Should you upgrade your Epicor Vantage, Epicor Vista, Epicor 8, Epicor 9 or Epicor ERP 10 solution?
Companies regularly ask themselves this question. “My system has been working for 10 years, why spend money fixing what isn’t broken??”
Well, the reality is, in many cases, you don’t “need” to upgrade Epicor. However, there are many reasons why you “should” upgrade and continue to looking at it as a continuous improvement cycle with a recurring defined budget similar to the way associations look at roof replacements every 10-20 years.
Some of the top reasons to upgrade Epicor:
- You may be putting yourself at risk by not upgrading because the version you are on doesn’t support newer versions of windows and the aging version of the software it’s running on is losing or has lost support from Microsoft. That can put you at extreme risk of hacking, theft, viruses or a crash that isn’t recoverable or supportable. For example, Microsoft recently discontinued support for Windows Server 2003. If your Epicor server is running on that, it will quickly start to become unsecure as Microsoft stops releasing patches to new threats. Same can be true for workstations running Windows XP or older versions.
- The software vendor, Epicor in this case, will eventually stop supporting older versions. Epicor is better than most about supporting fairly old releases, but even they hit limits and will often say, “that issue has been resolved in newer version, please upgrade” rather than spend engineering resources on an old version just to accommodate your site. There is little incentive for them to do so considering they want you to continue upgrading to help justify the costs of annual support & maintenance fees.
- New functionality: Epicor is one of the best vendors about re-investing the maintenance funds they receive back into the software solution. Too many mature products in the market place re-invest as little as possible into the software solution. They do so at their own peril. By continually broadening the scope of modules and the depth of features, Epicor is ensuring that Epicor ERP will give its existing customers little reason to look elsewhere and new prospects a solution that is hard to ignore in the selection process. These new capabilities can often allow newer versions of the software to address issues in your business that today are being handled by ‘spreadsheet workarounds’, external databases, 3rd party ‘bolt on’s’ etc. We’ll cover some of the major feature additions in a future blog post.
- New Tools: Epicor continues to evolve to use the latest and most popular technologies to power the solution. Examples are : Moving from Progress to Microsoft SQL; changing from ABL to Microsoft .net, moving from Crystal Reports to Microsoft SSRS. Using these newer technologies not only means more powerful and faster customizations, but it also means you can attract young talented IT professionals to your organization as they want to work on what they learned in college or other modern startups, not some 25 to 40 year old ‘dead’ programming environment. Using popular tools also means you can pull in or integrate with other modern applications both on-premise and cloud based.
Just these few reasons of many illustrates the importance in continuous investment in your ERP system. It should never really be ‘finished’ because as long as your business continues to evolve and grow, so too should your Epicor ERP system as it’s the circulatory system of your business.