- The database relational structure and schema. Spending several years as a database engineer, I appreciate the normalized design of the underlying database structure. I feel that when compared with many other information systems, Epicor HCM is a model that I frequently reference to other people as an example of a "properly built" database schema.
- The out of the box customization tools. Although they do not always work as well as intended, HCM is a product that understands that every business runs a little differently. The ability to rename fields and manipulate variables using tasks in the front-end interface does allow for some easier tailoring of the out of the box processes to terms that our business users were familiar with (resource editor, global variable editor). The task editor also provides good promise to be a tool to customize the interface to see what you want to see on the form. However, this is somewhat limited in potential and is subject to frequent bugs as of 5.8. Customization of menu items and menu tabs on the main menu is possible, which is a perk, but can be a bit confusing when compared to other systems. Some bugs required manipulation through the database in order to get them to fall into place properly.
- The ease of use. Once properly oriented with the product, adept computer users should have no problem navigating through the main page and flowing through the steps to complete maintenance on records or enter personnel actions, etc.
- Configurability. Because of the database structure, code tables and data tables allowed us to enter data that matches our business model and properly maintain the personnel information in the way we found suited us best.
- Limitations of ad hoc query potential. The visual builder should have an option to "go advanced" and allow more complex queries to be written. The SQL-entry does not allow more than basic subqueries and joins. Compound queries, which are used by salary grade information, are not supported through this interface. All reports are run through SSRS, which is fine to be embedded on the screen, but I felt that the transition from query information from user's superview to some viewable information has some room for improvement.
- End-user experience with record manipulation user interface flow / structure. I understand what developers were going from with the one screen record selection on the left navigation panel with record data on the right side. This sounds good in theory and works well with technically-savvy users. However, I found that with less technically oriented users, the visual flow of this was not as intuitive and accepted by the users (including candidates of the company), frequently making mistakes and being unable to complete required tasks. Because this interface is prevalent throughout the system, I would recommend focus-group testing redesigned versions of the interface with general information to see which redesign potential, or even just visual styling to the existing interface, could be cascaded through the software.
- Out of the box reporting and configuration. This is something that is difficult to nail down in a software because every customer is different and will use the system a bit differently. However, I felt that the standard product comes with tons of reports enabled on the menu, but most are of little value if not first edited. This needs to be done by exporting, manipulating using report developer tools, and re-imported. This is not unexpected, but I think that it would add value for HCM to provide a tool which assists in the configuration of the reports.
- Security flaws or limitations of functionality. In an organization where some HR users should have access to see some or most users' information, there is not this security also embedded on important features like "routing history" or "audit" tasks. For example, if the enterprise president receives a bonus, an HR manager who must field weekly audits in a branch location will have access to see that bonus if they are granted access to the routing history or audit tasks.
The CSS portion of Epicor HCM is not as robust as competing systems and should not be used if corporations are actively looking to onboard at a high rate.
- Highly configurable to meet needs of nearly any company
- Easy to use interface, with alerts and approval routing for common tasks
- Comes with pre-built reporting model which facilitates generation of custom reports
- Ability to interface with 3rd party software, such as organization charting and payroll
- Web-based so no client side software to install
- Has pre-built Employee and Manager self-service features
- I would like to see better quality of first line support staff. Many times they are not able to answer questions about the product and escallation is required to find a person with knowledge to resolve problems.
- Upgrades rarely go smoothly. Usually we find bugs and have to get patched versions before we can upgrade our live system.
- Standard reports do not cover most requirements so custom report development is usually needed.
Technical skills for advanced report development are especially good to have because while the HCM package does have pre-built reports, reporting data models, and metrics, every company has different needs and to fully mine the data, SQL Reporting Services skills are required.
We purchased our Epicor software in fall 2008 and went live with the financials and PR/HR 1/1/2009. When we made our purchase choice the product had not been rebranded at the time so please excuse any reference to Open4 in my review - it is the same software. We run a weekly payroll for the manufacturing facility and a monthly payroll for management. The monthly payroll is confidential but with Epicor HCM that is not an issue. Employees can be marked as confidential in the software and only users with the proper security can access those employee records. To other users it is as if the confidential records do not exist in the database.
