Epicor 9 Consulting Review by Data Guidance Group

One of the trends in recent years has been merger of ERP software companies. Real World was acquired by Great Plains Software. GP immediately discontinued new sales of the product (the technical term is “killed the product.”) Great Plains also bought Solomon. Microsoft bought Great Plains Software. Computer Associates bought ACCPAC, then sold it ten years later to Sage. Sage seems to be buying everyone.

Epicor is the latest casualty. It has been purchased by Apax partners and merged with Activant software. Now the Epicor product line almost rivals Sage. How many products does Sage own these day? Ten? Eleven? Fifty? It’s hard to keep up.
Anyway, there’s a review of what seems to continue to be the top product in the Epicor line (Epicor 9, which is the renamed Vantage product). We have posted the review of the product along with some product information.

HP Dumps PCs

Interesting news this week: HP is dumping it’s PC business. HP is also dumping WebOS at the same time. I remember when HP took over Compaq. At the time, we were a reseller and service center for Compaq. We could order parts overnight from Atlanta or closer. The warranty reimbursement rates were good, and we were able to offer clients a quality product at a reasonable investment, with the assurance that we could provide the service after the sale.
Soon after HP took over, they announced a minimum inventory requirement. I don’t remember the exact number, but the amount was more than 50% of the total warranty repairs for the previous year. Needless to say, I’m sure HP lost a great number of smaller repair centers. Our response was to move to other suppliers.
And now HP is dumping PCs. Ok. Same strategy as IBM? Will HP be as successful?

Google+ — The Newest (?) Kid on the Block

By the time you read this, Google+ may not be the newest kid on the block, but for now it is, and it’s getting some attention (particularly because it’s by Google). Since Google+ is so new, many people aren’t sure what it will turn into. The way facebook tends to release new updates and force them into the system, some would rather have an alternative, and with Google’s market clout, there’s a good chance that this is an alternative to facebook. Studies are already appearing about the new social network: There’s an Eye Tracking Study, an introduction and SEO analysis, and an interesting set of experiments on Google+ and Twitter.

None of this means that Google+ will take off like Twitter and facebook. It at least illustrates the rapidity of change in the social media world, and the impact that one media item might have on another.

I consider Google+ to be in its infancy as of today. If you’re into social networking, sign up and join the party.
Oh, and drag me into one of your circles. I’m there.

Web Sites Revisited

In 2005, I wrote a book titled For-Profit Web Sites: A Second Look at How to Make the Web Profitable. It was a strategy book that focused on web sites as a tool for generating additional business and supporting sales. I thought about it the other day, and dug it out.
Frankly, I was surprised at how much of it was current. There are some dated references. Anyone remember the Palm VII?
But here’s the basic idea:

  • Find out how much traffic your web site is getting and what is generating it. There are many products out there to help you do this.
  • Figure out what key words will generate the most traffic for your site, and optimize on those words.
  • Once someone arrives at your site, offer them something of value in exchange for their contact information (I suggest email and first name).
  • Create an email newsletter, and send it on a regular basis.
  • Repeat the process of analysis to see how you are doing.

It’s a good process. It works. We’ve done it or some modification of it over and over for clients. Social Media is just a new twist on an old theme.
Drop me an email if you’d like a copy of the book. It needs updating, but it’s a quick and informative read.