Christian Lindberg has a new post up about the Acumatica Cloud XRP platform. I’m not really sure if this is anything new or if it is just a new marketing way of describing the Acumatica platform that has always existed. This press release seems to indicate that it is indeed something new, but I’m still not sure. It will be interesting to hear more about this as time goes on.
The more I learn about Acumatica, the more I realize that it is not primarily an application, but rather it is primarily a platform. I think that Acumatica is more comparable to an operating system like Microsoft Windows rather than to a software application like Microsoft Excel because it’s a platform for you to build stuff on more than an end product that you use. Yes, it’s a full featured ERP/CRM product that continues to add new functionality which broadens the capabilities of the product. However, the Acumatica strategy seems to be more focused on getting the core platform to be rock solid with the expectation that the partners will do the work of truly broadening the functionality of the product. You can already see examples of this with Visma.net and JAMS manufacturing. There are many different niche areas of the market that Acumatica will be able to reach through its partners. John Miller is a perfect example of this. His team is building a very specific solution for the agriculture industry, something to do with managing herds of cows. I like his comment here that his programmers “love the framework and are quite productive with it.”
This platform vs. application approach is fairly new in the ERP arena, but it’s becoming popular. I recently read this article which focuses on Epicor, but also mentions other platform-centric ERP products like FinancialForce. There were two points about Epicor that looked like they were stolen out of the Acumatica playbook:
- One technology platform based on Microsoft .NET technology. Props to Epicor for consolidating all their legacy stuff onto modern technology. I wonder though how much the legacy stuff will continue to rear its ugly head if the old technology wasn’t ported into .NET correctly. Acumatica has the advantage in that it was built from scratch.
- The company is maintaining “one code line” for on-premise and cloud development. This sure seems to me like Epicor is copying Acumatica. Acumatica must be doing something right!