South Africa’s Computer Initiatives has partnered with Acumatica to introduce cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) into the local market. Acumatica allows CI to deliver locally hosted cloud-based ERP for companies that require advanced accounting, distribution, and customer management and are interested in low-cost, low-risk, highly flexible and easy-to-procure business software.
Acumatica is a software company that has developed cloud-based ERP and CRM solutions targeted to mid-sized companies. Acumatica’s solutions are suitable for practically any industry including financial services, health care, agricultural, manufacturing and distribution, real-estate, franchising, energy, transportation, consulting services, intellectual goods, entertainment, government, and non-profit organisations.
“The advantages of cloud computing are considerable”, says Ronald Laxton, managing director of Computer Initiatives. “It provides the ability for smaller companies to outmanoeuvre larger ones, the ability to introduce new products and services faster, and the ability to provide technology which accurately matches business needs. That’s exactly what Acumatica has done: it has developed a cloud-based ERP solution that allows even small businesses to run their operations better, at a low cost and with an almost ridiculously short deployment timeframe.”
Acumatica has designed security, availability and stability into its software so businesses can focus on processes and financials without being burdened with technology. “Since we all use cloud services every day, confidence in their security and stability are increasing. Very few people question the security of online banking, for example. And the cloud has proven itself to be remarkably resilient and persistent, protecting data better than if it is stored on a local hard drive.”
Such developments are advancing the case for cloud services which transcend simple applications. “The precedents have been set. Smaller, highly innovative companies today can access enterprise software which was once the preserve of well-capitalised companies,” Laxton notes.
While excited about the prospects which the Acumatica partnership opens up for Computer Initiatives, Laxton takes a bigger picture view of the country. “As bandwidth improves and as the notion of cloud becomes the norm, the way in which companies everywhere buy and use software will change. Already, web-based solutions are no longer seen as futuristic. And even as traditional ERP system vendors struggle to move into the cloud, the users – businesses – are enjoying the opportunity to get real value for their spend on IT systems,” he explains.
Rather than adapting legacy technology for web use, Laxton says Acumatica is designed for the cloud. It also breaks the rules implicit in traditional ERP systems, which are priced by user-count. Instead, Acumatica provides growth-friendly pricing based on server resources, allowing for an unlimited number of users per deployment.
Adding Acumatica to the Computer Initiatives product line, Laxton says, is the culmination of a concerted search for an appropriate web-based solution. “It is forward thinking, but we believe the time is ripe to advance the case for more advanced cloud computing services. In short, Acumatica is ideal for innovative companies looking for the competitive advantage of truly lean IT.”