM applications are not handled by the vendors. Upon implementation, you and your IT department take over every aspect of platform management. This means that you and your IT department intervene when networks and services are down and install the necessary software to prevent hacks.  Essentially, you are in the driver’s seat. You call the shots and you do not depend on others and their policies to ensure the safety and security of your data.

The Solution

I am finding that the majority of CRM users are switching over to on-premise CRM applications because of recent cyberattacks on large companies, such as Yahoo, Equifax and eBay, and their databases.

Any cyber attack is a service interruption and is detrimental to businesses and their clients. The only way you can be proactive in stopping them from affecting you and your operations is to switch to on-premise. You call the shots and you determine what kind of security measures you need to take to secure your client information. If something does occur, you choose the appropriate action instead of relying on someone else to take it for you.

For on-premise CRM solutions, the implementation may seem costly. However when you look at the long term benefits, the pros outweigh the cons. We market InfoFlo CRM as a program with a onetime fee of $99/user with free upgrades for life. Once implemented, the data is all yours and no additional costs will be incurred. You determine your security needs, what you want added/deleted, and who has access to your databases. You will never have to worry about someone mismanaging your sensitive data.

Download a 30 day free version of InfoFlo today. Click here to speak to a CRM implementation specialist to learn more about how our on-premise solution will work for your needs.


To Cloud or Not To Cloud: On-Premise vs. Cloud CRM Debate Revisited

One of the more common conversations in our industry today is around whether to deploy a new CRM tool in the cloud or on premise. It may even be harder to know where to start weighing your options. The choice may seem like a simple one, but has far-reaching consequences. And it isn’t always black and white. Asking vendors to propose 2 configurations (Cloud  CRM and on-premise CRM) is not a productive way to making choices because you will end up comparing apples and oranges and ultimately, will have to choose one over the other.

Major technology vendors, such as Microsoft and Oracle, have already unveiled products that emphasize the benefits of storing data and running applications, platforms, and infrastructure in the cloud — both public and private. However, the majority of Information Technology leaders that I speak with at work remain pessimistic about the switch and are caught in the debate over maintaining on-premises data centers versus moving to the cloud.

So which configuration is right for you?

It is very hard to say without knowing a little about you and why you need a CRM tool and what you will be using it for. Much depends on the type of data you need to store, and the mindset your organization has regarding cloud computing in general.  In order to better understand which CRM system option is best for your company, there are a few important questions to consider:

  • Does your company have adequate IT support to administrate an on-premise CRM?
  • What are your security requirements, both of your accessibility and of the data itself?
  • How much customization do you need?
  • Does the cost per-head method calculate in your favor?
  • Do you want to integrate your CRM with other enterprise solutions?

However, I particularly prefer on-premise CRM tools over those hosted over the cloud (Cloud CRM). Many of my customers, who have tried both, share my sentiments. The most obvious and common reasons behind our choices include concerns about regulatory requirements and possible issues with connectivity and speed. Both concerns are often outside the control of your organization and your cloud provider and could make your data inaccessible at times. As well,  many companies raised concerns over the per-user costs associated with Cloud CRMs. If a large amount of workers need access to your database, it may be less expensive to host your own system [on premise].

Choosing the right CRM system is integral to your business. Be sure you know the pros and cons of each option before making your decision. Contact our Customer relationship management (CRM) for more information.


What Are the Long Term Benefits of a CRM?

Since the latter part of the 1990s, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a buzz term especially among business practitioners and enterpreneurs. Companies, both big and small, have invested or are hoping to invest huge amounts to implement CRM strategies, tools and infrastructure in order to win the battle in the increasingly competitive economy. However, many executives are struggling to determine how their organization will balance the business value of CRM against its costs to determine CRM return on investment.

Many businesses in search of solutions and opportunities for increased sales and productivity may also be wondering, what are the long term effects of CRM.  CRM software can have a number of positive long-term effects worth exploring. In the short term, business relationships improve as a result of better behind- the-scenes organization and progress tracking, but even later down the line, CRM can prove to be a great return on initial investment.

For starters, companies can expect to see long-term improvement in sales. Due to the increase in valuable productivity time, sales teams spend less time manually compiling business relationship data and integrating complex information with other lines of communication. This means more freedom and flexibility for compiling evaluative reports such as sales forecasts and tracking progress over time – key ways to get ahead in today’s competitive markets.

Lasting cost-savings is also one of the long-term effects of CRM software.  Of course this benefit depends on making the very best selection possible when it comes to choosing the right solution for your company. If you decide to to get a hosted package be prepared to pay a set monthly cost for as long as you are own the software. On the other hand purchasing an on-premise package can save a company a lot of money in the long term since there is only a one-time cost. Be careful though some companies force you to pay yearly maintenance packages or charge you for upgrades so be sure to do your homework before making a choice.

