Epicor’s implementation of a 100% services framework for intra- and inter-application integration redefines service-oriented architecture (SOA), which we call Epicor True SOA™, as the “new” ERP but doing it with the "customer voice" and not the "technology voice." How often do new and promising technologies offer so much but don’t get implemented? In my almost 30 years in IT and ERP industry, I have seen so many ideas not get to implementation because the attempts were misdirected, half hearted, or just an attempt to deliver another checkbox item for the RFP response.
ERP systems, as such, exist on the fringe of a business as a repository, calculator, and an outcome rather than a driver of the "real" business. We need to connect with ERP using unstructured data from ad hoc processes – this is how it has always been. And, with Epicor True SOA we have the framework that enables Epicor to do this. We remove the barriers to accessing and interacting with ERP by people working out on the fringe and bring their data back into Epicor ERP – things like working in a budgeting spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel™ and having a button that uses a web service to push data into Epicor financial management books, pushing the bill of materials out of Pro/Engineer™ or SolidWorks™ and straight into a quote in Epicor ERP.
The key is to not have people leave the business mind-space or the operational work-space of their real day job in order to use ERP. Until Epicor True SOA, this wasn’t possible. One had to develop all sorts of complicated integrations and use ERP screens to get the back office stuff recorded and processed.
This framework also enables our partners to build mashups and extenstions to Epicor that implement the same logic, rules and customizations as our own core applications, without the need for extra licensing components and proprietary technologies.
With Epicor True SOA consultants and customers are equally enabled to build desktop “widgets” that can float on other apps, or plugin in to other apps (using scripting) and truly revolutionise how ERP is positioned in a business. The whole ERP system should disappear into the infrastructure, to be utilized (note I didn’t say “used”) when needed by the workers in a business and participants in a supply chain to leverage their work into better decisions and better outcomes for the business and its partners.
Posted by Matt Taylor, Regional Director, China & South Korea, Epicor