Everyday, more and more companies are turning towards Internet based solutions to manage their accounting and operating systems. IT departments are being simplified and investments in servers, routers, and storage systems are being radically reduced or eliminated. Internet (aka Cloud) based solutions provide many advantages including dedicated security experts to monitor and protect systems, guaranteed backup, minimizing downtime, and easy access to data and information from anywhere you have an Internet connection. The desktop is also being replaced with options to access information from tablets and phones and without having to install a bunch of software on every device that you use.
But moving your systems online is not perfect and comes with some new challenges. For example if your Internet connection goes down you can’t access your data. As more data is consolidated from multiple organizations into a single data center it becomes a larger target for cyber criminals. You also run the risk of logins being compromised through phishing attacks and various other pitfalls now that your data can be accessed online.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is that you create remote data silos where it can become very hard to impossible to report across all of the data an organization accumulates into these systems. The systems together may require re-entry of the same data multiple times. I.e. if you have online systems for ERP and CRM then you may find that you have to enter the customer name in both systems. This can also make it harder to align the data for reporting. Some online systems may charge you to access your data remotely or to use third party reporting tools or not allow any remote access at all. You may also experience throttling and performance delays when trying to report over a larger data set or period of time. Some systems can “talk” to each other but you have to create openings in security and share connection or login information with multiple systems to enable this. Combining online data with legacy on premise systems also makes things more challenging.
Vivid Reports Business Intelligence helps organizations overcome these challenges and to work with your data efficiently regardless of where that data resides. So long as your data is accessible it can be reported on, combined with other data and presented with Vivid Reports for easy understanding and insights.
Vivid Reports Business Intelligence uses Microsoft Excel to format and present reports but it does so with numerous advantages and efficiencies allowing you to view, interact with and understand your data securely. Vivid Reports also offers web-based viewers that take a traditional Excel report and make it accessible through a browser such as Google Chrome. All the same functionality of the desktop version are available but you no longer need Excel to view and work with the reports. The nice thing about this is that you can also view reports on a mobile device such as iPhone or Android.
But perhaps one of the biggest benefits of Vivid Reports is that it allows you to still use Desktop Excel or Office 365 – Excel (desktop version) to access online data. The desktop version of Excel is still miles ahead of the online version, especially when it comes to speed and your ability to navigate and interact with reports. Vivid Reports does this by treating Excel as if it was a browser! That’s right, just like you open Chrome or Safari to go online, you can open Excel to go online with your information! Vivid Reports does not store any of your data in Excel, it is all stored in the Vivid Database or is accessed live directly from the source. This allows you to only transfer down to your report the information you have chosen whether it be for a particular product, customer set, or period of time. Vivid Reports enables that data to flow across the Internet into Excel.
Vivid Reports CPM (Corporate Performance Management) software that provides financial reporting, budgeting, consolidations, and analysis also comes with a Vivid Database. If your ERP is online such as Dynamics 365 (D365) or Acumatica, or Epicor then the Vivid Reports database can reside in an Azure server. You do not need to have data on your local servers. The only thing that you need is Microsoft Excel and the Vivid Reports client. The Vivid Database can be set up so that it syncs with your ERP at preset times and then the data you need to produce a report or populate a drill-down screen will flow directly over the Internet and into Vivid Reports!
Today Vivid Reports is already integrated with many cloud ERP including D365, Acumatica, Epicor, Blackbaud, QBO, and other systems. Please contact us today to learn more.