“We want to focus on the mid-market segment”
Epicor Software, a provider of software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality and services industries has re-entered the Indian market after an exit in 2008. Basil Daniells, Vice President, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India at Epicor speaks about the company’s strategy and product plans for India.
Q] You are re-entering the Indian market after your exit during the height of the 2008 financial crisis? What will be your market strategy now and how do you plan to compete with existing players like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and our homegrown Ramco Systems to tap the Indian ERP market?
We are taking a cautious and an effective approach for the Indian market. This is something that we lacked the last time around in terms of our strategy.
Firstly, we believe that we are entering the market at the right time because the critical mass of the market is ready for software like enterprise resource planning (ERP).
We realize that Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and some others have been in this market for many years and are strong competitors. These players have captured the enterprise segment. However, over a period of time, this market will get saturated and it has already started showing signs of saturation. We as a company are planning to look at new areas where we will see revenues coming in.
Our focus will be more on the mid-market segment that has shown a huge growth potential. Initially, we want to target the manufacturing sector and under this sector look at sub various sub sectors.
From a product perspective, we were also in the middle of the development of Epicor 9, which is a much more competitive and converged offering. It was also a prudent move to step back and re-enter this market with a better product.
This product will be a key differentiator for our customers. We are clearly three to four years ahead of our competitors in our product offerings.
Q] What is your go to market strategy?
Globally, we have a hybrid model. So we sell our products directly as well as through channels. India being a price sensitive market, as of now we will only operate through the channel network. We want to be very selective with whom we work. Currently, we have 12 partners in India.
From a partner perspective, we are taking a two-tiered approach. We have four to five tier one partners who will provide us with a pan India presence. Then we have niche partners who are more city or state centric. This is the way we have structured the market in terms of our sales etc.
We have enabled our partners from a sales and presales perspective. Our partners are going through certifications from a consulting and implementation standpoint. This should be done by mid of November this year. This will be the time when we launch the Epicor 9 Indian localized product in the market.
Q] You have joined hands with Defiance Technologies, a Hinduja Group company. Can you share details of the tie up?
We work with Defiance across geographies like Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. They have invested a lot in terms of people and intellectual property. Defiance and Epicor will collaborate on product development and on country-specific extension to the Epicor 9 application.
In addition we will also put together a sales strategy for the Indian market, and also provide consulting to other companies within the Hinduja fold.
Defiance has set up a centre of excellence for Epicor in Chennai. The centre will develop enterprise software for our global business and Defiance’s ERP consulting and implementing expertise. It will adapt the Epicor 9 suite to India-specific functionalities for Indian customers.
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