To compete, manufacturers in regulated industries need to be agile and innovate at a high velocity. Epicor® ERP is a leading manufacturing platform for life science manufacturers as it offers the product traceability, system controls, and more needed to respond to your growing business while allowing you to meet regulatory challenges. The availability of critical business systems in the cloud improves your ability to compete. Cloud enables both business agility and the increased speed at which technology is delivered to better meet business needs for innovation. Additionally, the Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for Life Sciences offers a cloud solution designed to reduce the risk of compliance with support for the software validation needs of FDA-regulated businesses.

Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle Benefits

As a Life Sciences Manufacturer, take advantage of the benefits of cloud with reduced risk of compliance:

  • Stay current in cloud with an annual upgrade cadence for extended validation testing and documentation.
  • Ensure your business is ready for every upgrade by leveraging customer-proven best practices that minimize disruption.
  • Meet demands for high growth with flexible cloud solutions, easily scalable and adaptive to current and future business needs.
  • Drive strategic business outcomes with an Epicor ERP Cloud system to better align with your organizational goals.

FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance Requires Validation of Software

Companies must validate that the software and systems used to create and maintain electronic records and signatures can ensure the integrity of the electronic results and information. This is done through software validation. The guidance offered by the FDA for software validation is in terms of installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ), and performance qualification (PQ). The Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for Life Sciences supports IQ documentation on your Epicor cloud solution to supplement IQ documentation for internal systems within your validation plan.

Validation Documentation Available with the Bundle

The Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for Life Sciences supports IQ documentation on your Epicor cloud solution to supplement IQ documentation for internal systems within your validation plan.

Note: You are responsible for IQ validation documentation and testing of any installed software and devices at their location. Also, as you are responsible for your validation state, Epicor makes our documentation available for review. The following reports are available:

  • Epicor ERP IQ Software Validation Plan (VP): VP-01
  • Epicor ERP IQ Software User Requirements Specification (URS): URS-02
  • Epicor ERP IQ Software Risk Management Plan (RMP): RMP-03
  • Risk Assessment / Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA): FMEA-04
  • Epicor ERP IQ Software Risk Management Report (RMR): RMR-05
  • Epicor ERP IQ Software Functional Requirements (FR): FR-06
  • Epicor ERP Installation Qualification (IQ) Software Validation: IQ-07
  • Epicor ERP IQ Software Validation Summary Report (VSR): VSR-08
  • Epicor Managed Hosting SOC 1 Type II Report
  • Epicor Cloud ERP SOC 2 Type II Report
  • Epicor SOC 2 Bridge Letter

Cloud Elements of the Bundle

The solution is a bundled offering that comprises the following cloud elements:

  • Epicor ERP Public Cloud U.S. Government Option
  • Epicor Public Cloud Validation Environment with Public Cloud Premium for your dedicated validation testing
  • IQ documentation and audit inquiry support in the event of customer or FDA audit
  • Extended validation cloud cadence of one year to provide additional time for validation documentation and testing

Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for life science and medical device manufacturing environments

Figure 1: Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for Life Sciences. Note the solution is available in Azure Government Cloud and that additional environments are available but must be enhanced with a corresponding Premium Pilot Extension to match your solution set.

Cloud Upgrade Cadence for the Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for Life Sciences

Supporting the needs of the life sciences business with a software upgrade cadence that delivers time for added testing is built into the solution. Users will have stages for planning, validation testing, reporting of issues that impact validation, and regression test time for their validated processes. They will also need to test their non-validation processes such as financial transactions. Below is a diagram that outlines a sample cadence for the solution. In addition to a one-year cadence for major releases, the solution will offer a quarterly update that is made available in the pilot environment the month prior to making it available in the live environment.

Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle for life science and medical device manufacturing upgrades

Get Started With Epicor ERP Cloud Validation Bundle

Business leaders balance the pace of business innovation, fluctuating demand, and regulatory compliance requirements when deploying new technology. Reducing the risk of change in these environments provides greater business resiliency with the added benefit that the cloud delivers, including the ability to stay current with technology to drive greater results. Epicor uniquely understands the needs of a life sciences manufacturer with cloud-based ERP. You need the flexibility and control to run your business your way while benefiting from the cloud technologies and business models that fit.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


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The Epicor Data Management Tool (DMT) is an application that many Epicor ERP clients use to import information into their Epicor systems and to make mass updates. Many clients already know how to use the tool through the standard UI interface. The command line interface allows for interacting with the DMT without the need for user intervention.

The Benefit of Accessing Epicor Data Management Tool via Command Line

By allowing us to interface directly with DMT, this allows for us developers/consultants to quickly import information into Epicor. Such information that can be imported for both new and updating include:

  • Parts
  • Material Issue
  • Return Material
  • Quantity Adjustments
  • Jobs
  • Job Receipt to Inventory
  • Many More

Under normal circumstances, we would need to utilize the standard Business Objects or APIs to make these transactions and updates within the system. This can add a lot of overhead when performing a large number of transactions at a time. Pushing these through the DMT usually allows for us to process a greater number of transactions more quickly, with only the need to write the CSV file and kick off the application.

Getting started with Epicor Data Management Tool (DMT) via Command Line

Epicor provides a good amount of information regarding the DMT and the command line interface. Here is some documentation on it, so long as you have an EpicWeb account. you can find those resources, here.

The above resource provides all of the options that can be used with the DMT.exe and some basic examples. Beyond that, I would recommend anybody who would want to use this to use the DMT to create the templates for what the would want to import. By default, it automatically selects the required fields, so it’s just a matter of adding in the fields that needs to be updated/inserted.

Kicking off the DMT via a BPM is how I had originally done this for an Encompass client in Life Sciences manufacturing and I imagine that this would probably be the most universal way for it to be used. With that said, using the DMT in this way is not viable for Cloud clients as the DMT isn’t available for execution from the server side of things.

Cloud clients can still utilize the DMT, even with command line, but it would need to be through a different methodology, such as script file or through a local application that has access to the DMT install.

For more information on utilizing Epicor Data Management Tool via Command Line, reach out to Encompass using the link below.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Epicor has announced the upcoming major product upgrade of Epicor Kinetic 2021.1 in April 2021. This upgrade not only represents a major milestone in the advancement of manufacturing solutions from Epicor, but also a complete rebranding of the Epicor ERP solutions as Epicor Kinetic.

Epicor Kinetic 2021.1 represents decades of the Epicor manufacturing expertise fully reimagined for today’s modern workforce and digital business. Given such depth of enhancements in this upgrade, the standard testing timeframe for customers on cadence has been extended from four weeks to seven weeks.

What’s New in Epicor Kinetic 2021.1

More details will be released, but a few highlights include:

A Transformed User Experience

Enjoy the fresh look and intuitive design of all your most-used screens and forms – now accessible in a web browser – as the user experience transformation is getting closer to completion.

Expanded Capabilities of Application Studio

Your daily users will appreciate what your power users already know – This robust low/no code toolset is more feature-rich and intuitive to help even the casual user personalize screens to work faster and smarter.

Improved Help & Support Panel

With so many new features, it’s important to have quick and easy access to help when you need it. The Help & Support panel now features familiar type-head predictive search results and more ways to personalize your favorite topics.

Important Dates For Epicor Kinetic Upgrades

For cadence customers

Date​

Event

​Details

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Data Refresh in Pilot For all live Public Cloud customers staying on cadence, your pilot database will be automatically refreshed this day. Additional environments are not automatically refreshed, but if you would like them to be, please submit a case in EpicCare by Friday, April 9.

For implementing customers staying on cadence, your pilot database will not be automatically refreshed, unless you submit an EpicCare ticket requesting a refresh by Friday, April 9. Please note that you will not be able to have your database refreshed from Production to Pilot during the upgrade testing period.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Data Refresh in Pilot for MT/Express

For all legacy Multi-tenant and Express customers, your pilot database will be automatically refreshed this day.

