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, which 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.
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