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A software upgrade provides both essential patches to protect your investment and enhancements to modernize your business practices. A leading ERP vendor, Epicor treats every upgrade as an opportunity to leverage innovative technology to optimize your enterprise performance. From slick new dashboards to improved reporting, Epicor 10 has a lot of new features designed to make data more meaningful and improve the user experience. The most recent version, Epicor 10.2.500, also includes IoT and AI capabilities to enhance enterprise visibility.
However, before rushing into your ERP upgrade, make sure you’re ready by asking yourself a few critical questions.
1. What are Your Upgrade Goals?
Though software upgrades are often dreaded by businesses, they should be looked at as opportunities to make exciting advancements. Upgrades support the latest industry best practices and technology, motivating companies to fine tune their operations. To truly take advantage of your ERP upgrade to drive greater enterprise success, your company should put together a team to evaluate current processes and brainstorm potential areas for improvement.
The best place to start is with business process modeling. By diagramming your current workflows, you can identify pain points and explore ways to fix them in your upgrade. You can also see how to incorporate the new functionality of your upgraded instance into your strategies. Epicor 10 includes advanced reporting capabilities and a robust product configurator to provide greater agility and insight into your enterprise—make sure tools like these are being employed effectively by users.
When you work with experienced consultants, you can ensure that your upgrade aligns with your distinct goals. If your upgrade doesn’t include the modules and automated workflows essential for your operations, consultants will make the necessary customizations and configurations to give your business exactly what it needs to succeed.
2. Should I Upgrade or Reimplement?
An upgrade isn’t always the best way to improve your software. Sometimes, it’s better to start completely fresh with a reimplementation. Though the idea of ripping out your current system to start over on a new one might sound like a lot of work, it could be the only effective solution depending on your circumstances.
Upgrades are fast and affordable when you’re currently operating on a relatively recent version. But let’s say you’re still working on Enterprise, Vantage or Vista systems. An upgrade probably won’t go smoothly with such outdated software, making a reimplementation your best option.
You should also factor in the state of your data and customizations. An upgrade will transfer your data and customizations into the new version, but this might not be what you want. Data littered with mistakes and inconsistencies will hinder your ERP’s performance. Existing customizations might be unnecessary depending on the functionality available in your upgrade.
If you’re willing and able to thoroughly scrub your data prior to your upgrade, then go for it, but many businesses find it’s less risky to reimplement a system with re-entered data. For those who want to keep their customizations, an upgrade is the best route. Businesses wishing to remove or replace customizations might have better luck with a reimplementation.
To avoid a costly, tedious project, make sure you carefully evaluate your current instance and weigh your options before beginning your upgrade.
3. Is it the Right Time to Upgrade?
There is such a thing as “upgrade burnout.” Adopting every single release of your software could be more trouble than it’s worth, leading to unnecessary downtime without providing enough benefits to warrant the cost and effort. Businesses that upgrade their systems this frequently sometimes reach a point when they quit upgrading altogether. This negligence puts your investment at risk, as outdated solutions perform slowly, cause errors and often aren’t supported by vendors.
To avoid burnout, you must ask yourself even more questions before deciding on an upgrade:
- Is our system starting to slow down or experience issues?
- Are we lacking modern functionality?
- Is our business performance where we want it to be?
- Do the advantages of upgrading outweigh the cost?
Though operating on legacy software endangers your business performance, taking on unnecessary upgrades could also pose a threat. By thoroughly evaluating your need for an upgrade, you can make the best decision for your company.
Epicor 10 includes exciting enhancements, but before jumping in to your upgrade, ask yourself the above questions to ensure you’re making the best move for your business. Datix will help you plan and execute your ERP upgrade to accomplish your specific goals. A certified Epicor Gold Partner, we’ve performed a variety of software projects for manufacturers and distributors for over 20 years. You can count on our ERP experts to work with you from start to finish.
Start upgrading your business with an ERP upgrade. Learn more by getting in touch with Datix’s consultants today!