Friday, April 16, 2021 –

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Pilot System Upgrade to 2021.1 During this time, your Pilot system, Education environment, and additional environments will be unavailable while Epicor performs your upgrade, but don’t worry—your Production system will not be affected by the new release. Once it is complete, log in to your Pilot system (and other environments) to start exploring what’s new.

Sunday, April 18, 2021 –

Friday, June 4, 2021

Extended Testing Timeline

There are seven weeks to test in Pilot. Between the upgrade from Pilot to Production, there will be two updates for customers on cadence.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Pilot System Update to 2021.1.2 Your Pilot system and additional environments will be updated to include quality enhancements.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Pilot System Update to 2021.1.3

This will be the second and last update before the upgrade to Production

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

UBC Opt-In Deadline
  • Multi-tenant and Express customers (legacy cloud customers)
    If Multi-tenant and Express customers want Epicor to move your unique business components (UBCs) from your Pilot environment to your Production environment, you must submit an EpicCare  ticket to opt-in to the process. If you do not submit an EpicCare ticket to opt-in to the process, the UBCs from your Pilot environment will not be moved by Epicor to the Production environment.

 

  • Public Cloud customers (Azure)
    Customers on the public cloud that would like to move your unique business components (UBCs) from your Pilot environment to Production environment, please refer to KB0035160 for instructions, or attend the complimentary “Learn How to Manage Your Unique Business Components” course from Epicor University.

Saturday, June 5, 2021​ –

​Sunday, June 6, 2021

Production System Upgrade to 2021.1.3

Your upgrade weekend arrives! While Epicor upgrades your Production system to Epicor Kinetic 2021.1.3, your system will be unavailable for several hours during this time.

 

Flex Customers

Date​

Event

​Details

Friday, April 9, 2021

Deadline for Flex Customers  Deadline for customers purchasing the Flex option to submit an EpicCare ticket indicating your preference to defer your upgrade to one of the alternate upgrade dates listed below.

Week of June 21, 2021

Flex Option #1:
Pilot System Upgrade
For Flex Option #1 customers, your Pilot system, Education environment, and additional environments will be unavailable while Epicor performs your upgrade, but don’t worry—your Production system will not be affected by the new release. Once it is complete, log in to your Pilot system (and other environments) to start exploring what’s new.

Week of July 19, 2021

Flex Option #2:
Pilot System Upgrade
For Flex Option #2 customers, your Pilot system, Education environment, and additional environments will be unavailable while Epicor performs your upgrade, but don’t worry—your Production system will not be affected by the new release. Once it is complete, log in to your Pilot system (and other environments) to start exploring what’s new.

Friday, July 24, 2021 –

Saturday, July 25, 2021

Flex Option #1
Production System Upgrade to 2021.1
Flex Option #1 customers: your upgrade weekend arrives! While Epicor upgrades your Production system to Epicor Kinetic 2021.1, your system will be unavailable for several hours during this time.

Friday, August 21, 2021 –

Saturday, August 22, 2021

Flex Option #2
Production System Upgrade to 2021.1

Flex Option #2 customers: your upgrade weekend arrives! While Epicor upgrades your Production system to Epicor Cloud ERP Kinetic 2021.1, your system will be unavailable for several hours during this time.

Note that dates are subject to change.

How To Prepare

Epicor will upgrade your Pilot system and any additional environments seven weeks before Production for customers on cadence. This will provide an opportunity to explore the  functionality updates in 2021.1.1 without affecting your Production system.

As a best practice, please use this time to review and make any necessary changes to your Unique Business Components (UBCs)—custom reports, BAQs, BPMs, User Interface customizations, etc.—to ensure everything continues to operate as expected. There will be more information regarding sample test plans and more that will be made available to you on EpicWeb Documentation.

Flexing Your Epicor Kinetic Upgrade

Subscribers to the Epicor Public Cloud Flex Option can follow the same schedule, but you have the option to defer your upgrade to Epicor Kinetic 2021.1. Below are the two date options for your flex upgrade. Please note the deferred upgrades still have the usual four weeks to test. If you are a Premium Flex Test subscriber, please communicate your preferences by the same deadline and process below.