We later added the training piece as well as FMLA tracking. The FMLA tracking works very well and allowed us to do away with spreadsheets kept outside the system.
- Security is always an issue with payroll/HR software. Security in Epicor HCM is very robust. In our manufacturing facility it is important that supervisors have access to their employee's information and the software allows me to limit access to only the correct department. There is also menu security that will allow me to remove access to features by user and grant access only to what they require to do the job.
- This software is the repository for many different types of employee information. For example in the past we have tracked skills training by employee in either an Access database or an Excel spreadsheet. We are currently in the process of loading individual employee skill information which will allow us to query the database to pull any information that is not already a canned report in the system.
- Payroll tax reports are handled by the system seamlessly. In our old system I had to keep confidential employees in a different "company" which meant I had to combine the two companies and do quarterly and year end tax reporting manually. The confidential flag in Epicor HCM allows me to utilize reports directly from the system and also creates the files needed to file online for both my quarterly SUI and W-2 reporting to SSA at year end.
- Epicor HCM has both query and report writing functionality. The quantity of information contained in the database is enormous and can sometimes make it difficult to locate the correct fields for writing custom reports. Within the Vantage product there is a data dictionary which displays each table and the information contained therein. It would be very helpful if it also covered the fields within the tables in Open4.
The single most important factor in our selection was that the software would integrate into our shop floor data collection so we would not have to maintain two employee databases. We are able to set up new employees in Open4 and the shop employee record in Vantage is then populated during that process. There is no duplicate entry to be done.
It is important that the system be used properly and the user interface is an important part of that. Because this system allows the menu to be configured by user it greatly reduces the time it takes to train users in the system. There is no need to skip over menu items that are not used by the particular employee being trained. Their menu only displays the menu items they are required to use.
Tax tables updates are provided timely and can be downloaded and applied without the need for assistance from tech support. An email notification is sent out from Epicor support when an update is available and I can download and apply them at my convenience.
- Epicor adds many enhancement requests made by its user base, and involves users in beta testing to ensure users get what they need
- The system is customizable by the Administrator, and those customizations carry forward to future versions without needing to be re-written, saving time and money
- The SQL database is easy to integrate with other internal systems
- The user interface is simple and easy to use
- Users can use an integrated ad-hoc query tool, which is very easy to use
- I wish the system recognized holidays when employees enter time off requests
- I wish that Open Enrollment did not require a two step process to submit choices to HR
- Timesheets show everything that time has been charged to in a quick glance. There is a lot of information displayed onscreen and is very easy to decipher.
- Employees charge their time on a well-designed front end program, and data is gleaned from that and dispersed into the various timekeeping and expense tracking modules.
- The abilities to charge time to direct, indirect and downtime are all valuable- see where time is being spent and use it as a coaching tool.
- Graphical representations of data would be appreciated, as it would make analysis more streamlined
- Not sure that this would be a useful program for a company with all exempt employees
- Personalization of screen layouts should not cause issues with the database, but they have been seen to cause that
- Good, solid HCM system
- Easy to use and navigate
- All in one system
- Reports, the built in reports are useful but creating new reports is a bit more challenging. You have to either use an outside system like Crystal Reporting to get detailed reports that are not part of the package. If you have someone that knows Crystal it is easy if you do not then you have to take a class to learn it.
Reports are tough to navigate. Interface is ok. Ease of use good.
We are utilizing the Performance, Position Control, and Recruitment modules. We are also "live" with Employee and Manager Self-Service so HCM use is organization-wide.
Interfaces: ADP Payroll, medical insurance, office space software/visual employee directory (note that this last item was configured entirely by our IT department, not by Epicor)
Business problems: We initially wanted to use HCM to provide information to the entire organization, eliminating extraneous requests for info/reports. However the integrity of information cannot be trusted. Reports drop off records due to small errors like an unchecked box or end date. User interface is horrendous and seemingly simple tasks require you to make changes in multiple areas of the systems, otherwise you risk ruining the data. Any data entries must be checked, double-checked and triple-checked if you want to maintain integrity.
