Epicor goes upmarket with cloud ERP, targets SAP, NetSuite

Epicor spent two years on small-scale SaaS in order to learn the ropes first

Epicor is ready to make a bigger play in cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, with its offering now available to midsized manufacturers, the company announced Monday.

Initially, Epicor tested the SaaS (software as a service) waters with Epicor Express, which was launched in 2010 and aimed at companies with just a handful of users.

Epicor had about 200 customers running Express as of mid-July, and is expanding access outside of the Americas to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, CEO Pervez Qureshi said in an interview at the time.

Express provided Epicor with "a way of testing our readiness from a hosting center perspective, being able to support the product, pricing and packaging," Qureshi said.

Epicor's ERP software is fully multitenant SaaS, an architecture wherein a number of customers share the same application instance with their data kept separate from one another. This allows vendors to apply updates to many customers at once, simplifies system management and lowers operational cost.

The company also touts its SOA (service oriented architecture) foundation, which simplifies integration with other systems and allows for modular deployments.

Among legacy midmarket ERP vendors, Epicor is probably the first to deliver full multitenant SaaS, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.

This puts it in a position to more closely compete with on-demand manufacturing ERP from the likes of NetSuite, SAP's Business ByDesign and Plex Systems.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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