Industry expertise, extensible software and multiple deployment options are among the keys to ERP vendor Epicor’s success.
Epicor is the world’s sixth largest software company, executive vice president international Sabby Gill (pictured) told iTWire, with more than 40 years experience and more than 20,000 customers ranging from small businesses to enterprises.

“We have a very unique offering in that it is industry focused,” he said, with “very rich industry knowledge and experience” in areas including discrete and process manufacturing, distribution, retail and services (eg hospitality).

Senior vice president for Asia Pacific Craig Charlton noted that in Australia, Epicor is strong in manufacturing, distribution, and finance and services.
A sound understanding of particular industries and their terminology is a key aspect to gaining the confidence of potential customers, said Gill, and the depth of expertise means Epicor can provide templates for best practices in many areas.
This is “probably the most fundamental piece that we have over our competitors,” he said, and as these industry-specific features become part of the core product there is less need for customers to make their own customisations.

But Epicor’s ERP system is one of the most extensible on the market – an important issue for customers that see a competitive advantage in customisation – and is available for single or multitenant deployment in the cloud, as SaaS, as a managed service and on-premises. (Australian customers are served from Epicor’s Australian data centre.)

In each case, the software uses the same codebase and so data can be readily moved from one deployment model to another, Gill explained. This approach also allows mix-and-match operation, he added, so one part of an organisation might run on a single-tenant on-premises instance, while the remainder use a multitenant cloud deployment.

This approach lets customers decide what is important to them. Charlton noted that one company might go for a single-tenant deployment and only upgrade when there is a particular reason to do so (an easy process even when skipping multiple versions, he said), while another might take the multitenant cloud approach in order to get the benefits of any new features as they arrive

While Epicor has traditionally served the midmarket, the addition of SaaS deployment has opened up the lower end of the market, Charlton said, as it makes it easier for small companies to get started with an ERP system that they won’t outgrow for some time, even if they are growing rapidly.

Furthermore, customers that choose to modify the software aren’t locked in to that particular version, said Charlton, thanks to the way the company maintains compatibility for such customisation.

This extensibility makes it possible to build new industry-specific software on top of Epicor. One example is an Australian-developed system for the aged care and community care sectors that was originally developed by partner. Partly because of growing consolidation, “it was a market ripe for the tools provided by ERP” and so Epicor acquired the product and took it to an international market.

Epicor is probably the only ERP vendor to completely rebuild its software in the last ten years, he said, whereas other products go back around 20 years. So Epicor has baked features such as multitenancy, mobility and social deeply into the products, where older architectures have seen them implemented as additional layers, and now “we’re reaping the rewards of that investment.”

“Modern ERP needs to be an enabler of rapidly changing business workflows,” Charlton said, and that’s what Epicor offers.

Cover Image Source: epicor.com

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