This post is an interview with DataQuest Principal Debbie Mazzullo. Debbie is a leader in our Acumatica practice and tells us more about why Acumatica is the future.
Acumatica is just heads and tails above its competitors. – Debbie Mazzullo
Debbie evaluated a range of cloud-based ERP systems and has been DataQuest’s lead principal in Acumatica deployments. Here’s why she planted our flag on the Acumatica turf.
What did you notice when you were researching Acumatica the company?
Acumatica is a strong, growing company that is cloud-first and incredibly committed to development. For as young as Acumatica is, the rate of development is incredible. They start with this fabulous XRP platform on which they wrote the ERP product. That platform is an open platform and they have invested heavily in development. That’s been wonderful to see.
From a technical standpoint Acumatica is rapidly coming out with features – so that makes each product update very meaningful. I’m not the only one to say this- but I’ve noticed that if there’s something that’s not in the product now, I have high confidence that it will be there at some point. For example, we saw a huge change in the release of version 2018 to 2018 R2 in terms of how projects and quoting work. More than 70% of the Acumatica staff is devoted to research & development. That’s what makes those version launches so exciting. Acumatica is a technology company- we see that paying off in terms of the product functionality each year.
What do your customers like about Acumatica?
From the CFO’s perspective, the access to ERP data really helps you do your job. We can make it so easy for the CFO to view KPIs and analytics with dashboards. Then, end users can tweak and change those dashboards and reports if needed. And it’s easy to export or visualize data into any other tool that a customer might need, like Excel or PowerBI. So that means the finance department can close books and can get data turned around in a much more timely manner.
Our customers also like how easy it is to access data from within Acumatica. For example, the search functionality makes it really easy for to have access to the right information. The CFOs I talk to immediately connect with how easy it is to search and find data using the Universal Search. You can input a search term like “bill” and you get results for any contacts named Bill in addition to links for processing Bills and Adjustments, Bills Pending Payment, Bills Pending Approval, help articles and more. From there, you can set up filters to search for what you need, or use wildcards within your search in order to broadly search and refine from there.
Another thing that’s appealing in terms of reporting is the function called Generic Inquiry. Acumatica is so heads and tails above its competitors because an end user can create a generic inquiry themselves. It does not require programming knowledge or specific application knowledge. Instead, it’s a module to learn that a capable person with some technical aptitude can get comfortable with quickly. In addition to the Generic Inquiry, the financial reporting that is delivered is very accessible. With a bit of training on configuration, the financial reports can be edited, copied, and configured as needed.
From an end-user perspective, there are also numerous benefits around data entry. Using copy and paste functionality, uploading data from Excel, and the overall thoughtful design of the screens make entering data much easier.
How do You Know that Acumatica Is The Future?
This is a cloud-first product that helps our customers benefit from the most current technology. The trend in the future is absolutely in the direction of cloud. If you are evaluating the latest competition, you’ll quickly notice that everything is browser-based.
And if you’re not ready to go cloud right now, Acumatica provides that transition as an option. Some of our customers and prospects are still reluctant to go full cloud today. So Acumatica offers the option to begin using the product on premises and move it to the cloud seamlessly at the point when that becomes attractive. And even that process is accessible. It’s a matter of restoring a snapshot to the cloud version of Acumatica- and then immediately, you’re in the cloud. It could happen in as little as one hour.
The other element that our customers like is that Acumatica is naturally mobile-friendly. You can experience your entire ERP system on your mobile device. It’s not just that you’re using a lightweight app with limited functionality. You actually get the full experience of Acumatica. That means you can process an expense approval or view your inventory levels on the fly without having to wait until you’re back at the office.
What else differentiates Acumatica?
One thing that has impressed me is that you do not have to go deep into the third-party ecosystem in order to get all the benefits of Acumatica. Yes, there is a wonderful community of talented third-party solutions that we think work incredibly well with Acumatica. But there are also numerous features that are just built-into the product that I believe is unique to Acumatica. It seems to have so many features that we’d typically rely on third parties to achieve.
One example is that Acumatica has strong abilities to handle integrations. There are different levels of integrations- native and custom. So you can create flat-file integrations that are easy to do because you’re mapping to the database fields. As an example, if you want to take a piece of information coming from somewhere else, like an external or custom system, and you want to map it into a specific Acumatica screen with conditional logic, you can do that. Not only can I do that once, I can also schedule that activity so whatever information is in that flat file can be synced and read into Acumatica automatically. This replaces a lot of keystrokes and manual effort.
Our customer Moby Dick’s House of Kabob does this, for example. The Point of Sale system is polled every night for each of Moby Dick’s 24 stores. A flat file is created on an FTP site showing that day’s categories and dollars. And every night it’s synced to Acumatica and imported.
Acumatica also publishes an ERP comparison tool for prospects to evaluate its software against competitor offerings.
Any parting thoughts?
We know that Acumatica is the future. The technology is amazing, there is continuous deployment of feature-rich releases, and the built-in functionalities are phenomenal. The passion we feel for this is overwhelming and we are delighted to be a part of Acumatica.