We are a little late announcing this Virtual Developer Conference but there is still time to join. Best of all it’s free! If you have any interest in learning why our development team, customers and consultants love Acumatica then attend and find out why. Day 1: Wed, June 21, 2017 @ 10:00am – […]
Leading companies are realizing that they need to change as we change the way we store and share information and recognize the value of Cloud ERP software to keep their business relevant and competitive. In this article we will be reviewing Acumatica, the fastest growing complete cloud ERP system. Acumatica is an all-in-one business management solution that’s known for having a “no user license fee” pricing model, solid financial applications (along with distribution, project accounting, CRM, and manufacturing suites), and robust customization options.
Quick to implement and easy to use, Dynamics NAV is by far one of the best ERP solutions small and midsize businesses can opt for to gain greater control over financials and streamline sales, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution operations. And, this solution is used by 110,000 customers worldwide!
If you’re using an earlier version of NAV (formerly Navision) we recommend considering an upgrade to DynamicsNAV2015 in order to remain on a supported software version and benefit from enhanced capabilities that can help you increase productivity, improve performance, and reduce costs. Keep reading to find out more about the enhancements included in NAV 2015 and identify the features you’re currently missing. Read more
Acumatica, one of the fastest growing providers of cloud business management software, unveiled its much anticipated 5.0 beta release. The new software version was unveiled on August 25th, 2014 at Denver Colorado, in front of more than 400 partners and customers at the company’s Partner Summit.
Apart from previewing the latest version of its cloud-based business management ERP, the upstart showcased ISV momentum and commitment and honored some of its best partners during the summit.
Jon Roskill, Acumatica’s CEO, started the keynote highlighting that the company was going after Sage and NetSuite’s market before moving to the approximately one million midmarket prospects looking for cloud ERP solutions.
Touching on NetSuite’s entry into the midmarket category, Roskill highlighted that there is a large untapped midmarket that its partners can add value to and own. The midmarket is all part of Acumatica’s goal to reach over $1B in revenues.
Acumatica is focusing on its partners to grow its business and increase market share. The cloud ERP service provider is putting partner sales at the core of operations rather than leaving them hanging on the sidelines, like has been witnessed with many ERP vendors when transitioning to the cloud.
The company’s cloud transition is being led by an experienced team in operational leadership structure. First is Roskill who joined the company in March as CEO after spending 20 years at Microsoft. There is also Richard Duffy, the VP of Partner Strategy and Enablement, who is a former SAP Business One sales and marketing manager.
The size of cloud prospects in the midmarket category remains to be seen but Acumatica is certain about it. During his presentation, Roskill highlighted the company’s growth rate, which is the fastest in the cloud industry, at over 50 percent. When you consider the additional funding from MYOB, it’s clear Acumatica is moving from being an upstart to broader recognition.
Mobile Development Framework
Acumatica version 5.0 is expected to be released in General Availability by the end of 2014. During the presentation, Roskill and others demoed the user interface of the 5.0 version. The new ERP sports great features like an overhauled HTML 5 UI that looks great, business process wizards, single sign-ons among others.
One of the key highlights of the 5.0 beta release is a mobile development framework that partners can use to reach customers through the mobile market without having to hire developers. The framework is an HTML 5 based toolkit that makes it simple to create iOS and Android apps in C##.
Below is an overview of the features in the new release:
- Single sign-on, which makes it easy to embed Acumatica into external apps. Users can sign on once and use Windows Live ID, Google, and Windows Azure ActiveDirectory.
- An improved UI interface that provides a better user experience, while remaining familiar to users.
- Universal search is lightning fast. The search has been rebuilt to use a full-text search engine in MySQL/SQL Server and ranks results based on relevance.
- Integration with Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange is now possible. Users can sync appointments, emails, tasks and contacts with Acumatica and the two Microsoft products.
- Customers can now view inventory, check order status and place orders through B2B ordering. The sales team will have more time to follow up and close prospects rather than spend time answering simple inventory questions.
- The expense claims has been redesigned, allowing users to enter expense receipts individually and combine them later. Management can also reimburse employees for expense receipts in foreign currency.
- The discounts and pricing engine has been revamped to speed up entry and maintenance of prices.
- An improved So-Po link ensures that inventory promised to a customer cannot be wrongly shipped to another customer.
- Business process wizards can be configured and implemented using assigned task lists. This makes the whole process faster.
- The lead and contacts duplicate verification feature allows users to identify duplicate contacts, leads, or accounts on entry using different transformable parameters.
