Mr. Anish Kanaran, Channel Director for Epicor in the Middle East, Africa and India shares his views with Technuter.com:
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering inspired business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. With over 40 years of experience serving small, midmarket and larger enterprises, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail management software, supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional and global businesses demand. The Company’s headquarters are located in Austin, Texas, with offices and affiliates worldwide.
Epicor ERP was officially launched in India in May 2011 and we have made excellent progress since then. We now have a range of customers, primarily manufacturers, who are using Epicor ERP in India. Our customer base is steadily and surely growing, and it is exceeding the general growth trends of the industry.
Epicor was positioned as a visionary in the Gartner magic quadrant for single-instance ERP for product-centric midmarket companies last year. We believe that this is proof of our long-standing commitment to providing our customers with flexible, scalable and cost-effective solutions that keep pace with the latest technologies and industry best practices.
Earlier in 2014 we launched Epicor ERP version 10, representing the transformation of business software to inspire the next-generation of ERP users.
What are latest industry trends in ERP?
Over the past few years, the rapid consumerization of technology has led the way for enterprises to move on to new technologies like cloud and mobile. ERP systems are shifting towards being simplified, more responsive and cost effective, as well as more accessible and easier to use. Trends such as cloud computing, mobility, analytics and social will befine tuned in the coming years.
The impact of mobility, for example, on businesses has been significant. Mobile solutions have opened up new vistas in cost savings, employee productivity, market reach and engagement, streamlined operations, responsiveness and service quality, among many others. Corporate trends such as ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and mobile enterprise apps attest to strong industry-wide recognition and appreciation of the huge impact of mobility.
Epicor has been responding to the rising demand for enterprise mobility through products designed to support the easy deployment and management of mobile devices and services to diverse users over multiple and dispersed locations. Turnkey solutions from Epicor include software that securely, seamlessly and cost-effectively extends business data to mobile and remote users; world-class support from its global service network; and superior device management to provide IT staff with complete visibility and control of mobile devices and applications.
Among the business benefits provided by these solutions are the management and enhancement of business performance and productivity; the empowerment of people, processes and infrastructure to drive and sustain business growth; increased profits; enhanced and integration; and improved compliance. Epicor notes that mobility is the way of the future as far as ERP is concerned.
What is the USP of ‘Epicor’ in contrast of other ERP providers in India?
As opposed to some of the larger, tier-1, vendors, Epicor has invested heavily in basing our solutions on a modern, flexible and agile technology platform to ensure that customers can take advantage of new functionality and trends that can help them become more competitive.
While the larger tier 1 vendors have a head start on us vis-à-vis their visibility in the domestic market, Epicor ERP repeatedly gets a thumbs up from customers when they compare our product to the competition. So, when we are able to display the functionality and features of the Epicor solution, customers see that it is a product they can rely on well into the future.
Some of our specific differentials include an agile business architecture based on 100% SOA (service-oriented architecture) to help companies quickly adjust to changing business conditions, a modern interface that fits into today’s workplace, global functionality to conduct business worldwide and still meet local regulations, and about a third of the cost of ownership compared to larger ERP systems.
One of the other points of differentiation is our addition of a social voice to ERP by integrating status updates, news feeds and broader SharePoint communities to provide an even more powerful tool to achieve best-in-class business performance. These technologies will further empower knowledge workers by leveraging contextual information to improve the quality of interactions.
What is “Epicor ERP Ver 10” and how does it work?
With Epicor ERP 10, we’ve taken our visionary blend of rich global functionality built on agile technology, and eliminated complexity to make ERP easier to use, more collaborative and more responsive. Guided by the needs of today’s users – we’ve streamlined the users’ experience across multiple devices and expanded deployment choice. The result is an inspired solution that changes an organizations’ relationship with ERP to drive growth and opportunity throughout the business.
The five key principles of Epicor ERP version 10:
- Collaboration: Epicor ERP version 10 enables collaboration between everybody in an organization to share their collective knowledge and experience for increased productivity.
- Choice: With innovative, agile technology architecture at the foundation, Epicor ERP version 10 delivers deployment (on premise, hosted or cloud) and device choice (PC, tablet or mobile) in a single solution.
- Responsive: Epicor ERP version 10 drives more immediate/real time relationships with customers, suppliers and business partners – with access to information as it’s happening – empowering business to act with speed and efficiency.
- Simplicity: Epicor ERP version 10 simplifies the user experience for everyone in the organization—with unprecedented ease-of adoption, from management of implementation and upgrades, to the ease with which casual users can access information—spurring innovation. It’s simplified technology stack – 100% Microsoft – makes upgrades easier, keeping customizations intact – that allows the user to design once and then deploy to all devices and user interfaces.
- Mobility: Epicor ERP version 10 provides desktop independence. Users in an organization can work the way they want to from anywhere, on any device – facilitating efficiency and faster decision making. In summary, Epicor ERP 10 is designed for the way we work today.
Manufacturers worldwide select Epicor ERP for its ease of use, ability to adapt to business and industry-specific requirements, and ultimately to scale as an organization expands or changes.
