While AP automation vendors are continually adding functionality to their solutions to address these growing demands, there are two main ways that new features and enhancements can be delivered to AP departments. While technical in nature, the differences between these two approaches significantly impact the business value delivered by the solution, including the availability, ease-of-use, and timeliness of new features and enhancements.
Traditional solution providers take a monolithic approach to software development that rigidly and tightly binds functionality, making it take more time to review, test, and deploy new features. As a result, several new features are typically bundled together in larger releases spread out over months-long intervals.
In contrast, modern providers are using an innovative microservices approach to develop and deliver features to users as soon as they are ready. These smaller, cloud-native services act like building blocks, similar to Legos, which operate independently and are assembled to create a unified, fully integrated solution. As a result, new capabilities can be easily added or adapted without impacting the entire system.
The customer impact of MineralTree’s microservices approach
MineralTree has been at the forefront of leveraging a microservices architecture to shorten time to value for AP departments. With this approach, we are able to deliver innovations and incremental improvements to users in a much quicker, more agile fashion, rather than making them wait for a larger product release sometime down the line.
Here are four ways that companies can benefit from our microservices approach:
Features developed through microservices can be iterated and refined without impacting other functionality, allowing faster development, testing, and deployment, with less downtime.
More responsive to changing conditions.
Because features can be developed quickly and easily deployed as needed, MineralTree can be more responsive to customer feedback and changing market needs.
Better alignment with ERP updates.
New or adapted functionality can be quickly added when accounting system providers deploy a new release, enabling MineralTree to keep its AP automation platform better aligned – and up to date – with customers’ accounting systems.
Since microservices are inherently more scalable and better suited to modern cloud environments, enhancements can quickly roll out to all customers regardless of the number of users affected.
New MineralTree TotalAP capabilities delivered using microservices
As an industry leader in AP automation and payments innovation, MineralTree is continuously developing new features and enhancements to provide the most robust capabilities, while keeping our solution easy to use and deploy.
Two new workflow enhancements demonstrate how we were able to quickly add value to AP departments using our microservices architecture:
1. Credit Application
With our new Credit Application feature, employees can easily apply supplier credits directly in MineralTree TotalAP, rather than going into their ERP or accounting system to manually apply credits to invoices. Credits created in the ERP sync to MineralTree, where they can easily be applied to valid invoices and payments, creating a more seamless invoice-to-pay experience. In addition to providing better visibility over credits to ensure they are applied accurately, the enhancement also enables AP managers to view the entire credit balance from a supplier prior to application.
2. Expense Allocation
Our new Expense Allocation Templates allow customers to split expenses across multiple departments or locations with the click of a button. Expenses can be coded to GL accounts based on percentage, headcount, or square footage. As recurring invoices arrive, the accounting manager can apply pre-built allocation templates to these expenses, automatically coding and splitting them without the need for manual calculation.
These two new features reduce manual work and enable faster invoice coding, which in turn, can speed up approvals and payments. The faster your staff can process invoices, the more money that you can save. In addition, it enables you to potentially pay suppliers faster and promote better relations to keep critical goods and services flowing.
Why Choose MineralTree Microservices?
Thanks to our microservices architecture, we are able to rapidly develop new features and enhancements which are more readily available to AP departments of all types and sizes. It furthers our ability to deliver powerful, easy-to-use functionality to help AP departments process more invoices, and scale to accommodate growth with their existing team. In short, it’s another way we are helping AP departments do more with less, which is critical for meeting business challenges today.