Epicor recently hosted their yearly Epicor Insights conference in Nashville. Representatives from Ultra’s ERP consultants team members attended to learn about the latest and greatest with Epicor software.
Epicor & Disruptive ERP
Joe Cowan, President and CEO of Epicor, kicked off the event, which hosted a whopping 3,300 attendees. He mentioned their new owner, private equity firm KKR & Co. L.P., who is coming with open pockets to help Epicor grow.
Cowan spoke to a familiar theme of disruptive ERP, and suggested the Internet and eCommerce solutions have aided this disruption, as consumers want everything now. What it means to Epicor is going to change. As Cowan emphasized, “Change is constant, and growth is optional.”
He considered a few statistics from a Gartner study on what is on the mind of CEOs, where 58% of the respondents said that growth is the #1 issue.
Therefore, the next logical question is, what factors are key for growth from the point of view of an Epicor user? In a similar study, 47% of the customers said better technology was the key.
After setting the stage, Joe connected the dots and informed the audience that transformative technical solutions are needed to drive real growth, and that 20% of Epicor’s resources are dedicated to improving and changing the software.
Cowan closed his section of the keynote by informing the audience that this is the journey that Epicor is on, making it easier to do business with Epicor. To achieve this, they will show simple and low risk through four initiatives: product, support, services, and education.
Epicor’s Plan for Growth
Himanshu Palsule, Executive Vice President and Chief Product and Technology Officer, kicked it up a notch in his presentation. He established Epicor’s growth pillars:
He then further established the Industry Pillars of Design, Expertise and Success.
But the focus was the ease of everything – this was the real message – and that Epicor’s goal is to be the most intuitive ERP in the world, offering a solution that is:
- Easy to deploy with choices
- Easy to access at any time, any place, and with any browser
- Easy to upgrade
- Easy to do business with, as they have fixed their internal customer service system
- Easy to use and intuitive, especially in the latest user interface, which offers more information at your fingertips
- Easy to learn, with their new Epicor University offering – which is critical to support the cloud implementations, which typically have less on-site consulting
Epicor announced “Project Cirrus” and the ability to take customers from Vantage, Vista, and E9, at significantly reduced cost and time. This is a complete change to the upgrade program.
This move was made possible by utilities and the ability to build, move to cloud, convert it and give it back to you. We’ll talk more to come on upgrading to 10.2 in a future blog.
Scott Hays, Epicor’s SVP of Global Product Marketing, then announced Epicor 10.2, and an extension of their role-based User Interface (UI) with role-based tiles from Epicor data discovery.
Hayes demonstrated how to pick data from the data warehouse, and further demonstrate the map of the warehouse to the bin number and created an animated simulation to show the movement of goods and inventory.
Epicor Prophet 21
Next up was Dave Getty, Epicor’s VP of Development, who spoke to Epicor Prophet 21 and demonstrated the solution using the browser approach with multiple versions, which can typically be confusing. He introduced a new P21 that allows user to control the windows of the browser.
Getty also announced that the beta version is a full new API for P21. He hit on the new eCommerce application which is a direct shot at NetSuite’s prospective customer base, who had previously cornered this market with distributors until Epicor partnered with Magento.
Working through P21’s top new features, they presented the new Epicor Data Analytics tool, which goes beyond portals and dashboards, as it can source and aggregate data from multiple systems.
Next on the roadmap was predictive analytics, and finally they ended with DocStar, Epicor’s newly purchased document management workflow module.
Training & Education
A new on-demand training toolset was introduced. These are online offerings both informational and functional, yet only six to ten minutes in length. One of these was demonstrated and the animation looked great, providing a quick answer, which is much better than a FAQ list.
Epicor mentioned they also want to go here with cloud-based training, fast and simple. Additionally, they applied augmented reality, which lays over the top of the real image being viewed through a virtual reality-like device.
This is incorporated into the learning experience, and will probably eventually be incorporated into warehouse applications, replacing pick-to-voice in noisy environments.
Internet of Things & Other Technologies
The best demonstration was the final one, where Epicor demonstrated their new Internet of Things (IOT) capabilities of Connect, Collect, Visualize, and Analyze from smart machines.
One of their customers from Birmingham, UK demonstrated IOT live on stage. He synced up sensors made by Photon with Epicor ERP, installed it in a piece of equipment on stage, and provided results, all in about ten minutes.
He demonstrated when the fuel goes below a certain threshold, which made the screen turn red. A message was sent to trigger a Business Process Management (BPM) action in the form of an email.
This allowed the supplier to perform the work and automatically create a service work order and product order (PO), effectively moving Epicor ERP into predictive maintenance.
Our mission is to keep abreast of vendor developments, especially as we serve organizations with ERP selection services. To learn more about Epicor, stay tuned for our next blog or visit Epicor’s website here.