The term "cloud WMS" was created as a Warehouse Management System which is used in the cloud.

So far there is no general accepted definition or description. The cloud technology is used for the operation of a WMS.

The cloud enables the provision of a WMS as a software-as-a-service on a rental basis. A software installation on the local server of the customer is no longer required.

A software can be termed as cloud WMS, if it covers both the industry-standard core functions of a WMS and the criteria of cloud computing.

The application of WMS in the cloud can be transferred to all service models (public, private, hybrid and community cloud). Depending on the application model, there are different advantages and disadvantages.

Public Cloud: The Warehouse Management System is used on-demand. Therefore, the servers of a data centre are used, which are either operated by the cloud WMS-provider itself or through a hosting partner. The WMS is offered to several companies simultaneously. (see Govind, Gana. Moving Warehouse Management Systems into the cloud at:. (accessed on 14.12.2012))

Private Cloud: The WMS can be offered to only one customer in a private cloud. That means that the WMS is operated on the IT-infrastructure at the customer site as SaaS. Here, the customer either provides the entire IT-resources themselves, rents the WMS, or transfers the acquisition and operation of the local server to the cloud WMS provider. The provider uses the provided IT network on the customer site to communicate with the server. (see. AXIT connecting logistics, cloud computing study logistics 2012, p 10 ff)

Hybrid Cloud: This model combines the function of two service models. A very likely combination is private cloud and public cloud.

There are several possible combination options for the distribution of the tasks. One approach is to handle the normal operation of the WMS in the private cloud and to use external IT-resources of the public cloud during peak times. Another approach is the use of additional software modules and function of the public cloud, which extend the (bought) WMS in the private cloud.

In addition, there is the possibility of receiving the WMS as SaaS from the public cloud, whereas the data storage remains locally in the private cloud. (see. Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln Consult GmbH, cloud computing 2011, p. 13)

Community Cloud: in this case, several companies merge their private cloud to pool their IT resources for the use of a WMS. This might be useable for companies that have both a high level of data security, as well as good relations to their business partners. This would be possible for subsidiaries, SCM partners or companies in the vertical production chain. So far this cloud WMS service model plays a minor role and there are no applications in practice known.