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Unit4 has cut the ribbon on its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERPx) offering and made it clear that it wants partner involvement to increase the availability and depth of the offering.
The ERPx solution is being pitched at mid-market, people-centric organisations that are looking for enterprise resource planning tools in the fields of professional services, non-profits, higher education and the public sector.
The offering will launch in the UK and the US in the second quarter, kicking off with 24 customers. Those include some names familiar to a UK channel audience, including The Charity Commission, Social Work England and North West Leicestershire District Council. The global roll-out will continue over the rest of this year.
To boost channel activity around ERPx, Unit4 has also announced a partner developer programme – Developer 4U. Those who sign up will be given support, including extension kit training, to build apps to widen the appeal of the product.
There are plans to launch an App Marketplace later this year, which will give developers and customers the chance to pitch and purchase the available products.
“With ERPx, we are delivering something that customers have been asking for from ERP solutions for decades – the right platform and tools, designed around their specific needs, supporting them to be fast, resilient, adaptable and light-touch enough to drive employee productivity,” said Dmitri Krakovsky, chief product officer at Unit4.
“We’re also giving them the freedom to connect and extend industry-specific online data services and solutions quickly and easily. Together, we will build the digital foundation that ensures that people and organisations achieve their potential,” he added.
The decision to launch ERPx gets the nod from Mickey North Rizza, programme vice-president at IDC, who said the technology was coming at a time when customers had changed their approach and were reviewing their options.
“The last year has signalled the most seismic organisational and operational change for mid-market entities in more than a decade, which recognise that to remain productive, efficient and competitive they must undergo significant change becoming more digital,” he said.
“Digital services already increase the opportunity to connect with customers across multiple channels and the pandemic has accelerated the demand for such real-time engagement, so organisations must become more dynamic to respond to their customer and employee expectations,” he added.
The general availability of ERPx comes just a few weeks after Unit4 announced a strategic growth buyout by TA Associates for $2bn.
At the time, the firm indicated that the buyout would help it meet its global growth ambitions, both organically through cloud-based product innovation and through mergers and acquisitions to unlock new markets and industries.
“Our partnership with TA and Partners Group couldn’t come at a better time. With the launch of ERPx, our next-generation cloud-native ERP platform, expansion of our global partner ecosystem, the creation of a strong and viable customer community with Community 4U, and deeper “people” investment in our core and growth markets, Unit4 is poised to see dramatic growth through this next phase of our journey,” said Mike Ettling, CEO of Unit4.