According to Epicor Software Corp., nearly half of its new clients are evaluating the cloud as their primary deployment model. As such, on top of its on-premises version of Epicor ERP, the vendor offers a variety of cloud-based ERP software, giving its clients a wide range of choices when it comes to a cloud ERP implementation. Epicor specifically cites manufacturing as an industry vertical that is well-suited to its cloud ERP system because of the collaborative nature of manufacturing across the entire supply chain.
Businesses can implement Epicor's cloud-based ERP as multi-tenant, single tenant, cloud or hybrid -- mix of cloud and on premises. Regardless of the type of ERP implementation a client chooses, the code base of the product is always the same. This enables a straightforward migration to another type of Epicor ERP architecture in the future, if the client desires, and it also assures system consistency no matter how an enterprise chooses to implement it.
Epicor's cloud-based ERP covers all aspects of everyday company operations. System modules include core financial functions, such as the general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, asset tracking and financial analysis, to name a few. There are also HR functions, such as staffing, benefits and recruiting; a customer relationship management module; manufacturing operations; supply chain management, production planning and scheduling; sales management; service management; product management; supply chain management; and e-commerce. Epicor also offers industry-specific ERP systems designed to meet the needs of manufacturing, distribution and service industries.
Epicor takes its global ERP mobile
Epicor recently launched the latest release of its ERP system, a major upgrade to its cloud-based ERP platform that boasts a new mobile framework. The latest Epicor ERP release touts a responsive design and a modern user experience on virtually any mobile device for access to information anytime and anywhere with internet access. Epicor also announced it is going to create a global ERP system by bringing its cloud-first strategy to the Asian market to cloud-enable a region dominated by manufacturing and distribution companies.
Epicor cloud ERP software enhancements are deployed in a structured release model, providing clients with significant lead time, a testing environment and upgrade planning material before the production deployment. These upgrades are provided to clients at no cost -- with Epicor staff taking responsibility for the entire upgrade. Generally speaking, all multi-tenant clients are upgraded at once; single tenant clients have the option to delay their upgrades to meet their specific business or technical requirements.
Users access Epicor cloud ERP via a web browser -- Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer are recommended -- or via a locally installable, self-upgrading .NET application. Connectivity is available across the public internet, requiring no special hardware, port configuration or other restrictions to system access. Epicor offers two user interfaces (UIs) that meet the demands of companies with different access needs. Generally speaking, clients who prioritize remote or mobile access are consumers of the Epicor ERP web UI, while power users who demand the full-featured, PC-based user experiences, or who want to see 10 different screens at once, favor the Epicor Smart Client as their primary user interface.
All Epicor ERP systems are based wholly on Microsoft technology, which allows Epicor to truly tout its software as a global ERP system. Working closely with Microsoft, Epicor uses the Microsoft Azure data center in Singapore to support new cloud deployments in Asia -- starting with Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. This is in addition to its data centers in Texas, California and Sydney, Australia, and a combination of colocation sites.
Epicor directly provides its Epicor cloud ERP deployments -- and all associated business and technical consulting -- or through its community of authorized business partners. Clients can opt for application support plans of 12 or 24 hours a day, with the cloud systems infrastructure team providing 24/7 year-round system operations support. Classrooms, as well as online training programs, are routine with Epicor cloud deployments, and are included in most client configurations and pricing.
Epicor backs it cloud ERP system with a 99.5% service-level agreement, although it reported uptimes are actually much higher than this.
Epicor tests for disaster recovery semiannually, and it employs external and independent security review firms to validate its system security and protection models. These tests are coordinated by Epicor's compliance department. Additionally, all data centers used by Epicor have earned the highest level of operating environment system credentials, including Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
How does Epicor support its Epicor ERP users?
Epicor's annual customer conference, Epicor Insights, brings together thousands of Epicor ERP users. Attendees can take part in dedicated education tracks focused on their specific products and systems, and can gain more opportunities to network across products and industries. Epicor also features a dedicated customer portal, with additional resources for customers who are currently on a maintenance plan. Through this portal, customers can access detailed documentation, education, online chat for most product lines, immediate updates on products and services, and a clear and consistent approach to finding and selecting the information they need.
Epicor sells its cloud ERP systems through the Epicor Partner Network, which the company said enables it to maintain selective alliances with partners serving key market areas and industry sectors.
Epicor does not offer free trials of its cloud ERP, but the company does assist clients that want to evaluate access and system deployment architecture as part of their selection process.
As cloud matures, companies get more comfortable with cloud ERP software.
Cloud ERP is challenging on-premises ERP systems.
Before choosing a cloud ERP system, evaluate your organization's needs.