Epicor’s Multi-Tenant Cloud : Part I – the Good and the Bad
Over the last couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to lead 5 different Epicor Cloud ERP software implementations. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Quick Project Start – Easy startup with ZERO time wasted on dealing with infrastructure. This cuts the lead time from project start to finish drastically. You can be off and prototyping your processes within a couple of weeks of signing off on the sales paperwork. For on premise solutions it takes this amount of time just to spec out your hardware and get the order placed!
Simplified Deployment – While standard screen customizations are easy, I have found that cloud customers are willing to concede heavy customizations in favor of changing their business processes to match the out of the box solution. Reporting and Customizations are more often than not the primary culprits of project delays. Without them, the project is free and clear to be finished on time.
No Ongoing Administration – No hardware or software installs to keep up with, unless you are using a 3rd party product that requires an on premise server. More on this later.
Upfront Cost Savings – There is no software purchase which can account for hundreds of thousands of up front capital costs. Rather, you pay monthly and are allowed to flex your selection of modules and licensing as your business grows or changes.
Continuous Improvement – Epicor has been very clear that this is the path of the future so they are committed to improving the technology for the masses.
Report and Customization Development - Kind of a PITA compared to on premise solution. There are a couple of additional hoops to jump through.
Loss of Control – For all of you control freaks out there, you no longer have a say as to what occurs on the server or how it is setup. You can beg and plead all you want but it’s just not going to happen.
Bandwidth is Everything! – If you have crappy internet service your users will have a crappy end user experience. Plain and simple.
Free Upgrades! – There are pro’s and con’s to this but from a pessimistic viewpoint you have no choice in when your system is upgraded. Currently, updates (10.1.400.XX; XX represents update level) are occurring quite frequently which means you would be coming in on a Monday morning and dealing with client auto updates and possible new bugs in the system.
Timing During Implementation – There are some timing issues that you need to be aware of when you are implementing. Your Pilot environment is overwritten the 3rd Sunday of each month so plan your project activities accordingly. It is recommended that you budget for a temporary “3rd environment” for your implementation since these types of environments are only overwritten upon request.
3rd Part Applications - Some add on applications such as Manifest still require an on premise server.
There are definitely some drawbacks to a cloud deployment, but the positive gains should not be dismissed. If you are contemplating upgrading your legacy Epicor Software, hunting for new ERP software, or are interested in decreasing your on premise footprint, now is a good time to at least have a look at Epicor Cloud capabilities.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about Epicor ERP Cloud or would like some guidance on a potential fit for your company.