Technical terminology can be confusing. We’ve gathered and answered some of the most frequently-asked questions about ERP software in the cloud.

The true cloud is public and multi-tenant. Public means that the provider, not the customer, manages cloud services and storage. Unlike private or hybrid cloud, the public cloud does not require customers to invest in any additional hardware. Multi-tenancy means that one provider serves multiple customers (‘tenants’) on a single logical instance of the software. Think about a utility: each customer pays only for what they use. This resource sharing allows for dramatic cost reduction and significant economies of scale. True cloud solutions offer increased flexibility, lower cost, quicker implementation, and the ability to scale up and down based on customer needs.

The term multi-tenant indicates that a single instance of an application serves multiple customers (‘tenants). Xledger is multi-tenant. This means that we serve all 10,000+ customers on one version of our ERP solution. Multi-tenancy allows us to distribute computing resources according to user needs through continuous server virtualisation and consolidation. We can issue upgrades and security patches once for all customers. As a pure multi-tenant provider, Xledger also frees customers from the need to spend more on infrastructure: they can access our solution with nothing more than a web browser. We keep our solution’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) at an absolute minimum.

Multi-tenancy is one of the best ways to tell true from fake cloud.

Imagine multi-tenancy as a spectrum. You have private cloud providers at one end and fully multi-tenant providers at the other. What separates them is the ratio between customers and software instances. For the private cloud, this ratio is almost always 1:1. Every customer needs their own set of hardware and version of the software; this results in higher costs and more difficult upgrades.

By contrast, a fully multi-tenant provider like Xledger hosts its entire customer base on a single instance of the software. All customers run on the same version, with the same instant patches, this allows for the full benefits of the cloud: minimal costs, maximum efficiency, wide scalability, and no hardware requirements.

1. Unified ERP. Xledger was built on a unified design. Every functional area is deeply interwoven with every other. This allows the entire solution to expand with a customer.

2. Multi-tenant architecture. By enabling Xledger to serve multiple customers on the same software instance, multi-tenancy gives us tremendous scalability. As they grow, customers can easily access our solution from new devices and locations. They can expand as fast and as far as they want without fear of outgrowing or overstraining Xledger.

Full multi-tenancy also supports our unique database design. With all customers on a shared instance, Xledger can focus on database economy. With every release, we increase the storage capacity of our database while decreasing its overall size. The result is that Xledger’s database becomes both faster and more efficient as we grow. Our customers can expand to any size without fear of slowing Xledger.

3. Data hierarchies. Our customers benefit from Xledger’s innovative use of hierarchies. Here is how that works. In implementation, the customer starts by configuring the top, or ‘enterprise’ level of their organisation. Settings at the enterprise level then will automatically ‘inherit’ downward to every level below. The customer can make any deviations at the required level.

This concept transforms both implementation and expansion. Customers can both (a) implement quickly and (b) create new business units with ease. Organisations can rapidly onboard departments, divisions, organisational units, and new or acquired companies. Sub-units can specify their requirements. For instance, a country-level manager can identify local currency and a country-level chart of account. Global executives will still have access to real-time data from every unit in their enterprise.

4. Multi-language and multi-currency functionality. Xledger supports 22+ languages and most global currencies, along with real-time exchange rate updates. Consolidation takes place immediately, rather than at month-end. Customers can grow across borders without fear of outgrowing their ERP solution.

Yes. In fact, the public cloud has been proven to be more secure than any competing environment. In three consecutive Cloud Security Reports (2015, 2017, and 2018), Alert Logic found that the public cloud drew far fewer cyberattacks than the private cloud, hybrid cloud, or on-premise models.

Implementation of Xledger typically takes 3 to 6 months. The exact timeframe depends on the customers’ size, distribution complexity, scope of functionality, available resources, and third parties.

We implement using Xledger’s implementation methodology (XIM). The objective of XIM is to ensure an efficient and correct implementation. Drawn from lessons learned in thousands of successful implementations, XIM consists of three main elements: Project Management, Project Phases (Plan; Analysis and Design; Implementation; Testing and Validation; Go-Live and Follow-up; Review & Close), and Project Workstreams (Configuration; Data Migration; Integrations; Training; Advisory Services).