Security, compliance and artificial intelligence are key focus areas, says the Aussie company’s MD.
Melbourne-based Pronto Software is an Australian success story in the highly competitive ERP (enterprise resource planning) market. Business IT spoke to managing director Chad Gates about software company’s plans for the coming year and ERP software in general.
A major focus area is security and compliance, Gates said. Laws concerning the mandatory reporting of data breaches in Australia came into force earlier this year, the EU General Data Protection Regulation starts being enforced on 25 May, and the Single Touch Payroll requirements will come into effect on 1 July.
“GDPR has everybody spooked,” Gates told Business IT, and is among the reasons why around 94 percent of Pronto ‘s new and upgrade business is now for cloud rather than on-premises.
The reasons why some organisations are staying with on-premises deployments include the need to optimise the return on previous infrastructure investments, regulatory issues (some public sector organisations have a restricted choice of data centres), and simply that IT departments want to keep control over their environments.
“People are wondering which cloud to trust,” because an opaque chain of providers can be involved. But Pronto owns its own cloud, he emphasised.
STP is “a big one,” he said. “We’re pretty much ready,” although testing and verification are still underway because STP has been “a bit of a moving target.” Thanks to a big effort by Pronto staff, Gates is confident that almost all customers will be able to go live with STP on 1 July.
Mobile app development has been accelerated, including the creation of a native iPad POS app for retailers that is being piloted with selected customers and will be made generally available later this year. Unlike most POS apps, it accommodates complex pricing algorithms and other features, he said, and is designed to handle high-volume situations such as pop-up stores.
Other features include full integration with Pronto Xi while still being able to operate offline, the option of using the iPad’s camera or a Bluetooth device for scanning barcodes, integration with payment terminals, stock availability at nearby stores, and daily reporting.
More generally, Pronto has done “a lot of work under the cove