MUFI Rating & Risk – Epicor ERP
MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability
Vendor: Epicor (Select For Vendor Profile)
Epicor is one of the leading tier 2 ERP software vendors. Epicor has grown significantly due to its merger with the software vendor Activant. Epicor, along with Infor is seen as the main substitute for the tier 1 ERP vendors and for mid-market companies that would prefer not to stretch to purchase Oracle or SAP.
Epicor ERP has a relatively easy to use user interface. Unlike the tier 1 ERP applications, Epicor makes it easy to determine where on is located. However, aside from usability, Epicor is not an interesting or innovative application. Its main strength is its manufacturing functionality, and it even has manufacturing execution scheduling functionality – however, we advise clients not to rely upon ERP systems for such functionality – including supply chain planning functionality as it is not something that ERP systems particularly good at when compared to applications that specialize in this. This is a long-term argument that has been waged for over a decade and a half, but the fact is that companies that rely upon ERP systems for supply chain planning have mediocre planning output. We also do not grade Epicor ERP even in the same category as Rootstock or ProcessPro (two other ERP applications) for supply chain functionality. For details see our profiles on other software categories where we cover these types of applications in great detail.
In our testing of Epicor ERP, we found nothing compelling which would cause us to want to purchase or use the application. This lack of innovation and lack of engineering orientation is apparent in multiple areas of the software. Epicor’s ERP system is also not regarded for its infrastructure – with a number of clients complaining of slow processing times – something which is rare for an ERP application as the types of transactions that ERP systems perform are not heavy in processor consumption. Epicor also has a very limited financials module, which brings up the question of whether the company can use it at a reasonable level of customization. To top it off Epicor ERP is buggy.
Epicor has made a lot of marketing noise about how they are a better value than tier 1 ERP, however, like NetSuite, their marketing speaks a lot louder than the capability of their application. At this point, most people should be aware of the exceedingly poor value and negative ROI concerning SAP and Oracle ERP. It does not necessarily follow that Epicor is a good value simply because it is not SAP or Oracle. A software vendor must have something compelling in its own right aside from “not being SAP or Oracle,” and we don’t see that with Epicor’s ERP system. SAP has a similar cost profile to Sage but is a significantly inferior application. Furthermore, some applications are quite a bit less expensive than Epicor, that score far better in our rankings.
All scores out of a possible 10.
Vendor and Application Risk
Epicor is on the riskier side regarding implementation. It has a relatively old design, and only really stands out regarding its user interface, which eases user adoption.
Likelihood of Implementation Success
This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.
Risk Management Approach
Some of the biggest issues for Epicor falls into two categories. One is the fact that a good part of the implementation will often be spent in backtracking from promises made during the sales stage. Epicor repeatedly gets into problems with overstating what the system can do, and this burns time on implementations as the implementation begins with assumptions regarding how the system will be used, that turns out not to be true. The second category of risk is that Epicor is a high maintenance ERP application – which means that buyers should be very careful about how much functionality from Epicor ERP that they actually deploy. It is very easy to implement Epicor ERP in a way that is ultimately unsustainable.
Finished With Your Analysis?
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Software Selection Book
Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information
What the Book Covers
Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.
Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.
This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.
By reading this book you will:
- Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
- Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
- Understand what motivates a software vendor.
- Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
- Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
- Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
- Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
- Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
- Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
- Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
- Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
- Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
- Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
- Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process