Skip to main content

What is Cognitive ERP?

Leveraging the power of AI within the connected enterprise  

November 08, 2023

The future of ERP isn’t about ERP, at least in the traditional sense of managing transactional business processes. The future is increasingly about delivering contextual intelligence through an ecosystem of industry-focused platforms, cloud technologies, and people-centric AI capabilities that enable real-time decision-making and automation to optimize key business flows—both within an enterprise and across supply chains. Epicor calls this “cognitive ERP.”  

We believe global companies across industries have an opportunity to not just get supply chains back on track, but  to prevent future disruptions by fundamentally improving how they operate through increased connectivity, collaboration, and trust. Our vision of cognitive ERP reflects software solutions that are insight-driven, industry-specific for customers, and designed to best serve the ecosystem.

So, fundamentally, what makes cognitive ERP—well, cognitive?  

The building blocks  

At the core of cognitive ERP are the existing capabilities, acquisitions, and partnerships that all allow solutions to aggregate data from different, relevant areas. A successful portfolio should be comprehensive and industry-specific. At Epicor, our ERP systems have the essential elements to take your digital transformation to the next level: you can connect to thousands of applications with embedded integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for workflow automation, open application programming interface (APIs), and the Epicor Data Fabric. All of this allows Epicor to connect more resilient integrations across the ERP, generate industry data feeds, and centralize more information than ever before. As iPaaS connects all the sources of data, we’re able to turn that data into actionable insights—which you can then use to boost productivity and profits in your business. Grow, a full stack BI platform with a data lake, surfaces industry insights and uses generative AI to help workers understand, digest, and act on their industry-wide data.  

What does this mean for your business? Cognitive ERP is open, safe, resilient, scalable, and actionable. It moves your ERP away from just being a source of record and toward a data-led, actionable system that works for you and with you. With data-driven insights, you’ll get the competitive edge by knowing where your business is now, as well as where it’s going. Let’s look deeper into how that works. 

What does cognitive ERP allow businesses to do?  

Build a data supply chain

A digital ecosystem allows your ERP system to pull data from relevant, production-related sources that ultimately influence your customer’s experience. In order to do this, the ERP needs to be open, connected and secure—all part of the cognitive ERP building blocks.  

When production networks are connected, rather than operating as a single node, businesses can unlock automation to personalize customer experiences, innovate new technologies, and deliver exceptional results. We integrated Epicor CPQ into our broader Industry ERP Cloud portfolio,  allowing our customers to leverage automation services that configure accurate, personalized orders and build and service them for their customers. By creating a digital ecosystem that allows connected automation, businesses can use data as a competitive advantage to deliver repeatable, personalized customer experiences. 

Assist workers with people-centric AI 

Epicor believes in people-centric technology. We look to help ensure that customers are empowered with the integrations, automations, and artificial intelligence needed to grow their business and boost profitability. Successful AI makes it easier to solve problems, while keeping your employees at the forefront—smart businesses will define how AI can best meet their needs:

  • AI must be easy-to-use, practical, outcome-focused, tested, and responsible.
  • It should solve a clearly defined problem because it is the best tech for the job, not just for the sake of using AI.

Across the Industry ERP Cloud portfolio, Epicor has connected hundreds of thousands of devices to help workers be safer, produce higher quality products, and work more effectively. Epicor Connected Process Control, enriched with Grow BI and AI, enables businesses with these capabilities. For example, as qualified labor is in short supply and turnover continues to be a challenge for businesses throughout the supply chain, AI can provide step-by-step digital work instructions on the shop floor for new hires, while monitoring for accuracy and safety. Applying innovation to drive value and empower workers—instead of replacing them—is the future of people-centric AI and cognitive ERP. 

What does cognitive ERP look like moving forward?  

Supply chain disruption remains a critical challenge for businesses in the make, move, sell economy. The dynamic nature of disruption hinders leaders from making the most educated decisions for their businesses. In this fast-paced climate, the existing transactional ERP system won’t be enough to help businesses compete in the future. Instead, business will need efficient access to a range of data-driven insights. Epicor is uniquely positioned– serving over 21,000  businesses worldwide—to innovate on optimizing the global industrial supply chain. And we’ve already started.  

Co-innovating with advisory board customers, acquiring companies like Data Interchange, and integrating new technologies allows us to help enterprises connect suppliers worldwide. In fact, our EDI portfolio connects thousands of trading partners that share information in real-time, collaboratively making informed decisions to move products around the globe—faster, more safely, sustainably, and more cost-effectively.  

Unlocking the power of cognitive ERP and applying the innovation to the world’s most essential businesses will bring forth the unique strengths of Epicor to serve our ecosystem. Gone are the days of transactional ERP, and ahead lies a world of automated and increasingly cognitive business solutions. With a trusted partner to support you every step of the way, you can lean into the future of integrated, people-centric AI to help you build a truly connected enterprise.