We are attempting to configure our current paper personnel action process through HCM but due to the extremely unreliable and finicky nature of HCM, we may need to explore other alternatives.
Overall, HCM creates more problems then it solves.
- Lots of room for configuration such as routing, auto-alerts, training competencies, FMLA tracking, security rights, etc... But good luck getting those set-up.
- Administrative set-up is a nightmare --> Set-up such as e-mail templates (routing, candidate communication, alerts) and configuring security rights for users, includes looking at list of approximately 100 fields some of which seem like duplicates. Interestingly, you may find that the field you need is missing. You'll need to create a work-around or pay Professional Services to get it set-up correctly, even though they should logically be available. Another alternative is that you need to go to an obscure task under Utilities that you've never used before so you can uncheck a box.
- Auto alerts seem like a great idea, but the set-up is limited in such a way that you will probably need a Filter SQL statement to get it the way you want. (Ex: No way on the birthday alert to simply filter to active employees. Get ready to send out over 500 alerts for ALL employees and dependents.) You can either ask someone in your IT department or again, go to Professional Services ($$$).
- Routing also seems like a great idea but if you make too many changes in the routing set-up, it errors out and doesn't allow you to submit changes. Instead you must make only a few changes, submit, then go to the task again. Efficiency is not a concern for HCM. If you have more than 5-10 routes in the system for certain tasks, this can slow down the entire routing page, making you wait between 20-40 seconds to approve and go to the next route. This will make for a fun time during your annual review process when you've got 100+ reviews routed to you.
- Epicor staff (except for customer support) are salespeople--first and foremost --> Glassdoor reviews show that Epicor "emphasizes billable hours above all else" -- we've experienced this firsthand. Most account managers, implementation and interface consultants will try get you on the phone (at a whopping $100-$300/hr) to talk about nothing and avoid delivering what you've paid them for. If they're not doing that, they may just ignore your e-mails and never get back to you.
- Unreliable customer support --> Customer support staff seems understaffed and sometimes lack technical knowledge. Not surprising considering that HCM is so convoluted and frustrating. Even the most expert support reps are stumped by questions--the system is just that confusing. Sometimes there is no resolution at all so your call is turned into a service change request. Then you cross your fingers and hope it gets addressed in the next upgrade. I submitted one support call over two months ago. It is still open. Sadly that is not out of the norm.
- Unexplainable errors in interfaces --> Payroll and benefits interfaces have been unreliable. Employee data changes are dropped with no explanation; ergo, there is no possible solution. Unless of course you want your benefits consultant to spend several hours ($$$) researching it or very, very slowly talking you through it over the phone.
- Customizations that keep on breaking and breaking and breaking --> HCM releases updates almost twice a year, with "new and improved" features. Sometimes the features don't work, as if the software was updated without any testing or foresight. You'll find that customizations you've paid for have broken inexplicably and need to be re-done. Of course you will be charged for the extra hours needed to fix the customizations.
If you do decide to go with this system, depending on organization size, you'll need at least one dedicated IT person with SQL/Report-builder experience to manage the system and reporting, as well as another full-time HR member to manage other administrative set-up and deal with the many, many, user support issues that will crop up.
I'm shocked at the number of positive reviews for this product. A couple of them reiterate the same thing such as each of use (which is completely untrue) and many fields/tables for data storage, which leads me to believe that they're from Epicor or Epicor consultants.
- Reporting capability is robust if you know SQL.
- Client relationship manager is involved and knowledgeable.
- There has been little or no investment in development/upgrades in this product for 4 years.
- The overall interface is very dated, not user friendly and clunky. The time-off interface is so confusing that employees have a difficult time just trying to figure out what their time-off balance is. We typically field 5 questions a week about time-off. This is frustrating to both employees and HR staff.
