We are proud to announce that EstesGroup is an Epicor Software Corporation Certified Managed Hosting Partner. EstesGroup is certified to host Epicor ERP and host Prophet 21 ERP systems.
We are the only Epicor Partner to be Certified for Epicor Hosting, Epicor ERP Sales & Implementations, and Prophet 21 ERP Sales & Implementations.
This accreditation means that EstesGroup has met and exceeded Epicor Software Corporation’s rigid data center and expertise capability requirements for being awarded Certified Hosting Partner status. To learn more about these requirements please contact us.
“We are honored to be an Epicor-Certified Managed Hosting Partner for Epicor Software Corporation, and the only hosting partner to be certified for Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 ERP systems,” said Bruce Grant, CEO of EstesGroup. “Our company has both functional and technical consultants on staff who know Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 systems. This means we not only know Managed IT, but we know the industry’s best-practice business processes and the underlying software as well. We provide a full-service solution to fit our clients’ needs.”
EstesGroup is Certified by Epicor Software Corporation to host and manage clients’ Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 ERP systems. As a Certified Managed Hosting Provider, EstesGroup guarantees better than 99.5% uptime Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for clients’ ERP systems (to see EstesGroup’s 99.7% SLA click here). EstesGroup is also a Microsoft Partner with SQL Administration, Security Administration, O365, MS Exchange, and Disaster & Recovery expertise.
To learn more about EstesGroup’s EstesCloud Epicor Hosting, visit our Epicor ERP Hosting page.
Contact EstesGroup today to learn more about Epicor ERP Hosting or Prophet 21 ERP Hosting.
Headquartered in beautiful Loveland Colorado, and established in 2004, EstesGroup (www.estesgrp.com) employees averages 25+ years of discrete manufacturing and distribution industry experience which they leverage to ensure client success. Their employees are spread-out throughout the United States which maximizes talent and local presence for their clients. EstesGroup is a certified reseller, certified implementor, and certified hosting provider for Prophet 21 and Epicor ERP 10. They implement full service cloud, hosted, or on-premise solutions based on client needs and requirements.
About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation (www.epicor.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is a manufacturer of Enterprise Resource Planning software solutions. Today, over 20,000 customers in 150 countries around the world rely Epicor’s expertise and solutions to improve performance and profitability.
Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by EstesGroup and/or Epicor Software Corporation.
Recession-Proof Investments: Cloud Computing and the Refrigerator of the Future
We’ve long been told that necessity is the mother of invention, but when necessity is out of a sense of privation, reactions vary. Born and raised into the world of residential and commercial construction, I’ve felt the motion sickness that results from the ups and downs of the building cycle well into my earliest memories. And I‘ve been in business long enough to have stomached enough down-cycles to observe how different companies react to these changing economic climates.
As the current bull market gets slowly walked to the slaughterhouse, managers at all levels begin to wonder what it will mean for their own place within America’s larger business landscape. There is always the search for the investments that could be considered “recession-proof”—investments that will yield value during the current crisis, but would also serve as a foundation for future success. Simple cost-cutting is rarely such an investment—it yields short-term savings, but often at the expense of long-term objectives: I’ve never seen a hiker make it to the top of a peak faster by trimming down the soles of his boots.
That is, the most reactionary of companies looks to simple knee-jerk reactions to trim costs in order to get in line with shrinking revenues: eliminating optional programs or reducing essential services to their bare minimum. More innovative companies utilize this newfound necessity as a means of transforming their current state by getting ahead of the competition.
At the consumer level, the most well-known example of this phenomenon was the advent of the refrigerator. It was the Great Depression, of all things, that led to the broad use of the refrigerator by America’s large middle class. While it was, at the time, a significant capital expenditure for any given household, the refrigerator allowed families to save time and money: the ability to extend the life of the day’s victuals allows families to reduce waste, and thus cut costs, while also allowing them to expend the physical labor that would have been spent on the next meal on other activities. This rendered the old-fashioned ice box obsolete. In this way, times of downturn often have a way of surfacing new innovations—products that outpace their competitors suddenly emerge because the competitive landscape has reduced the viability of their less-innovative competitors.
Similarly, as America hit rock bottom in the late 2000s and early 2010s, cloud computing grew rapidly at the same time, as companies looked for ways to reduce cost and risk, while scaling up for the future. In this way, cloud computing may very well serve to become the coming recession’s refrigerator—the tool that will allow individuals and companies to strategically equip themselves not only for the hard times ahead, but also for the good times thereafter.
For Epicor customers, cloud computing surfaces as an opportunity to avoid the costs of replacing outdated hardware. Also, by moving installations into hosted environments, customers are able to eliminate the cooling costs required to keep their stacks on ice. Estes Group’s Epicor Cloud Managed Hosting offering (ECHO) is ready-by-design to protect and carry your company through the down-cycles and get you back into the saddle and riding the next bull market to better times. Looking to recession-proof your business? Please reach out to our team, and we’ll help you innovate a cloud computing strategy that will keep you ahead of the storm.
Are you looking for cloud computing options, or have questions on how we can help make your systems more flexible? Contact Us today or let us know below.
