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Posted: 8/28/2013
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Epicor Software Corporation Epicor and Microsoft: Bringing massively scalable software solutions to market faster

Epicor is a global leader delivering enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail management, supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) software to small, midmarket, and larger enterprises. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor serves more than 20,000 customers in more than 150 countries and provides solutions in more than 30 languages. Epicor uses service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web services to deliver end-to-end, industry-specific solutions for the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services industries.


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* Epicor is committed to providing our customers with industry-leading business software solutions. Our partnership with Microsoft enables us to bring flexible, highly functional, and massively scalable software solutions to market faster—delivering lower total cost of ownership and increasing ROI.  *

Erik Johnson
Vice President, Technical Strategy
Epicor

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30 Years of Collaboration and Innovation

Epicor has partnered with Microsoft for more than 30 years. Today, Epicor continues to use Microsoft technologies as the foundation for its ERP, retail management, HCM, and SCM solutions. “We have always had a deep relationship with Microsoft focused on technology innovation, and we have always been a consistent early adopter of Microsoft technologies such as the .NET Framework and SQL Server,” says Karen Chastain, Senior Alliance Manager, Epicor. For example, Epicor was the first independent software vendor to have 1,000 customers running on a SQL Server–based application.

Erik Johnson, Vice President, Technical Strategy, Epicor, adds, “Epicor is committed to providing our customers with industry-leading business software solutions. Our partnership with Microsoft enables us to bring flexible, highly functional, and massively scalable software solutions to market faster—delivering lower total cost of ownership and increasing ROI.”

“We value the long-standing and ever-expanding partnership Microsoft and Epicor share—a prime example of the success that can be achieved through a focused, mutually beneficial relationship,” says Kim Akers, General Manager, Partner Evangelism, Microsoft Corporation, “We applaud Epicor for its continued adoption of forward-looking technologies from Microsoft. The strong combination of Epicor and Microsoft, with a proven history of innovation, continues to drive added value and create new business benefits for Epicor customers worldwide.”

Specific examples of the Epicor and Microsoft partnership include:

•Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism Team. The Microsoft and Epicor alliance is managed by the Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism Team, an internal Microsoft organization that facilitates the development of industry-leading applications and services across devices.

•Certifications. Epicor is certified to support the latest Microsoft technologies as soon as they are available. For instance, Epicor is certified to support Microsoft SQL Server 2012 software and is working on certification for the Windows Server 2012 operating system.

•Technology Adoption Programs. Epicor participates in Microsoft Technology Adoption Programs for new Microsoft technologies and works closely with Microsoft on proof of concepts for new technologies.

Customer and Partner Advisory Boards

Epicor is a member of several Microsoft customer and partner advisory boards. Through its participation on these boards, Epicor is able to give Microsoft direct feedback on new Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft Premier Services Offers Access to Technical Resources

Another important aspect of the Epicor and Microsoft partnership is the work Epicor does with Microsoft Premier Support for Developers (PSfD), which provides direct access to Microsoft developer resources and support. The partnership gives the Epicor development team full access to on-demand technical support and expertise from Microsoft Premier Services, including architectural reviews, labs, training, and new-technology education. This helps Epicor quickly create robust ERP solutions based on Microsoft technologies. “We rely on Microsoft Premier Support for all of our development and support needs related to building our software and using Microsoft technology,” says Chastain.

Lab Testing Helps Epicor Save Money and Speed Solution Development

Through its access to Microsoft Premier Services, Epicor works with Microsoft Testing Services and Labs (TSL), which helps customers test and analyze IT solutions. Epicor uses TSL to accelerate software development, reduce risk, and validate new products through extensive testing with the latest Microsoft technologies. By using Microsoft TSL, Epicor personnel can work alongside Microsoft technicians who help identify, diagnose, and resolve configuration issues. The technicians also share strategic guidance and best practices designed to improve the performance and scalability of Epicor solutions.

Epicor saves around $100,000 by using TSL, because the company can utilize existing Microsoft lab resources and does not have to purchase and set up the latest hardware and technology to do software testing. Additionally, taking advantage of Microsoft knowledge and expertise saves development time for Epicor, which helps accelerate time-to-market for new Epicor solutions.

SQL Server 2012 Increases Scalability for Epicor ERP

Epicor recently used TSL for benchmark testing of the next generation version of its Epicor ERP solution, which is based on SQL Server 2012. “We believe strongly in the performance and scalability capabilities of SQL Server 2012,” says Chastain. “We knew this technology would make our upcoming ERP solution even better.”

To show customers how SQL Server 2012 helps its ERP solution scale to support large numbers of users while maintaining performance on typical business functions, Epicor tested the new version of the solution in the Microsoft Performance Lab. The solution was tested in simulations with varying numbers of users on a range of business functions, running on Epicor recommended hardware configurations.

The tests showed that the newest version of Epicor ERP, based on SQL Server 2012, has doubled the scalability of the previous version of the solution. “Every time we have gone to the scale lab and completed work based on discoveries made there, we have doubled the scalability of our product,” says Johnson. “The very first time that we went to the lab we had trouble scaling past 500 users. At the scale lab in 2011 we reached 3,000 users; and this year we actually reached 6,000 users.” With better scalability, Epicor can serve larger customers with more users, improving customer satisfaction and increasing its revenue.

Conclusion

With the help of Microsoft PSfD and TSL and its overall partnership with Microsoft, Epicor can deliver a more scalable, stronger ERP solution to its customers.

And with Microsoft providing assessment and validation of new Epicor products, Epicor gains confidence in its solutions as well as credibility with customers.

Overall, the partnership between both companies helps Epicor make pioneering use of emerging Microsoft technologies to support its customers and to help enhance the Microsoft application platform in ways that ensure the continued optimization of Microsoft technologies for customers.

And by working so closely together, Epicor and Microsoft experience a mutually beneficial partnership. “Our dedication to evaluating, understanding, and leveraging emerging technologies in order to deliver measurable business benefits to our customers not only positions Epicor as a technology innovator, but it has made us a valuable resource to Microsoft in helping shape their technology direction,” says Johnson.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview




Organization Profile

Epicor develops a wide range of enterprise software including an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) suite targeted at mid-size companies.


Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Premier Support for Developers
  • Windows Server

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Enterprise Project Management
  • Business Agility
  • Business Productivity

IT Issue
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • High Availability
  • Supply Chain Planning and Execution

Languages
English

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