ERPx: Setting a new benchmark for the industry
I joined Unit4 because I think Unit4 has a tremendous opportunity to redefine the ERP market and change the way it serves customers.
When new technologies evolve and transform, the way we think of the tools we use and how we use them changes. We’re experiencing a huge technological shift not just in enterprise, but worldwide. Public clouds, machine learning, the rise of microservices, API’s, mobile, a different approach to user experiences, all present an opportunity to rethink and reimagine how ERP systems function.
The next generation of these systems is coming into existence now. And Unit4 has a real opportunity to lead the charge thanks to its unique market position and history of working in sectors where the People Experience is a key driver of performance.
ERPx – The ERP solution that is just right
ERPx takes advantage of major technological breakthroughs that have been occurring over the last five years. It allows us to provide systems that fit customer needs right out the box and at scale.
One of the problems with ERPs of the past is the length of implementations and the effort involved to make it fit. When companies change, and they always do, this means going through a lot of trouble to reconfigure outdated customizations.
We live in a world of changing economies, COVID, remote work, increased competition. Systems need to adapt and change with the needs of the company. What was OK and good and right five years ago might not be right anymore.
ERPx isn’t a static system. We believe technology must be able to adapt, change and evolve with customer needs. In the case of ERPx, we achieve this through the use of APIs, microservice architecture, and low-code / no-code customization capabilities.
In my four years at Google, I spent a lot of time thinking about how we can make the best use of machine learning and AI, to enable broad services automation in the enterprise world.
And that’s exactly what we’re doing with ERPx. We’re looking at the overall workflows, what people need to do, so we can automate what we can. Taking away repetitive tasks leaves more time for employees to focus on the valuable ones.
Take invoicing for example. If a machine learning functionality can be trained to recognize fields in an invoice, it can process information in an invoice into the system automatically. This removes the need for manual data entry and processing altogether, and it ensures a more accurate execution of a routine workflow that would otherwise be subject to error and consume a lot of time for employees.
System integration with low-code / no-code
Another technological breakthrough we’ve developed using this same principle is the Unit4 Extension Kit, our own low-code / no-code platform. The idea behind these is very simple. Enterprise applications need to be connected. ERPs often sit at the center of this world, but ERP may only be 25% of the applications our customers use. They will also have a CRM system, HCM software and collaboration tools like Teams or Slack. All these solutions need to fit together, and that’s always been challenging..
Companies are different, and their setups are different. In the past, groups of consultants had to come in and evaluate, and connect these systems together by writing code. Through our Unit4 Extension Kit, we allow people that aren’t trained programmers to achieve the same thing.
That’s why it’s called low-code / no-code. Users can simply use drag and drop tools or UIs to express what application they want to connect with what application on what context. What they want to happen when something changes in for example the CRM, and how they want all of this data to flow into their other systems.
ERPx can seamlessly integrate with the vast number of specialized third party APIs, and we allow organizations to incorporate as many as they need, as soon as they need it.
This automation really changes the economics of how these things fit together. The ability to connect all systems in seamless workflows within an enterprise, whether it’s a Unit4 system or other applications that customers might use, really changes the game and can be delivered at the fraction of costs than in the past.
Achieving the ten second experience
Our ultimate goal with this level of automation – and with features like our AI-powered digital assistant, Wanda – is to create a platform based on what my colleague Claus Jepsen recently referred to as the “ten second experience”. Rather than forcing users to navigate 20 different fields of form-based data entry to get the information or results they want, we give them the opportunity to ask simple, natural questions that the system can then process for them in real time. Creating a much more organic and natural working environment.
Not just a product
ERPx isn’t just for the needs of today, but for the needs of all kinds of unforeseeable futures. I look forward to helping people and organizations take advantage of the opportunity ERPx brings for many years to come.