Are you one of the early cloud ERP beneficiaries?

Johannesburg, 16 Apr 2019
Read time 3min 50sec
Left: Gerrit Olivier, CEO of About IT and Jon Roskill CEO of Acumatica.
Left: Gerrit Olivier, CEO of About IT and Jon Roskill CEO of Acumatica.

South African organisations of all sizes are taking advantage of a cloud ERP solution that delivers the advantages of Industry 4.0.

Acumatica cloud ERP was built from the ground up for the cloud, providing an integrated solution for Industry 4.0 solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of things (IOT), business analytics, and designed to be flexible, adaptable and dynamic.

"Africa is not stunningly different from the rest of the world for business priorities," said Jon Roskill, CEO of Acumatica, at the Acumatica Best of Summit, held in Johannesburg at the beginning of April. "Everyone is thinking about growth, profit and customers."

Gerrit Olivier, CEO of About IT, one of the foremost Acumatica partners in South Africa, says the business software organisation is already gaining traction on the continent.

"Acumatica is expanding globally because it has gained critical mass," says Olivier. "It recently received investment funding from Accel KKR, one of Silicon Valley's premiere investment funding firms. And South Africa is an obvious choice for Acumatica because, in Jon's words: 'South African businesses are in the adoption cycle, they're primed and ready to move to the cloud.'"

He says Amazon and Microsoft opening their AWS and Azure cloud data centres in the country underpins Acumatica's strategic decision to support the local market.

"It demonstrates that the timing is right. South African companies have the means and, more importantly, the desire to get the benefits the cloud offers. ERP used to be the domain of only the biggest businesses but, with cloud and Acumatica's use-based pricing model, that's no longer the case. There aren't long deployment cycles and you don't have to pay thousands of US dollars for licences for people who may only use the system a few hours a month."

The explosive growth of IOT sensors in many sectors, including agriculture, where it is used in a variety of ways for precision farming, soil analyses and more, is a pivotal capability.

"Traditional ERP systems just don't natively support IOT so that data will always sit outside the ERP system. That means the business decision-makers can't directly access information that's giving their competitors a huge edge," says Olivier.

He says that level of integration is not limited to IOT technologies.

"Even traditional business systems, CRM and customer systems, sales and marketing tools, inventory systems, warehouse and factory management, a lot of these systems are unplugged from the ERP system in many older businesses. You can't run your business like that in this day and age," he says. "Farmers with integrated systems have a firm grasp of their costs per hectare and their yields per hectare. They're in charge of their strategies and the decisions they're making that are affecting their operations for a year, two or three ahead of time. They're in control. Their competitors are running on gut feel and the problem with that is, sometimes, you run out of luck."

Acumatica has solutions that specifically help agriculture, but many other industries, too. It has solutions designed for distribution, manufacturing, retail and e-commerce, software and technology, construction, field services, professional services, sales and marketing. Case studies from the agriculture industry include a 400-employee citrus business generating $60 million in annual revenues switching from Dynamics to Acumatica, a move that cut the number of business solutions from 14 to just four. That massively reduced the IT complexity for the business and eradicated all the customisations.

Another, a nursery of about 400 employees, but generating around $12 million in annual revenues, used Dynamics for accounting, payroll, and special inventory software. But, it wanted integrated accounting and inventory. Dynamics couldn't accommodate the necessary flexibility and required many customisations. The Acumatica solution is a single, integrated system that provides all the capability the business requires.

"The opportunity here is tremendous," says Roskill. "On my drive from the airport to the Indaba Hotel, I saw so many organisations that could benefit from real cloud ERP. And South African businesses now have the bandwidth, the data centre infrastructure, and the cloud service providers they need to make this a reality within weeks."

About IT

About IT, established in 2003, provides agile business solutions for cloud ERP, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and data analytics for small to medium enterprises. These solutions enable customers to safely and securely deploy ERP and advanced dashboard data analytics in on-premises, private, public and hybrid cloud environments. They benefit from advanced security, improved reliability, highly accessible data, and the economies of scale. About IT's advanced dashboard data analytics focuses on bringing customers relevant, actionable operational data to deal with immediate business issues, building associations and insights without waiting on pre-programmed reports. The business has seven offices in major centres throughout South Africa.

Editorial contacts
Scarlet Letter Michelle Oelschig (083) 636 1766
About IT Group Jillian Erasmus (0861) 460 100
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