Acumatica Summit 2024: ERP trends for 2024 and beyond

March 7, 2024

Acumatica Summit 2024: ERP trends for 2024 and beyond

March 7, 2024

Audience listens to a presenter in a conference hall

With new advances in technology and innovation emerging daily, keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest opportunities can be a full-time job.

It’s events like the Acumatica Summit, which took place over three days in January 2024 in Las Vegas, that enable organizations from around the world to gather, network, and learn about the latest advances in technology and automation across industries.

With enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, and how they can work for you, at the helm of discussion, let’s dig into the Summit and the trends that emerged as we move into the future.

Where is ERP heading in 2024?

Acumatica is set to introduce fresh capabilities designed to empower mid-market enterprises for growth, scalability, and enhanced efficiencies. The spotlight was on these features at the 2024 Acumatica Summit.

The 2024 R1 version introduces several new features and functionalities with an emphasis on industry, including:

  • Construction
    Proforma now features an AP Bill Link, a novel side panel for AP Bill selection, and the ability to effortlessly view an attached transaction image, ensuring prompt and precise vendor payments and heightened billing accuracy.
  • Manufacturing
    Introducing the capability to report parallel operations, granting manufacturers the flexibility to manage production orders with the option to report operations out of sequence and conduct multiple operations simultaneously.
  • Distribution
    Access to distribution requirements planning (DRP) functionality, supporting non-manufacturers, particularly distributors, in managing inventory supply and demand, along with planning kitting using material requirements planning (MRP) and DRP.

    An upgraded Managed Sales Allocation process providing increased control and flexibility over the order allocation process. Distributors can benefit from consolidated views of allocations, enhanced selection criteria, and improved efficiency in handling backorders within the same system.

  • Retail
    The comprehensive integration of Amazon into Acumatica, including additional features like “Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) inventory reconciliation” and “Amazon statement reconciliation.” These features streamline processes and ensure the accuracy of Amazon transactions.

Exploring Acumatica’s AI strategy

The day one keynote showcased the soon-to-be-finalized principles of innovation, focusing on being “responsible” with protective guardrails for customer data, “practical” to address real-world needs, and “valuable” driven by customer input.

While the formal unveiling of these innovation principles is pending, Acumatica historically emphasizes tying next-gen tech to customer results.

A potential “AI readiness” curriculum within Acumatica Open University might be on the horizon, offering substantive AI preparation until Acumatica’s fully vetted solutions are available.

Professional Services Edition unveiled

Acumatica also pulled back the curtain on the Professional Services Edition, building upon the existing functionality for project accounting, billing, and scheduling.

With hundreds of new features dedicated to customer service and customer lifecycle management, the Professional Services Edition, according to Ali Jani, Chief Product Officer at Acumatica, is poised to be an asset as industries converge, and companies adopt new processes and functions.

The anticipated release of this new edition is scheduled for later in 2024.

What does this all mean and what’s next?

The Acumatica Summit showed a resolute cloud ERP provider reinforcing its vertical ERP strategy. However, the advent of AI and ESG introduces a fresh array of challenges.

Here’s my initial analysis of Acumatica’s reaction, alongside insights gleaned from conversations with customers in Las Vegas:

  • At Summit 2024, AI and ESG emerged as key ERP considerations. While Acumatica refrained from AI-centric keynotes, they shed light on customer expectations and adoption challenges.
  • With new demands in the ERP market, including AI inquiries and real-time ESG tracking, the ERP market is shifting. Its innovation principles prioritize responsible, practical, and valuable AI integration.
  • Success stories like Titan’s automated replenishment highlight underscores AI’s transformative impact beyond technology, highlighting the crucial role of business users (i.e., “trusting the system”) and importance of data cleanliness.
  • Potential future integration with tools like Microsoft Co-Pilot demonstrates Acumatica’s commitment to enhancing user workflows.
  • The company remains cautious about premature AI, prioritizing practicality and customer outcomes. Overall, this approach seems to be striking the right balance between innovation and risk management.
  • The Professional Services edition is a very natural extension of Acumatica’s strengths in project scheduling, accounting, and billing.
  • Acumatica has been building these core functions for some time and enhancing them to meet the needs of professional service organizations makes a lot of sense.
  • The overall bet continues to be on customers and ecosystem. It was mentioned several times that the product road map is heavily weighted to customer input received directly and through the community portals. This is reflected well in Acumatica’s new rallying cry – “Building the future of business together”.

As Acumatica bases much of its development on solving its customers’ problems, clearly the enhancements were aligned with the needs of customers. Aligned with those needs, Acumatica’s enhancements demonstrate its dedication to addressing user challenges.

As 2024 R1 approaches, customers and partners are urged to meticulously review the release notes to identify relevant updates for their systems.

For more information about this news, and to watch the keynote presentations, visit the Summit’s webpage.

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