Warehouse Management Systems – from some vendors at least – were a little late to move to the Cloud. That’s for a number of reasons, including concerns about response times for critical real-time systems such wireless terminals, Voice picking and materials handling system communications.
Softeon has been doing Cloud WMS deployments for many years, but has really seen adoption take off in the past two year. Currently, about 75% of our new WMS deployments are Cloud-based, heading towards nearly 100%.
We also have a number of customers that have easily migrated from an on-premise WMS implementation to the Cloud.
This is due to the major advantages from Cloud deployments in such areas as time and cost of the implementations and ease of system management post-go live, requiring little internal IT resources.
After a significant number of Cloud WMS deployments, Softeon has gained insights that are potentially of interest to prospective WMS adopters, which we’ll summarize in this broadcast.
Here we go:
Concerns about response times for wireless terminals, materials handling systems, and more are very overblown, at least with a system architected to maximize Cloud deployment. Softeon has seen almost no performance issues.
That said, simulation prior to go-live is recommended to achieve certainty. Softeon has developed a simulation tool that allows us to measure response times, for example, coming from the Cloud for message requests from material handling systems, gauging performance and making adjustments as needed.
Even when multi-tenant deployment offerings are available, nearly all companies prefer a private Cloud environment.
The deployment benefits are real. Implementation times for Cloud deployments are faster than for comparable on-premise deployments, reducing costs and accelerating time to value.
Cloud also supports rapid WMS deployments if needed for given business situations, which seems an increasingly common scenario.
Flexibility in Cloud hosting is important. Some retail and even 3PL companies, for example, do not want use of Amazon’s Cloud platform for competitive reasons. Because of that market reaction, unlike many other software providers Softeon can offer a choice between several providers.
Internal IT resources needed for deployment and on-going system WMS maintenance are reduced dramatically with Cloud implementations, to the point that almost no resources are required on an on-going basis in many cases.
Along the same line, companies are pleased with how easy it is to set up test or development instances of the WMS versus the effort often seen doing so with traditional on-premise deployments.
We are finding customer satisfaction is simply higher with Cloud WMS deployment, as management of the system is handled by Softeon, dramatically reducing internal support needs and concerns.
If the path is made easy and attractive, many companies are interested in moving existing on-premise WMS deployments to a Cloud-based system.
Supply chain software in the Cloud has clearly achieved critical mass – and Cloud-based Warehouse Management Systems are now ready for prime time.