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Are your dealerships' IT systems ready for the cloud?

DMS technologies and car dealer add-ons

The scale of dealership systems has grown considerably in recent years. In addition to a DMS with some manufacturer communications, there’s now a plethora of external applications and inbound and outbound data to contend with. Managing video content, social media, customer accessibility, vehicle stock feeds and dynamic email all need a different approach, not only in how services are delivered, but also how they are securely managed.


Saving your dealerships money

Value for money and cost-saving potential are high on most IT priority lists, even if some factors are hard to quantify and compare. Put simply, switching to a hosted solution means no DMS server to buy, maintain and support.

No worries either about server capacity, costly upgrades or replacements to handle business growth. At a stroke, the responsibilities pass to the provider organisation to take over system management, perhaps with an accompanying service-level agreement (SLA).

ADP marketing manager Nick Chudleigh said: “It’s easy for the customer to compare the cost of cloud against the cost of a server, but then ignore the hidden costs, such as power consumption and people”.

William Blackshaw, whose family-owned Nissan and Suzuki dealership Blackshaws in Berwick-upon-Tweed has recently implemented Pinnacle, said: “How do you put a value on staff happiness and customer satisfaction? We now have much better communications with our customers, access the information we need more quickly and ultimately provide a better customer experience.

“The return will follow with time.”


Protecting your business

And should disaster strike, what price do you put on having cloud capability to take care of systems compared with the cost of re-establishing in-house servers if they were located in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fires and floods are rare, but what about system availability on a day- to-day basis? System downtime can have a big impact on a dealership’s ability to trade. One dealer said he had had two years of 100% uptime since introducing a hosted system.  


Supporting your future business

In addition to being highly flexible and scalable, cloud computing allows new services to come on stream, often without the end user even being aware that a change has taken place.

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