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15 Services to keep your IT costs down

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Inventory Management
If you have inventory to track (like infield service parts, multi-restaurant consumables or IT infrastructure), particularly at multiple locations, then SeeControl (www.seecontrol.com) is worth looking at.

The See Control Website, unlike other SaaS vendors, does not have any price or plan lists or a place where you can sign up. You need to contact them through a form on the website and they will get back to you.
www.seecontrol.com

Human Resources Management
HR is an area that gets divided into further niches, with each having its set of players. Thus, you have services that do online tests for profiling and those that do e-learning. Then there are payroll services and of course, the recruitment portals. Our primary focus here is on basic HR—employee information (HRIS), appraisals and payroll being available in one place.

Empxtrack (www.empxtrack.com) from Saigun offers HRMS, applicant tracking, employee self service (leave tracking, HR help desk, employee handbook, personal data update), employee portal and appraisals as a managed package.Pricing is on slabs of number of employees and you have to contact them to get started.

Adrenalin (www.myadrenalin.com) from Polaris also offers a hosted variant of their HR package.
www.empxtrack.com
www.myadrenalin.com

ERP
ERP, the big daddy of enterprise applications, is also available as a managed solution from many vendors. Here the offerings typically tend to be industry- or process-specific.

Ramco (www.ramcoerp.com), for example, offers process-centric solutions (vendor management, customer management, storage and distribution, accounting, planning and stock management) and have particular focus on selected verticals like auto components, chemicals, discrete manufacturing, distilleries, electronics, engineering, etc. (See a full list at their site.)

Delantt Consulting (www.delantt.com) offers hosted SAP BASIS, including sandbox hosting (evaluation stage), development hosting and production hosting. Pricing is dependent on type of hosting and number of user ids.

SAP offers its own hosted solution, Business ByDesign at www.sap.com/solutions/sme/businessbydesign
www.ramcoerp.com
www.delantt.com
www.sap.com/solutions/sme/businessbydesign

Before You Choose
Before you choose a provider, there are some points to keep in mind that will ensure a better experience as you go along.

Do The Trial
Almost all SaaS vendors will give you a free trial, usually of thirty days or of a limited number of users. In fact, many, like sproutit and 01.com offer a mandatory free trial period of 30 days, during which you can delete your account without being charged. It is a good idea to use the trial to check out how the service works, and to find out what is missing. If a service provider does not have an upfront free trail offer, ask. You will most likely get one.



Comments (5)Add Comment
Great solutions for low investment startups
written by Internet Business Coach, June 19, 2010
Thank for these useful resources.

Quick setup, low cost (often free) and maintenance free, the SaaS model is fantastic in helping low investment business get decent tools.
Just be careful who you get the service from. Make sure they operate a secure environment and that they take data privacy very seriously.
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To cut costs one needs to understand their origin
written by M A J Jeyaseelan, May 21, 2009
A software is a productivity tool, which is supposed create values for enterprises. However, effective use of enterprise applications requires adequate provisioning of people, computers, storage media, network hardware, network bandwidth, security systems and maintenance.

The cost of using any software is therefore not limited to the price paid for the software or its use. In reality, the infrastructure required for using enterprise software accounts for a major part of the software usage cost

It becomes therefore very necessary to go for software packages that do not require heavy usage costs. It is possible to significantly reduce software usage costs by adopting architectural innovations in its development.

Some of the key contributors high software usage costs include 1) Lack of standardization and parametrization of data elements. With standardized and parametrized data, there would be less human resources required for data reporting and analysis, 2) Lack of decentralized data acquisition facilities. Most enterprise systems require that all data entry is done on the central systems. This process involves huge bandwidth consumption for transfer of GUI that are part of the data entry forms, while the size of the actual data entered may be very minuscule. 3) Lack of enterprise integration. Although data migration is no more a huge problem, many enterprises are still using disparate systems requiring enterprise integration software. Instead, integrated enterprise solutions could easily cut down usage costs significantly.

Ultimately, the architecture of enterprise applications and back end databases have a very significant bearing on software usage costs. Unfortunately, most of the big vendors are still persisting with outdated architectures as they are also mighty afraid of redevelopment costs.

If you intend cutting down over all IT costs, look for innovative solutions, that can significantly deliver results with less infrastructure and maintenance costs
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Database Integrated Mailing and Messaging System
written by M A J Jeyaseelan, May 21, 2009
It is unfortunate that even in this age of knowledge management and business intelligence, the valuable data contained inside mails and memos remain outside the purview of enterprise data that can be collated, correlated and analyzed.

We have already developed a database integrated mailing and messaging system that helps monitor and analyze the content of mails and messages with the help of in built parameters

This system also enables data interchange through such mail boxes. In a typical case, if you would like to transmit a report to your superior, you would be just sending a URL with a few attached parameters and the report can be viewed by the recipient dynamically. There is no document transmission. This eliminates high bandwidth use

However, we provide these solutions only to users who decide to switch over to our enterprise database architecture.

Still, we would like to point out that there is lot more to be gained by moving away from dumb mail applications and instead using a database based mailing and messaging model
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...
written by Sahil, November 21, 2008
You missed out DeskAway (based out of Mumbai) for project collaboration!
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Director - Global Delivery
written by Gopal Shivapuja, November 06, 2008
An excellent and very informative article that covers most aspects of business functions for any SME.

SaaS is definitely a worthwhile choice that one should consider before making any large capital investments, as we can see that most solutions are already available and there is no need to re-invent the wheel.

Gopal Shivapuja
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