29 Jan Acumatica Summit 2020 Day 2 Keynotes
Day 2 stimulated even more interest than Day 1 of Acumatica Summit in Las Vegas, NV. Acumatica announced that focus in 2020 will be on IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, as well as Robotics.
Ali Jani, Chief Product Officer at Acumatica, opened the Summit and announced that we are all facing the time of Innovation Journey when technologies change every 10-15 years causing a technological revolution. These days are the days of digital transformations. And we expect even more dramatic technology changes in the next 5 years. Acumatica is going hand in hand with technological development, to help businesses grow, to bring up to date solutions.
In the next few years the main product strategy pillars will be:
- Modern technology and platform
- Best-in-class business functionality
- Focus on industry-specific solutions
When to put it all together, it’s about the focus on automation, trust to partners, constant updates and their quality. Ali Jani mentioned that from last year Acumatica has added many technological changes to all modules and the potential for innovations is still huge. “We are so excited that functions in all industry editions were enhanced.”
Focus On Usability And User Friendliness
Jessica Gadbois, Partner Enablement Manager at Acumatica, mentioned that Acumatica enhancements will focus on usability and user-friendliness. The development team continues to deliver in time and with high quality all the planned updates.
She also presented an Acumatica dashboard feature that has to do with better usability. Acumatica 2020 R1 added the ability to select how often you want your data to refresh in dashboards, not using too many resources, which gives you better loading speed.
As an example: If your marketing needs to create new sales opportunity, now you have form “NEW” from the main menu, that reduced the number of clicks for this action. In the process of new sales opportunity creation – now from all your data entry screens you can pull data to the side window, as well as you can see what the selected client purchased from your company over time. You also can upload pictures using a mobile app, just by snapping a photo and uploading it straight to Acumatica. When you hit done it will immediately appear in the back end.
Connected Workspace Management
Douglas Johnson, VP of Product Management at Acumatica, demonstrated how a connected workspace is managed in Acumatica new version 2020 R1. If there are multiple people involved workflow, now it is much easier to transfer data between the departments (Marketing-Sales-Implementation), new enhanced features were added to the Lead screen, Open is now a configurable item, salespeople can immediately convert the lead to opportunity, as well as to load data from the saved templates. Also now there is a possibility to schedule and reschedule an appointment, much faster and easier, instead of spending hours as it was taking before.
Salespeople can see the lists of appointments scheduled. There is also a possibility to capture time spent by salespeople (or other employees) and travel time. This offer senior management in a business a full understanding of where their employees are and when they started to work. One more thing is signature capturing when your employees are on the field with clients, to confirm that the job was done properly and accepted. And finally, there is a new feature added in Acumatica 2020 R1 of Payroll processing for work completed, which handles employee payment data and helps you to manage payments in a few seconds.
Making Life Easy With Commerce Enabled ERP
Ali Jani informed us that many new great features were added to the E-commerce edition. And the whole point is that you can integrate Acumatica with any e-commerce solution – Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Bigcommerce.
Sachin Wadhawan, Sr. Director of BigCommerce, mentioned that in 2019 he was sure that he will be on the stage in Acumatica 2020 annual summit. BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform, a SaaS solution for both B2B and B2C clients from small and big companies.
Sachin also emphasised that Acumatica and BigCommerce have a very similar attitude to business, they both focus on growth acceleration, not on complexity acceleration. This includes similar approaches to customisations, scalability, and security as well as extensibility with an offer of the best total cost of ownership. Both Acumatica and BigCommerce see this integration as a long-lasting relationship, like two pieces of the puzzle – companies’ back office and front office in order.
As an example, they presented a live B2C e-commerce website with a clean interface built with the help of BigCommerce and stock items coming directly from Acumatica. Imagine that the client purchases a laptop on this website, choosing different characteristics (metrics items) – color, size, style, etc. Now Acumatica fully supports metrics items. Many companies have been requesting this functionality and now it’s fully integrated. Acumatica has also improved shipping integrations, tax integrations, as well as order status tracking, information where the order is at the current moment and tracking number.
