May the Platform Be With You: ERP Lessons to Learn from Star Wars

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy | January 28, 2016

The release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", culminated in an all-time box office record. The real success and genius of the Star Wars franchise is that it was built as a movie "platform". Each succeeding episode is not just a sequel, but a continuation of the original themes. This allows previously defined characters to develop and grow, while new characters are introduced. Each new episode incorporates the latest advances in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), which dazzle their viewers and create expectations and excitement for more. Even the music of Star Wars contains continuity with the original score while introducing new themes and electronic instrumentation.

By designing the movie franchise with a vision of the future and establishing a platform which allows the adoption of new visual and sound technologies, the creators of Star Wars have built a living entertainment entity which adapts and grows.  Such is the importance of an underlying platform; businesses needing one would do well to learn from the example of Star Wars.

May the Platform Be With You: ERP Lessons to Learn from Star Wars

By designing the movie franchise with a vision of the future, the creators of Star Wars have built a living entertainment entity. Click to Tweet

Too often, when businesses are selecting and looking to implement or upgrade their systems, the focus is on the functionality provided by the software.  While the functional fit of software such as ERP to current business processes is important, the underlying platform on which the software is built is critical in providing current AND future capabilities.

The advent of ecommerce marketplaces and mobile apps require that ERP and CRM applications are enabled to utilize these technologies to engage customers and execute transactions. The means by which ERP and CRM software interacts with these technologies are Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

The ability to rapidly develop and deploy APIs which interface seamlessly with software such as ERP and CRM is an absolute requirement today. The adoption of the IoT by automakers, heavy equipment manufacturers, appliance makers and others will give rise to even more APIs and demand increased integration of ERP and CRM software with a variety of machines and devices.

The ability to rapidly develop and deploy APIs which interface seamlessly with software such as ERP and CRM is an absolute requirement today. Click to Tweet

By the very nature of their underlying platforms, many legacy ERP and CRM solutions are limited in their ability to "natively" operate with mobile or IoT technologies. Even if they can emulate or interface with such technologies, the need to custom develop, maintain and deploy such interfaces represents a competitive disadvantage.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is that the "dimension" in which all of these technologies naturally converge is in the cloud.  Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are already deploying API tools as part of their cloud services to facilitate communication and interoperability with IoT and mobile devices. It is not just logical, but imperative that ERP and CRM execution systems are built for and reside in a cloud platform.

At Acumatica, our ERP and CRM solutions were built on a cloud platform which means that our software is available from any browser-based device. We provide development tools to our global network of qualified Partners, which allow the rapid development and deployment of software "extensions" to meet the needs of local or specialized markets. ISVs joining Acumatica Developer Network can use the Acumatica Cloud xRP platform to rapidly develop vertical Line of business applications while integrating with ERP and CRM solutions. Our platform and development tools also permit the rapid development and deployment of the APIs needed to operate and succeed in today's mobile-first market and tomorrow's  IoT-enabled one. In a recent study by Nucleus Research, they found that the corresponding results of speed to market, better profitability, and reduced costs resulted in this statement: “Acumatica is an attractive choice for ISVs seeking to build or grow their business with a modern foundation for both cloud and on-premise deployments”.

I invite you to come to the Acumatica Summit in Orlando and learn about our ERP and CRM solutions and our advanced xRP platform. I’m confident you’ll agree that it’s the platform of the future, no matter where your business goes. And who knows, we might have some sweet theme music to go along with it.

May the force platform be with you.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy

General Manager and Head of Cloud Platform Division at Acumatica

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