Transcript of 3 Reasons to Choose Acumatica ERP Cloud Software
Thank you for visiting the CAL Business Solutions website to learn more about Acumatica. There are a lot of things that would differentiate products that are in the Cloud ERP space. I’d like to cover three things that I feel really separate Acumatica from the rest of the offerings that are out there.
Number one for Why Acumatica. Many cloud solutions will say “Access anywhere, anyplace, anytime, from any device.” One thing that might differentiate Acumatica from those other offerings is the fact that Acumatica came along around the 2010 timeframe. Many of the other cloud solutions that are in the market space actually came into market around 1999, 2000 timeframe. So of course, the technology was very different then. The fact that Acumatica came in 2010, different toolsets were available, different technologies, different devices. How did that make a change in the way that Acumatica was designed?
Acumatica was designed with tools and technology that allowed it to be what we call “responsive design”. Responsive design means that the core application is written with this technology embedded so that as you move from one device size to another (now we have smartphones where 10 years ago we didn’t have smartphones) this application will look and feel the same on any size device. As you reduce the size of the platform that it’s being run on, a smartphone versus a tablet versus a PC, the screens will automatically responsively change their design.
What does that mean in terms of an advantage? Well, just imagine that many of the products that started out earlier would have a mobile version that would run only on a mobile device and then have their desktop version that would run on a desktop. With Acumatica, that’s not necessary because of the responsive design.
The second thing that I think is a differentiator when it comes to Acumatica is that its core premise is to get everybody involved in the company. Yes, that is the goal from many of the other solutions that are out there, but most of them will charge by each of those named users. So depending upon their role, you would have to define who they are, what they have the access to. In Acumatica, you still have to define who they are, but they do not charge by each of those users and how they interact with the system. There is no per-user fee.
This can be very complicated with many of the other solutions that are out there where you literally have to authorize each additional purchase. It may change the contract value, things of that nature. With Acumatica and the fact that they have unlimited users based on what we call the resource level (which I’ll explain a little bit of that in a minute) you are not penalized as you grow. I feel that that is a very big advantage to Acumatica when we take a look at how that works.
How do we get everybody involved? Rather than signing a contract with a certain number of users, full users, light users, casual users, and then having to change that contract as the number of users are engaged into the system, Acumatica sells based on what we call a resource. A resource, just to keep it simple, is a small, medium, large, extra large. As you see from the bottom box there, we have different types of users. We have light users, medium users, and we have heavy users. You can read on the bottom of the slides how these users are defined.
From a sizing standpoint, we can take a look at a small. We can have up to 25 medium to heavy users in the system, but yet, we can also incorporate the entire rest of the organization, upwards to even as many as a hundred or more. If we are processing less than a hundred transactions an hour and this doesn’t really include imports of transactions, because of course, in some cases this is interactive users working on these screens within the application. Then you could take an example where a company might be on the smaller side, and they may start out with 10 users. They can literally grow two and a half times their size. They may start out with maybe 30 or 40 total users, but they can grow to a hundred, and they do not have to change the level that they are on. So their costs remain fixed as they grow.
I think that this is really a big differentiation. And there’s actually and extra small version available, so if you are a very small growing company just starting out, we actually have a size that would fit for you also.
The third aspect that I think is really probably the most important is choices. When I talk to my clients, I feel like I need to offer them choices. With many of the Cloud ERP offerings that are out there right now, they only offer one option, SaaS in the cloud, which obviously provides all the convenience. All organizations are not necessarily the same. You may be an organization like a distributor or a manufacturer, maybe in an area that doesn’t have the best internet coverage, and you can’t afford to be disconnected from your system. In that case, you still might need a pure cloud solution, one that was born in the cloud like Acumatica, but you want to be able to run it on premise. If you look to the image on the right, you can run Acumatica. You can buy that version. You can run it on your servers, and you can have all the benefits of the cloud and the accessibility but none of the disadvantages, for example, if you get disconnected.
We also have what we call a hybrid model. That would allow you to, in effect, subscribe to the software but put it in your cloud or with your cloud provider. That could be Amazon. That could be Microsoft Azure. It is another option that the other cloud ERP vendors do not offer. Then, if you really just don’t have the infrastructure and don’t want to deal with it, and you just want a pure SaaS solution, we can offer that too. The bottom line is that the solution can be delivered as you need it as opposed to being dictated by someone else.
