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Crestwood Associates

Cloud ERP Options: Compare Microsoft Dynamics GP vs. Acumatica


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    At this year’s Convergence, Microsoft announced that all their ERP solutions will be available in the cloud.  Although pledging that this would happen, there was little or no detail as far as when it might happen, which solutions will be available first, or what the pricing would be.  I have no doubt that Microsoft will have a true cloud ERP option at some point.  After all they haven’t invested a boatload of money in brand spanking new datacenters for nothing. 

    I also have no doubt that there will continue to be a gradual acceptance of ERP in the cloud.  Netsuite really pioneered this and many others are jumping on this deployment option. 

    For now, if you are looking for a cloud-based Dynamics option, your only real option is to have it hosted by one of many third party co-location or hosting companies.  But because these systems haven’t been redesigned for web deployment, this option really consists of the hosting companies providing servers (virtual or non) and processing requirements needed to run your applications.  You connect in remotely and access your system.  This can work well as an interim bridge to a true cloud alternative, for those that don’t have or don’t want the responsibility of an internal IT support staff to assist with an on premise deployment.  The only big downside of this is the cost.  For example, a GP hosted user might be charged approximately $250-$350 per month per user.  Under this type of subscription licensing model, you are likely paying for what would have been the one-time cost of the software, if purchased and deployed on premise, each and every year.  Like an ERP Cloud version of Groundhog Day.

    There are other cloud ERP alternatives.  One alternative with which we recently have become more involved is Acumatica.  They offer a different approach than what you are seeing from the other cloud providers as well as your current options from Microsoft.  Some of their most interesting features or components include:

    • Acumatica was developed for the cloud but can also be deployed on premise.
    • Licensing is either available via purchase or subscription.
    • Licensing is not by user but instead by module suite (Financials, Distribution, CRM).  So if you have a fairly large number of users, it can be very cost effective.
    • Its interface looks much like the Dynamics SL solution which is a very user friendly, easy to use interface.
    • Its typical online deployment is run on Microsoft Azure platform in the Microsoft data centers. 
    • Acumatica is very easy to customize and integrate.

    However, because Acumatica is a relatively newer player in this field, it does not yet have the breadth or depth of functionality that Microsoft Dynamics GP or other solutions have.  So in those cases an on-premise deployment or a third party hosted Dynamics deployment will still likely be the best fit until the time comes when Microsoft has a true cloud ERP alternative.  But for those companies whose needs are not overly complex and want a true browser based solution with the flexibility of either cloud or on-premise deployment, and have a number of users where the current options are cost prohibitive, Acumatica is worth a look. Want to learn more and see it in action? Join us for an Acumatica Lunch & Learn this Friday, May 20th, in Des Plaines, IL

    by Rick Feterick / Feterick & Associates, Inc – an Indiana Dynamics Partner
    Call us at 847-795-8200 or email: [email protected]

    One Response to “Cloud ERP Options: Compare Microsoft Dynamics GP vs. Acumatica”

    1. Acumatica creates web-based business management software applications which are developed on top of its internally developed platform. The server software is deployed on-premise, hosted in a datacenter, or run on a cloud computing platform. The software can be licensed or purchased as a SaaS solution

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