Old and New ERP Establishments Should Watch Out for Acumatica

Acumatica is a rising cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor with a value proposition of delivering the benefits of cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS)—without sacrificing system customization, control, security, and performance. Read this TEC Report by TEC principal analyst P.J. Jakovljevic and see how Acumatica’s offerings give both new and old ERP software vendors a run for their money.
Acumatica is a rising cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor with a value proposition of delivering the benefits of cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) without sacrificing system customization, control, security, or performance (speed). In addition to providing system tailoring flexibility, the vendor also affords choice in deployment—on premise, hosted at a data center, or run on a cloud computing platform.

Deployment and Purchase Choice

Acumatica customers have the following deployment options (whereby customers can switch their deployment method at any time using the same source code):

  • Traditional on premise 
  • Hosted at a data center 
  • Run as SaaS on a cloud computing platform (on a virtual or dedicated server)

In case of a cloud platform, customers have the following choices:

  • Microsoft Azure Cloud (i.e., Microsoft Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) 
  • Reviora

Acumatica is not involved in the platform choices of its customers. Of course, if the customer already has apps in the cloud with one particular vendor, it just makes sense to “stick to your knitting” and aggregate apps under a single provider. It’s usually the reseller that plays the middleman, and drives the choice, unless the customer’s chief information officer (CIO) or information technology (IT) manager prefers otherwise. It therefore becomes a reseller choice. Acumatica resellers reportedly love Reviora, as the company is a specialized, smaller (i.e., more responsive) hosting provider that offers fast, personalized service—probably the easiest of the three cloud platforms to implement (and quickly).

AWS could be the resellers’ next preference, as Amazon is the market leader in providing cloud platforms. In terms of the most powerful (and perhaps as a result, most complex) option would be Microsoft Azure. Azure allows both platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) deployment options— again, for more complex customer requirements.

As a cloud ERP alternative to NetSuite, Plex Systems, Rootstock, AscentERP, etc., Acumatica offers the aforementioned advantage of three choices of deployment —cloud, data center, or on premise. For example, NetSuite and the other cloud vendors can’t offer those same options. Epicor, SAP Business One, and some Sage and Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems will soon be able to do this with the same product code, albeit a few years later than Acumatica. From a sampling of several hundred current customers of Acumatica, about 70 percent opt for a perpetual license, with an equal split between on premise and managed hosting.

Related to the deployment choice, customers also have the perpetual licensing or SaaS subscription purchase option. Again, customers can switch their purchase model at any time. As depicted in figure 1, the system is priced for an unlimited number of users per Acumatica’s Departmental, Divisional, and Enterprise product editions (with the idea of involving everyone in a company to use it).

Figure 1

Acumatica Customers

Acumatica was founded in 2006, with headquarters in McLean, Virginia, United States, and a development center in Moscow, Russia. The company delivers its software exclusively through a global network of hundreds of channel partners, and also sells its software through several large original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ERP partners, such as Visma.net in Europe. In the US, Acumatica has more than 150 value-added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendor (ISV) partner locations.

The vendor has affiliates in Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore (who have KFC and Pizza Hut franchises using it there, for example). Localization is not difficult based on this short language and localization video here. In Q3 of 2012, Acumatica Cloud ERP expanded its global channel partner network by adding 21 VARs.

The “Acumatica” name is apparently just a stylized attempt of “automated accounting”—cloud ERP software designed for midsized businesses with complex accounting and financial needs. If one is to find the closest functional fit to the four Microsoft Dynamics ERP products, it would probably be Microsoft Dynamics SL. Both have strong financials, intra-company capabilities, strong project accounting, wholesale distribution, fixed assets, and targeting business services, etc.

Typical Acumatica customers are companies with 25 to 500 employees (although the vendor has some installations for companies with more than 1,000 employees). These companies typically have multiple locations and entities that need intra-company or rollup of financials. Acumatica customers have been more often distributors than manufacturers (although the JAAS add-on ISV partner brings Acumatica into the manufacturing realm). There has been lots of upgrades/migrations from current client/server systems, while some customers are using Acumatica as a “second” (divisional) ERP in a two-tier (hub-and-spoke) ERP setup.

Often, the vendor’s customers are organizations that are getting on board with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach—i.e., anytime, anywhere, any device browser-based access to ERP. Recently, Acumatica Cloud ERP was ranked best in all four categories—Ease of Deployment, Ease of Use, Features and Functionality, and Overall Value—of Gleanster ’s Benchmark Report on CRM for Small and Midsized Businesses.

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