Epicor has announced the latest release of iScala ERP. Version 3.1 includes a new user interface and several functional improvements. There is also a new iOS mobile app, iScala warehouse manager.
iScala is a mid market ERP solution aimed at supporting small to medium companies. It is also targeting subsidiaries of larger corporations in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. The press release is brief on details but adds that the new version has: “new functionality that help companies drive cost efficiencies, take advantage of new global growth opportunities, and protect the business.”
The new release includes enhancements to the electronic compliance program first launched in iScala 3.0. This will allow organisations to meet most of their latest local legal electronic reporting requirements direct from iScala. The details of these enhancements were not available.
Robert Sinfield, Director, Product Marketing, Epicor Software commented: “Economic volatility, changing regulations, and digital disruption necessitate astute business decisions. Every company, regardless of size or location, needs to continually transform its operations to increase productivity and profitability to stay competitive. iScala is unique in that it delivers one global product set, with support for 36 languages, dedicated multi-national resources, as well as extensive compliance and governance support. This makes global and regional business easy. It helps customers realize cost efficiencies up and down the supply chain, it opens new opportunities for growth, and it helps them protect their business in a risk-filled economy.”
New User interface
The new user interface is tile base and improves the user experience. Colour schemes are user configurable. There are also new menus that give access to the latest used forms and context sensitive menus inside applications. On the front screen, menu items can be arranged in groups and colour coded for ease of use. Once within applications it is easier to switch between screens using tabs.
New mobile application
Not mentioned in the press release but newly available and only compatible with iScala 3.1 is the new iScala Warehouse Manager app. The application was specifically built to assist iScala users with warehouse management operations. The new app includes the ability to read barcodes using the user device’s camera. Its purpose is to help with stock takes. Users are able to enter stock counts and the data is stored locally on the device until it can be transmitted securely to the iScala server.
This is a sensible approach as it means that warehouses without WiFi coverage are still accessible. Users are able to carry out the stock take by warehouse, or warehouse location and multiple devices can be used simultaneously. This will shorten the time a stock takes requires and improve the accuracy of them.
The application does not appear to be ported toAandroid yet and only appears on the iTunes store. However it does work with iPads, iPhones and iPods using iOS version 8.0 or above
Good news for customers from Sinfield
Last month Sinfield wrote a blog on LinkedIn in which he commented : “Epicor has invested significantly in the iScala product since the launch of iScala 3.0 just over 3.5 years ago. This investment has seen expansion of the product capabilities, maintaining a massive country coverage as well as the introduction of new paradigms such as ICE, the Epicor Mobile Framework (EMF) and with the launch of iScala 3.1 as revised User Interface with a new contemporary look and feel. So why should you be excited? Epicor is continuing to invest in iScala. We are seeing a strong focus in the product. As a user and a fan, I am really excited about Epicor iScala 3.1 as I hope you will be.”
Sinfield explains that he has used iScala for more than twenty years. This predates both his and iScala’s Epicor days. Epicor bought Scala in 2004 to increase their global reach. The good news is that with Sinfield in charge of product management, investment in development of the product is continuing. This should lead to additional functionality within the product. It is also likely to include additional integration to other Epicor products and more mobile applications.
There is a session on the iScala roadmap at Epicor Insights this year (May 22-25, Nashville, TN) which further backs the statement about future research and development.
This is a significant and long awaited update by Epicor to iScala. It is perhaps disappointing that more detail about what the update contained was not available. Epicor did not provide any links to supporting documentation for this release that could be shared without breaching terms and conditions. Existing customers can find more information here (Registration and T&C’s apply). Epicor Insights attendees can also learn what is new in a presentation on May 23rd 13.00.
It is also surprising that Epicor did not announce the new mobile application alongside the new release. This is a significant update to the software. This is the first major release for three and a half years and one might have expected more of a fanfare.