Acumatica’s great UI, robust cloud integration kit, and ease of pricing, deployment and consumption are some of the strengths that make it a formidable choice for any company looking for a modern ERP solution.
Acumatica is a leading provider of cloud ERP and financial software. Apart from the basic features available in most traditional financial applications, Acumatica has gone a step further to make its cloud ERP easier and more productive for users.
Some of the usability features that stand out in Acumatica include:
- Real-time connectivity with Microsoft Excel
- Parametric filtering
- Quick Search
- Ability to drag and drop files on Acumatica
Excel integration is one of the most powerful features in Acumatica. The feature allows users to analyze live data from the software in Excel. The integration feature is available on a number of screens, including the General Ledger Account screen.
Importing/Exporting Data To or From Excel
The process of exporting and importing data from Excel for new and existing accounts is easy. Users can accomplish this task right from their screens without having to call the IT department.
Say you want to view accounts in the General Ledger. To do this, simply go to the Finance Area –>General Ledger–> Configurations and click the Chart of Accounts. On the Chart of Accounts screen, you can export the accounts to Excel to be able to view them in the MS Office application.
When you open an exported Excel file, it shows which columns the data belong to as is outputted on the General Ledger screen. You can make any changes you want on the Excel file and upload it to Acumatica. When you import the file, the data will go to their correct columns. In case you made any changes in the columns, the cloud ERP provides an option of mapping the columns before importing.
When you edit the data in the Excel document and upload it, Acumatica will update the records on the Ledger. When uploading edited records, there is an option on whether or not you will want Acumatica to update the Ledger records.
Real-time Excel Integration Editing
Thanks to real-time Excel integration, you can edit accounts in Acumatica and have the data updated on the Excel document you exported. This feature is possible from different screens on your cloud ERP.
For example, you can export Chart Accounts from the General Ledger as Excel. The Excel document will have the same data as is seen on your Chart Account screen. When you make any changes to the data in the Chart Account Screen, the data will also be automatically updated in the Excel sheet you exported.
After making data changes in the Chart screen, go to the Data menu on the Excel file and click “Refresh”. You will be prompted to enter your Acumatica credentials and after login, the data will be updated to match the changes made.
Benefits of Acumatica with Excel Integration
Cloud computing is changing the way organizations are doing business. There are some key benefits of Acumatica cloud ERP that you can utilize with Excel for the benefit of your business. Cloud computing makes it easy to share data between systems and business partners. The technology offers an unprecedented level of integration, allowing companies to interact in real time and exchange the exact data they want in a fast and secure manner.
Acumatica cloud ERP allows organizations to access data from any place, at any time, and from a range of devices. For example, key employees can get up-to-date sales, accounts or customer records even when they are away from their offices.
Excel is the second most popular business application, only second to email. Most organizations use Excel to compute data in order to make sense of the health of their business. You can take Excel to the cloud through Acumatica and get real time access to your organization data even when you are not in the office.
Integration eliminates the need of editing an Excel document multiple times, hence improving efficiency. In-house employees can update data on Acumatica and have the information reflected immediately on Excel. Moreover, since Acumatica is available on the cloud, multiple employees can access the ERP from different locations and make changes in real time.
Through Acumatica real time integration with Excel, any business has an opportunity to provide interested parties with real time insight on company performance and important metrics that can guide strategic decisions.
Use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) is increasingly being adopted in customer relationship management (CRM). However, SaaS adoption in enterprise resource planning (ERP) continues to play catch-up. When looking for an ERP solution, companies need to evaluate both SaaS and traditional on-premise deployment options beyond the pure cost trade-offs.
Few tools exist that can help organizations evaluate a more inclusive and accurate picture of the ROI of SaaS and on-premise systems. However, companies can build upon models for evaluating the two solutions and go beyond traditional cost approaches like total cost of ownership (TCO) to include business benefits, risk and flexibility.
Comparing ROI of SaaS and On-Premise ERPs
According to a 2014 ERP Report by Panorama Consulting Solutions, nearly 25 percent of organizations are using cloud-based ERP solutions. However, majority of respondents the organizations indicated they still prefer on-premise ERP software to SaaS and cloud options. According to the report, most companies only report achieving between 0% to 40% cost-savings from using cloud ERP.
One factors most organizations fail to consider when opting for SaaS deployment is the cost of customization. This is an important factor to be looked into, especially over the long run. Carrying out due diligence on both deployments is important to finding the right solution for an organization.
In comparing the ROI of SaaS and on-premise options, substantial differences can be identified in their:
Generally, on-premise solutions are costlier, especially when comparing subscription and license fees. The systems typically require support, upgrades and hardware maintenance fees on top of license fees.
