Scott Hays, senior vice president, product marketing, Epicor Software Corporation, believes that the latest version of Epicor ERP−which extends manufacturing leadership with the launch of powerful cloud-based analytics and global electronic compliance−will be a welcome solution to thousands of customers in 150 countries worldwide.

“It is a global solution translated into various languages with country-specific capabilities,” Hays told Loyalty360. “It’s a global electronic compliance engine. Keeping up with regulations is tough. They move faster than we can. This has 60 new features. We’re cranking out new features very fast. Even at that speed, the regulations change faster.”

Doing business globally requires a robust and broad-reaching tax accounting, international trade, and regulatory compliance foundation. The latest version of Epicor ERP features expanded international financial applications and a new electronic compliance engine to ease complexity, improve visibility, and controls to support strong financial operations and reduced risk while lowering the cost of compliance.

New functionality localized for specific geographic regions supports compliance and reporting, tax and payment processing, and international trade requirements. These capabilities pave the way for operational expansion into high-growth manufacturing markets—such as Vietnam and Thailand—growth economies that are rapidly expanding, and which are expected to be a significant driver of global Gross Domestic Product growth by 2021 (per the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook).

What’s more, expanding Epicor’s commitment to its cloud-first approach, the latest version of Epicor ERP is now available in a dedicated tenancy cloud deployment model, in addition to multi-tenancy and single-tenancy deployment options. Available for North American customers now, the new dedicated cloud option offers the benefits of greater flexibility and control and can be ideal for organizations needing to adhere to specific regulatory compliance regulations. In contrast to the multi-tenant model, which achieves significant scale economies by deploying clients on the same application server and the same database, dedicated tenancy provides each client its own database, with the dynamic elasticity and cost benefits of shared application servers.

“We found something that will be our most popular cloud delivery option,” Hays said. “You have control over when you take the next release.”

The new release also features fully integrated enterprise content management capabilities from the January 2017 acquisition of DocStar. These new competencies support business transformation initiatives focused on improved customer-centricity, collaboration, efficiency, and expansion to address new market opportunities.

What’s more, the new release incorporates new tools to accelerate the upgrade process for customers transitioning from on-premises to cloud deployment models. Epicor Site Analyzer analyzes existing software environments to identify changes and configuration needs in advance of migration to provide a “know before you go” visual representation impact assessment.

Enhancing the customer experience is always a top priority at Epicor.

“Seventy percent of consumers’ experiences with brands are problems that originate in the back office, so it’s important to get your back-office operations in order,” Hays said.

Epicor’s focus is on the mid-market, primarily comprising annual revenue between $50 million and $1 billion.

“That’s our sweet spot,” Hays said. “When we create and deliver solutions, we’re looking at it at the sector level. We look at four sectors: Manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services. We have a huge international presence in 150 countries and we provide country-specific functionality which is important in staying on top of trade and government regulations and reporting requirements.”

More horizontally, Hays noted, “we deliver solutions that make data aspirational and valuable in a moment. How do I get that out to that person? We focus our analytics on individuals, roles, and specific KPIs to make sure they’re pushed out at right time. We work very hard on the human element and made a big investment in the social collaboration area.”

Customer experience is widely viewed as the key differentiator among loyalty marketers.

“The big differentiator for me is the effort,” Hays explained. “How easy do you make it to engage? That almost always leans toward the more digital side of things due to cost savings. We’re helping our customers to be more engaged with their customers, making it easier for information to go back and forth. We have focused on that back office to customer journey link, investing in capabilities using the power of digital and software to provide that information back and forth that helps reduce effort customers have to invest to do business with you.”

Where does Hays see the future of Customer Experience?

“It’s about more data for more devices,” he said. “Our customers will be embedding devices inside their products that have telemetry built in so they collect data from end users. Our manufacturers are building things ripe for that so we can pull things together and help our customers help their customers understand how those products are being used. All our solutions are available on mobile devices. We’ll see more adoption of that.”

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