What are the major Industry verticals targeted by Epicor?
In India, manufacturing is the biggest industry segment for Epicor. With its extended manufacturing functionality, industry-specific features and a modern and flexible platform, Epicor ERP is the ideal choice for manufacturers in India who want to continue grow their business, both nationally and internationally.
How does Epicor defines its market strategies and how does it plans to expand in India?
Our customer base in India is made up of mainly manufacturers, and it is steadily and surely growing, exceeding the general growth trends of the industry. On-premise ERP is growing at a CAGR of 15-17% as per Gartner. Our plan is to establish ourselves as a key player in the manufacturing segment and then tap into other segments such as distribution and services.
At Epicor we realize the potential of India. It is a key market for us and a clear focus area for the next five years. Our vision for India is long term. We are committed to strengthening our local customer base and channel community. Partner enablement and new partner recruitment is therefore very important in order for us to expand our presence in the large Indian market. Coupled with rolling out new products as and when these become available we believe that Epicor will be successful in India.
For us, the target in India is the upper mid market and lower enterprise. If you look at the very large enterprises, they are already invested in other systems. Now what we are looking at include the hub and spoke model, which are those companies who have already implemented a tier 1 solution for their subsidiaries and ancillaries and who would be looking at a implementing an option other than the current system they have
Could you please tell us about your clients?
Epicor has a range of customers in the manufacturing segment in India. Some examples of Indian manufacturers who have selected Epicor ERP include PC Sons Castings Private Ltd., Pradeep Metals Limited and many others.
With a large, scalable, facility located in Coimbatore, PC Sons Casting have implemented Epicor across the supply chain and manufacturing processes to enable greater efficiencies, improved supply chain collaboration and integrated resource planning. The implementation of Epicor is part of the company’s long term plans to transform the organization from a local player into a highly competent global manufacturer.
Pradeep Metals, a leading manufacturer of closed die forgings for the oil & gas, valve, instrumentation, petrochemical, and general engineering industries, chose Epicor because it met the company’s business requirements; it’s easy to use and has a flexible technology platform. With this implementation Pradeep Metals aims to streamline the product lifecycle process enabling the company to increase productivity, achieve a faster time to market, enhance process transparency and boost customer satisfaction.
What is your channel market strategy for the Indian market?
For our go to market strategy in India, Channel is the key focus. We continue to invest in building that community and ecosystem within India.
We believe that a differentiated and enabled partner network is vital to our customers’success and this will be our focus as we continue to grow in India.
By building strong collaborative partnerships with a select number of partners, Epicor sees an opportunity to offer business value and a technological opportunity to value added resellers. For those organisations that have a proven model for selling and implementing business solutions, Epicor offers a comprehensive partner programme with tools and resources to enable and support them growing their business.
How many Channel partners you have and in which zone; do you have the strongest Channel presence in India?
India is a 100% channel market for Epicor. Wecurrently have14 channel partners across India such as Orient Technologies, Daksha, Corporate Serve and RheinBrucke. Keeping in mind the country’s geographic spread, Epicor partners have been strategically chosen to expand our reach so that we are able to support companies with branches across the country and deliver solutions through varied vertical channels.
What is Epicor ERP Migration Lab?
The Epicor Migration and Upgrade Factory was launched in Chennai in July 2014. It was set up together with RheinBrückeIT Consulting, an Enterprise Business Systems and IT Solutions and Services company.
The Migration Factory will support the Epicor EMEA consulting organization to migrate and upgrade customersfrom earlier versions of Epicor ERP to Epicor ERP 10, the industry’s most flexible ERP solution that is based on the five principles of Collaboration, Choice, Responsiveness, Simplicity and Mobility.
Some words for our channel community….
Epicor offers true partnerships and our channel strategy is proving to be extremely successful amongst our partners. We have a dedicated ‘Epicor Inspired Partner Network’ and members of this network enjoy several benefits such as great margins, full support for the entire sales and implementation cycle as well as ongoing educational, technical and business development services.
Partnering with Epicor means entering a mutually beneficial agreement to actively cultivate the market for Epicor solutions and work to implement those solutions quickly, and cost effectively. Epicor looks for partners that are leaders in their field and has built a program to offer substantial benefits and support. Epicor partners are an extension of our direct employees and work closely with every department within Epicor.
By joining the Epicor inspired partner network resellers can gain an edge on their competition because they can:
• Win more business by offering an end-to-end suite of integrated enterprise software solutions designed for specific industries.
• Increase profitability by winning enterprise-wide projects with margins designed to increase the bottom line.
• Improve professional services revenue utilizing the Epicor proven Signature Implementation Methodology and customization tools.
• Receive expert assistance and lead generation support through direct access to field resources from the Epicor sales, consulting, marketing, and support organizations.
• Acquire ongoing consulting revenue from significant add-on sales and product upgrades.
Epicor solutions are designed to deliver a rapid return on technology investments for customers while maintaining one of the lowest total costs of ownership in the industry. These industry-leading solutions, as well as support and implementation capabilities, are unmatched and they are a genuinely attractive offering for our channel partners.