Accruent Acquires VFA

Posted by Admin on November 24, 2014 under EAM/CMMS | Be the First to Comment

Accruent acquired VFA on November 17th, 2014. Accruent offers a wide selection of real estate and facilities management solutions including Enterprise Asset Management, Maintenance Management, Project Management, Space/Occupancy Planning, and Market Planning.

VFA’s cloud lifecycle management software solutions and consulting services enable customers to assess their real estate portfolios, allocate capital, and make better decisions to support their organizations’ mission and strategy.

Accruent has been acquiring point solutions over the last few years, with the intent to build a comprehensive real estate management platform. Back in late 2011 they acquired 360Facility, an EAM/CMMS (Enterprise Asset Management/Computerized Maintenance Management System) application that was an early adopter of SaaS delivery methodology. They have since been porting their other applications to the 360Facility SaaS architecture, and also continuing to purchase other point solutions such as Siterra, Expesite, Evoco, and Four Rivers Software.

While many of Accruents’ customers are in the private sector, they have been gaining traction in healthcare, public sector, and higher education verticals. If you are considering an EAM/CMMS solution, and are interested in a SaaS model, then Accruent might be a candidate for you!

High Line Personality – A Lot of Functionality in One Package

Posted by Admin on October 15, 2014 under HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

Last week we received an update on High Line’s Personality HCM application. Personality has traditionally been an on-premises only application, however recently they have expanded into cloud offerings with a hosted solution option.

High Line is a small company, but has been in business over 34 years. You can see the company’s long experience in the HCM space in that Personality has very extensive capabilities, including all in-house developed and fully integrated modules such as:

• Human Resources
• Benefits Administration
• Employee and Manager Self Service
• Position Management/Succession Planning
• Recruiting/Applicant Tracking
• Onboarding/Off boarding
• Learning Management
• Performance Management
• Timekeeping
• Payroll

They currently have around 130 customers, with around 25% of those being hosted. In addition, their product is marketed under an OEM agreement with McKesson, which uses Personality extensively in the Healthcare space. Right now the current trend in small to mid-market applications is moving toward multi-tenant SaaS; however High Line still sees demand for their on-premises solution. They are also a strong candidate for those who wish to have more control and/or customizations over their implementations than would be possible in the multi-tenant SaaS environment.

We will continue to watch High Line, as its offering has extensive functionality and tends to offer a good cost to performance proposition.

Ultimate Software Update

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2014 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

The last time we posted information about UltiPro (around 2 years ago), they had around 1,400 employees and $269M in annual revenues. Two years later, they’ve grown their staff by 50%, and revenue has almost doubled to $480M.

Ultimate was one of the original HCM SaaS vendors, and has a highly developed multi-tenant SaaS solution that first debuted in 2002. Having been in business since 2000, and having over 2700 active customers, Ultimate is well established. UltiPro has extensive functionality, and all modules are fully integrated, including:

• Human Resources
• Benefits Administration
• Employee and Manager Self Service
• Succession Planning
• Recruiting/Applicant Tracking
• Onboarding/Off boarding
• Learning Management
• Performance Management
• Timekeeping
• Payroll

One of the most impressive aspects of Ultimate is their customer service ethic. They have an amazing 94% retention rate with their support staff, which is extremely high. A significant portion of the support team compensation is calculated in conjunction with customer satisfaction survey results. In addition, customer training onsite at their corporate offices is free of charge for current clients.

Ultimate is a solid, profitable, customer focused company that is in a high-growth mode. Its Ultipro HCM solution is extensive, well integrated, and has an easy to use UI. The multi-tenant SaaS delivery is well designed, secure, and has extensive disaster recovery and redundancy built it.

If you are in the market for a cloud HCM solution, UltiPro is well worth considering!

Serenic Acquired by Sylogist

Posted by Admin on July 15, 2014 under Non-Profit Software | Be the First to Comment

Sylogist recently announced the acquisition of Serenic Software for $8M. Serenic is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) solution that provides HR and financial software for the non-profit industry. The solution is built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution and has a good install base in the non-profit arena offering a strong grant management solution including budgeting.
Sylogist is a technology company that has a history of acquiring software vendor solutions and providing a suite of software for various industries – including municipalities and manufacturing companies. While Sylogist is not as big as other vendors with a similar strategy (ie. Sage and Infor) the Serenic acquisition is a much more visible vendor acquisition and puts them more on the radar.
With regard to the future of Serenic – we do not see this acquisition as a strategy to sunset the product. Instead, we see this as adding to the suite of vendor solutions offered by Sylogist that fills the non-profit solution hole in their product suite. This acquisition will most likely provide a cash infusion that will allow Serenic to increase product development and sales and marketing resources.
Serenic is a viable option for mid-market to larger non-profit organizations, and can be purchased and implemented either directly from Serenic or through a network of Value Added Resellers.