- The open enrollment module is out dated to say the least. We have a 5 page document and instructional video on submitting elections for open enrollment but we still have a 50% rate of employees who "think" they completed the process, but did not. It takes about 40 hours of follow-up (emails and phone calls) to ensure elections have been submitted correctly.
- In general, Epicor HCM is grossly understaffed. It takes at least 3-weeks to get on a calendar for an interface developer.
- Epicor HCM is a solid integrated system. One of our major benefits was the single sign-on. It reduced the amount of time the HR team spent on reminding people what system they had to use for different things and because of the integration with Active Directory everyone knows their username and password, so we rarely, if ever have to answer questions about the login.
- The system has great flexibility and can be customized to a large extent, from setting up routes and notifications to customizing what employees and managers see, sharing reports with certain roles, or specific users. Great flexibility means lots of options and require an admin to be intimately familiar with the system in order to customize it.
- The routing and notifications are very good and easy to set-up. You can route any task in the system to either be approved or reviewed. If an approval process is not needed, then an alert can notify specific roles or users of specific changes. For example: when an employee's status is changed to "Terminated" the system automatically sends a notification to IT, security, compliance, corporate admin to make all the necessary updates in their specific areas.
- Integration with other systems. Epicor HCM can send information to other systems either by API or by setting up file exports.We're using the Link Export function to export time and demographic data for payroll processing and updating our learning management system.
- Compliance is one area that needs further attention. For example in candidate self-service, the admin and managers can see the candidate's demographic information as part of their application, which shouldn't happen. If an internal candidate applies for a job, the hiring manager automatically gets access to that employee's record just like their regular manager.
- On the timesheets module, there are issues with CA specific OT calculation rules on a bi-weekly payroll, where it does not calculate OT for time worked in excess of 5 consecutive days. Also, the application has random (but rare) occurrences where it resets the time zone to the server time zone for users that clock-in/ out.
- Customizations that require professional services contracts can be somewhat difficult in terms of getting resources assigned. When upgrading the system to a new version, the admin has to conduct its own testing, including all and any customizations made to the system and then work with Epicor on resolving any issues.
- Customer Support structure could be better. Currently there is no official filtering of issues and expected response time for different kinds of issues, except for system access. When offering payroll and time keeping, the customer support should reflect reduced time for resolution of issues in these time sensitive areas.
- User training. Epicor HCM offers no free training, aside from webinars on new version releases. While they do offer training sessions, users have to pay for it. From a customer perspective this is difficult to accept. You pay to purchase the system/ module, but if you want to learn how to use it, you have to pay again.
- There are absolutely no advantages to selecting Epicor as your primary HRIS.
- In my personal opinion, avoid Epicor. Simple tasks become impossible.
- The HRIS is inefficient and replete with major issues.
- Embedded report building: when it comes to my organization's reporting needs, we are instructed by Epicor to utilize Microsoft Report Builder instead of the Epicor reporting function.
- Payroll interfacing: Monthly my organization transmits several payroll cycles. Often this carries great risks as Epicor and our ADP Payroll system do not communicate seamlessly. There tends to be errors with Epicor not transmitting data accurately to ADP.
- Integrity of reports: Epicor is notorious for dropping employees from reports. Unfortunately, because of this issue, you have to comb through every single report which negates any efficiency whatsoever.
***BEWARE OF EPICOR***
You have officially been warned! As my coworkers and I like to call it, “Epic-mess,” as the possible becomes seemingly impossible. If you are even remotely considering Epicor as your company’s HRIS, please look elsewhere, as Epicor will only cause your HR team massive problems and irritation. Save your company the time, and more importantly the money. Epicor is extremely costly and every small customization has a price including speaking with service representatives. At this point, after dealing with Epicor for over a year and a half, I truly believe Epicor is a legitimate grift.
Why do you ask?
For one, nothing with Epicor is easy. Efficiency is thrown out the window which is ironic since HRIS systems are designed with efficiency in mind. However, this is surely not the case with Epicor. You will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to demystify the system.
Would you like to run a report?
