Wednesday, 22 March 2017 13:14

Pronto Xi 740 makes BI easier for end users


Pronto Xi 740, the latest release of the Australian company's ERP and analytics software, blurs the line between BI and ERP, according to managing director Chad Gates.

Release 740 includes a KPI library that stores aggregated data from across a business for faster and more efficient analysis, along with the new workspaces feature that makes it easy to present real-time KPIs that are relevant to the user's area of responsibility.

Together, these new features — which are native to Xi — allow end-users to build their own dashboards without IT or BI expertise, said Gates.

There is also the option of "passive notification" – users can choose to be alerted if a certain KPI trends in a particular direction for a specified period of time. For example, an alert might be triggered if margins continue to fall for six months.

In the next year or two, Pronto plans to introduce a more cognitive version of BI: "we're quietly working on it," Gates told iTWire.

Pronto Xi 740 has several other new features.

Search functionality now spans all the information stored in the system, and provides relevant actions for the results. So when searching for a supplier, one of the options is to contact that company.

Resource management is the first all-new module to be added to Xi for three or four releases, Gates told iTWire. It allows people, services, tools, serialised items and other resources to be organised into pools, and then rostered or scheduled. The module ties into time sheets, award interpretation and payroll, which "creates a lot of efficiency".

Auxiliary trading mode allows POS terminals to continue to operate even when connectivity to the Pronto Xi server is lost.

Enhancements to the promotions engine help retailers improve promotions planning for increased sales and profitability.

Updates to the mobile service module allow the capture of customer signatures at the end of service calls, and allow technicians to customised the menu to suit their particular needs.

"The launch of Pronto Xi 740 follows close to 18 months of research and development," said Gates. "It is the result of 132,000 hours of new product development, and 12,500 hours of listening to customer feedback."

Pronto has around 1700 customers, of which around 250 use Pronto Cloud. Around three-quarters of the company's new and upgrading customers opt for the cloud implementation, he said, however it will probably take another 10 years before half of its SME customers have moved to the cloud.

Pronto Cloud is not limited to delivering Xi – it hosts other vendors' software (including Sharepoint and file servers), and Pronto also offers back-up and recovery as a service using Zerto's software.

Gates observed that while Pronto has some government clients (particularly in corrections and electricity generation), " we would certainly play more with government if it was easier (and less expensive)".

The company does business with the government of Papua New Guinea, so "we do understand the way it works".

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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