News & Views

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

Review: Up close with NetSuite’s deep ERP


June 13, 2012 from InfoWorld and written by Michael Burns – We have started in-depth reviews of ERP systems for InfoWorld. InfoWorld requested we that we start with ERP systems available as (SaaS) Software as a Service, so it’s appropriate that NetSuite be our first review considering they are “One of the pioneers in cloud computing, NetSuite launched a cloud-based ERP system at a time when SaaS was widely considered risky to both the security and the availability of an organization’s data…”


CRM survey 2012


June 2012 from CAmagazine and written by Michael Burns – “…CRM is considered such a hot market that vendors are eagerly pumping R&D dollars into the technology and new vendors are emerging with more features and lower prices. Today the buzz is mostly about mobile CRM, social networks and CRM business intelligence (BI)…”


10 Things You Just Gotta Have in Your Cloud Contract

Cloud Computing, Contract Negotiations

April 30, 2012 from CFO – “A CFO’s guide to the wild and wooly world of cloud services in which contracts are mutable, companies come and go, and politics a continent away could materially impact your business…”

180 View –Although we don’t think that cloud computing contracts are as risky as the article indicates, there are still some good suggestions.


CFOs Embrace Major Process Improvement — Again!

Business Process Analysis

April 19, 2012 from BusinessFinance – “According to research conducted in March 2012 by APQC in partnership with IEG, 81 percent of large corporations are currently investing in at least one major program to improve financial management processes….”

180 View – This is another good sign that the economy is improving, which is good for everyone. The article discusses a number of finance initiatives and there is a link to the full copy of the APQC research report, which had more interesting information including techniques to improve A/P processing:

  1. automated/evaluated receipt settlement (especially in manufacturing and products/goods-intensive AP environments),
  2. advanced data capture, document scanning, and optical character recognition for initial digitization and conversion of paper invoices into electronic data,
  3. rules-based automated workflow solutions to effectively manage the flow of electronic invoice data and images through the organization for required approval and authorization for payment”

Gartner: SaaS market to grow 17.9% to $14.5B

Cloud Computing

March 27, 2012 from ComputerWorld – “Global spending on SaaS (software as a service) will rise 17.9% this year to $14.5 billion, according to figures released Tuesday by analyst firm Gartner…

Overall, the market growth predicted by Gartner can be attributed to both pure SaaS vendors such as, which is predicting it will reach close to $3 billion in annual revenue during its fiscal 2013, as well as increased emphasis on SaaS by dominant on-premises application vendors like Oracle and SAP…”

180 View – We think that there are clear cost advantages with SaaS compared to on-premise in the first few years but perhaps not on a long-term basis. However there will be a lot of competition in the clouds which will drive down monthly SaaS costs.


Can Lean and ERP Work Together?

Business Process Analysis, ERP

April 18, 2012 from IndustryWeek – “For many large and midsize manufacturers, the challenge of enabling the corporate-wide enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to mesh with their lean initiatives on the plant floor requires a delicate balance…”

180 View – This article will strike a chord for manufacturers that struggle to fully automate production scheduling using lean manufacturing techniques and at the same using ERP which attempts to reduce setup times and create longer production runs. But if a production planner can do it with excel, there’s no reason ERP should not be able to build similar rules. At the very least, the ERP system should allow a drag and drop approach to changing the schedule as well as allowing the scheduler to see the impact of the change.


Brand New Key


It’s an entertaining commercial from HP and Evian.


Uncle Drew


After spending four hours in makeup, 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving heads to the courts of New Jersey to devour some young bloods in a pick-up game.