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Constellation research

Constellation Research: Unit4 “changing the ERP market” with “one of the most modern and complete EAPs”

Yet more analyst coverage of Unit4’s latest efforts in reimagining the ERP platform – this time from our good friends at Constellation Research.

In their latest Offering Overview of the Unit4 enterprise application platform, VP and Principal Analyst Holger Mueller, declares that our EAP “changes the ERP market”, and describes the Unit4 People Platform as one of the most modern and complete EAPs out there.

The Unit4 People Platform serves not only as the platform for Unit4 products such as the Unit4 People Experience Suite, but also as the platform with which enterprise can enable all three key EAP usage scenarios: Extend, Integrate, and Build.

An innovative and unique message-centric EAP for next-gen applications

According to the report, enterprise application architectures are decade-spanning endeavours. New architectures are triggered by fundamental changes to the platform. And it’s quite rare to see a vendor rethink its architecture strategically and build from scratch – rather than simply conforming to the pressure of platform changes.

As Constellation put it, this is the process Unit4 has taken over the last few years. We started rethinking what ERP should look like back in 2013. And taking a step back like this to examine what’s really needed to make our customers successful helped us to make a dramatic shift. Allowing us to pursue the removal of traditional architectural boundaries and creating a human-centric, message-focused approach.

Message based architectures are more than just charming. As Constellation point out, the real world – and enterprise itself – runs on messages, not necessarily on transactions or transaction processing. And message-based architectures scale much more quickly and efficiently than transaction-based architectures, because they can be built more elastically and without the single point of control (ID generation) that underlies all transactional databases.

As the report highlights, this lets our People Platform (and ERPx, which is built with the People Platform as a foundation) have five key features that make it unlike any other offering available as of writing.

  1. Web apps are our user interface. The entire experience of using our people platform and anything built on it is as simple and fluid as using a web browser.
  2. APIs, documents, and events are our enterprise interface for all electronic processes.
  3. Customer data is stored in isolation meaning the privacy and security of customer data is ensured as it can only be accessed through messages, not via databases or underlying table structures.
  4. Distributed compute that scales well. The People Platform is based on Microsoft Azure as its native architecture, providing elasticity and theoretically infinite potential additional capacity.
  5. Messaging ties everything together. Every part of the platform is based on and tied together with simple, human-legible messages, which bring the four principal components together.

Mueller describes this approach as “a compelling alternative architecture for operating business applications” that “scales very well, avoids traditional transactional performance challenges… and is a viable and elegant platform.”

Designed for integration

The ability of our platform to integrate third part systems (both out of the box and via secondary integration work) and the ability to extend applications without cumbersome customization processes also receives mention and praise. Our extension kit is showcased as a logical extension of the platform, with its own message-based architecture that orchestrates communications between a host of different apps.

All in all?

The report concludes by reiterating the People Platform’s strengths in four key areas. With a particular recommendation of the platform as a choice for leaders looking to enable enterprise acceleration in their organizations.

  • The innovative use of a message-based architecture (which is singled out as a real differentiated offering for an EAP platform).
  • Making good use of Microsoft Azure as the basis for the platform, including mesh architecture and AI capabilities.
  • The microservices-led design approach that enables more efficient use of resources and a more efficient way to provide critical automation at scale.
  • An innovative approach to the “Build” use case that provides customers with a higher developer velocity, and giving them greater potential to practice critical enterprise acceleration.
Constellation research

Want to learn more?

To discover more about what the Unit4 People Platform is capable of, you can check out Constellation’s overview of the offering below or read more on our website.