So here are my Top3 takeaways from the meetings:
A unique strategy – Acumatica is probably the only vendor in the enterprise software space that does not have a direct sales force, but exclusively sells through channels. That has happened before, but the products were standardized with little need to no demand for customization. For an ERP suite it is unique. The consequences are twofold in my view
- Acumatica can focus CAPEX on product and does not have to invest precious funding dollars on expensive sales people, who need time to ramp up and learn how to sell the product, before they get into the ‘black’ for their employers.
- Acumatica needs to focus on a very flexible, standard based product. As Acumatica does not know where partners will take the product, it needs to create value to attract them and at the same time make it easy to adopt its platform / product.
Standards and Flexibility rule – For the longest time SaaS providers have maintained that SaaS cannot be customized. Ironic as early SaaS pioneers NetSuite and Salesforce always offered customization options from the very start. Acumatica is no different and has created a powerful customization framework that allows the addition and insertions of fields, screens and control elements. Nothing teaches better than practice, and when Acumatica signed up Visma (largest Nordic ISV) to build their new product on its platform, it had to learn a more flexible and multi-tiered approach to extension and customization. The original one level for customer customization was taken by Visma, so nothing was left for its customers. But by now Acumatica has addressed this in a pretty elegant extension framework, which for a number of extensions does not even require a restart of the application, as it used dynamic and declarative (late) binding.
|Acumatica Deployment Options|
On the roadmap Acumatica plans more capabilities to enrich the platform, e.g. more advanced workflow functionality, more pre-built mobile applets to aid partners to build mobile applications and deeper insights on what is happening inside of the Acumatica system in real time (BAM).
MyPOVThe enterprise software value chain has been a traditional one stop shop for marketing, sales, implementation and support for the longest time. Digital disruption will come to the enterprise model sooner or later, with viral selling, flush marketing, almost no sales teams, partner enablement and business user empowerment as the key trends. It is good to see a vendor practicing a lot of that today, which should make Acumatica pretty disruption proof for things happening in enterprise software sooner, than later.
On the concern side Acumatica is still very small. It needs to make sure its core offering is modern and in tune with 21st century practices. Partnering with Magento for commerce is a good move, but Acumatica cannot do similar partnership for more modern best practices too many times, otherwise it risks to become a ‘backbone’ for other partners. And then its days will be counted, so the vendor not only needs to make sure the product has a modern and attractive architecture (we give Acumatica good grades here) but its core automation capabilities need to stand the test of time as well. Lastly the user interface is short before looking dated, a common challenge, as consumerization of IT is moving user interface best practices faster than ever.
But for now it is good news for Acumatica and its customers, a good platform, flexible deployment and fast ramp up times are what enterprises and partners need. It will be interesting to see Acumatica grow in the years to come, you can count on us to observer.
Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.