Courtesy Adobe Stock
Courtesy Adobe Stock

Ninety-six percent of organizations surveyed in a recent study from Epicor reported confidence in their ability to navigate the early stages of the ERP purchase process, from initial evaluation to requirements planning. However, approximately 48% of respondents cited a strong need for more support and partnership from their ERP providers during the latter stages of the purchase process—during the implementation, go-live, and customer care phases—to ease mitigation and realize faster time-to-value, according to the 2022 Epicor Industry Insights Report.

The Report, which generated responses from 1,350 ERP users in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, found 82% of respondents were operating in a hybrid cloud environment, with 46% either primarily or entirely in the cloud. According to the study, 90% of decision makers indicted their move to the cloud was worth the effort, having realized a variety of “transformational benefits,” including improved flexibility and adaptability, better security, simple regulatory compliance, and enhanced business resilience, according to Epicor.

Nearly half of decision markers reported actively considering moving to a new ERP solution every one to three years, due in part to industry innovation and rapid digital transformation delivering a proliferation of new technologies. Common reasons for reevaluation include better functionality from another provider, integration challenges with new technologies, cybersecurity concerns, and stronger customer support.

“Companies are setting a higher bar for their ERP providers to deliver on more than just the technology itself,” said Steve Murphy, CEO of industry-specific software provider Epicor. “Our annual study shows that customers want a provider that can not only tailor their solution to the industry-specific needs that fit the customer’s business, but also collaborate closely throughout the entire purchase journey to provide transparency, strengthen onboarding and training, ensure dedicated support teams, and ultimately help realize meaningful business value. To do that, the ERP provider can’t just be a software expert, they must also act as a committed partner.”

The study identified several phases of the customer experience and what respondents reported needing in each phase. Customers reported wanting guidance and solutions that are curated to their specific needs, especially during the implementation and go-live phases of the ERP journey.

Additionally, respondents identified interoperability and data support, staff training and onboarding materials, transparency and clarity, and teamwork and partnership as important areas for ERP to provide support.

The 2022 Epicor Industry Insights Report sought to reveal what is driving organizations to look for - and expect more - from their ERP providers, especially as organizations are increasingly presented with a growing number of options in making the move to cloud and expanding technology capabilities beyond traditional ERP.