Simple right? How about being directed by Epicor’s software programmers to utilize Microsoft Report Builder to execute this task.
Pardon me? Are you telling me this system doesn’t allow for embedded report creation?
Why yes, that is virtually the case.
While you are able to run very standard reports in Epicor, if you need to run an ad hoc report or build a complex report, you will be directed to utilize Microsoft Report Builder, which is consequently, pretty complicated and honestly, unnecessary considering your company purchased an HRIS. In addition, once you are finally able to run the report in Report Builder after it freezes a couple of times (cross your fingers), you can rest assure that your report is inaccurate. Not only does building a report require a ridiculous amount of time, but the report lacks integrity as Epicor will drop employees from your report without your knowledge. From my team’s understanding, we were told by Epicor that names are dropped because those particular employees are missing information in the requested data fields. Now, logic would tell anyone that a report should still pull the employee in spite of the empty data field, but of course, that would be too logical for Epicor. Instead of pulling the employee and including them in the requested report with the missing information, they completely drop off. Logic would beg one to think, “How would I know the employee was missing information if they are not pulled and I am not given the opportunity to see the missing data field(s) so I can correct them?”
This is only the beginning of your problems.
After dealing with trying to run an accurate report and losing your mind, you will now be inclined to contact Epicor directly. You will find this feat to be daunting if not absurd given you have to call to run a fairly simple report. Epicor offers a “free” customer service line that will immediately instruct you to contact the program developer who handles your account. That sound you just heard…was money flying out the window. Of course Epicor would have you contact your account manager as this means more money for them. So, after you finally call and leave a message, because you must leave a message (which is a joke), someone from Epicor will return your call the following day (emergency…what emergency?) and assist you as best as they can with your problem, but oftentimes, they cannot help because even they do not know. And if they do, they are recommending a solution that will…wait for it…cost more money.
Should you need a basic feature in your HRIS it is considered a “customization.” Would you like a “point in time” report? This is considered a special report that must be created. Yes, you read that correctly. A simple “point in time” report, which is standard in ADP Reports and most reputable HRIS systems, will cost you a pretty penny. But don’t fret, they will try to placate your anger by informing you that they are offering you a “discount” – for something a standard HRIS can do in five minutes. And to add to your mounting costs, your company is still being billed for the phone call(s) which is almost $100 per call, and mind you, because Epicor is extremely convoluted, you will spend a significant amount of time on those phone calls. Maybe even six months because that is how long it took for our organization’s PIT report with minimal parameters to be built. Who doesn’t have money and time to spare in an evolving and fast-paced organization?
Would you simply like to have your HRIS system interface with your company’s payroll system?
Again, the possible becomes impossible. For every single payroll cycle that my organization has to transmit, we have to run an import via Epicor that creates “error reports” that we have to review to ensure that Epicor made the correct changes, which often, we find information is not correctly transmitted over to ADP. Then, we are forced to manually enter the information in our payroll system and complete double data entry. Again, where is the efficiency if you have to manually enter the employee data in both systems? My organization does this multiple times throughout the month. You can only imagine how inefficient and time consuming this task is.
Would you like to complete a mass import?
Sorry. That’s not going to happen without another – you guessed it – phone call. And get this, after spending money on the call, you might possibly be met with, “That’s not possible.” Wow. Who’s asking for the world? You only want to complete a pretty simple task, or seemingly simple task.
Are there other problems?
Of course! However, I don’t have the stamina to list all of them. Without a doubt, if my organization could do it over again when selecting an HRIS, we would have never selected Epicor. It has not met our growing organization’s needs and it simply is not a robust and sustainable system. And there is no way Epicor will meet our needs in the future as it currently fails them now after three years of trying to get this HRIS running properly. Should your company be in the market for an HRIS system, bypass Epicor at all costs, as you can find another system that will meet your needs more efficiently with less cost.
Save yourselves the time, energy, and money -- and the headache.
Epicor HCM Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Epicor HCM
Epicor HCM Competitors
Epicor HCM Technical Details