Low End Cloud Accounting Solutions

Posted by Admin on February 14, 2014 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

It has been very interesting to watch how the cloud has revitalized the low end accounting software market. While in the past, QuickBooks and Peachtree really dominated the low end market – now there are a number of cloud accounting solutions for the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) market. The cloud really makes sense for these smaller companies as they can just access their system via the internet and they don’t have to worry about putting the software on their office computer. Software vendors have found this to be very fertile ground for offering a software solution in the cloud. Some of the cloud accounting vendors that focus on this space include: Intacct, FinancialForce, Xero, Freshbooks, Kashoo, and dozens more. Small business owners have a lot of options!

Cloud ERP Software – SAP “Slows” Development of BusinessByDesign

Posted by Admin on October 23, 2013 under ERP Software | Be the First to Comment

Accounting Today reports that SAP has decided to slow development of the BusinessByDesign cloud software application in favor of building a cloud based platform for development on the Hana database. (My guess is that their vision would be to create a development environment similar to Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform that has been used to develop many ISV software solutions) While they will continue to support current BusinessByDesign customers, they will not be focusing efforts to develop the software that reportedly cost $4.1B to develop and only has 785 customers. This is a continuation of SAP’s struggles to build a successful mid-market accounting/ERP software solution. While SAP is the most successful ERP software solution with large, global organizations, they have found the mid-market to be difficult. SAP now has tried to approach the mid-market with 2 products – Business One (traditional on-premises solution) and BusinessByDesign (cloud solution) – and has seen limited success.

While we can analyze the reasons for SAP’s success and failures, the more important discussion is the lesson we learn about cloud software solutions in general. Over the past 3 years we have seen a large number of cloud accounting software vendors appear in the market. Almost all of those software vendors have developed their solution with fewer resources backing their application development. So if a company as large as SAP can have difficulty developing and marketing their product, other vendors may eventually run into difficulty and may not have the resources to maintain the system for customers over the long term.

When you purchase a Cloud software solution, you are completely dependent on the vendor to maintain the software and hold your data. With all of these new Cloud ERP vendors, the market is a bit crazy right now. There has not been a lot of talk yet about what would happen if a large Cloud accounting vendor were to go out of business. This would be disastrous for any companies that were using that vendor. Make sure that you do your due diligence on these vendors and that you negotiate the contract to protect yourself from a worst case scenario in case your vendor goes out of business.

Cloud software solutions are a good solution for the right situation, and we have recommended them many times for our customers, but make sure that you do your due diligence and protect yourself for a worst-case scenario if you decide to put your trust in a Cloud software vendor.

ADP – A Lot More Than Payroll Processing

Posted by Admin on September 10, 2013 under HCM Software | Be the First to Comment

It’s been interesting watching ADP over the years as they’ve tried to adapt to competition and changing market demands. They’ve been the dominant provider of payroll and related tax filing services, but numerous competitors including PeopleSoft, Ceridian, Workday, Ultimate and others have entered their market with Human Resources solutions that were delivered both in an on-premises scenario, and more recently Cloud-based services (which is basically what ADP has been providing for many years, albeit before “Cloud” became such a hot technology option).

In order to fend off this competition and complement their traditional Payroll processing, ADP has looked for ways to provide Human Resources functionality. To do this, they tried different approaches including acquiring HR software providers, and licensing HR software from others. This resulted in a hodgepodge of many different backend systems that they tried to unify under a single front-end user interface.

But a few years ago they decided to build their own HR solution which would allow them to offer a unified solution that includes both Payroll and HR. So now they have rolled out two different solutions that were written from the “ground up” with a single database to handle payroll, human resources, benefits, on-boarding, applicant tracking, performance management and mobile applications with more enhancements to come.

