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Hot, cool – whatever you want to call it, the cloud is it.

Manufacturers of all stripes are sitting up and taking notice of cloud-based ERP for the plethora of benefits this solution offers for the entire enterprise. Need proof? Just check out some of the top industry stories of last week – if you haven’t been convinced of the cloud’s benefits yet, they’re getting pretty hard to ignore.

Cloud-based Offerings Make ERP More Agile: Report

An “explosion of offerings in the market” has led consulting firm Eval-Source to create an updated ERP cloud and SaaS buyer’s guide, with an added itemization of vendors by categories including disciplines and company size. The guide also shares recent trends they’ve noticed that affect the cloud and SaaS ERP market, including social networking and mobility.

Cloud ERP Users Are Happier, Study Purports

The results of our recent survey on SaaS/cloud vs. traditional ERP – conducted by the Manufacturing Performance Institute – have been making a big splash. Among some of the elements TEC blogger P.J. Jakovljevic, in particular, found interesting: cloud ERP users are more inclined to provide ERP access to their suppliers and customers, and – somewhat surprisingly – 18 percent of survey participants had no ERP system in place at all. (You can see the infographic with full results of the survey here.)

Build, Buy or Customize? Manufacturers Take Differing Approaches to ERP

When it comes to ERP systems, there are more options than ever for manufacturers, reports MiBiz’s Mike Brennan. In this article, he explores the results of several different companies that have used off-the-shelf systems, custom solutions or even created their own systems from scratch.

Cloud-based ERP’s Potential Impact on Automation

The manufacturing automation industry is seeing major benefits of cloud ERP in their businesses – most notably, the direct connection that has developed between the factory floor and the front office, says Automation World reporter David Greenfield. Based on the research from our survey with MPI, Greenfield believes that cloud-based ERP could have just as big an impact on factory floor engineers and operators as the initial wave of enterprise systems did nearly 20 years ago.