On the other hand, most SaaS deployments bundle these costs into the subscription fees. Moreover, SaaS deployments avoid charges for end user support and administration, temporary business support and backfill, hardware and upgrades.
Some of the cost drivers in SaaS include fees for extra features such as premium helpdesk support, storage capacity beyond a preset limit, industry-specific functionality, mobile and offline access, among others.
In the long term, on-premise systems are less costly than SaaS options. However, theirs costs increase during upgrade cycles, which represent about 65% of the initial costs of implementation in year eight.
SaaS deployments bring immediate business benefits including shorter time to deploy, automatic updates, improved usability and independence from IT. The result is enhanced integration with other IT and operational systems, especially when real-time integration is important. On the other hand, on-premise ERP has more pronounced integration than SaaS.
Given the lack of disruption in change management, usability, implementation, and upgrades, it is clear SaaS deployments have an initial and significant advantage in achieving benefits.
Both SaaS and on-premise deployments deliver ease of configuration, technical flexibility, and scalability. On-premise solutions deliver tailored configurations capacity, stronger tools sets for customizations and proven integration capabilities. On the other hand, SaaS systems deliver technical agility by allowing migration to on-premise, greater deployment options in bandwidth-constrained environments and reduced IT staffing requirements.
When looked at objectively, the advantages of flexibility of one solution over the other are canceled out by each other. Hence, there are negligible advantages in flexibility when comparing either deployment option.
With SaaS, risk tends to center around impact risks like limited verticalization and customization capabilities, weaker integration and loss of control. On the flipside, on-premise risks tend to be related to implementation risks such as support issues, training needs and deployment complexities.
Here, the risks of on-premise solutions are slightly greater than those of SaaS solutions.
Which ERP is Right for You?
While the advantages of SaaS cannot be downplayed, the deployment is not ideal for all organizations. Generally, SaaS ERP is more suitable for smaller, less complex organizations that do not have very unique requirements. On the other hand, large organizations with more complex operations will find on-premise solutions appropriate.
Companies weighing between SaaS and on-premise options should assess ROI in 10-year periods, factor in the number of centralized users, adjust assumptions based on historical data and also consider hybrid models.
Regardless of whether an organization goes for a SaaS or on-premise solution, the advantages and disadvantages must be carefully reviewed. The two scenarios must be compared objectively against the business needs of the company to determine which would be the right option.
Choosing between cloud-based and on-premise ERP deployment methods has become a common issue in today’s business world. While on-premise solutions, also referred to as legacy or traditional systems, are built on time-tested concepts with proven success across various horizontals and verticals, cloud ERP software solutions have been developed much later, proposing a quite new deployment model whose efficiency and reliability are yet to be thoroughly tested.
In this post, we’ll explore the differences between cloud-based and on-premise ERP systems along with their advantages and disadvantages so that you can select the best deployment option for your organization.
The Could-Based Model
Cloud ERP solutions propose a software delivery model in which infrastructure and data are hosted on remote hardware, commonly referred to as “cloud.” In this deployment method, apps and data are accessed via an interface, across the Internet.
- Flexible Pricing: Cloud-based ERP is available in “lease it” and “buy it” software alternatives. While the former involves monthly recurring charges for software, hardware and IT services, the latter implies buying the software and/or the hardware and paying monthly hosting and maintenance fees. Although both alternatives require a much lower startup cost compared to an on-premise system, an organization may need to pay significant annual subscription fees, which will add up, potentially going beyond the overall cost of an on-premise solution over the long run.
- Easy Implementation: Cloud solutions provide ready-made platforms that are implemented and tested by service providers. Basically, this means that there are no servers to set up, no CDs to install, and no risky customizations to be made by your employee.
- No Maintenance: Since the service provider offering the ERP solution will take care of any hardware and software issues, you don’t need to hire IT staff to monitor and maintain your cloud ERP system.
- Superior Flexibility: Most cloud-based ERP solutions allow for adjustments in activity levels, facilitating addition/removal of users, apps and features. Additionally, even though cloud-based systems are associated with a series of bundled services, you only pay for what you actually use. Even greater is the fact that you and your employees can access the system from anywhere, at any time.
- Dependence on the Internet: When it comes to cloud ERP solutions, it’s very important to know that accessing the system is impossible without an Internet connection. For the best results, you must ensure that there are no Internet connection problems before implementing the system.
- Lack of Control: An essential drawback is that cloud-based software are unable to provide the same level of control as on-premise systems. Besides, these solutions imply specific restrictions on supplying complex functionality, which may prevent large enterprises from achieving certain objectives.
