The cloud has reached the mainstream. Almost one in two German companies now uses a hybrid cloud or operates its entire IT infrastructure in the cloud. And more and more of those companies are small and medium-sized enterprises. But with so much choice, how do you find the right solution?
Salesforce has established itself as the market leader in customer relationship management (CRM). The US-based company provides software-as-a-service solutions to over 150,000 enterprises, based on a pay-as-you-go model.
Salesforce's CRM solution enables companies to consolidate all information relevant to sales. Sales staff can easily access information on leads, contacts, companies, and project activities at any time. In addition, the CRM solution solves a growing problem in the customer service and marketing sectors: the increasing number of communication channels. Centralized data storage in the cloud enables employees to clearly identify every customer and reach them in a personal way—by phone, email, social network, or chat.
SAP also has a wide range of cloud solutions for marketing, customer service, and sales. The software company, based in Walldorf, Germany, has expanded its offering through a series of acquisitions and new products. It now provides solutions for almost every area of business, including financial management, procurement, and commerce. One the most popular is SAP SuccessFactors, a HR software solution. It is designed to streamline process in human resources, motivate employees, and provide a competitive advantage in the war for talent.
But SAP also has products in its portfolio that can reproduce entire ERP systems in the cloud. For small and medium-sized enterprises and subsidiaries, this option is definitely worth looking at.
German company Software AG has expanded its offering for public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments in the last few years, too. For example, the company now offers software-as-a-service applications that help customers to improve collaboration between their locations, analyze and optimize their business processes, and establish an IT portfolio management system. In addition, it has launched a portal for publishing, marketing, and managing APIs.
The verdict to overturn the Safe Harbor agreement has made an impact. In 2016, US software giant Microsoft will deliver its new cloud services, including Azure and Office 365, from German data centers. Deutsche Telekom and its subsidiary T-Systems are the strategic partners. The German companies will not only operate the data centers, but will also act as data trustees. Microsoft employees will not have access to the data; it will be managed solely by T-Systems. This guarantees customers that the cloud services comply with German data protection rules and prevents foreign investigative agencies from prying.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been on the German market since 2014. They provide scalable computing resources for hosting diverse applications. For example, enterprises can adjust computing capacity to their needs and store and access volumes of data as they wish. What’s more, they can set up and operate relational databases and make information available online for their employees.