1. Workforce Now – This was released in 2011 and has done very well. It is geared for companies in the 40 – 1,000 employee range, including those with an international reach.

2. Vantage HCM – This is designed to handle the needs of more complex organizations with over 1,000 employees. It also includes succession planning, learning management and other functionality.

ADP also provides international payroll and tax filing services in 90 countries, including handling country-specific pay slips and forms. They can also work with their customers to meet specific needs in a la carte manner. For example they offer Comprehensive Services which provides full blown business process outsourcing for organizations in need of staff support. They can also provide just the tax processing/filing services for a company, including integration with the company’s payroll module in its 3rd party ERP system.

Acumatica – Building Partner Channel

Posted by Admin on August 21, 2013 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

We don’t usually like to have too many posts about one vendor so close together, but Acuamatica recently held their Partner conference and announced some significant Partner growth. They now have over 220 VARs selling the product and have added 10 Independent Software Vendor partners including Solver, Spitfire, and others to make up more than 40 ISV partners. (ISV partner solutions are add-on software products that integrate with the base ERP system to add functionality such as Advanced Reporting, Warehouse Management, HR, that is not found in the base product).

Acumatica has had 300% growth of new installs in the last 3 years. While they are building from a startup situation over the past few years, that is still impressive growth and with over 200 partners selling the solution they have a fairly big salesforce to distribute the product. We will be watching this vendor with interest.

Sage Software Update

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2013 under Budgeting and Business Intelligence, CRM Software, ERP Software | Be the First to Comment

Sage recently held their annual conference for partners and users this week. While we were not able to attend, we have been monitoring the conference and also recently spoke with a Sage VAR to get the latest on what is happening at Sage.

1. Sage is continuing with the re-branding marketing push. Because Sage grew through acquisition of many different products, the product names (MAS 90, Accpac, etc.) are more recognizable than the Sage corporate name. Therefore, Sage re-named all of the products in their portfolio. (MAS 90 = Sage 100, Accpac = Sage 300, etc.) The point is to make the Sage brand more recognizable.

2. After many years of acquisitions, the sale of the non-profit solutions demonstrates that Sage is trying to consolidate and focus more on their core products.

3. Sage is working on getting to the cloud. The only pure multi-tenant cloud solution is Sage One – which is their entry level accounting system for about $25/month. The traditional ERP solutions will be available as a hosted (single tenant) solutions using Microsoft Azure.

4. While they continue to maintain and upgrade all of their products, the ERP product that has really become their flagship is Sage X3 (formerly Adonix). Sage is currently doing a very large update to X3 that will be released soon. Due to the robust functionality of the X3 product, Sage is pushing into a higher market than they traditionally have played and will be competing with Dynamics AX, JD Edwards and others that are just below SAP.

5. They are developing mobile solutions to enable access to Sage solutions through multiple devices.

We continue to monitor Sage as they move their initiatives forward. In particular we are watching to see if the re-branding initiative will help with name recognition and how the X3 product develops and competes in the future.

Acumatica – Mid-market Cloud/On-Premises ERP Vendor

Posted by Admin on May 3, 2013 under ERP Software | Be the First to Comment

Acumatica is an up and coming Cloud/On-Premises ERP vendor that was founded in 2007 and developed by ex-Solomon employees. They now have over 1,000 implementations. Like Workday, KeyedIn, Financial Force, and others, they are pulling together the old team that helped build Solomon back in the 80’s and 90’s. They also recently moved their headquarters to the Seattle area and have hired some of the Microsoft Dynamics salespeople and channel managers.

Acumatica offers a good functional footprint with particular focus on Distribution and Projects. They are now building up the VAR/Reseller channel (with many of the old Solomon VAR’s), but make sure that you vet the experience of the VAR because many of them are just now signing up and do not have as many installations under their belt yet.

Some interesting differentiators for Acumatica are that they offer their solution both in the Cloud as well as on-premises. This gives them the flexibility to adapt to whatever works best for the client. Acumatica recently released a funny video comparing Acumatica to Netsuite that is based on the Mac vs. PC ads that can be found here www.youtube.com/watch?v=EknOLFLeJQE. They also offer fixed pricing for Cloud implementations – which means that as you scale up the number of users, you will not have to pay more for the software, and they do not force you to upgrade. If you are a midmarket distribution, or project-based company – you should definitely have Acumatica on your long list of possibilities.