Cloud Strategies for Today’s Growing Company
Growing companies are a beautiful thing to see! They’re symbolic of all the hard work and relentless dedication that it took to help them rise. And how can you not appreciate all of today’s excited entrepreneurs and executives – pushing and challenging both themselves and their organizations to surpass their limits and achieve increasingly higher goals.
I have been fortunate to see a lot of these steadily growing businesses running NetSuite. When measuring success among a number of growing companies, you look for common factors in the way they run things.
When I interact with the leaders of these companies, do you know what’s the first thing I notice they all have in common? They use technology in a smart way to get to their goals.
This means that they pick the right tool for the right job, and when more benefits can be gained from a better tool – they take advantage of it. Any successful entrepreneur can tell you business growth is all about adaptability – how agile your company can stay over the long term.
Being disciplined companies, they worry about the integrity of their business processes as they evolve and add new features to help them scale up. After all, it’s vital that you make sure your new features don’t hinder your current ones by creating more work than is necessary or bogging down seemingly unrelated processes.
A lot of times, the best way to avoid these kinds of issues is to connect your back office, your system of record, to the new system. You want one core system that’s able to communicate smoothly with all of your other systems, and save your team the trouble of manually coordinating different departments / operations.
In my book, Scale Up Your Business With Cloud Technology, I talk about the concept of “the scalable stack”. And by that, I mean the ability to rapidly and seamlessly add components to your current infrastructure based on business demand.
One trick we have up our sleeve is an application to make connecting any tools as painless as possible, our proverbial swiss knife. It’s called a middleware, and faithful to its title, it essentially works as a piece of software that sits in the middle and orchestrates the smooth transfer of data from one system to another.
While I could write you an entire academic essay on all the different occasions where middleware is used, I’ll save you the time and sum up its importance with a few key examples:
- Connecting your transactional web site or your Amazon store to your accounting system,
- Connecting your order management system to your 3rd party logistics supplier,
- Sending and receiving EDI transactions,
The beauty of such middleware is that they can make changes to the rules of how data is exchanged between systems, without the help of a programmer, once it’s all set. You can add other sources and make sure data is getting where it is supposed to be.
In recent years, we’ve had a lot of success with Dell Boomi, a cloud middleware vendor with a very robust product.
As an example, we built a connector for one of our ecommerce clients before thanksgiving. They needed to be ready for this important period of the year in terms of their business, marked with a high volume of transactions.
Timing was especially critical for them as problems around the holidays – their busiest months for business – can mean a very bad year for them. The systems that needed to be connected in this case were Amazon, Walmart and NetSuite. The Dell Boomi connector we built was able to process up to 40,000 orders per day during that week.
Leaving all these system on their islands would have meant weeks of work to manually import each order to catch up to the high volume. They mitigated their risks with Dell Boomi’s sophisticated middleware and it paid off big time!
Are you creating islands of data within your technology stack?