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Acumatica execs talk up ERP industry specificity

Acumatica highlighted customer stories of digital transformation, the vendor's industry-focused acquisitions and its commitment to sustainability at Acumatica Summit 2022.

Acumatica Summit 2022 put the spotlight on digital transformation, industry specificity and sustainability.

Digital transformation is often mischaracterized as a one-time event for companies, said CEO Jon Roskill during the opening keynote, which was held in Las Vegas and streamed online. Acumatica, a cloud-native ERP founded in 2008 and specializing in industry verticals like manufacturing and retail, is positioning itself as a company that can move customers from on-premises ERP systems to the cloud-first Acumatica ERP, enabling flexibility.

"Acumatica as a company was created around the idea of digital transformation," Roskill said. "There's a misconception that's perpetuated by the industry that digital transformation is a thing where a fairy shows up with a magic wand, waves it and you are transformed. … That's a fallacy."

To illustrate how digital transformation can add resiliency, Roskill cited three customers who used Acumatica ERP to help with their requirements.

Clive Coffee, a coffee specialty retailer in Portland, Ore., had to shift from being a retail business to an online business overnight because of the COVID-19 pandemic; Industrial Specialty Services, a Houston-based business, was created overnight as a spinout from a major company; and Mozaic, a New York-based nonprofit, was created as the result of a pandemic-driven merger of two nonprofit organizations.

All three companies used Acumatica ERP's capabilities to meet not only their company needs at implementation, but also future needs, Roskill said.

"They all need the business agility to not just react and recover, but to be able to proactively respond and take advantage of the opportunities [that come up]," he said.

Acquisitions deepen industry focus

While digital transformation was one area of focus, Acumatica executives also highlighted a couple moves that bolstered the industry-specific capabilities of Acumatica ERP, which were applauded by industry analysts.

The company acquired IBS Imperium, a property management application, from Integrated Business Systems. IBS Imperium enables property developers, owners and managers to manage all aspects of the business from Acumatica ERP. The application is built on the Acumatica cloud platform and interacts with other Acumatica modules, according to the company. It is immediately available as Acumatica Property Management module.

Acumatica also announced a new integration with engineering design software Autodesk. The Autodesk product BIM 360 will be available in the next version of Acumatica 2022 R1, due out in March or April.

This allows Acumatica users to bring BIM 360's 3D models into Acumatica ERP and connect them with modules for construction, manufacturing, project planning, field service and others, according to Roskill.

Acumatica executives also focused on sustainability at the summit, although provided no details on features and functionality just yet. The ERP vendor pledged to show that its commitment to sustainability begins internally, starting with the conference. The company purchased carbon offset credits for attendees who flew into Las Vegas for the conference and prioritized recycling, composting and reducing food waste for the event.

Acumatica is also committing to helping customers meet sustainability goals, according to Roskill.

For example, moving a company's legacy system from inefficient, on-premises servers to more energy-efficient cloud blade servers helps reduce carbon output by 72%, he said.

Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill at Acumatica Summit 2022
Jon Roskill, CEO of Acumatica, speaks at the Acumatica Summit 2022 in Las Vegas.

Industry focus should fuel growth

Industry analysts were less taken with Acumatica's emphasis on digital transformation and a sustainability vision, which aligns with other ERP vendors like corporate sibling IFS and rival SAP, than its push for industry specificity.

Acumatica's industry-vertical focus makes sense, said Predrag Jakovljevic, principal industry analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers.

"The relationship with Autodesk, which acquired ProEst [construction industry estimation software], will really challenge Sage Intacct and other construction ERP offerings," Jakovljevic said. "The IBS Imperium Property Management acquisition is also good to find a new, defendable niche from NetSuite."

Acumatica's vertical focus with deep functionality for specific industries should help it grow, said Jon Reed, co-founder of Diginomica, an enterprise industry analysis firm.

"Overall, Acumatica's growth has been notable, with the vertical emphasis really driving it and 85% of Acumatica customers now on industry editions," Reed said. "Since the future of cloud ERP, in my view, is vertical, I like this direction."

Acumatica has strong functionality along with strong ease-of-use, but Reed, for one, questions if the company will continue to thrive as some of its growth drivers subside, such as pandemic-related remote work.

He noted that if Acumatica improved its functionality in areas as supply chain forecasting and embedding sustainability management, that growth may continue.

Still, he added, "[Acumatica] is one of the most compelling vendors in this space, particularly because their user licensing and pricing has much less friction and is much more flexible for customers' future growth."

Jim O'Donnell is a TechTarget news writer who covers ERP and other enterprise applications for SearchSAP and SearchERP.

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