Cloud ERP 1.0 vs Cloud ERP 2.0 – Two Generations Divided by Mobility

Re-blogged from the Versaccounts blog

“I recently made the following point about Cloud 2.0 products like VersAccounts Limited Small Business Cloud ERP on LinkedIn

“An important difference between Born in the Cloud 2.0 products like VersAccounts Limited Small Business ERP and 30 year old Heritage Software is that 100% of VersAccounts Limited Small Business ERP is available on any mobile device as part of the base capability.”

Since then, several people have asked me why I had referred to the VersAccounts Small Business Cloud ERP system as a Cloud 2.0 application and what the heck Cloud 1.0 was?

So here it is.

The distinction between Cloud 1.0 and Cloud 2.0 is huge. Because what divides them is huge.

Cloud 1.0 and Cloud 2.0 ERP products are two distinct generations of software that are divided among other things by Mobility.

Cloud 1.0 ERP products like Netsuite, and Cloud 1.0 Accounting products like Intacct were “born in the cloud”. In the early days of cloud almost 15 years ago. They are the “cloud pioneers” so to speak.

Cloud 1.0 applications were built when there were no smartphones. Mobility was not a concern in their UI design, nor was it in their underlying architecture.

The key differentiating benefits and focus of Cloud 1.0 ERP applications over the previous generation of software – so called On-premise software – was that that someone else hosted the Cloud 1.0 application freeing the customer from purchasing, setting up and managing the underlying IT required to run the software.

In addition the subscription model of payment introduced into the mainstream with Cloud 1.0, allowed the customer to “pay-as-you-go” with no big upfront capital outlay.

Nearly 15 years later the focus is on the next generation of software products and several additional benefits over and above hosting and subscription that they deliver.

A key new benefit is Mobility.

Unlike Cloud 1.0 products like NetSuite and Intacct, Cloud 2.0 products like VersAccounts Cloud ERP for Small Business were developed in the last 5 years when smartphones had become ubiquitous and tablets had arrived. Mobility was on everyone’s mind.

So Cloud 2.0 products are not just “born in the cloud” like Cloud 1.0 offerings. They are also “born for Mobility”.

The result is that the technologies and techniques used to build Cloud 2.0 applications enable the creation of application Cloud 2.0 application User Interfaces (UI) that are “responsive”. This means these UIs are built to automatically adjust what they display and how, and how one interacts with them, to suite the form factor and capabilities of the kind of device they are being used on – desktop, tablet, smartphone. No need to build one UI for the desktop and another for a tablet, and yet another one for a smartphone.

As a result the entire Cloud 2.0 application is accessible directly from any device, desktop or mobile.

Not so with Cloud 1.0.

In fact it is the opposite. Cloud 1.0 applications are not directly accessible on mobile devices at all.

Instead, separate mobile “add-on” products are built to run on mobile devices and then they are connected up with the Cloud 1.0 application. The functionality of these mobile add-ons is typically limited to a particular role (say a field sales person who needs a mobile application for order entry on his tablet) and a small set of workflows associated with that role.

This is the same approach taken by “On-premise” software vendors who desire to add some mobile capability to their applications.

Add-on applications also cost extra.

In addition, many Cloud 1.0 vendors also provide “mobile platforms”. These are “tool boxes” of software components and infrastructure to help mobile add-on developers develop these add-ons and connect them to the Cloud 1.0 application.

Mobile platforms are not required by Cloud 2.0 applications as the Cloud 2.0 application itself is the mobile platform.

Net/Net Mobility is not inherent in Cloud 1.0 solutions, just like it is not inherent in On-premise offerings. However it can be added. But the add-ons are limited. And they usually cost extra and are expensive.”

About the Author

Sunil brings over 25 years experience delivering embedded, on-premise, cloud, and mobile products to market and creating successful global businesses around them.As CEO of VersAccounts, his mission is to bring enterprise level ERP solutions to small and medium size businesses.

Email: Sunil (dot) Pande at
Phone: +1 855 445 2281 Ext 701

About fblauer

Fred Blauer is a senior consultant with more than 20 years of experience providing information systems consulting, ERP implementation, syste
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