The CTOs Complete Guide to the Acumatica Platform
Author Kulvir Kaila, Director of Application Development and Acumatica Developer MVP
As companies look to maximize profitability and market share, the leadership team will often embark on a digital transformation project seeking out solutions that help them streamline operations and make informed decisions. The CTO is an essential part of an ERP selection team and can help ensure that not only does the system support sound financial decisions, but that it is also built on a platform that allows flexibility and minimizes the total cost of ownership. In this post, we’ll explore some of the CTOs’ key areas of focus when evaluating the Acumatica Platform for their organization.
The Acumatica Platform is Scalable
A key consideration for the CTO/CDO when evaluating a modern Cloud ERP is the platform and the technologies that it is built on the cloud infrastructure from the ground up to ensure the organization is positioned for growth.
The Acumatica xRP platform is built on Microsoft technologies from the ground up. Acumatica is built on IIS as a .NET browser-based application. It’s containerized which allows developers to install different versions of the software on the same operating system if need be. This allows developers to transition between versions of Acumatica seamlessly without introducing bloated Virtual Machines. This was demonstrated in my latest blog post on Acumatica.
For example, one command line function can install Acumatica in a matter of seconds on your local Windows environment if IIS and SQL are configured and installed:
msiexec /a “D:\AcumaticaInstallers\AcumaticaERPInstall21.116.0049.msi” ADDLOCAL=DEBUGGERTOOLS /qb targetdir=”D:\Acumatica ERP\Acumatica ERP 2021 R1 21.116.0049″
Fast Customizations for Unique Business Requirements
The Acumatica xRP platform utilizes the latest C# source code and is structured to be extensible. This allows for smooth updates of Acumatica and improved speed to market by leveraging rich platform features.
The idea of Low Code/No Code customizations introduced by Acumatica is the concept of making customizations without the introduction of using C# code. Low Code/No Code customizations are available to optimize workflows and add custom fields without touching Visual Studio. Customizations and fine-tuning processes to suit your business’s unique requirements can help you gain a competitive edge and be a differentiator in your industry. Using industry standards (C#, .NET, JSON, XML, CSS) for the xRP Platform allows you to leverage an unchanging standard technology, worldwide expertise, and tools like Visual Studio with Acumatica’s free community edition.
There are levels of customization that a CTO needs to consider as well. Whether it’s low code/no code or full-blown applications, we typically break them down into 4 categories:
- Extend the form
- Workflow and business process automation (PO and AP approval)
- Apps (industry-specific solutions)
If you don’t plan to build integrations yourself, the Acumatica Marketplace has a plethora of integrations that work out of the box with configuration.
The Acumatica Platform Offers Flexible Deployment Options
Acumatica can accommodate your organization’s choice of infrastructure, allowing you to deploy an instance on-premise, private cloud, or public clouds like AWS and Azure. You can also deploy on-premise while you build and evolve a cloud strategy over time that will help minimize downtime and IT staff expenses.
Leveraging the cloud allows you to scale based on ERP or commercial transactions in the system. Acumatica xRP Platform runs in Windows today but there is a good chance they will be looking at “containerization” in the future in conjunction with these current cloud offerings. Amazon Web Services tiering that is adopted by Acumatica has the following chart that outlines the system parameters:
What this means is that you are not locked into any technology, system, vendor, or cloud. As a CTO, this gives you greater flexibility in adopting your current ecosystem to align with your ERP system. From a database perspective, having an ORM (Object Relational Mapping) gives you flexibility by not locking you into a particular database. This will allow you to leverage your existing SQL knowledge for traditional database things like queries, inner joins, views, keys, fields, etc. Multi-tenant and branches within the tenant will allow your company to scale. The support for REST API is another key driver that many legacy systems don’t support. Modern REST API technologies allow for seamless integrations with various systems out in the ecosystem.
Increase Business Intelligence and Analytics Capabilities
Acumatica offers two different subscription models: consumption-based and user-based. While most clients choose the consumption model since it is generally more cost-effective and allows everyone in your organization access to the data and tools they need to develop deep insight and stay on top of KPIs, however, a user-based model is also available for small businesses.
Superior User and Data Security
Security is a top priority for CTOs when assessing any system. Acumatica has strict security and proactive AI-driven threat detection protocols that would be cost-prohibitive for an organization to match.
Acumatica support staff can only access your data through the Acumatica office network, or its VPN using secure protocols TLS 1.2 and IPSEC. This allows you to view a detailed audit log that tracks support activity. All database access is controlled by your organization.
Acumatica’s Cloud xRP platform and AWS and Azure are subject to strict compliance regulations. Regular security audits include GDPR protections and international best practices standards like SSAE and ISO IEC27001:2013. Also, SOC 1 Type II, and SOC 2 Type II compliance audits.
Acumatica password security requires each user to have unique login credentials. Security permissions for each user are restricted to their roles. Acumatica gives administrators the ability to specify role access, password complexity requirements, and frequency of password changes. Acumatica ERP also supports multi-factor authentication with Microsoft, Google, and OneLogin.
Automated Backups and Updates
Every CTO knows that backups are not just a hassle, but they are costly, time-consuming, and risky. Because restoring transactions even for a single day can cause significant downtime, today’s fast-paced business requires near-constant backups.
The Acumatica platform automatically backs transactions every 15 minutes and also performs full nightly backups and includes off-site replication to ensure data security allowing you to create snapshots for offline storage. Monthly backup testing is also conducted at multiple secure global locations.
Acumatica’s dedicated patching and upgrading team releases fix continuously ensuring no disruption to your business and freeing your IT team for more strategic work.
Additional Acumatica Resources for CTOs
How do the CTO and his team get started in learning about the Acumatica platform at the technical level? The Training and Documentation are available for your development team to get certified on integration or platform.
If a CTO has its own group of developers, Acumatica’s rich set of training documentation allows them to get ramped up efficiently. Open resources, dev resources, university, how Acumatica is more open than any other vendor to sharing this information, even before you become a customer.
Here are a few links that will help you get started in understanding the Acumatica platform:
- A high-level understanding of Acumatica’s REST API.
- An Integration Guide is available. (Newer versions are available for VARs).
- Watch the Acumatica Developers’ videos.
- A strong Acumatica Developer Community online on Stack Overflow.
- Acumatica recently made available their REST Client via NuGet Package.
- Download Postman and use this collection to test out the REST API.
- Amazon FBA is available as open source on Acumatica’s GitHub Repo.
The Answer Company has done a few key development projects in the last few years including the Timebomb Trading Process Development. We leveraged REST API integrations as well as deep platform customizations to provide the client a very robust on-cloud solution that they can take their business to the next level with.