Effective CRM software provides users with the tools to conveniently oversee business relationships from start to sale and even continuing on to regular follow-up. Without CRM, the task of tracking customers and their expectations can become enormously difficult.  With the right CRM software in place, companies can ensure clients and customers stay with them even beyond the critical first sale for lasting success even in the long-term.


Taking Stock with Contact Management Software

Often back-end activities like taking stock of inventory and order management need complex arrangements and multiple database management software systems in order to run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.  Companies need business software that can streamline front-end service like email management and calendar coordination with back-end essentials.  Contact management software has the ability to do just that and more.

A complete contact management solution has the ability to track all vital information associated with an account including inventory statistics, order details and other back-end information.  Because this information is also automatically linked with contact information, a tremendous amount of time and energy is saved for managing your activities.  With contact management software, it’s also easy to pool information from a variety of different sources within the system for comparisons and annotated contrasts. The document management features make it possible to create detailed reports of fundamental business practices.

The best strategy for management of business activities that form the backbone of a company is integral organization. This software not only delivers integral organization, it defines it and lets you customize and tailor it to your company’s changing needs.  Every shift and transition affecting back-end procedures can easily be updated and tracked using document management features as well as added pluses like task management and even remote office integration, a feature that allows employees and contract workers alike to remain in the loop and stay on task.

The heart of any business sometimes lies not in what can be seen on the outside, but in what is done and successfully accomplished on the inside, where employees and executives strive to remain as productive and organized as possible. Contact manager software meets these needs and exceeds expectations, managing much more than contacts and keeping emails in order.  Give it a try as soon as possible to learn more about its dynamic features for taking stock and staying on top of the back- end.


The Benefits of On-Premise CRM

Though they may not be readily obvious to the average user, the benefits of on-premise CRM are quite numerous no matter how elaborate your office management goals may be. Businesses both small and large need the peace of mind that comes from reliable, in-house software that’s easy to access and free from the sometimes frustrating complexities of operating in the cloud or dealing with hosted software.

For instance, consider the outcome of connectivity losses. With most of the data and security features of off-premise CRM located elsewhere, any breakdowns in Internet communications, whether intentional or accidental, can cause serious setbacks for business, particularly financial loss and diminished business reputation. One of the biggest benefits of on-premise is that the risk of data inaccessibility can be significantly reduced, leaving internal operations running smoothly despite external circumstances.

One of the most important benefits of on-premise CRM solutions to consider carefully deals with security and integrity of business information. Some companies will view sharing confidential customer contacts and information with an outside vendor – despite well-advertised security features – as quite a risky endeavor. The greatest benefits of on-premise CRM lie in its ability to give users exclusive control of sensitive company information.

Additionally, the benefits of on-premise can mean less money spent on monthly fees and costs and more money available for company growth. Most cloud or hosted solutions offer services available “for rent” with users paying timed fees to keep the software running. On-premise solutions, however, offer solutions based on a one-time fee, eliminating the extra costs of monthly or annual contracts and licensing fees. The cost savings of on-premise software often makes it the best option in the long run.


Cloud CRM Considerations

If you are planning to subscribe to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution in the cloud, there are several things to consider first. For most companies, operating in the cloud is till uncharted territory, but it doesn’t take long to experience its many unique benefits. However, it’s good advice to stay mindful of the downsides. If cloud computing is not right for your business, on premise software is always an option.

One of the biggest assets of operating a CRM software tool in the cloud is complete accessibility. All the benefits and unique features of an effective contact management solution can be accessed from anywhere in the world using almost any device. This means that capabilities are expanded across the board in terms of strengthening and supporting day to day business functions and streamlining customer service and marketing keeping customer relations running smoothly.

The cloud computing experience can be daunting, however, when there are security issues or Internet connectivity problems. In view of the risk of data being compromised, cloud CRM software can be a considerable investment. Since company information is not completely under control of the user, this is a serious concern for most companies. Keep this in mind when debating whether to go with the cloud or stick with on premise solutions.

An on premise solution may be the way to go if your business needs adaptable customer relations management yet still needs control over company information. This consideration can go a long way over the long haul. Don’t rule out the numerous benefits of private cloud solutions which allow the best of both cloud computing and on premise solutions.

Deciding whether to dive into the world of cloud solutions for business is bound to be a choice that many companies will face soon. It’s a big decision with a variety of factors to consider, so be sure to do your homework. Both cloud contact management software and on premise systems have pros and cons that are well worth the time and deliberation before choosing what’s best for your company.


Private Cloud vs. Public Small Business Cloud CRM Software

For those who have a solid understanding of cloud computing, the next big hurdle is getting a grasp of the difference between public clouds and private clouds. In terms of CRM software, this is a major distinction worth taking the time to work out thoroughly. In a public cloud, major company information often shares the same space on a server accessible to the public, possibly including the competition, and there are more compromises and concerns to consider.

