Half of firms hungry for support from ERP providers

Almost all (96%) of organisations surveyed worldwide have confidence in their ability to navigate the early stages of the ERP purchase process, from initial evaluation to requirements planning, according to Epicor.

However, 48% cited a strong need for more support and partnership from their ERP providers during the latter stages of the purchase journey – from implementation, go-live, and ongoing customer care – to ease migration and realize faster time-to-value.

The 2022 Epicor Industry Insights Report surveyed more than 1,350 ERP users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Findings show that 82% of respondents were operating in a hybrid cloud environment, with 46% either primarily or entirely in the cloud, a slight uptick from survey findings in 2021 which saw a large increase in cloud consideration driven by the pandemic. 

Nine in every 10 decision makers indicated their move to the cloud was worth the effort, having realised a variety of transformational benefits including improved flexibility and adaptability, better security, simple regulatory compliance, and enhanced business resilience.

Still, while the vast majority of these respondents using cloud solutions – nearly 90% – said they feel loyal to their current ERP provider, nearly half of decision makers said they actively consider moving to a new ERP solution every one to three years, due in part to industry innovation and rapid digital transformation delivering a proliferation of new technologies. 

Common triggers cited for re-evaluation include better functionality from another provider, integration challenges with new technologies, cybersecurity concerns, and stronger customer support. For ERP providers, there’s no room for complacency.

“Customers want a provider that can not only tailor their solution to the industry-specific needs that fit the customer’s business, but also collaborate closely throughout the entire purchase journey to provide transparency, strengthen onboarding and training, ensure dedicated support teams, and ultimately help realize meaningful business value,” said Steve Murphy, CEO of Epicor.

The study identified five phases of the customer experience – from sales, planning, implementation, go-live, and ongoing support – and what respondents need across each. 

First, industry-specific knowledge and guidance is important as customers need to be confident that their ERP partner knows their industry and understands their business. 

Second, interoperability and data support is a must have. From supporting backup and data hygiene issues, to ensuring successful interoperability across applications, expert support delivers a better experience for customers.

Third, businesses value staff training and onboarding materials that help make the switch a successful and painless experience.

Fourth, businesses really value transparency and clarity, especially during evaluation and planning.

And fifth, businesses want a consistent team that supports them at every stage. From initial contact, to “on the ground” support for go-live and beyond, they need to know they are a priority.