Extending ERP in Any Direction

Michael Vizard

When it comes to enterprise applications, customers want the best of two very distinct approaches. The first is the benefit of all the pre-defined business processes that typically come with a suite of packaged ERP applications. The second is the ability to easily extend those business processes in almost any direction.

That's the goal of release 9.05 of the ERP suite from Epicor Software Corp., says James Norwood, senior vice president of product marketing for the company. Built on top of a modern Microsoft.net framework, the Epicor ERP suite provides a foundation that IT organizations can use to extend and create new business processes while still taking advantage of the benefits of a rich suite of packaged applications.



In contrast these days, rival ERP vendors want customers to add a layer of BPM software on top of a set of packaged applications and then pay for all the expensive middleware to integrate the two environments. Norwood says that because the Epicor ERP suite is built on an integrated Microsoft.net framework, all the BPM functionality needed is already tightly coupled with the ERP applications. And with the new release, all the functionality has been extended to a wider array of mobile computing platforms.

As IT organizations begin to think of enterprise software as a platform that needs to be inherently agile enough to respond to business conditions that rapidly change, the time to rethink how ERP applications are suppose to work is most definitely at hand. Epicor 9.05 is an example of how ERP applications need to evolve to meet those challenges because what most companies have in place today when it comes to packaged applications is little better that "liquid concrete" that does more to weigh the business down than it does to enable real business process innovation.

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