Epicor Software Corporation, a leading provider of enterprise business software solutions to the midmarket and Global 1000 companies, has introduced the Shared Benefits program, its latest initiative aimed at helping companies eliminate risk and avoid excessive cost overruns that can plague conventional enterprise resource planning (ERP) system deployments.
Enterprise resource planning is an extremely strategic and all encompassing business application; and failure to deploy in a timely and cost effective manner has been known to significantly disrupt companies’ operations. Epicor’s Shared Benefits program establishes a partnership where Epicor and its customers equally share in the risks and rewards of the ERP implementation project.
Epicor and its customers take joint responsibility for the project scope definition based on detailed project mapping, mutually agreed upon business outcomes and return on investment calculations. Both parties are financially incented to tightly manage the project in adherence with the agreed upon scope to minimise project delays and risk factors. Shared Benefits deployments are characterised by pragmatic solutions and simplified requirements ensuring that delivery dates are respected and the risks associated with complexity and elongated timelines are avoided.
Analyst Ray Wang of Altimeter Group who has advocated strongly for fairness and transparency in software licensing and pricing writes of the necessity for trust in a vendor-customer relationship. “The most valuable commodity in this economy and in business relationships is trust. The current downturn in the economy has been exacerbated by deterioration in trust and a lack of any one party to improve trust and accountability. Software vendors have this opportunity to take their position of strength and demonstrate how they can provide customers value during a down turn. In doing so, they will help their customers succeed and earn customer loyalty and good will when the economy picks up.”
Supported by Proven Methodologies
Supporting the collaborative approach of Shared Benefits is Epicor’s Signature Methodology and its Project Control Center, which provides timely and accurate information about project health and activities via a portal accessible to all stakeholders. This visibility and accountability is another key tenet of the Shared Benefits program.
Upon project completion, if the project is under budget, the savings are shared 50/50. Conversely, if the project runs over budget, the customer is billed 50% of the contracted professional services hourly rates for all over-budget costs.
The Shared Benefits program further underscores Epicor’s commitment to containing costs and mitigating deployment unknowns, and builds on the company’s unique 1:1 ratio — Epicor’s aim that implementation costs will not exceed the list price of the software (one dollar or less for services for every dollar of software), first introduced in 1999.
“The ERP industry as a whole is notorious for endless implementation cycles and excessive deployment costs,” said George Klaus, chairman, president and CEO for Epicor. “Ten years ago Epicor set out to change this paradigm and lower the costs of ERP implementation through our 1:1 guarantee initiative. Today, we’re offering our customers even more compelling ways to mitigate deployment risks and improve ROI with our Shared Benefits program, where customers and Epicor share equally in project outcomes.”
 Software Insider’s Point of View, “Monday’s Musings: 5 Steps to Restoring Trust in the Vendor - Customer Relationship,” October 2008.