Pilot ​Production
​Option 1: ​Week of June 21, 2021 ​July 24-25, 2021
​Option 2: ​Week of July 19, 2021 ​August 21-22, 2021

Pilot upgrade dates will be communicated closer to the date.

If you choose to defer, you must submit an EpicCare ticket by Friday, April 9 with your selected upgrade date (Option 1 or Option 2) and we will send you a personalized confirmation with your instructions. We must receive your deferral no later than Friday, April 9. If you do not choose to defer, we’ll keep you on cadence and automatically upgrade your system in June 2021.

Note: If you choose to defer your upgrade, you will not receive any 700.x updates after the 10.2.700.12 update. We only host the upgrade webinars on April 6 and April 7, but replays are accessible at any time afterwards as documentation on EpicWeb. If you defer, you are strongly encouraged to either attend or watch the replay so you are aware of the upgrade process.

Next Steps

1. Watch the “What’s New in Epicor Kinetic 2021” Webcast Replay

The webcasts were held in early April. If you were not able to attend or need a refresher, we encourage you to watch the replay to understand how to prepare, ways to leverage the new functionality for driving business growth, and be aware of the upgrade process. The link to view on demand is coming soon!

2. Before Your Upgrade

Take a look at all of your Epicor Kinetic 2021.1 resources in Documentation – available mid-April. Particularly useful documents include:

  • What’s New via the Feature Summary
  • Upgrade Guide
  • Change list in the Release Notes document

3. During Your Testing Window 

  • Resolve any issues with your configurations
  • Test your business flow in critical areas
    *Testing tip: print customer-facing documents
  • Review daily, weekly, and monthly processes

And as a reminder, reach out to your Encompass CAM or EpicCare anytime you have a question or need application support.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Everyone is talking about the cloud, especially manufacturers who are evaluating a cloud ERP solution for their business. However, if you don’t quite follow what they’re saying, it comes down to this—using the cloud is using data and systems through the Internet.

How You Already Interact With Cloud Technology

While The Cloud may seem like an abstract idea, you likely already interact with and use cloud technologies every day.

  • Do you update a Facebook profile?
  • Do you check your bank balance from your phone?
  • Do you stream movies or music?
  • What about playing games online?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are using cloud technology.

Cloud technology has truly permeated into our everyday lives. Now ask yourself, is it as simple for businesses to leverage cloud technology? The answer is yes.

Businesses leveraging cloud technology improve operations in a number of ways. Examples include improving your cash flow, increasing business capabilities, and simplifying processes for their workforce. All these benefits are realized through the use of an access-from-anywhere platform that is more reliable than traditional ERP deployments that place hardware on-premises.

How Cloud Makes Innovating Easier

By enabling cloud technology at every level of an organization, businesses remove the anxiety associated with security, backups, and verification of backups. Offsite storage becomes a thing of the past and maintenance of hardware and software can be done away with completely. Troubleshooting and upgrades can all be handled with a fraction of the effort.
Perhaps most importantly, connectivity is more reliable in the cloud. This means teams can remain connected and productive anywhere and anytime they need.

Manufacturers questioning whether now is the time to move to the cloud, the answer is a resounding yes. Cybersecurity, IT projects, maintenance activities and more can be removed from the equation with a cloud ERP solution. This leaves your businesses to take care of the business, make time for customers, employees, and partners.

Simplicity And Dependability of a Cloud ERP Solution

On-premise ERP deployments give businesses a sense of confidence that their data is safely stored just down the hall. While that peace of mind and control is reassuring in theory, in practical terms it can be quite a drain on your IT staff. Maintaining both hardware and software is a headache most IT departments would gladly do without. Cloud enables businesses to shed the tether of physical systems in favor of a more agile and simple solution. With a cloud ERP solution, your teams can focus on running your business more efficiently and taking better care of your customers’ experience.

