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Organizing Business Ecosystems with Acumatica ERP’s Adaptability

James Engberg | January 12, 2017

For many people, embarking on the adventures that await in the new year means relishing an opportunity to start something with a clean slate. Some will revise their diets with healthy outcomes in mind. Others will rekindle chilly relationships. Many individuals will update their personal technology devices, committing to be more organized, efficient, and connected to the world around them.

As a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) of ERP software, we here at Bennett/Porter witness this same impulse towards improvement in many of our current and prospective customers – regardless what date the calendar says it is. After years of enduring shortcomings in their systems – and compensating for them with costly, manual processes – businesses yearn to be better versions of themselves by starting fresh with a new set of enterprise tools. Unfortunately, most organizations do not possess the same nimbleness and tolerance for rapid change that individuals do. “Out with the old and in with the new” is more often than not a monumental and expensive undertaking; not just a casual shift of perspective on the first day of January.

Organizing Business Ecosystems with Acumatica ERP’s Adaptability

The practical fact is that most companies are unlikely to discard all of their legacy systems, even once they resolve to implement a new ERP solution. Organizations that have expanded over time typically find themselves operating within a landscape of isolated technology systems. These silos, frequently held together by tribal knowledge and sheer human effort, manage the unique interactions businesses have with their customers around product and service offerings. Some of those systems work just fine, fulfilling extremely specific business objectives, and they don’t actually need to be replaced. Others, around which habits, actions, and processes have crystalized, would cause too much operational disruption if replaced all at once. Like the individual who resolves to exercise more in the new year, familiarity and comfort – in spite of existing deficiencies – can be powerful detractors to genuine change.

Still, upon serious evaluation, the vast majority of systems impeding growth and profitability can and do need updating. The challenge is doing so without harming the fragile interdependencies of the other systems. Of course, that requires the ability to integrate, but more so it requires a capacity to adapt. Integration can be a reluctant handshake. Adaptability, conversely, is the honest willingness to cooperate and fit in, and it’s what makes Acumatica’s presence as a platform so uniquely valuable in these disconnected environments.

Acumatica’s flexible interfaces and truly open architecture give companies the power to build interconnected ecosystems from any number of previously separated habitats. So, for instance, a property rental customer with an elaborate, home-grown reservation system can leverage Web APIs to connect and deploy Acumatica’s Advanced Financial features; without having to re-develop their own software from the ground up. The result is an accounting department that can interact with operations in real time rather than deal with the fallout once per month. Or a manufacturer of modular hose systems can use Acumatica’s dynamic import/export scenarios to elegantly connect Advanced Distribution functions with existing shipping software. In this case, Acumatica acts as an operational hub, thereby uniting existing systems and eliminating the need for inefficient shifts between applications.

By bridging the gaps like these between previously detached systems, we have observed first-hand the way this adaptable platform actually strengthens connections, fuses functionality together, and inspires companies to reinvent their processes in ways that unleash business potential. Over time, even those ineffective systems that seemed impossible to replace begin to appear manageable or even conceivable to migrate away from. In some sense, the arrival of Acumatica effectively offers organizations an opportunity to start with a fresh, clean slate.

Each year at Acumatica’s annual Summit event, partners like us join developers, customers, and technology experts to learn about the latest advances, as well as future plans, for this expansive, cloud-based ERP software. And each year, for the reasons above, we find ourselves especially surprised and delighted by forward-thinking developments in the realm of the platform’s adaptability. As we prepare to head to San Diego in late January, we are eagerly anticipating new ways in which Acumatica can help businesses start new and improved chapters in their lifespans. We hope to see you there!

James Engberg

At Bennett/Porter & Associates, James manages a talented team of ERP Consultants. Together they deliver satisfying and usable technology-based solutions to their customers. James also serves as Editor and frequent contributor to the company's B/P Impressions blog (http://blog.benpor.com/impressions).

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