Epicor HCM Express Allows Companies to Go From Bare Bones to Full Functionality




In addition to Epicor HCM, which is designed mostly for small and medium enterprises, Epicor offers HCM Express, which is an entry-level option that is available via Web-based access. It is meant to be the entry point into a human resources information system (HRIS). The application is actually a reduced and very simplified version of Epicor HCM, for the purpose of facilitating user and hence organization adoption. It has also been designed for rapid implementation, and is focused on core HR capabilities.

The solution can be a strong foundation for future HR systems, allowing users to add more functionality as their HR needs change. HCM Express is easily upgradable, meaning that a customer can simply change the license key to unlock new functionality. Though the functionality may not be set up and ready to use, it will not affect the operation of the core product. For instance, if a customer wants to add timesheets to HCM Express, once the timesheets are active, they will not interfere with any parts of the product that are currently running.

Traditional HR solutions for small businesses oftentimes become obsolete as companies outgrow their HR needs. A solution that only covers core HR capabilities can be enhanced with more complex human capital management (HCM) modules (such as performance management or learning management) through add-ons or integration with third-party HCM solutions. Epicor Express can be a good choice for small to medium businesses (SMBs) that are not ready for a full-suite HCM system, but that envision it at some point in their future.

Moreover, HCM Express comes with global availability, which includes

  • standard languages (English, French Canadian, and Spanish),
  • a location-specific option (displaying country-specific policies and procedures, look and feel, etc.), and
  • the option to add country-specific functionality if needed (UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand).

The core functionality of HCM Express provides the means for tracking employees (such as candidate management, employee management, employee development, health and safety, compensation, and performance). The solution includes some connectors to Epicor Payroll and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as well as other third-party systems. In addition, HCM Express offers basic reporting, workflow, and routing, as well as some self-service portals.

The home pages of HCM Express are fully customizable (i.e., different users or offices can customize the pages) to suit a specific user’s or organization’s needs. HCM Express also has the ‘incomplete task reminder’ feature, which assists users who had been interrupted or have had to temporarily step away from their current tasks to complete them. It also automatically saves information that has been entered—for instance, in the ‘new hire’ process, the user has to complete many fields and will not want to lose the information already entered if he/she gets interrupted and changes systems or tasks.

All these features can increase user adoption, and having satisfied users means that the company they work for is more likely to move to Epicor HCM when needed, as opposed to selecting an HCM solution that it has never used before—i.e., based only on demos.

Epicor refers to HCM Express as a system that has comprehensive functionality at a small scale. Below are the solution’s key features:

  • personal information
  • knowledge, skills, and abilities tracking (education, certificates, licenses, languages, etc.)
  • skill search, which helps with developing a rudimentary career development plan
  • health and safety incidents tracking
  • disciplinary actions
  • performance review results tracking
  • work authorizations
  • roles and jobs
  • salary grades with pay details
  • company property tracking
  • employee documents such as company handbook or policies
  • electronic signature capture
  • 60 standard reports to facilitate basic compliance reporting

In addition to these core features, small bits of functionality can be added to achieve a more robust solution for growing companies:

  • Workflow and routing, including basic configurations (i.e., new hire, personnel action, and termination). These options can be changed or modified, or enhanced with extra functionality to get more detailed routings and alerts.
     
  • The integration module Link, allowing users to predefine integrations with payroll and with Epicor ERP. For ERP customers, the Link module comes at no additional cost, while for customers handling payroll with third-party providers such as ADP, an additional cost has to be considered.
     
  • Custom reporting and analysis with the Microsoft report builder (on top of the standard reports that are included in the core HCM Express product).

The ability to start with a core package of functionality and add new features over time is unusual in the HCM software market for small businesses. These types of organizations are usually forced either to buy a solution that has more than what they need (and as a result paying for more functionality than they actually use) or to improvise by using a mix of point solutions, spreadsheets, payroll tools, etc.

As opposed to the standard implementation of Epicor HCM—that is customizable according to the customer’s requirements—HCM Express offers a more standardized implementation to get the customer up and running as fast as possible and avoid any delays in using the system. The implementation of HCM Express typically does not go longer than 6 weeks. In addition, Epicor offers a fixed price option to the implementation, which comes with a standard statement of work attached to it. This option implies that if the vendor goes over the expected time frame, the client does not get charged. As with Epicor HCM, the deploy-your-way option is available for HCM Express, as clients can choose between on demand, hosted, and on premise options. For the cloud option, the data centers are located in the United States (US) and the vendor offers support from Hungary and the US.

In terms of pricing, as Express is a reduced version of Epicor HCM, the cost can be half that of the full version, thus making it very attractive for customers that are in the initial phases of selecting an HCM system. Important to note is that for HCM Express the user band pricing starts at 100 employees.

The Epicor main prospect pool with the HCM Express solution is its ERP users, most of whom are in the US. However, with country-specific functionality available for its global customers, the vendor is looking to target Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)—specifically Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom—as well as expand into Canada and Latin America.

Epicor HCM Express is an interesting option for small businesses that are taking their first steps toward adopting an HRIS system, as the market does not offer too many similar offerings. Moreover, for existing users of Epicor ERP, this is a great opportunity to add an HR module to their existing system. Starting with a small system that can be grown over time can be beneficial for enterprises that need to avoid sudden changes in their information technology (IT) infrastructure.
 

 

 
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