Let’s take a look at the next aspect. Many of the solutions that are out there in the cloud ERP space, they have a core, but they tend to rely on apps or other add-ons for a lot of functionality. That’s not to say that Acumatica doesn’t have apps and have add-ons. We certainly do have that, but when you look at the core application, CRM, BI, sales, inventory, we look at those aspects. Many of the systems today have the accounting in the middle, and then have very disconnected solutions for CRM, or they have some mobile devices that they are using that are disconnected. All of these different systems are working on behalf of the organization, but they are not connected.
What kinds of things does this disconnected model cause? Well, first of all, it is duplicate data entry. And we all know that that is very inefficient, when you have to enter it in in one system and then have to go to another system. There are chances for incorrect information. With many disconnect systems, if you can’t verify the customer number, now you enter that information, it doesn’t sync up. You need to fix it. Again, wasted time. The information across all departments is not shared. Maybe not everybody would have access to these other different systems, so you almost create islands of information across departments. You have multiple software systems, multiple user interfaces. All of these systems are on different upgrade cycles. When you try to bring all these pieces together, it just doesn’t work. Then, a lot of these systems are older, and sometimes the maintenance costs are very high, and the support is not there.
How can Acumatica be different? Acumatica is a connected business solution. The CRM is in the same user interface as the core accounting. The sales systems, order entry, inventory, purchasing, all in that same user interface. And the mobile. We can connect the mobile workforce to the Acumatica platform, and, again, based on that responsive design, the screens that they see at work when they’re connected in the office are going to be the same, it’s just going to be on a smaller device.
What are the benefits of this connected business solution? First of all, you are going to have instant updates across the system. So when you upgrade Acumatica, all the systems upgrade. One thing that really has spoken to me for all of my career, with these disconnected systems, is the reports don’t balance out, because you’re pulling from different sources of information, so you don’t have a single version of the truth.
The productivity of the user. Again, that common user interface, whether they’re connecting from their PC at the office or on their mobile device, they’re looking at the same user interface. Everything works the same, so they can be more productive. Fewer systems to maintain, and everybody can be in the system. You’re not going to have to say, “Do I want to include another member on the team, because it is going to cost me an extra $12 if it is a light user. It is going to cost me an extra hundred dollars if it is a heavier user.” You don’t have to worry about those things. That whole company can be connected to your system.
I think the other aspect of any system is the fact that when you connect to the system, what do you see? How do you work with the system? Today, we always hear the term dashboards. One of the most exciting aspects of Acumatica is that when you come in, each of the users is going to have a role, and what they see is going to be locked down based on their role. This case here is that I’ve signed in as the Controller, so when I come to start my day, the first thing I’m going to see is a dashboard that’s going to tell me every aspect that is going on, specific to my role. I can see my top customers. These action boxes bring to mind that we have lost eight customers, and customer churn is so important. That may be something I might want to see, “Well, who did we just lose?” Deal sizes. Are deal sizes going up? Are they going down? What are the trends. You’ll see here the cash flow in a line bar chart.
Each of these are different elements visually present the underlying data in a different way. From this line graph, I can easily see how my cash has been moving over a period of time. Here, I can see just a simple list box. These are all objects that can be customized for each person’s role to be able to allow them to make decisions based on actual facts without having to run reports and have to analyze the trends by looking at page after page. These things will bubble the information from the data right onto my screen. We can also include things like financial reports and financial statements. We can obviously take a look at fixed assets. We can even bring things in like browsers into these dashboards. We can also see dashboards out of the box for the sales roles, financial flow charts, even a support dashboard.
Acumatica not only has built in the CRM, but we also have case management if that is something that is important to your organization. Bringing the underlying data to the surface will allow us to better make decisions as to which direction the company needs to go in or which actions to take.
We can certainly set up a demonstration to look at the software live, but this gives you an idea of just some of the power that you can have with Acumatica.
