During the first forty or so years of ERP, innovation was rarely one of the words used by analysts and pundits to describe such a platform. ERP was designed to simplify tasks and provide stability to businesses, doing enough to satisfy the needs of a company for the decade or so they will use it. However, with the rise of the cloud (and multiple yearly updates that came with it), the market changed.
Today’s software still offers the functionality and stability that companies of all sizes need, but adds a layer of innovation as well—vendors will respond to user requests and update the software as such while adding functionality that provides them a competitive edge.
This said, there are two unique paths to innovation in the cloud—push and pull—that vendors need to balance if they want to grow their business. A recent report from leading analyst firm Mint Jutras looked at the two strategies before outlining how Acumatica is focusing on each to deliver the highest levels of innovation and satisfaction.
Responding to User Requests: The First Step
One of the most important things a vendor can do for its clients is to listen—who knows better about how to improve a product than the people who use it every day?
To address this, many vendors, Acumatica included, offer an idea website: a place where customers can submit feature requests, letting other customers vote on whether they believe this can and should be added. In their announcement of R1 2019, Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill touted the company’s ability to deliver on customer requests in each new version:
“We’ve continued to listen to feedback from our customers and partners since the release of 2018 R2 last fall, resulting in continuous refinement and improvement of Acumatica’s cloud ERP offerings,” said Roskill. “This product release of 2019 R1 continues our independently-recognized industry leadership in usability and customer satisfaction across multiple business sectors.”
Answering user requests is one thing. It gives vendors a good reason to keep billing companies and it gives the companies good reasons to keep paying. While this is amazing for companies already using an ERP platform, it’s likely that if you’re on this blog, you’re in the market for new ERP software. This is where the other half of the equation comes in.
Staying Ahead of the Market
We’ve long said that functionality is key. It’s why we have a once-monthly deep dive into each key process that ERP should deliver. However, it’s also well known that one of the biggest detriments to a company is complacency—just look at all of the legacy ERP companies trying to push fake cloud solutions after getting caught on their heels by true cloud vendors.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, vendors need to think not only in terms of succeeding today, but delivering products that give them an edge in the coming years. Features still need to be pragmatic, adding some form of real value. “Cool” features are just that—nice to have additions that aren’t going to add a ton of value.
In the Day 2 Keynote at Acumatica Summit, Roskill outlined Acumatica’s path for 2019 and how developers are working on delivering real-world solutions to real-world problems. “We love technology, but it’s not technology for technology’s sake. It’s technology and how we can apply it to very pragmatic problems in the real world,” Jon said. “I think that’s what Acumatica is really, really good at.”
Free Report: The Push and Pull of Acumatica’s Innovation
If you are looking to see what’s on the horizon and read what leading analyst firm Mint Jutras had to say about what’s next, we invite you to download this free report, The Push and Pull of Acumatica’s Cloud ERP Innovation, which explores the following:
- Why it’s no longer enough for cloud ERP vendors to collect customer feedback.
- How Acumatica goes the extra mile to transform simple customer suggestions into breakthrough features.
- How AI and ML technology in Acumatica software can benefit your business.
- What Acumatica is doing with drones and augmented reality solutions.
- Why you should demand much more than just new features from your cloud ERP vendor.
Learn More: Acumatica and ICS
When it comes to ERP, you have many options available. You need a vendor who not only can do the basics right, but who can also deliver expected (and unexpected) innovations that become a way of life in the near and distant future.
At ICS, we are skilled in the implementation, customization, and integration of Acumatica Cloud ERP, designed for users to do more with what they have. Learn more about why this solution stands alone, get to know more about your path to ERP purchase, and contact us for a free consultation.