- Security Issues: Since cloud-based ERP systems can only be accessed via the Internet, they involve certain security risks, ranging from non-targeted cyber attacks to cyber espionage.
The On-Premise Model
On-premise ERP systems imply sourcing the software together with additional apps in-house. This means that you need to invest in software and hardware, designate a physical location to store the equipment and hire IT experienced staff to monitor and maintain your system.
- More Control: Since you own both the solution and the equipment, you can replace equipment pieces, upgrade the software and make customizations whenever you want. Furthermore, on-premise systems are highly customizable, allowing consultants and in-house staff to adjust different software and hardware areas in order to deliver very specific business uses.
- Advanced Security: Since data is stored internally, accessing sensitive information is almost impossible without authorization.
- Massive Upfront Investments: If you choose an on-premise ERP solution, you not only need office space, hardware and software, but also air conditioning, IT staff and advanced security equipment, such as CCTV systems, access controls and burglar alarms.
- Maintenance Issues: Regardless of how knowledgeable and skilled your IT employees are, they may be unable to fix certain issues. In this case, you may need to hire a consultant or outsource particular tasks, which implies additional costs.
Which Model Should You Choose?
The CFOs who are more concerned with optimizing return on assets will always favor on-premise ERP solutions. In contrast, those who want to reduce annual expenses will lean toward cloud ERP systems.
From a strategic, functional perspective, we advise you to select an on-premise ERP solution only if your company has more than 50 employees. Why? Simply because an on-premise system includes two additional yet indispensable advantages, especially for large companies:
- It offers advanced flexibility for accessing app databases, facilitating custom reporting and leveraging the power of business intelligence and analysis capabilities.
- It provides more control of when and how to upgrade the system or replace the hardware.
Regardless of the deployment model you wish to adopt, it’s critical that you examine the pros and cons in the context of your own company’s needs and priorities in order to make the right decision.
Developed with supply chain management best practices as core foundation, Acumatica is considered a superior supply chain visibility software solution not only by its users, but also by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). By presenting the developer with the 2014 SIIA CODiE Award for the Best Supply Chain Management Solution, the SIIA has recognized Acumatica’s business software suite for achieving excellence in operational performance and continuous improvement.
Over the past 28 years, SIIA has handed out more than 1,000 awards to validate extraordinary innovations positively impacting diverse industry sectors.
Encompassing procurement, manufacturing, distribution and sales operations, supply chain is an important part of any organization because it impact all the activities involved in bringing products to market. To help companies manage complex supply chain processes, Acumatica delivers comprehensive supply chain visibility software built on a robust yet flexible platform. Now, let’s take a look at the features that helped Acumatica win the SIIA CODiE award.
Procurement and Manufacturing
Focusing on budgeting, inventory, billing, profitability and reporting, Acumatica’s Project Accounting Software Suite allows you to manage a wide variety of procurement and manufacturing areas. Basically, Project Accounting Software features can be used to:
- track expenses relating to materials, labor, overhead and services for each project so that you can easily analyze the profitability of different projects
- compare project costs with initial budgets in real time, which can help you avoid going over budget
- create and manage various billing scenarios for contract-specific pricing, milestone billing, types of work being performed and different account groups
- enter time and expense data from anywhere, at any time — a useful feature especially for the employees doing their job while traveling;
- assign employees, equipment and materials to projects
Considerably differentiating Acumatica from other supply chain visibility software systems, the Distribution Management Suite can easily handle the complexities of the distribution process. The suite features:
- a comprehensive warehouse management module, which provides in-depth insight in warehouse activities along with a series of advanced tools to manage multiple warehouses, various product lots, expiration dates, inventory in transit, negative inventory, routes, etc.
- a purchasing management module that you can use to automate the entire procurement process, from requesting quotes and receiving orders to analyzing financial results
- a requisition management module to streamline distribution operations involving numerous suppliers and products
- an order management module for allocating inventory, splitting orders, accepting returns and verifying credit limits across multiple warehouses
Selling products can be very difficult for a company focusing strictly on the actual act of selling. For your organization to be successful, you must also consider your customers along with specific finance aspects. To help you with this, Acumatica puts at your disposal two useful tools:
- Financial Management Suite. Especially designed to perform a variety of tasks, such as collecting and analyzing financial information; managing cash transactions, funds transfer and bank account reconciliation; monitoring credit limits, customer balances and pending documents; issuing invoices, collecting payments, performing inter-entity transfers, and calculating commission, discounts and due dates automatically; centralizing tax configuration, management and reporting; supporting multiple currencies so that organizations can do business globally and manage international subsidiaries; and controlling liabilities for purchased goods and services, the Financial Management Suite can help you avoid common errors that inevitably lead to customer dissatisfaction, typically followed by a significant drop in sales.