Let’s take a look at the solution itself being end to end. It is one user interface, where we can process leads to contacts to creating an account. We can also do integrated shopping carts. That is one of the big aspects that makes Acumatica so powerful is that it has an integrated CRM, it has an integrated e-commerce platform, an integrated freight rating right out of the box, not an add-on, and integrated credit card processing. That’s all you have to do, is just basically sign up with a gateway. These are all solutions that in many other products, you have to, in effect, interact with another partner or an app to add on those solutions, which increases your cost. The fact that many of these things at the core have integration points means that, in the long run, you should end up with a much more effective, connected platform. But also, from a budget standpoint, I think you’ll find that Acumatica can be more budget-friendly.
You can also see some of the other aspects down below here, where, obviously, we have tracking. We also have task workflow capabilities built in, can turn quotes to opportunities. We also have approvals for purchasing, for requisitions. We can integrate carriers into the system, cash management, and business intelligence. The fact that this is all one user interface makes Acumatica such a powerful choice when you’re looking at a new solution.
When you look at the fact that you have Acumatica, pure, born in the cloud solution, how important is it to be able to connect to other clouds? The fact that we can integrate to Office 365, to Avalara for sales tax, HubSpot, or connect to other e-commerce collection engines to bring orders and invoices into this core application. There are many ways to work with many of the suppliers that are in that space. By allowing us to easily connect to these other clouds, we eliminated the islands of automation, which I think is really an important aspect for this particular slide.
Just a little bit about “Who is CAL?” CAL Business Solutions, we have been doing business since 1982, so we’ve seen changes in the marketplace, and we serve many small mid-market all the way up to Fortune 500 companies. We’ve worked with and implemented ERP systems for over 350 clients in about 30 states. We have a reach across the country. We have a lot of experience based on working with a lot of different companies. We can bring a lot of best practices to an implementation.
We reviewed systems for over three years before making this choice of Acumatica. I can honestly say that the key thing is not to jump on the latest bandwagon. The idea here is to take a look at the solutions that are being offered out there and make a decision based on the core application, the underlying platform, the depth and breadth of the solution. I can honestly say it was well worth taking the time to making a decision to add Acumatica.
We have 29 team members that are focused on the implementation, training and support of the solution. With a depth of technical capabilities when it comes to customization. Probably, the last and most important part about any Partner is, are they going to focus and emphasize on the right things when it comes to helping you make a choice on a new solution. That’s the hard part, because there are a lot of folks out there that just look at it as a pure sale. We want to focus on the specifics of what the clients’ needs are. And if we don’t feel that Acumatica, or any of the other solutions that we offer, are the right solution, we’ll let you know that. I think the bottom line is that we want to be the partner that is easy to work with.
As a recap, what did we just cover? The first thing is Acumatica being built on the latest technology in that platform, their experience, the fact that they are global leaders and have been doing this for a lot of years. Those three major things that I believe really should be a factor when you look at a new system, especially one that is in the cloud. It is “anywhere, any device,” which is given with a cloud solution, but also the responsive design. How does it look on those smaller devices?
The second point, unlimited users, basically getting the whole company involved based on a resource size. Again, a very different approach. And I believe an approach that will allow a company to grow much faster without having to worry about their hosting price going up every time they add a user.
Then, there is the choice. Which is the ability to be able to run it in a SaaS environment, your public, private cloud or on premise. Those are things that most, if not all, cloud ERP vendors out there right now cannot offer a client who might need to be in one environment for now but may want to move to a different environment later. Again, the power of choice is huge.
The one connected technology. That user interface, that platform that all those other global players had decided is the platform that they want to build their solution on. That just speaks volumes for Acumatica, the fact that all these other global players, companies that are over a billion dollars, have decided to go in that direction.
The solution has CRM, financials, distribution, project management, case management, manufacturing, and field and route service management. They are all written in that same user interface. One interface, one methodology to learn for your team. Integrated e-commerce. Yes, there’s a lot of add-on applications, also. Seamless integration to Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, and even Power BI. Which Acumatica was the first software company to actually incorporate into their core the ability to tie into Microsoft’s Power BI.
Then, last but not least, the flexible dashboards that we talked about. By role, it allows you to visually connect to all of the data that underlines in your accounting system.
I just wanted to close out by just saying that I hope you’ll give us an opportunity to work with you and to go through that process to learn what your needs are. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to work together.
If you’d like to learn more about Acumatica to determine if it is the right solution for your organization, please contact CAL Business Solutions, and we’d be happy to take the time and do a discovery and determine if it’s a good fit for your organization. firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-485-0910 x4.
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