How Do You Choose a Partner to Help with Your Epicor ERP Software?

The choice that you make can have a profound impact on not just the results of your ERP adventure, but also on your fundamental attitude towards ERP and the software. Let’s face it, your ERP system is software - it works with people, for people, and the people that interact with the software are responsible for the outcome of the ERP experience. You need to choose good people to partner with and have good people in your organization to make it work. So, what we are really talking about is how do you choose good people to work with your team to ensure the basic software tool can be used to its best advantage. There is a plethora of choice in the marketplace for you. Epicor partners come in different flavours from Sales Partners, Solution Providers to Service Partners. A simple google search will turn up dozens of other providers of services from independent freelancers to large scale IT shops that provide anything from customizations to resource staffing. The list is endless.

Epicor's Authorized and Certified Partner Network Overview
Epicor works hard to create a strong Partner Channel Network. They provide an abundance of knowledge and experience tailored to the Partners and delivered in a timely way. They foster a collaborative environment and are very careful in how they manage the different levels of partnership.

Sales Partners are supported in their efforts to sell software modules and licenses. They are provided with an abundance of training and marketing materials with a laser like focus on selling the products that Epicor offers. Their primary goal is sales, and they work closely with the local Customer Account Managers to ensure they hit their marketing targets. You will see them prominently display their level of achievements in the sales arena by their level of partnership, Silver, Gold or Platinum. 

Solution Provider Partners are partners that have developed a unique software or hardware solution that Epicor feels meets a niche within their product offerings. If the solution meets a rigorous set of tests and fits into Epicor’s marketing strategies, the company that developed the solution is invited to join the Epicor group under the Epicor Alliance ISV program. Epicor will then use its considerable marketing clout to help market the solution into the Epicor user group and share in the rewards of the selling process. In this win-win scenario, new products get developed and become available to the entire Epicor community for the benefit of all.

Epicor Service Partners provide Epicor application consulting and implementation services to customers. They may provide services directly or as subcontractors to Epicor Professional Services. They may work in conjunction with the Epicor direct sales team in specific opportunities as requested, but do not receive customer ownership. This partner category is not eligible for the Premium Tier status, so you won’t see an Epicor Service Partner with Silver, Gold or Platinum designations. They simply work with the software and the customers to ensure the customer knows how to use the software in the best way possible.

You can access the Epicor Partner Directory at https://www.epicor.com/partners/partner-directory.aspx. With hundreds of qualified participants worldwide, Epicor provides unequaled benefits by providing a network that offers their authorized partners expert knowledge and resources, cutting-edge software, professional certification and training programs, limitless support, customer experience opportunities, and ongoing consulting to make sure that each Epicor customer can rely on a highly skilled service provider. All levels of Epicor Partners can leverage the benefits that Epicor provides with regards to knowledge, support, resources, and training.

Certification and Training
Epicor provides consultants, who are working for authorized partners, the opportunity to train using the Epicor Certification Program. This program defines learning standards, provides training on Epicor applications, and requires testing to ensure mastery of each application. There are two types of exams – Core Specializations and Singles. The Core Specializations cover defined management areas of the software, such as Financial Management, Inventory Management, Tools Management, Technical Management, and more. The Singles focus on one specific add-on product or focus – for example, Epicor Cloud Foundations, Epicor ECM (DocStar) Administration, or Epicor Commerce Connect Foundations. These exams have a minimum pass level to be considered certified, and once passed, are valid for 18 months. This means that, to stay certified, a consultant must stay on top of their learning, ensuring they know each new version of the software so that the exam can be passed before the certification period is up. Epicor has created certification badges that can be found in the email signature files of certified consultants to help customers recognize the skill set each consultant has achieved.

TeccWeb places a major emphasis on ensuring the consultants working for us have the knowledge and skills to best help our customers. Each member is certified in at least one Core Specialization, with several certified in multiple. Be sure to look for the certification badges within our email signature files.

Cutting-Edge Software
Authorized partners also have access to the latest software solutions and specific applications that ensure ground-breaking technologies are being used to streamline the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and other services that drive efficiency throughout your business. Without an authorized partnership, Freelancers are limited to the versions of software they have chosen to invest in.

Authorized partners of Epicor are connected with recognized Microsoft® technology experts and provide each partner with a support structure capable of building world-class enterprise and e- business applications. With access to robust, scalable, and distributable Web-based applications, Epicor authorized partners enable their customers to quickly realize a competitive advantage and experience a smooth and speedy implementation.

Guaranteed Support
Authorized partners have access through the Epicor support portal to download any version of the Epicor software. They have knowledge and relationships directly with the various Epicor teams to streamline support issues and go directly to the best points of contact within Epicor. This guarantees that any questions or problems will be resolved and answered.

Epicor partners can also see your company support tickets if you allow it. With this level of visualization into your organization, Epicor partners can quickly see issues and recognize patterns to help pinpoint problem areas and provide faster, more accurate support.

Should I Hire a Freelancer?
Non-authorized entities and freelancers cannot access the Epicor support portal, except though your account or that of another Epicor customer. This is not the same level of access as an authorized partner. If they are using another company’s account because you are off active maintenance, for example, then they are violating the other customer’s license agreement. Freelancers and non-authorized entities are also working with a restricted set of tools. This frequently results in decisions that are not beneficial to you the client. We have seen far too many “upgrades” that turn into costly re-implementations because the freelancer has convinced the client that the upgrade is not the way to go. Not because this is the sound business choice, but because the freelancer does not have the tools at his or her disposal to successfully upgrade the database.

The arguments for re-implementation are numerous, but they mostly come down to a freelancer convincing you that you will have this great opportunity to start fresh and purge all those unwanted items from your Data. Unless your original implementation was so bad that it is not usable, starting over is much more costly than upgrading. Freelancers want you to re-implement because they know they cannot upgrade you because they do not have the tools and access to Epicor’s upgrade services. Keep in mind that in the re-implementation scenario, you still must keep all your old accounting transactions and you will not be able to access the information for any rolling 12 or 24 style reports. You will be maintaining the old system for the next 7 years.

Epicor has extensive skill and custom developed tools for upgrading. They have developed an inexpensive upgrade offering that provides for 3 upgrade passes to your database to ensure you can move from any previous version of the ERP software to the current version. Epicor fundamentally wants your business to stay as current on the software as possible and they recognize they need to help you ensure that happens.

Outside of the Epicor network freelancers are on their own, and their ability to gain experience with a variety of customers is limited to their abilities to bring in new customers. Epicor’s Partner Channel network offers access to partners that are qualified, trained and experienced in Epicor ERP and all the supporting software. Epicor has built a support and training framework for these partners that guarantees excellence in service and support. You can rest assured that you and your ERP solution are in good hands. With an Epicor authorized partner and certified consultant, the decision is easy.

Why Choose TeccWeb?
TeccWeb is a proud Epicor Authorized Service Partner and has been since 2014. TeccWeb prides itself on its certified consultants and their ability to successfully implement the Epicor ERP software. As the Southwestern Ontario and GTA Regional Leader of the Epicor Users Group, TeccWeb is giving back to the Epicor community. For more information on how to partner with TeccWeb, please send us an email.

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