- Customer Management Suite. The Customer Management Suite can be used to manage contact information of current and potential customers, automate certain customer support tasks and get comprehensive lead reports for identifying the most profitable marketing channels.
New features included in the latest version of Acumatica give organizations the ability to communicate with customers via Acumatica Customer Portal; find information easier than before by using additional filters within the same interface; and configure multiple rates based on projects and tasks associated, which confers superior billing flexibility.
Given all these tools, it’s no wonder that Acumatica is considered one of the top supply chain visibility software solutions. With more features to come, Acumatica promises to help organizations manage increasingly complex supply chains, gain even greater visibility into supply chains to improve operational efficiency and last, but not least, unlock their true potential to drive organic growth despite economic uncertainty.
About 90 percent of C-level executive decision makers see cloud computing as key to business success – an unsurprising fact considering that cloud ERP solutions have already helped thousands of enterprises efficiently manage different business areas and boost profit.
What about warehouse management? Will your warehouse thrive in the cloud? Is cloud-based software the best alternative for your organization? To efficiently manage warehouse operations, maintaining information flow is of the utmost importance. Even short delays in delivering real-time information can have serious consequences, such as stock outages resulting in lost sales and warehouse congestion jeopardizing in-bound and out-bound activities.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages of cloud computing is delay in communication due to slow remote servers and disruptions in links. Since this can literally cripple your entire activity, having a cloud-based software solution capable to manage the issues known to cause communication delays while executing many other tasks is critical when handling dynamic, fast-paced operations.
Acumatica, an industry leader in manufacturing and warehouse control software, proposes an intelligent cloud ERP solution that eliminates information lag time typically occurring in cloud computing. Not only this system downloads information from remote locations, it also maintains it locally. Essentially, this means that Acumatica can process data quickly, in real time and maintain warehouse operations even when remote servers experience communication delays or disruptions.
Combining a full spectrum of capabilities, Acumatica delivers an adaptable, highly configurable cloud-based ERP system that you can use to manage:
- Multiple warehouses. For each warehouse, Acumatica allows you to select several employees who can perform inventory transactions and access warehouse information. Additionally, this cloud ERP system can be used to track products and pallets; customize grids with filtering and sorting; perform inventory and cycle counts; and draft reports of profitability by business unit, location, product line and warehouse.
- Inventory. The inventory management module included in Acumatica gives your real-time access to inventory in stock, in transit, on sales orders, on back orders, on purchase orders, and even to damaged and expired inventory, while calculating the inventory needed to complete certain work orders. Integrated with order, purchasing and financial management features, this module can also be used to check warehouse space, lots, expiration dates, inventory sub-items, and negative inventory; analyze location-specific inventory allocations, quantities and costs; track inventory by lot or serial numbers; set item-specific valuation methods to develop and view reports by quantity and costs; obtain detailed cost allocation data based on inventory-related transactions; and create multiple accounts for different groups of items so that you can keep a detailed record of your inventory.
- Purchasing. This cloud ERP system also contains a purchasing module that can be fine-tuned to automate different processes commonly used to acquire materials, require vendor quotes, issue purchase orders, receive orders and create vouchers. A series of analytics tools and ordering algorithms included in this module can help improve procurement process efficiency.
- Orders. With Acumatica, you’ll be able to optimize not only the way you enter work orders, but also the way you fulfill them. You can split jobs among different subsidiaries, allocate inventories according to the tasks that must be completed, accept returns, and set up notifications and alerts to improve the entire operation.
- Requisition. Streamlining the complex distribution process involving multiple products, suppliers, warehouses and shipping routes has never been easier. Acumatica makes available a series of requisition management tools appropriate for obtaining bids, gathering requests, creating and approving quotes, and managing purchases and orders in the most efficient way.
Acumatica is one of the few cloud ERP solutions that provide a single point of control to direct and manage equipment and personnel along any physical activities within manufacturing and warehousing facilities in real-time, enabling your organization to quickly adapt to last-minute changes. Real-time verification capability also enhances order accuracy, leading to fewer errors, improved throughput, on-time delivery and lower operating cost. All these mean more revenue and profit for your organization.
Additionally, Acumatica can be customized and configured to optimize a series of business operations, ranging from manufacturing to picking, packing and shipping. Whether your organization grows or shrinks, this agile software solution can easily adapt to changing business environments, improving performance and optimizing operations to improve financial performance.