Businesses today exist in a universe where the only constant is change. New customer engagement methods (mobile devices) and powerful market channels (think Amazon and Alibaba) are moving to positions of dominance. The result? Disruptions and competitive threats are on the rise. To survive and thrive your business must make fundamental changes in planning and execution processes. And your ERP software must be capable of incorporating changes in process functionality and accommodating new capabilities – at a pace that matches overall change in the larger business environment.
Reimplementation: The Great Internal Disrupter
Everyone knows the traditional reimplementation drill. Your ERP vendor provides software upgrades every 12-18 months. These upgrades often involve significant functional changes to the platform, necessitating a virtual “re-implementation” of the ERP software. Such projects are costly and disruptive to business operations.
In fact, the second installment* of a three-part series, “Can Next Generation ERP Awaken the Force,” based on Mint Jutras’ 2015 Enterprise Solutions Study indicated that while 43 percent of survey respondents upgrade their software on a regular basis, 30 percent skip releases, and 11 percent never upgrade at all. Almost as many businesses in that study were skipping upgrades as were doing them. This is disturbing because failure to regularly adopt new functionality or capabilities via new software releases can seriously degrade a company’s ability to retain existing customers, engage new ones and respond to competitive threats.
Cloud Technology Makes Upgrades Easier and Less Expensive
Cloud technology provides new deployment options, which means easier delivery and consumption of software upgrades. In fact, companies that choose a cloud SaaS deployment model are able to apply new ERP software releases more rapidly, with less effort and lower cost. This is particularly important for mid-market businesses that often lack sufficient in-house IT expertise and resources.
IBS’s strategic partner, Acumatica, builds ERP and CRM solutions for cloud computing environments. The company shares its xRP platform and development tools with its global network of affiliates. This allows the development software extensions that meet the unique needs of local markets, or specialized industries and that interact seamlessly with Acumatica’s core product suite. In the case of IBS, we partnered with Acumatica to develop our new cloud-based Imperium property management and accounting product.
Acumatica’s 5.3 release, announced just a few weeks ago, represents a significant increase of functionality across Acumatica’s entire product line. As noted in Mint Jutras’ “The Force Was Strong at Acumatica Summit 2016,” the company is already working on Acumatica 6.0. Acumatica aims to deliver software upgrades on a quarterly basis, but is also moving to a continuous improvement model for certain functionality to exploit the innate advantages of cloud SaaS deployment models.
Mint Jutras’ ERP/Star Wars comparison makes the point that the futuristic technological capabilities depicted in the beloved sci-fi franchise were more than just “cool;” they actually served a real need within the future environments depicted in Star Wars. The force could be harnessed by those who possessed it to amplify their innate abilities. IBS’s software solutions may not give people super-human abilities, but they can super-charge planning, execution and analytical capabilities to not just awaken your company’s potential but actually realize it.
*Download the full Mint Jutras “Can Next Generation ERP Awaken the Force” second installment here. The first installment, available for download here, helps to define the next generation of ERP in terms of new features, functionality and capabilities.