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Enterprise software selection is a complex process for growing businesses requiring migration to a new system to capture the best long-term value for their evolving circumstances. Existing information sources on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for SMBs, mid-market businesses and larger enterprises provide circumstantial details that gloss over conditional factors that alter the impact of ERP migration. One-to-one comparisons of ERP solutions require evaluating how key features differ between situations.
Epicor ERP (current version Epicor 10) and Sage Enterprise Management (formerly Sage X3) are two such solutions that contain similar core characteristics for mid-market manufacturers and distributors. However, the difference between these two ERP systems lies within the approaches of each vendor to providing value to users. Epicor ERP features advanced potential functionality limited by how it is delivered, while Enterprise Management is a more stable solution that remains flexible for businesses of multiple sizes with clearer ROI.
Here are the key differences when comparing Sage Enterprise Management versus Epicor 10 to choose the best ERP for your business:
Comparing the viability of ERP software systems for your business must include reviewing their past performance history and how it relates to the product’s current state. Software solutions may receive multiple updates within a given period as well as different levels of redesigns to incorporate modern features and improve user interfaces. Both Enterprise Management and Epicor ERP have gone through several upgrades and name changes so that it may be hard for you to determine how the present offer holds up.
Epicor 10 is the latest version of Epicor ERP and it performs considerably better than its predecessor. Epicor 9 was notorious for its performance issues, which were the cause of several lawsuits against Epicor Software Corporation between 2009 and 2012. Users claimed the software was slow, inflexible and hard to use, and even Epicor admits that they had to remove its inherent complexity in the upgrade. Unfortunately, Epicor 10 is built on the framework of Epicor 9 with the added caveat of utilizing a Microsoft-based platform, sacrificing independence for “optimization” in Epicor’s own words.
Enterprise Management retains the core functionality of Sage X3 with expanded Internet-facing touchpoints and improved integration with cloud technology. Officially called Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, it was renamed along with several other Sage products as part of the Sage Business Cloud initiative to provide customers with a more informative branding. The development reflects a commitment by Sage to migrate Enterprise Management users to a seamless cloud environment at their own pace.
While your ERP selection must always keep your business’s individual characteristics in mind, there are key technical differences between solutions that may help you make your decision. implementation has been an area where several ERP projects falter and result in increased costs and time spent on installation. Though any number of factors can upset adoption of an ERP system, a frequent complaint by users is that vendors have purposefully misconstrued the requirements of an implementation or even went so far as to introduce nonexistent functionality that is lacking when the software goes live.
Besides the cases indicated above, Epicor has been the defendant in additional past and ongoing lawsuits over their software implementation contracts, the most recent of which was filed in 2018. The majority of these involve some form of a contract dispute between the aggrieved party and Epicor Software Corporation or an Epicor vendor, and a few have even accused Epicor of fraud in their implementation agreements. Despite the changes between Epicor 9 and Epicor 10, the implementation methodology does not seem to have been improved and Epicor remains problematic and costly for users to adopt no matter what version.
Sage Enterprise Management has historically displayed the ability to fulfill strict implementation schedules and provide fast ROI post-installation. Besides Sage’s native implementation methodology, SWK Technologies can deliver a further streamlined experience for both new and previous Enterprise Management migrations that require reconfiguration. SWK’s training and familiarity with the product allows us to improve upon its existing features and deliver a more effectively seamless integration with your processes.
We have previously cautioned against focusing on the sustainability of a publisher as a factor in your business’s ERP comparison, given that the majority of mid-market ERP developers are billion-dollar entities. Sage, SAP and Infor are all technology giants with their own boards and the former two are publicly traded. Microsoft is known for many other products besides their Dynamics 365 ERP line and can easily rely on profits from the rest of their portfolio to survive.
Epicor Software Corporation, in contrast, earns under $1 billion in revenue and has been repeatedly purchased by larger entities. One of the previous acquisitions brought accusations of unfair practices between certain Epicor shareholders and the firm purchasing the publisher, Apax Partners LLP, that would have resulted in these insiders receiving additional compensation in return for voicing support for the acquisition. Though the company is currently owned by investment firm KKR & Co. Inc., the continued controversies have affected Epicor Software Corporation’s image and reflect a consistently chaotic trend in their practices and the organization’s overall stability.
Sage Group plc, the publisher of Sage Software, have experienced their own disruptions yet have been able to sustain growth and maintain their independence as a publicly traded enterprise. This reliability carries over into their implementation practices and through their relationships with partners such as SWK Technologies. Leveraging a network of partnerships and alliances within the Sage community allows SWK to collaborate with other solution providers to deliver value to their Enterprise Management migrations without additional worries from lack of communication.
Functionality and Customization
ERP products differ in functionality delivered “out-of-the-box,” which affects total cost of ownership (TCO) of the solution. TCO is further influenced by your business’s size, industry vertical and other mitigating factors so that the level of performance provided must be balanced against the final price tag of implementation. ERP software not configured properly for your organization’s individual factors may stall implementation or require additional programming that will add to the TCO.
The latest version of Epicor ERP is designed as a powerful solution with multi-industry features, yet it is most valuable for larger manufacturers. Epicor 10 is extensive with a pricing model to match that provides diminishing cost/balance returns per level of functionality included and delivers less ROI for professional service firms and distributors below a certain size. The solution also has historically had issues with multinational features according to user reviews that causes problems between overseas data siloes.
The Enterprise Management system is similarly strong with manufacturing and has built-in compliance enablement features within the core of the system for process manufacturers in particular. SWK has combined this native functionality with shipping and warehousing automation solutions as well as MAPADOC EDI to produce the only turnkey bundled solution for process manufacturing regulation compliance. This software fulfills traceability requirements from the FDA, ISO and Canada Health for food and beverage, chemicals, and pharmaceutical preparation manufacturers by delivering end-to-end supply chain visibility.
Sage vs Epicor
Despite the difference in size, Sage and Epicor provide solid mid-market solutions that fulfill the basic needs of manufacturers. Where the effectiveness of Sage Enterprise Management and Epicor 10 vary is in how they approach customer and partner engagement. SWK Technologies is a fully supported Enterprise Management vendor that has delivered seamless implementations with this software for multiple businesses.
Read these differences between Sage Enterprise Management and Infor CloudSuite Industrial to see how this solution stacks up against another ERP.