The 6ility Benefits of True Cloud

Acumatica: Born in the Cloud

Accounting and financial management software has historically been trailing-edge technology—and is still dominated by legacy applications with 20+ year old software architectures.

While those legacy systems are now struggling to make the leap to full cloud capabilities, Acumatica was “born in the cloud,” designed and implemented from the beginning with current technology to provide businesses the competitive edge to lead and dominate their market sectors with true cloud benefits. 

What’s so great about “The Cloud” anyways?

This is a common question for users coming from MS-Windows desktop applications in a LAN environment. That architecture works—so what’s up with all this hype?

The same question was asked 120 years ago as, “What’s so great about automobiles?” Then 20 years ago as, “What’s so great about the Internet?”

In short, the Cloud is exactly the same quantum leap forward, providing the ability to access data seamlessly from multiple locations—often at the same time.

OK, The Cloud is great, but what’s a “True Cloud”?

Cloud applications store data on the web while using a locally installed program to access that data—such as backup applications that automatically store data “out yonder”, or using your locally installed Microsoft Word or Excel to edit files on a shared file repository like DropBox or Microsoft OneDrive, or even the web browser you’re using right now on your local device to pull data from our web server to read this.

A True Cloud application has both the data and application “out yonder”—like editing a document with Google Docs, or a website with WordPress. In the example of Acumatica’s implementation, you receive the following six benefits (and more!): Mobility, Functionality, Reliability, Flexibility, Scalability and Affordability.

Here’s our webinar from February 4, 2021 with a 20-minute presentation on these 6ility benefits, followed by a demonstration of how Acumatica provides them.

Mobility

A few years ago, mobility meant providing remote users the same features and experience as in the office—with no performance lag, complex VPN setup or printing hassles. That was tough criteria to meet then.

Since it’s inception, Acumatica has provided all that natively and has moved mobility far beyond with their free mobile ERP app for real-time 24/7 access to updated information, extended functionality with Acumatica’s Mobile Application Framework, and automatic synchronization.

The result is astounding increases in productivity with users able to manage activities while out of the office even on mobile devices like phones and tablets, including:

  • Expense receipts – submission with photo attachments, review and approval
  • CRM opportunities – push notifications of new, update of current, and calendar management
  • Time reporting – payroll, manufacturing or construction job – it’s always important to know time whether inhouse, from the plant floor, or on the job site
  • Sales orders – entry, edit and shipping – including payment capture
  • Field service appointments – with GPS tracking, signature capture and photo attachments
  • And more!

The system uses the same data and functions the same from any device, anywhere.

Functionality

Once upon a time, browser-based applications didn’t have the rich user interface of desktop applications. Not only is that no longer true, but browsers now offer UI elements beyond what legacy desktop applications can. For example, have you done any dragging-and-dropping in your legacy application lately?

Of course, all the classic accounting system functionality of custom reporting, data extraction, dashboards, etc. are present. Additionally, Acumatica’s “born in the cloud” architecture was designed from the ground up for integration to other modern systems.

The resulting interoperability (can we slip another “ility” in here?) means seamless integrations to NUMEROUS solutions in standard ERP areas like Outlook, eCommerce solutions, EDI platforms, CRM, sales tax solutions, shipping—and in cutting edge areas like mobility, Alexa & Siri for natural language queries, two-factor authentication and machine learning.

Acumatica thus leads in built-in functionality, and extensibility (racking up the “ility” count here!) over constrained legacy systems.

Reliability

Acumatica is browser-based, so no more wrestling local PC client runtime files and falling into “DLL-hell” of conflicting applications updating your system—each causing the other not to work.

Accounting software, even client-server based, puts notoriously heavy demand on your network infrastructure—and is thus highly susceptible to anything less than perfect network connections between each and every desktop PC and the server. Being browser-based, Acumatica removes MUCH more of your local infrastructure from the equation and is more stable and resilient.

Acumatica, when not hosted privately, most commonly uses Amazon Web Services (AWS)—the market leader over #2 Microsoft Azure and #3 Google Cloud COMBINED, and leaving them in the dust in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services. Even at AWS’s most basic Service Level Agreement, they pledge “four nines” (99.99%) uptime in every billing cycle. That’s less than 4½ minutes downtime per month, 24×7. Can your inhouse system match that? 

Need higher reliability than that? Yes, it costs more but AWS can deliver. The question then becomes, “How do they do it?” Virtualization and hardware redundancy to remove the single points of failure common in the infrastructures of mid-tier companies.

Also important is the geographic resiliency of distributed cloud environments—impervious to local  disasters from hurricane to earthquake to tornado to civil unrestto ensure business continuity.

Flexibility

Our raison d’être at NexLAN is flexibility. A cloud application can—and Acumatica does—provide the flexibility to meet your unique business needs.

First, there’s the aforementioned interoperability and extensibility. So integrating to external systems is straightforward, seamless, with less effort.

Second, unlike most other cloud accounting solutions, with Acumatica your operating system and data aren’t commingled with other users. You have your own unique operating environment where we have the ability to adjust the application to whatever degree you’d like.

Third, Acumatica’s truly object-oriented architecture removes the Achilles heel of modifying a system by making rolling forward modifications to new version nearly seamless—so you’re NOT paying for the modification again every time a version update is made.

Flexibility—and meeting exactly your business needs—remains the core of what NexLAN brings to the table! 

Scalability

Business up or down? Just dial up or down the server resources with, literally, a few mouse clicks. If your business is seasonal then this is an absolute no-brainer. To implement this in an in-house environment, or in most other cloud environments, would require building a system large enough to handle your “busy time,” and then watch that investment sit under-utilized much of the year (see Affordability).

Besides scalability of system performance, beyond the Small Business Edition Acumatica doesn’t charge by user licenses. Need to add people to the system? Just create logins for them and turn them loose as fully functional users—no direct increase in software cost. 

Opening a new location? Again, just do it! If it ramps up the volume of business to warrant it, then we can increase the cloud resources; otherwise, we don’t. Your system immediately and seamlessly scales to multiple locations with incremental cost being addressed after you’ve seen the increase in business—and not as a sunk investment prior.

 Affordability

Acumatica pricing is different than other accounting software because it’s based on the applications you use, the type of deployment, and the resources you use—NOT on the number of users.

We believe everyone in your company needs up-to-date accurate information to make informed decisions. So add users, suppliers, customers, etc. without worrying about nickels and dimes along the way.

Caveat: There is a “small business edition” available for companies just graduating out of entry-level accounting solutions with very small transaction volume—priced to be competitive!

Lagniappe: Securability!

A piece of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) which used to be hurled at the cloud was system security—well, no more!

While we won’t pretend there is such a thing as a 100% secure system, the headcount in the AWS security department outnumbers the entire inhouse IT staff of every mid-tier client we’ve ever met—and they’re not distracted with fixing a paper jam. It’s a 24×7 constantly monitored operation with the very latest in security systems and protocols.

Does your current accounting system have two-factor authentication? That’s a built-in feature that can be enabled in Acumatica.

Had the misfortune of getting ransomware into your network? Your Acumatica system, implemented in the cloud, would have been untouched.

Summary: Freedom to work faster and smarter

“Born in the Cloud” means Acumatica has no software development constraints of maintaining support for legacy technology and functionality. The software continues to rapidly evolve to add new efficiencies and innovation based on a modern software architecture.

Ultimately, that means removing more friction from your system, adding power, security, and flexibility  your daily operations, workflow, and business growth.