We live in a world where new technologies and apps are introduced every day. It is hard to believe that less than four years ago Twitter was just gaining popularity and is now one of the leaders in social media communication. The same can be said for Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and all the hot new technologies developed by or snatched up Amazon and Google in recent years.
The challenge for business today is providing employees the functionality they have in their personal lives, in the business environment. It is very easy to try a new application in on a personal level as the risks are very low. If it turns out to be unstable or does not meet expectations, it is only personal leisure time that is lost. That is not the case in business—implementing new technologies that fail to meet the requirements or solve the designated problem is very expensive in both time and dollars. Additionally, applications popular today may not be around in a year or two.
I recently attended an ERP conference by Acumatica. Demonstrations included several new technologies: blockchain, machine-learning, using Skype and the Microsoft Azure Bot Framework to let an employee file an expense report via chatbot. I was most impressed when they showed a working prototype of the Amazon Echo “Alexa” actually talking to the accounting system. My wife and friends love Alexa and use it around me all of the time, so it was very impressive when the demo team spoke to Alexa and asked her about the available inventory in each warehouse and then instructed her to place a purchase order with the vendor to replenish the stock.
One thing Acumatica learned through the process was that Alexa isn’t entirely ready for the enterprise yet. For example, one area where Amazon Alexa needs to catch up is in user authentication — identifying who’s speaking, and granting access and permissions based on role. Authorization for ordering and approvals are generally set up in businesses based on roles—Controller, Purchasing Officer, etc. This minimizes duplicate or fraudulent ordering, provides accountability, and helps prevent errors. This type of capability could also be helpful in avoiding accidental orders in the home. One of the obvious extension of this technology in the future is “voice fingerprinting.” Having voice authentication connected to role would be essential.
The bottom line in that as enticing as a lot of the new technologies look, they need to be fully tested and vetted before being implemented in your business. Acumatica is a very forward-looking and tech-savvy developer. However, they are not impulsive—they will define the business case and thoroughly test any new technologies before integrating them into your business Acumatica ERP, CRM, and operational solution. So you can safely leverage the new technologies in your implementation. If it hasn’t started already, soon enough your organization will be using popular apps like Twitter and Chat to increase communication and productivity in your organization. Enjoy the ride!
To see Alexa in action visit this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddJgOWMls7o
To see how Acumatica Cloud ERP can integrate with new technologies for a custom-fit solution, contact NexVue at 203.327.0800 or visit us online at www.nexvue.com.
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