Priority mobilizes for international push
Priority Software, the new global ERP challenger, has launched a raft of new mobile applications as it aims to build on growing momentum outside of its domestic market.
The privately-owned company, has grown threefold during the last five years and has seen its international business rise from less than 10% of group revenue to more than a third over the same period.
Part of this has been driven by a string of acquisitions, including SME accountancy software provider, Acclivity, and ERP software and consulting firm, Performa Apps – both based in the US. More recently, the company ramped up its presence in Europe with the purchase of Belgium’s Optimize Group, which brought three product lines (including the M-Soft system for the steel industry, DAVE, modular business software customized for SMEs, and Jamadata, for wine & beverage manufacturers), supporting more than 1,000 customers.
Priority has a range of products spanning from full-suite ERP to more focused propositions for SMEs. In Europe, the company leads with its ERP offering, which, while able to support large enterprises, and does, is generally targeted at small to mid-size businesses (from tens to several hundred users) internationally. Approximately 9,500 of Priority’s 75,000 customers use the ERP solution.
The company’s typical customer profile for its ERP product is a company that is struggling with multiple disparate systems (which may include legacy Sage, Pegasus, Microsoft Dynamics product lines), and looking for a single integrated solution to help them gain greater business value from the data that is locked away in multiple spreadsheets across different silos.
Priority has, for some time, looked to differentiate through its mobile functionality, and it recently unveiled a number of new out-of-the-box mobile apps in areas including CRM, purchase approval and inventory management, and new capabilities in the company’s Mobile App Generator. This is a tool that enables non-technical staff to create mobile apps that enable functionality, such as digital document signature or document sharing via e-mail, without programming knowledge.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of Priority’s new customers are opting for a cloud-based solution (which can be run in either Azure or AWS), although it still sees a preference in some markets – including surprisingly, the UK – for on-premise delivery. The company points to the high level of sensitivity among some of its customers in specific sectors, however, and their concerns over the limitations of connectivity in more remote parts of the country as common stumbling blocks in the cloud conversation.
Priority is not the best-known brand in the competitive ERP field, but it has a substantial and loyal customer base in its home market, and the recent acquisitions have given it significant bridgeheads on which to build on both sides of the Atlantic. It has a clear localization strategy for its products in regions such as Europe and cites its early move to support readiness for the Making Tax Digital requirements in the UK as a factor behind recent wins in the country.
Founded in 1986, Priority comfortably pre-dates the cloud era, but its product set bears the hallmarks of a modern ERP platform. It is based on open APIs, has a UX design strategy with ease-of-use at its core, and incorporates other aspects such as a marketplace for external partners to publish add-ons and connectors. The strong story in supporting mobile working will resonate with more accounts in the current climate, while a recent reshuffling of its partner network (key to its international sales) should also help it to open some new doors. We will watch the company’s progress with interest.