The path to selecting an ERP software is inherently objective. Functionality, ROI, cost of ownership, and so much more, you can’t afford to ignore the realities that exist when looking at a solution that will take months to implement, cost five or six figures, and serve your company for nearly a decade. 

This said, while ROI calculations are straightforward and functionality either aligns with your needs or doesn’t, success with a software is often based on elements that are much harder to quantify. How do you apply a metric to inherently subjective terms usability or innovation? Turn to the analysts.

Recent reports from leading analyst firms Nucleus Research and Mint Jutras set out to explore these topics, relying on interviews with key executives and end users, customer reviews, and market analysis. The reports further explored the future of ERP and the methods some companies are taking in delivering innovation, discussing the push and pull methods of software development.

Usability: The Necessary Component in Delivering Functionality

When it comes to ERP products, there are many metrics for analyzing and comparing software options. From the Magic Quadrant’s look at a company’s ability to innovate and market size to ROI analyses, one of the unsung metrics you should consider is usability.

Why? Because without usability, even the most functional software goes ignored at an organization. This is a topic we explored in our blog, Why ERP Software is a Three-Legged Stool, and it is something reiterated in the Nucleus Research ERP Value Matrix.

Generating usability and functionality scores from interviews with end users, Nucleus analysts were able to quantify and rank products, noting in their Understanding the Value Matrix Report

“Usability composite scores are based on a number of factors including the modernity of the interface, intuitiveness of the application, availability of role-based views and in-application coaching and training, training requirements, mobile access, and the impact on user productivity.”

In their follow up, ERP Technology Value Matrix, Nucleus found that among the leaders in usability (as well as functionality), Acumatica and NetSuite both scored highly, with Acumatica receiving the highest scores. We invite you to download the report here.

Innovation: Delivering New Functionality You Didn’t Know You Needed

Functionality is a key factor in ERP software, but what is a vendor doing to deliver it? While you can compare levels of functionality and a vendor’s ability to meet your needs by analyzing the software during the demo phase, today’s ERP landscape is built on continuous improvement. 

Complacency kills, and while your decisions should be made on how a software meets your needs in its current state, it doesn’t hurt to see that a company is working to deliver advancements that will put it ahead of the market and position your business for the future. Knowing this, how do you quantify innovation? 

Two recent reports from Nucleus and Mint Jutras looked to deliver these answers, exploring the current and future state of Acumatica and its ability to provide new functionality and advancements.

Acumatica Shows No Sign of Slowing dug into the big changes on the horizon announced at Acumatica Summit 2019, exploring the progress it has made over the last year and what customers can expect from the vendor moving forward. Following the company’s 5,000thcustomer, Nucleus discussed the expanding ecosystem, focus on industry solutions, and new partnerships. You can read the entire report here.

In “The Push and Pull of Acumatica’s Cloud ERP Innovation,” the Mint Jutras team explores Acumatica’s path to delivering new features by combining a push and pull strategy that not only relies on customer requests, but takes into consideration the insights of advisory boards and focus groups to deliver pragmatic functionality that customers don’t know they need—until they start to use it.

With key enhancements like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and AI becoming a reality in the ERP world, knowing that Acumatica is ahead of the curve when incorporating these features into their core product means that you can expect this product to be refined by the time that such functionality becomes a necessity.

Usability and Innovation: Only Two Factors in Your Decision

There are many factors that you need to consider en route to new ERP solutions. With these two factors highly important, they are not everything. At MIBAR, we have helped companies just like you make the right decision, completing successful ERP implementations for organizations in a variety of industries, and would love to help you. Get to know more about our servicesread our case studies, and contact us for a free consultation.

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