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Epicor Unveils New Enterprise 2.0 Strategy to Enrich ERP with a Practical Social Voice

Building on Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010, Epicor Plans to Deliver the Most Productive, Relevant and Manageable Engagement Platform; Helping Businesses to Collaborate, Innovate, and Differentiate

[url=http://www.epicor.com/pages/default.aspx]Epicor[/url] Software Corporation, a leading provider of enterprise business software solutions for the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies, today announced a new enhanced Enterprise 2.0 strategy, designed to provide customers with practical and manageable benefits from social technologies within enterprise applications. Epicor will help businesses increasingly focused on effective organization-wide execution to drive growth through innovation with the combination of [url=http://www.epicor.com/MRCPR/Epicor_Announces_Major_New_ERP_Release_9.05.pdf]Epicor 9[/url] next-generation [url=http://www.epicor.com/Solutions/Pages/ERP.aspx]enterprise resource planning[/url] (ERP) applications and Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

Integrating social networking features into business applications is an increasingly vital strategy for improving organizational efficiency and productivity, as well as harnessing knowledge through collaboration. However, the potential for data deluge for organizations that venture into the world of Enterprise 2.0 without clearly defined business policies and processes threatens to work against worker effectiveness and business productivity.

Epicor’s strategy is focused on two key aspects: First, it enables businesses to leverage the power of collaborative participation via social networking tools to make business applications easier and more engaging, ultimately empowering knowledge workers and improving overall business agility and responsiveness. And, of equal importance, it enables businesses and users to control and manage the flow of information they receive, for improved relevancy without information overload.

Epicor was among the first to realize and deliver upon the potential of merging modern service-oriented architecture (SOA) with collaborative Web 2.0 concepts for greater organizational performance, and now will utilize the latest in Microsoft technologies to further empower users of Epicor ERP solutions. By delivering a platform for greater collaboration and productivity that combines enterprise data in context with social networking channels in a controlled manner, Epicor expects to help businesses more effectively engage information workers within the business, between businesses and their broader supply-chain of customers and suppliers.

“Epicor is now building ERP solutions that incorporate social concepts applied to the enterprise at every level,” said James Norwood, senior vice president, worldwide product marketing for Epicor. “[url=http://www.epicor.com/Solutions/Pages/ICE-BusinessArchitecture.aspx]Epicor ICE business architecture[/url] was one of the first to blend the social and technical aspects of Web 2.0 concepts with SOA and this new extended strategy is designed to help businesses get the maximum benefit from Enterprise 2.0 without the associated deluge of data.”

Bringing a Social Voice to ERP
According to R “Ray” Wang, Founding Partner at Altimeter Group, a “key element of the dynamic user experiences discussed in the [url=http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2009/08/24/mondays-musings-10-essential-elements-for-the-future-of-social-enterprise-business-solutions/]10 elements of social enterprise apps[/url], activity streams epitomize how apps can deliver contextual and relevant information. Unfortunately, what was seen as an elegant solution that brought people, data, applications, and information flow into a centralized real-time interface, now faces assault from the exponential growth in data and information sources.”
And yet with some 96% of IT Pros connected to one or more online social networks[1], the need to engage, influence and collaborate in the new social Web can’t be ignored. Complementing Web 2.0 technologies already delivered to its customers such as Enterprise Search, Composite Application development (Mashups), Wikis and Data Tagging, Epicor plans a series of additional capabilities that combined with the new SharePoint 2010 will provide a comprehensive engagement platform to deliver on the promise of Enterprise 2.0 for business.

Epicor will aspire to add a social voice to ERP by integrating status updates, news feeds and broader SharePoint communities to provide an even more powerful tool to achieve best-in-class business performance. These technologies will further empower knowledge workers by leveraging contextual information about them—the environment, processes, communities and various personas employed when interacting with computing technology—to improve the quality of those interactions.

Manageable Activity Streams
Currently under development, Epicor Activity Streams will allow users to follow notifications posted by the system along with contributions from other users. To be offered in-context within Epicor ERP, users will also be able to launch into a more comprehensive Rich Internet Application (RIA) where they are able to control and manage the flow of information they receive, add favorite social networks, follow specific search criteria and filter and group information as needed through an intuitive user interface. For example, groups could be established for consolidating system generated messages around business process management alerts, such as notification of electronic sign-offs as part of better governance, risk and compliance objectives. Epicor Activity Streams will also be federated with Microsoft SharePoint Sites, Content, Search and Communities such as user profiles, newsfeeds and threaded discussions. The end result—help users be more effective through access to extensive knowledge and social collaboration, without the associated information overload. Delivering Business Benefits with Enterprise 2.0
By embedding collaborative social elements directly within Epicor and extending them through the advanced features of SharePoint 2010, Epicor is delivering valuable business benefits from Enterprise 2.0. For example, by combining data tags entered in Epicor with those in SharePoint users can quickly access all the information they need, reducing the time it takes to react, respond and resolve business matters.
“Epicor truly understands the value of productivity and we are thrilled that they have chosen SharePoint 2010 to extend the capabilities of today’s information workers who increasingly need to be able to complete day-to-day tasks based on access to relevant and timely information from anywhere and from any device,” said Eric Swift, General Manager, SharePoint at Microsoft. “Epicor is a great example of a partner that is leading the way in adopting the latest in Microsoft technology such as SharePoint 2010 to enable enterprise-wide collaboration and information sharing in context.”

For more information contact Duncan Gurney, the PR Network, on behalf of Epicor
Tel + 44 (0) 7912 495 630 Email [email protected]

[1]Source: TechTarget, 2010 (http://techtargetsummit.techtarget.com/east/sessions.html?Offer=#social)