New small business ERP delivers SAP Business One alternative

SMBs in search of an affordable ERP app can look to Priority Zoom a cloud-based platform designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage each phase of the sales cycle.

Priority Software has launched Priority Zoom, a range of cloud ERP products to help small businesses streamline operational tasks such as financials, inventory, sales and customer relationships.

Priority Zoom has built-in business intelligence analytics, advanced reports and dashboards to track and manage each phase of the sales cycle. Users can create sales orders, manage invoices and billing, synchronize purchasing processes, and automatically generate ledger, transaction, financial and cash flow reports, customer lists, product and services catalogs and pricing.

Designed for smaller businesses, Priority Zoom is $50 per user for up to five users. That's slightly lower than a limited user subscription to SAP's Business One ERP software for small and midsize companies, which lists for $54 per user, per month. The Business One Professional user license lists at $94 per user, per month.

According to Priority Software, customers who migrate to the platform can convert their data from Priority Software's on-premises accounting program AccountEdge, or from other accounting software such as QuickBooks.

Priority Zoom is in contrast of Priority ERP, which is Priority Software's full ERP offering for tens of thousands of users that includes capabilities for finance, manufacturing, logistics, human resources, time and attendance, BI, project management, CRM and warehouse management. It also offers open APIs, a mobile application generator, web software development kit and machine learning business process management.

There are many advantages to adopting an ERP platform, according to Cindy Jutras, the president of Mint Jutras, an advisory firm that specializes in enterprise applications. For small businesses specifically, Jutras highlights the advantage of having "a single source of data and truth."

"Most companies will simply point to the visibility, transparency and efficiency gained," she said. "If it just gets them out of spreadsheet hell -- passing data back and forth, the risk of error, the lack of auditability -- they view it as worth it."

Jutras said that as ERP platforms continue to change in scale and price, it has become easier for smaller businesses to take on the migration.

"Every single company would benefit, but very often SMBs feel they can't afford it, and therefore they try to make do with something less than ERP -- perhaps desktop applications combined with the ubiquitous spreadsheets, or perhaps just spreadsheets," she said.

That approach made sense in the past when early ERP systems were rigid and inflexible, limited in functionality, hard to install and implement and even harder to use, but that's changed, she said.

"Solutions now are far more flexible and technology-enabled, provide many more features and functions, are easier to install, easier to implement and easier to use," Jutras said. "And SaaS-based [ERP apps] allow even the smallest companies to invest without an upfront capital expenditure."

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