Then order processing was demonstrated. Imagine that employees in the warehouse received this order. The enhancement in R1 is that you now can handle orders collection in wave pick and batch pick. Let’s see what this means in more detail:
Single Pick means that you pick, pack and ship each order separately. It is a good approach for warehouses that want to minimise complexity. Wave Pick means employees use a cart to pick and sort orders and bring them to a packing and shipping area. This is a great solution for warehouses with high volumes and small items and diverse orders. Batch Pick means that your employees pick multiple orders and bring them to sorting station for packaging, boxing, labelling, and shipping. This is a very good solution for high volume warehouses with limited product diversity.
Focus On Usability And Ux Experience
Mike Chtchelkonogov, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Acumatica, answered the most frequently asked question “What’s next?” He informed that Usability, UX experience, and new user interface are the top priority. “We will make it all more user-friendly. The performance also will be optimised. Automation of workflows will be a priority too.”
Mike presented an example of Acumatica plugin in Outlook for automated invoice recognition straight from emails. The system analyses if there are attachments and sends it to Acumatica as an invoice to provide the recognised data. Users can see where these data are coming from. Time, quantity info, other details and many more. They can add additional data, and convert it to accounts payable bill. Even if first time recognition is not perfect, machine learning will know what to do overtime and will automate it almost perfectly.
Mike also mentioned that personalisation is one of the top priorities. Personalisation is about making software work the best way for clients. He informed that the development team will focus on “low code – no code” approach. This will allow end-users not to involve programmers so much for everyday tasks.
Vibhor Kapoor, Senior Director of Marketing at Adobe announced: “We are excited to announce that all Acumatica clients get 30 free days of Adobe Sign edition”. He also presented Adobe PDF as a service – embedded PDF documents into apps. Acumatica supports this feature too. Now users can edit PDF documents straight in Acumatica and after changes applied, it will be saved as a new version of the PDF document.
Acumatica – System Of Results, Not System Of Efforts
Ajoy Krishnamoorthy, Vice President at Acumatica, presented many interesting future directions, where they plan to develop new features and integrations. They include:
- Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing for integration add-ons.
- Internet of Things and Radio Frequency IDentification for eCommerce, Field Service, Manufacturing and Construction industries.
- Blockchain for Financials, Distribution, CRM and Project Accounting.
- Serverless approach for unified front-end architecture and Scripting Language customisation engine.
- Microservices for workflow automation refactoring and multi-tenant customisation support.
- Containers for platform modernisations, and improvement of runtime performance and scalability.
Ajoy also announced several new and very interesting integrations and features:
- Microsoft Teams integration with Acumatica. When you choose teams you can send all the context from Acumatica into Teams chat and help your employees to collaborate much easier with each other.
- Climacell integration with Acumatica – weather forecasting, notification for project management to avoid risky weather conditions. This solution can be extremely useful for companies from the construction industry. Weather conditions can be captured and users will be notified based on predefined conditions – if it is going to be too hot or too cold, or rainy in the selected location.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning for image recognition capabilities – now users can filter images based on what is actually in the picture, machine learning automatically tags it and recognises it during user’s searches.
- IoT devices for warehouse operations. In the warehouse employees can do scanner speaking, avoiding papers. Employees can start the Packing process in the Acumatica mobile app and they will see in the warehouse in the digital panels how many items they need to pick.
- Robotics for warehouse operations. In a large warehouse, employees might need to move parts here and there constantly. In such cases, robots can be used for monotonous workflow automation. Robots can move things from parts station the assembly station.
If you would want to know more about how these technologies may benefit different industries, we have several articles which describe it:
- Warehouse Management Using Drones and ERP
- Augmented Reality For eCommerce, Warehousing And Supply Operations
- Blockchain Technology And ERP Integration: The Future Of eCommerce
- Internet of Things (IoT) and ERP Integrations: Influence on Supply Chain Management
- Artificial Intelligence in ERP – how does it work in Acumatica?
*All rights for pictures belong to Aumatica and were taken from here