Upgrade Your ERP For Business Success
Is your firm considering an upgrade from an Epicor Vantage system to the latest 10 version? Like many others in your industry hoping to decrease costs and increase revenue, this might be a project worth considering in the near future. As an Epicor Gold Partner and implementation expert, we're seeing more companies opting to shed their Vantage shell and make the crossover to modern ERP software. So why should you upgrade to Epicor 10, and what's the best way to move on from Vantage?
Epicor's Continuous Improvement
Before we delve into the upgrade process, let's back up to describe Epicor's journey from Vantage to version 10.2.500 of their ERP software. Epicor introduced Vantage all the way back in 2005. Vantage was well received by the midsized market despite a latent economic collapse halting capital spending. It supported enterprises from a purely web-based platform—a profound way to supply data access to newly formed value chains—to cut costs and optimize efficiency. Epicor's Vantage model provided a tremendous amount of flexibility for suppliers. Essentially, supply chains could format the system to abide by their data and business models, rather than change critical processes to fit the software.
Over a decade later, Epicor 10 remains true to that model. For many running the Vantage legacy system, the chance to move to 10 provides the same functionality, but with more versatility, machine learning for advanced data analytics and a whole lot of enterprise transparency. These fundamentals of the Epicor system are critical for any firm seeking to remain competitive in any industry. Epicor ERP 10 adds over 2000 new capabilities and simplifies processes with its 100% Microsoft Stack. The end of 2017 saw the release of Epicor 10.2, which includes the most comprehensive dashboards yet and enhanced business intelligence (BI) with Epicor Data Discovery. In 2019, Epicor debuted version 10.2.500 with advanced AI and mobile capabilities.
Epicor's continuous improvement validates its commitment to providing the latest technology to meet the needs of companies looking to stay ahead in their industries. Now that you know the benefits of upgrading to Epicor 10, how should you undergo the process?
Making the Move from Vantage to Epicor 10
Upgrades can be a tricky process, generally something best left to third-party implementation experts who wholly understand the ins and outs of a move from Vantage to Epicor 10. The broad differences in the modular structure of Vantage and Epicor 10 make the process too complicated for a business to handle on its own. As modern manufacturing has become remarkably sophisticated, Epicor has designed specialized drill-down capabilities to process more valuable data, along with many other optimizations. Some fields have been reconfigured and even moved to newer modules, reflecting Epicor's dedicated recognition of industry-specific process evolution and efficiency.
Unfortunately, this means a move is not a one-to-one data transfer. Depending on your BPMs, customizations, and how clean your data is, upgrades from Vantage to Epicor 10 can vary wildly in complexity and cost.
What to Consider
For a successful move from Vantage to Epicor 10, project teams must take on these critical tasks:
- Data Scrubbing: Data must be remarkably clean before go live. That means no duplicate entries, no erroneous spreadsheets and no irrelevant databases. During the preliminary project phases, companies also have the chance to rethink how to improve data models. Retrain employees on how to manage data going forward and standardize data entry for consistency.
- Customization: Be aware that customizations can elevate the cost, time and complexity of software projects. As you look through your customizations, determine which are business critical, which are necessary but not needed immediately and which are no longer required. Ensure that critical customizations are implemented upon go live, but other custom features don't need to be migrated or can be applied at a later date in a phased implementation plan.
- Reimplementation: As we've established, Vantage is old, at least in the fast-paced software world. Upgrading a system this outdated won't be as easy as moving from E9 to E10. That's because older systems are often built on a completely different architectural foundation. To move from Vantage to E10, your best option is to pursue a reimplementation.
- Regular Upgrades: Once you've moved to Epicor 10, you should create a plan for regular upgrades to protect your data and processes. To simplify the process, Epicor has replaced its biweekly minor updates with major upgrades scheduled several months apart. The vendor will provide advanced notice of the upgrades to enable customers to test them before making changes, mitigating risk in your enterprise. Remember that regular upgrades are essential for maintaining full vendor support.
Moving from Vantage to Epicor 10 indicates that your company is on the brink of innovation. Executing upgrade projects involves selecting the correct methodology. An upgrade only works if project teams craft a plan that takes into account critical business needs and technical challenges. But often, software projects, especially moving from legacy software to a new system, require a helping hand.
Datix is an Epicor Gold Partner with 20 years of experience helping midmarket manufacturers transform their businesses with software. We guide our clients through every stage of their software journey, from first-time implementations to integrations and upgrades. Contact our Epicor experts to learn more about our optimal software solutions and services!