These are significant decisions, and it’s essential that your ERP vendor not only understands your needs, but you need to trusts your vendor. Look for a vendor who can provide expertise in the ERP upgrade process as well as all of the various areas of need and with whom you build a positive relationship right from the beginning. Just like you have an outside accountant and attorney, having a trusted ERP advisor is key to a modern company’s future.
ERP Upgrade Meaning
Many companies adopted ERP systems as far back as the 1980s. In those days, the systems were provided using proprietary hardware and software, with little ability to configure the system differently than it came ‘out of the box.’ Reporting was available, usually with somewhat limited report writing software.
Y2K ushered in the ‘modern’ era of computing, with interchangeable servers that use standard databases and toolsets. Many ERP systems were upgraded, meaning they were rewritten to work in these kinds of environments. At the same time, functionality was also upgraded as our world became more complex.
The meaning of an ERP upgrade has improved significantly,In the last ten years, we’ve entered into a much more interchangeable mode of using standalone functionality (we call them ‘apps’) and interfacing them with our ERP systems. This gives the best of both worlds – best of class technology in specific areas along with corresponding data across an ERP system. For instance, most ERP systems don’t have outstanding CRM functionality, so they interface to SalesForce or other best-in-class products. Information is shared across these systems.
ERP Upgrade Process
Depending on how old your legacy system is and how much your business has evolved and changed determines your needs. The longer you’ve gone since upgrading, the greater chance that you may want to consider starting all over again. This may seem foolish or unnecessary, but it might be the best choice.
For instance, when you adopt a new system, you can select which customers and vendors to bring over – obsolete ones don’t need to be included. And, this is an opportunity to ‘relearn’ how modern systems handle various challenges, allowing you to improve your business in ways you perhaps never thought of.
ERP Upgrade Checklist
- How old is your current system, and when was the last update? If the answer here is 5 or more, you should be looking for a new system.
- Is the ability to report or ‘get information out of the system’ limited to a small number of ‘old timers’ who are the only people who know the system??
- Is your system running on Office 2007 or similar vintage system?
- Do you have ‘green screen’ monitors?
- Does your system run on an operating system that doesn’t have up to date antivirus software?
When Needing an ERP Upgrade, Work with the Experts at EpiCenter ERP
This is why EpiCenter is in business. Our mission is ‘to help companies make better decisions’. Whether that decision is buying a new system, updating an old one, or staying with your existing solution. We have a large team of very experienced staff who are dedicated to making you successful. Contact us today and share your challenges. We’d love to help you!
written by Jeffrey W. Glaze, President