Postmodern ERP is trending: what it is and what it can do for you
Our goal at Epicor has always been to make ERP more flexible and to reduce the amount of IT resources needed to integrate and customise the system. A few years ago, industry analyst firm Gartner recognised and validated this mission for the ERP industry as a whole, sounding the call for postmodern ERP.
Gartner describes postmodern ERP as a hybrid ERP ecosystem consisting of a loose confederation of on-premises software suites augmented with cloud-based applications.
In the postmodern ERP era, heavily customised ERP systems are re-architected to serve as systems of record, with differentiating processes and activities supplemented with cloud-based applications that are integrated into these ERP systems.
While ERP has always been associated with efficiency, today and going forward it's more about delivering intelligence, insights and predictability. To support these new imperatives, ERP must be designed to work in today's era of cloud, data, analytics and connected machines.
To this end, it needs to function in the enterprise not as a "dead end" siloed application, but as part of an end-to-end connected solution. To this end, today's postmodern ERP solution is a combination of loosely coupled components, the more connected, the more value and the greater the ability to deliver on the promise. And in the postmodern ERP era, the upgrade life cycle is based on the need of the business, not the vendor.
To say postmodern ERP is trending is an understatement. Gartner states that by 2018, enterprises will insist on postmodern ERP project deployments that deliver proven value in less than two years.
Epicor talks about the importance of fit-ease-growth. There should be no need for business re-engineering with ERP, the question businesses must ask of ERP vendors is: do you fit into my ecosystem, process flow and industry sector? Epicor delivers out-of-the-box functionality with the last mile open to integrate with other apps to fit into the customer's ecosystem.
Fit-ease-growth also aligns with the imperative of simplification inherent in the postmodern ERP era, where ERP is easy to use, deploy, purchase, upgrade, and migrate and do business.
Most customers that Epicor talks to don't talk about "postmodern ERP". It's rare when a customer will come to us and say: "We're embarking on a postmodern ERP strategy - can you help us?" But they understand the concepts behind postmodern ERP, and they absolutely see its value. Most businesses we work with are on their second or third ERP deployment; their first was a legacy system with baseline or limited capabilities; their second was generic, likely required significant third-party systems integration to connect it to other business systems, and/or to align the ERP platform to "work" with the processes that are unique/germane to the business.
Now Epicor is helping these companies move into the next wave, a postmodern ERP solution that is architected to support the flow of data and streamline processes, and make work more intuitive and collaborative to users, suppliers, partners. But, more than this, it's an ERP solution that is architected to solve their unique business problems.