Don’t ever let grass grow on your wheels
According to sociologists, my brother and I are from the same generation. Sometimes I wonder… with nine years between us, we occupied two very different points of time, especially when it came to music. My brother was a man without a hat, a child of the 80s, while I left my toque at home so I could let my hair hang low à la Kurt Cobain. But in spite of the age gap, we shared an abiding mutual interest in contemporary sounds, and my brother once remarked, when comparing my Pearl Jam to his Bruce Springsteen (Springfield, after all, had been his generation’s Eddie Vedder), that my music was sure easier to dance to. That was certainly a surprise to me. I always thought of myself as a double-left-foot biped, and moreover I’ve long suspected that I have no genetic predisposition to dance—our father’s visits to the local dancehalls were to roughhouse, not to two-step, and I’ve often wondered if he only met my mother because he couldn’t find another ruffian to dance with that night.
For many years I was close with a World War II veteran who also met his spouse at a dance hall. As a man of the Greatest Generation, he felt the Great Depression firsthand, served in the European Theatre, and returned to the States to become a successful business owner and family man. But if you asked him what he really was, he’d tell you he was a dancer.
His greatest joy was to fling himself and his dancing partner across the parquet of a long-forgotten ballroom, with the band laying it down in the corner. And whenever I’d make it home to see him after an extended consulting gig, he’d ask me if there were any polka bars in the town where I’d been. It broke my heart to disappoint him that I couldn’t find a polka venue to spend my nights, as his dance hall culture had long since become an American timepiece.
My crowd, for one, never caught onto it, and I personally never learned how to dance. I didn’t exactly need to be Jean Erdman to make my way through a mosh pit, and my crowd later gravitated to house and electronica music, where dance meant minimal vertical sufficiency while moving to the beat. Even still, I found one abiding continuity between my companion’s old-style Polka and my Mosh. Always keep moving, always keep to the beat. Or, as he loved to say after reminiscing about his dancing days, “Don’t ever let grass grow on your wheels.”
Good software is like a good dancer—it doesn’t stop moving.
Has anyone on this dance floor ever worked on a green screen application? Or does anyone remember the look and feel of Netscape Navigator? In spite of my nostalgia for 90’s apps, baggy jeans, three-chord anthems, and a full head of hair, I realize that software doesn’t stand still—a software package that can’t dance soon becomes a two-left-feet wall-flower. And a software package that can’t teach its users how to dance might lose out to nostalgia. It was the twist that put my polka buddy out for good: “I just can’t understand how a guy can do nothing but put out cigarettes all night on the dance floor and call that dancing.”
Fresh off Epicor’s annual Insights conference, I’m ready to tango and tangle with all the new capabilities that are in development or already in the process of being released to the user community. Needless to say, there is a whole lot of shaking going on at the great Epicor Code Laboratory, where Epicor’s waltzing wizards ply their trade. And the release of this functionality for public consumption is more than just movement for its own sake. Like a good ballroom turn, software release requires a cadence, and Epicor has been hard at work perfecting its rhythms.
New releases of Epicor functionality conform to the Major.Version.Release.Update structure.
For example, a company on version 10.2.300.4 would be broken out in the following manner:
- Major: 10
- Version: 2
- Release: 300
- Update: 4
These different elements are further described below:
- Major Product changes occur when fundamental architectural changes are made to the product. From a customer perspective, a new product level may require significant changes at the database or application server level.
- Any customizations in the previous product level need to be retested, and many may need to be rewritten entirely.
- Significant functionality or user-interaction changes may also be included, which may require retraining of the user community.
- The most obvious example of this was Epicor’s monumental move from 905 to E10. This was a fundamental change to the database and all the levels of its server-side business logic.
- Major Product deliveries are planned to occur approximately every 60 months.
- New versions may have a significant impact on Epicor’s data schema—fields may be added or removed.
- These changes may be substantial to BAQs, BPM’s, and screen customizations. As such, ample testing in a pilot environment should occur prior to deployment.
- For example, Epicor’s move from its 10.0 to 10.1 brought with it important improvements in performance, stability—not to mention a ton of new features.
- New versions of the software are planned to occur every 18 months.
- Releases are fully-packed new instances of the software, with significant functionality enhancements, but the enhancements are limited as to allow for an easy upgrade process from a prior release.
- Releases (or patch-levels) include additive changes to Epicor’s data schema, but no deletions.
- These changes may have minor impact to BAQs, BPM’s, and screen customizations, but these are smaller in scope and gravity than with new versions.
- For example, in the .300 version of Epicor’s 10.2 product, Epicor’s License Plating (PCID) functionality was greatly enhanced.
- New releases are deployed every 6 months.
- Updates are smaller, release-specific changes, constructed with the intent of addressing issues within the current release. Changes are restricted to minimize disruption. As such, technology or schema changes are not present in these packages.
- User training is not required for updates—the system will function as it previously had, only with fewer issues.
- Updates are released every 2-3 weeks.
Within this structure, it is important to understand the rationale of Epicor’s release cadence. The goal of their rhythm is to minimize business disruption, while at the same time quickly providing resolution to issues, and providing functional enhancements at a reasonable rate. The implementation of this cadence has allowed Epicor to balance functionality and support, while allowing the customer base to focus on running their businesses without interruption.
For cloud customers, these upgrades happen automatically, with prescribed periods set aside for preparation, testing and validation, prior to deployment. For customers who have the application installed on-premises, the cadence is customer-defined. I have found that customers who keep their system up-to-date reap the benefits of this decision—new versions are easier to maintain and support, and they perform better and have fewer issues.
As such, my advice to customers with regard to the frequency of upgrades is simple: learn how to dance and don’t ever let grass grow on your wheels.
Have a question about Epicor ERP, Prophet 21, or ERP system updating cadence? Let us know.