In the business world, companies often must give something up in order to gain something of value. This holds true even in the world of CRM software. In exchange for the versatility and major expandability of using a public cloud solution, companies must surrender significant data management control, and, in cases where servers are shared with the competition, risk losing unique identity within the industry.

Private clouds, on the other hand, afford companies more privacy and exclusivity in control of sensitive company information. Each company owns its own servers and hardware, and this often yields a greater sense of empowerment. A more empowered company may or may not be better at using CRM software effectively to handle complex customer relations. It’s definitely something to consider carefully when deciding which solution, public cloud or private cloud, is best for your business.

Using a private cloud is not without its drawbacks. Mainly, customers must sacrifice the expandability available in the cloud. The ultimate factors in choosing what’s best for your company will depend on the specific nature of your business as well as the chief objectives to be accomplished by using CRM solutions. Once the foundation is laid for an informed decision, companies should be encouraged to act quickly. The rewards and benefits of both solutions can bring great gains when used efficiently.


Business Contact Management Software -Create a Virtual Office

Today’s offices have broken beyond the boundaries of the traditional four walls and taken things to the next level with the increasing advent of virtual offices. More and more companies turn to virtual office software to cut the costs of housing administrative staff. It’s a great way to keep office workers on the same page but only if the software used enables excellent communication. Contact manager software can combine its data organizing features with virtual office capabilities to eliminate the need for third party software and create the perfect virtual office business solution.

When it comes to virtual offices the name of the game is communication. The lack of face to face interaction need not be a drawback, especially if fully integrated contact management software is used. Integrated systems can connect users via Skype right from their platform or allow for the sharing of emails, calendars and documents as well as contact information for each client or customer. Streamlined communication is not only the goal, it’s the established rule in virtual offices, and the right software can definitely make it happen.

Collaboration is another essential that’s key for virtual offices. With CRM software, collaboration can occur on almost any document, email, calendar, note or memo. Permission controls can be adjusted for various types of information as well. This means that whether employees are in the next cubicle or in the next state, it’s easy to work together on projects and compare notes on company information. Such flexibility and agility makes this software the ideal choice for achieving dynamic results with a well-organized and fully functional virtual office.


The Security of Private Cloud Contact Management Software

Incorporating a private cloud for your contact management software is, in many ways a wise decision for business owners in need of a good way to maintain security.  Unlike many hosted systems, private cloud software can keep your data private and securely because of its use of private servers not shared with clients of the cloud vendor. Private cloud servers are and centrally located within your company. Yet, the private cloud still affords all the convenience of hosted clouds such as ability to gain access from almost anywhere in the world.

The important thing to remember about private cloud contact management software is that it’s completely independent of third party ownership.  For as little as $99, these days it’s easy to acquire a nice contact manager system designed to run on a private cloud.  This one-time payment allows users to stay up-to date with the latest innovations in cloud computing without sacrificing the security of sensitive company information.

Private cloud CRM software, then, affords users a level of exclusive ownership that gives them control over the sharing and use of company information.  This means companies can take a proactive role when it comes to customizing and tailoring the software to meet specific company needs. It also means that security can be enhanced simply by installing the device properly on a central computing device.

Some argue that security actually decrease with the use of private cloud systems.  This is based on the idea that due to the amount of virtualization required for private clouds, the implementation process can leave the system vulnerable.  However, the same can be said of public clouds.  Yet, public clouds can never offer the exclusive control that private clouds deliver.  With security guarantees like that, it’s easy to see why private cloud contact management is great for growing companies.


To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

The Internet and business world alike are abuzz with the latest trend in computing: the cloud.  What is the cloud you might ask? The cloud, short for cloud computing, is presented to end users as a service for data storage and application templates. The neat thing about the cloud is that it makes data accessible from almost any device anywhere in the world, including mobile phones and tablets, so it’s safe to say it’s created a bit of a breakthrough in the way users obtain computer services.

This means, that rather than being bound to one desktop or laptop for services and business tools, end users have their choice of an unlimited number of access points once their service subscription is paid and up to date.  Many software vendors have leaped at the chance to get on the cloud computing bandwagon by offering their systems within the cloud for a monthly fee, while others have opted for offering a private version of the cloud that’s exclusively dedicated to each business or company who purchases the software.

Most hosted cloud contact management software is offered on a trial basis for free for 7 to 30 days. One of the top software vendors offers full cloud services for a monthly subscription of anywhere from $5 to $250 per month across five different subscription packages.  Then there are private contact management software systems, usually available for a one-time fee – currently as little as $99.  These systems are even more flexible for companies in search of a middle road between hosted clouds and traditional software applications.

These systems allow companies to install their own server on a dedicated computer.  This server then acts as a “cloud” for the entire company.  The advantage is that unlike hosted cloud computing, this method can still operate even when there are Internet access issues.  It’s good to know that there’s lots to choose from when considering whether to cloud or not to cloud.  Be sure to carefully do your homework when deciding which option is best for your business.