Unit4 ERPx and pandemic performance examined in new IDC Market Note
We’re pleased to announce that IDC has recently published a Market Note on Unit4’s strategic realignment to ensure growth and success in disruptive times. The Market Note takes a more in-depth look at our new cloud-native ERPx solution, including the principles and conditions that lead to its creation, and its capabilities and potential to transform the way people-centric organizations carry out their operations.
ERPx – context and capabilities
“With ERPx, Unit4 is looking to provide a more differentiated user experience: deep and capable for professionals, yet lightweight for general employees and casual users, and with relatively high degree of automation whenever possible. The deep user experience is meant to be highly personalized for professional users, while occasional users can be served in “10-second experiences” delivered in familiar platforms (such as Slack, Teams, or Outlook) and leveraging natural language processing and digital assistant interactions.”
This exploration of ERPx’s mission and approach highlights some interesting factors which make it a very good fit for people-centric organizations.
It’s a cloud-native platform, launched at a time when IDC’s own research demonstrates that people-centric businesses are more interested in moving their operations to the cloud. Thanks to the pandemic and the widespread shift towards remote working, 45% of professional service businesses have indicated their willingness to migrate their ERP workloads to a Saas or PaaS model, with 37% of government sector organizations indicating a similar intention or preference to re-architect their systems for cloud.
As the Market Note also highlights, ERPx comes equipped out-of-the-box with best practice and expertise for the industries which we’ve always focused on. Our specialization in the needs and worlds of professional services, public sector organizations, nonprofits, and higher education means that ERPx is already tailored to their needs. Reducing the need for post-purchase customization and leading to lower implementation costs and quicker time to value.
ERPx is focused on helping Unit4’s customers to achieve productivity, velocity, and resilience. With a microservices architecture based on a single public cloud codebase designed to reduce the time needed to release new features and services. And AI-based analytics based into processes to give the customer organization can quickly make decisions and solve complex problems without the need for any further data collation or investigation.
The report also makes note of ERPx’s ability to integrate with a variety of other Unit4 products that help drive agility. These include our Integration Kit (which allows orchestration between our products and third-party applications and systems) and Extension Kit (a low code environment that allows customers to easily set up rules for integrations with other apps without having to resort to highly specialized custom coding.) These tools allow organizations to immediately address business needs by shortening the time required to make customizations, create new business processes, and develop and integrate new services and applications. Moreover, they can be used by citizen developers without IT expertise. Our leveraging of AI and Machine Learning to drive automation in order to increase productivity also gets a mention.
Beyond the platform – strategic focus and future
As the report mentions, we’ve had a good year in spite of the pandemic. The company increased performance against its KPIs, with a rapid increase in cloud subscriptions, a huge increase in partner-driven contract value, and revenue retention up to 103.4% by the end of Q3. We’re pleased that the Market Note attributes some of this success to our shift to an ecosystem-centric approach, mentioning our new global partner program (announced in June.)
The report concludes with an optimistic assessment of the future for Unit4 and our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities:
“Unit4 appears to be making progress on its strategic transformation in the dimensions of cloud delivery, product innovation, and partner-based go-to-market strategy. COVID-19 has profoundly highlighted and exacerbated the challenges that many aging and disparate ERP systems are posing for businesses, and the momentum is shifting away from on-premises solutions fast. The new Unit4 leadership, led by veteran executive Mike Ettling, is cognizant of the importance of cloud solutions for those customers in need of deep transformation, and the launch of ERPx is a major point in that new trajectory for Unit4. This will not be without challenges of its own, especially at a time when the existing customer base and prospective new accounts will be looking for value, quick ROI, and a strong business case for adopting a new ERP solution. The new product covers financial processes, time and billing, HR processes, and analytics and operations, giving it a comprehensive feature list that many people-centric businesses will find attractive as a replacement to their existing ERP architecture.”
Read the full Market Note
To read the full Market Note and discover what aspects of our offering, performance, and strategic realignment have been singled out for mention – click below to download the report.