Cloud ERP solutions operate under the safety of redundancy. Cloud technologies store data securely in multiple data centers locally, regionally, and even globally. This dependability is designed to help businesses maintain system uptime and access no matter what adverse conditions may befall a specific region. These data centers are managed by industry professionals whose sole focus is keeping systems up and running at optimal levels. This frees up resources and capital for your business to focus on growth and improving user experiences across departments. As a result, collaboration among internal teams gets better, the complexity of your information technology resources is reduced, and overall business performance improves.

“The rise of the collaborative workforce and workspace is underway. Increasingly, tech-savvy mobile users are ready for collaborative workspaces with deep integrations to the software they use daily. Collaboration is a key element that helps create the future of work.”

– Worldwide Team Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2019–2023: Collaboration Growth Impacts the Future of Work, IDC, Doc #US44662619, August 2019.

If your business is in t he progress of growing or you want to grow, adopting a cloud ERP solution could be an easy way to increase capacity and output without taking on additional software, hardware, or IT personnel. A cloud ERP solution can be scaled up or down with ease, as well.

Savings found in the Cloud

Cloud ERP Solutions are a cost savings component of business that reduces overhead.

What’s overhead? simply put, overhead is what doesn’t make you money. This includes things like accounting, insurance, and rent.

Antiquated approaches to IT can be a huge source of spending for businesses with maintenance, update tasks, and utility bills, not to mention the extra space servers take up. When working in the cloud, the costs of doing business are driven down. Here’s how.

Reduced Cost of Ownership

Cloud computing removes upfront hardware costs, and the pay-as-you-go subscription model eliminates large initial layouts for software. Easy setup and cashflow-friendly monthly payments make it even easier to see why cloud deployments are so popular—especially when you add the fact that Epicor cloud business software deployments typically cost 25–40% less* than on-premises deployments.

Competitive Advantage

Technology allows your employees to turn on a dime. The cloud provides access to data at a user’s fingertips, ensuring that no matter your company’s size you are able to compete with enterprise-class technology. The time and money cloud computing frees up for your business translates into a lean, nimble, and competitive advantage.

Employee Productivity and Loyalty

With cloud ERP solutions, you can run your business from anywhere there’s an internet connection. Give your employees the ability to produce wherever they happen to be. This enables better work-life balance that translates to greater loyalty and output. With improved employee loyalty and buy-in, talent turns over less often, this further improves your savings in retaining talent versus having to train new employees more often.

Minimize Downtime With a Cloud ERP Solution

Downtime can cost a company dearly. Cloud ERP solutions can ensure your apps are up and running when you need them most. Cloud-based SaaS applications are proven to minimize downtime, reduce the costs that go along with it, and keep your people productive. Epicor ERP has a service level agreement of 99.5% uptime, but performs well beyond that promise with a historical uptime of 99.98%.

Safety, Stability, And Access

Backups are an integral part of any IT department. However, when your backups are stored on-site, you are vulnerable to all manner of internal and external compromise. This can include natural disasters, fire, rogue employees, malicious actors, and the list goes on. any one of these mentioned exposures could cost you irreplaceable data.

The Cloud is the only truly safe place for your backups, because they are house where natural disasters, fires, and all those other potential pitfalls can’t touch them. True backup—the safekeeping of a redundant set of data—is best left to the cloud. It’s the safest, most affordable, and most efficient way to make sure that if you lose everything, all is not lost.

When it comes to stability, cloud systems are simply more stable, better monitored, and more secure than any on-premises system. Unless you have an impenetrable data center protected by intrusion detection, fire suppression, advanced power grids, backup generators, environmental monitoring, and six separate HVAC units inspected every day—all connected by multiple T3 pipelines from multiple vendors and all in a distant geographic location—you’re not as safe as you think.

Accessibility, as in who you want to have access to your systems and who you want to keep out, is a big deal in IT. Add to that lost devices and you’ve compounded the problem. In fact, lost laptops are a billion-dollar business problem. However, the greater problem is the loss and possible theft of the sensitive data stored on those laptops. When your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what, no matter where. Not only this, but you can lock out anyone when it comes to using that device and you can remotely wipe data from lost laptops at any time.

Now, are you ready to explore the benefits of a Cloud ERP solution for your business?


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