Acumatica vs SAP B1 – Choosing the Best ERP

By June 26, 2019Acumatica, Blog, Cloud

Want to know why other businesses chose Acumatica over SAP? Read these ERP case studies.

Here are five factors to consider when evaluating Acumatica versus SAP B1

Selecting an ERP is tough in the current business software market. Advancements in cloud technology replace traditional value points, bringing both their own benefits and complexities for consideration.in cloud technology that bring their own benefits and complexities to consider. Choosing the best ERP in the digital age means studying and evaluating the value of cloud software systems like Acumatica Cloud ERP and SAP Business One (B1) to see which fits your needs.

Acumatica is a cloud native solution with state-of-the-art functionality and a unique pricing model tailored for growth industries in the midmarket. SAP B1 is a robust but aging on-premise system repurposed to deliver limited cloud features to smaller businesses. When comparing Acumatica against SAP B1, the history, functionality and future strategy of these products must be reviewed to determine which is the best ERP.

Here are five factors to consider when evaluating Acumatica versus SAP B1:

1. History – New & Original vs Legacy & Repurposed

Looking at the history of an ERP solution does not lay out the road map for its future, but it does indicate the purpose and business strategy for the product in the publisher’s eyes. Several of the enterprise software giants have tried to maintain market share by adding cloud-based features to on-premise systems, just to be able to showcase a SaaS solution. Business One is such an example, SAP having decided to “cloudify” the software module by module to continue drawing in SMB prospects for other products.

SAP B1 was originally TopManage, designed by an Israeli company of the same name as a desktop system for their regional market. It was acquired along with the firm by SAP back in 2002 while the German developer was branching out from their enterprise-exclusive foundation. However, SAP has dithered at times on how its SMB/SME strategy will be affected by the shift to the cloud, and as Bob Scott points out SAP’s executive leadership views SAP B1 primarily as a gateway to sell bigger and more expensive products.

Acumatica’s core leadership team, all software and technology veterans, built their flagship software themselves while working on development for Parallels in conjunction with Microsoft. The team has continued to focus on this single product and has leveraged significant investments of capital to continuously improve the features it delivers. Acumatica continues to progress rapidly by capitalizing on these resources and their strong partnerships, enabling the technology to keep advancing every year since its creation.

2. Market – Flexible Growth vs Rigid Niches

Though by definition ERP software should deliver enterprise-level functionality, not all solutions are created equal in this regard. SAP readily admits that Business One is intended for smaller customers who cannot afford their higher-end solutions. This has resulted in SAP B1 being a scaled down version of more advanced SAP software that does not deliver midmarket or enterprise-level functionality to users.

SAP B1 also works at a disadvantage when it comes to specific integrations, namely those for industry features. SAP relies on partners exclusively to enable Business One to provide this type of functionality to customers. This means that users will only gain access to top level vertical functions, and SAP B1 will end up forcing them to adjust processes to the software instead of the other way around.

Acumatica is equipped to deliver specific business size and vertical module functionality in accordance with your investments. The pricing model discards traditional user license costs and instead charges based on technology usage, allowing you to upgrade the size of your software as you grow. Additionally, Acumatica’s module suites provide specific industry- and unit-level functionality that can be consolidated or customized as you see fit.

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3. Technology – Innovative vs Outdated

The primary value point that both Acumatica and SAP deliver in their products is the quality of their technology offers, but the latter has not always been on the cutting edge and the software is often too complicated for customers to understand fully. Errors from misconfiguration, customization, other factors have led to SAP ERP implementations having less than 50 percent chance of achieving business goals. The shift to cloud has also created security concerns among legacy SAP application platforms that hold their enterprise systems together.

Bugs have repeatedly appeared in SAP technology stacks that affect multiple product lines which allow malicious actors to access the system externally. Some of these exploits have existed for over a decade yet continue to emerge and threaten SAP user data security. SAP B1 is a legacy solution injected with new technology that it was never designed for, which can cause critical errors such as the 10KBLAZE exploit to arise and compromise your data.

Acumatica continues to surpass technology benchmarks with each new release that deliver improved automation, better customization and new functions for users. Acumatica 2019 R1, which was showcased at Acumatica Summit 2019, lays the groundwork for integrating developments such as machine learning, predictive analytics and much more. Partnerships with tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft have allowed Acumatica to develop integrations with state-of-the-art tools such as Alexa, which give users that many more options in using their cloud software system.

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4. Cloud – Native with Options vs Legacy with Headaches

The misconfigurations in legacy SAP systems are nothing new, and have a habit of appearing in older software that has been recoded for Internet access. Even the slow migration SAP has promised for Business One will not save users if the publisher does not have a clear strategy for implementing and securing their cloud connections. The opposite appears to have happened with SAP if the Indirect Access dilemma is any indication, which placed draconian and expensive blocks against third party integration access – and did not prevent exploits like 10KBLAZE from appearing anyway.

Acumatica was “born in the cloud” and consequently users will have a much easier – and safer – time connecting to offsite servers. However, Acumatica also provides multiple deployment options for businesses which want flexibility in how their cloud software is hosted. No matter whether it is hosted on a public, private or hybrid cloud connection, or it remains on-premise, Acumatica will always be a state-of-the-art, browser-based solution.

5. Future – Progress vs Stagnation

The future of any ERP is not set in stone, and long-term publisher strategy decisions can determine the level of service users can expect. In SAP’s case, relatively modest returns in 2019 have led to a refocusing on improving shareholder value and improving cloud solution revenue. However, observers theorize that their R&D might take a hit as a result, and given the restructuring the company is going through as well SAP B1’s development might be stalled further.

Acumatica recently made big news when it was acquired by the same private equity firm that holds the assets to Sweden-based IFS AB, EQT Partners. The deal will be closed in Q3 2019 and is being proclaimed as giving Acumatica access to the best practices, networks and technology of the much larger IFS while still allowing both publishers to retain autonomy. The acquisition will greatly expand the level of resources Acumatica has access to, and the cloud ERP developer has already promised to leverage this to drive forward research into AI in conjunction with IFS.

Acumatica VS SAP B1 – The Best ERP is a Modern ERP

SAP software is expensive to invest in, and existing Business One users might be reluctant to let go of a system they have thrown so much money into. Yet SAP B1 is still an aging solution that is delivering decreasing value to users while SAP attempts to catch up on established cloud providers with proven technology, which is what one of our customers discovered when they switched form Sage 500 to SAP B1 before eventually going to Acumatica.

Download the SWK Success Story for Mold In Graphics, a manufacturer of unique labels for plastic surfaces, to see how they gained the value they were seeking by migrating from SAP B1 to Acumatica Cloud ERP.

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SWK Technologies, Inc.