Bristol, UK, 16th June, 2015 – Unit4, a fast growing leader in enterprise applications for service organisations, today announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft that will speed to market the creation of self-driving business applications and ERP for people-centric organisations.
Unit4 will use the smart technology in Azure’s PaaS platform components and Microsoft Office solutions including predictive analytics, machine learning, event stream analysis and complex event processing. Combined with Unit4’s People Platform, the collaboration boosts speed of innovation and will see customers benefiting from a new approach to enterprise computing.
Unit4 with Microsoft – making self-driving ERP a reality
To deliver on the promise of self-driving ERP, Unit4 and Microsoft will establish a development team to ensure that innovations in Azure and Office are used as quickly as possible within the Unit4 People Platform. Contextual information will be derived by combining business data within Unit4 applications with relevant information from Office 365, Office Delve, email, calendar, Yammer and more. This will enable unprecedented business value. Professional services firms will be able to combine an analysis of historical data with predictive analytics to gain valuable insight on which projects to bid for. Public sector organisations will improve fraud detection on bill payments with advanced pattern recognition and machine learning. Not-for Profits will have the ability to match campaigns to donation patterns and target donors more effectively.
“Microsoft and Unit4 share a long history of increasing productivity for enterprises and this collaboration will accelerate the innovation necessary to make self-driving ERP a reality,” says José Duarte, Unit4 CEO. “Like a self-driving car, self-driving ERP takes care of the tasks that are better served by technology, leaving people to focus on the exceptions that need human intervention. Unit4 and Microsoft’s combined know-how and technology will set a new industry standard for business applications for people-centric industries.”
To achieve this vision, ERP systems require access to complete and high-quality data. Traditional ERP provides users with non-intuitive empty forms, asking them to enter all the required data, leading to non-intuitive data entry, errors and frustration. Self-driving ERP dramatically simplifies data collection by utilising key technologies such as predictive analytics to provide meaningful in-context information to users. Such information enables intuitive data entry based on pre-populated forms and in-context yes-no validation questions. It results in great user experience all the way from desktop to mobile to wearables.
Working together in the cloud
Azure will be Unit4’s preferred public cloud deployment platform globally. Microsoft’s approach to Azure IaaS cloud deployments and Unit4’s Cloud Your Way methodology, which gives customers the flexibility to run their applications in public and private clouds, are key components and the foundation of this collaboration. Both organisations also cater to a hybrid computing environment, which will be the reality in the enterprise world for some time to come. Azure enhances Unit4’s offering through flexible security, data privacy and residency. With a deep understanding of the challenges facing the modern enterprise, Unit4 Business Applications with Azure offer highly scalable ramp-up and ramp-down capabilities and provide customers with the flexibility and adaptability they need to run their business without disruption.
“Unit4’s business applications and People Platform made them a strategic company for us to work with to help realise self-driving ERP,” stated Nicole Herskowitz, Senior Director of Product Management, Microsoft Azure. “We are excited to be working with Unit4 and through this collaboration, we are not only delivering accelerated value but also enabling faster time to innovation in the cloud for our customers.”
Unit4’s architecture aligns closely with Azure’s IaaS and PaaS offerings. With .Net at the core to support easy cross-platform integration, both cater to the unique demands of industry-specific, feature rich and easy to adopt business applications. Unit4’s ERP is the only system designed from the ground up for people-centric industries. It empowers people to better engage and create impact, while automating low-value repetitive tasks.