December 20, 2021
After going through the stress, both financial and physical, of an ERP implementation, the last thing you may want to think about is going through an upgrade. Whether it was a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ implementation, a lot of time and effort went into the project, and you may be reluctant to set resources aside to, ‘go through it all again’. The idea is to adopt best practices so that you are minimizing risk to the business and reducing the stress and fear of keeping the software current.
All ERP software is complex, and Epicor’s Kinetic software is no different. It has bugs and problems like any other software system and patches and upgrades are released regularly to address these problems as well as provide new features. The longer you wait to capture these fixes and enhancements, the higher the risk that the upgrade project will require more resources and come with a higher level of stress.
Epicor has structured its release cycle so that the stress and risk associated with large upgrade projects can be significantly reduced. Teccweb, supporting Epicor’s published product lifecycle, recommends working your business into an upgrade cadence that occurs at a minimum of every 12 - 24 months to minimize the risk associated with larger upgrades. The impact to your business becomes greatly reduced when a regular schedule is introduced. While there may be bumps along the way – a customization does not come across cleanly or a BPM stops working, these should be minor inconveniences. When upgrades are conducted at the product, or even version, level rather than at the release level, the risk is much greater that any customizations, reports, non-standard processes will require additional work to make them usable in the new version.
Staying active on current software means that you can take advantage of all the latest features and enhancements. You are paying an annual maintenance fee to support the R&D efforts provided by Epicor’s software development team and it only makes sense to take advantage of the investment they are putting into your software. Research the new release guide and plan to leverage the enhancements for the benefit of the business by increasing the effectiveness of your processes and implementing new functionality. Staying current allows you to take comfort in the knowledge that your business isn’t being left behind.
When an upgrade is only a release or two away, instead of a full version or, even scarier, a full product (i.e. taking the leap from ERP 9 to ERP 10), the changes to the interface will be less significant and the users will be more open to change. Small steps taken at regular intervals, rather than attempting one giant leap (potentially years apart), helps to minimize the users’ stress and decreases the amount of time needed to complete an upgrade. A short period of testing the newest version in a test environment, having users run through a Conference Room Pilot to ensure all business processes are working appropriately, and then scheduling a time to update the environment(s) becomes a very easy process.
Teccweb, Ontario’s Premier Services Partner, has undertaken hundreds of successful upgrades using Epicor’s Signature Methodology. With an Epicor certified partner on your team, advising you from planning through go-live, you can be assured that your upgrade will be successful too.
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If you would like to learn more about Teccweb’s approach to upgrading, please contact