Following last year's merger with Activant Solutions, ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor Epicor is closing in on $1 billion in revenue, a figure that belies the vendor's relatively low profile compared to giants such as Oracle and SAP.
Now Epicor CEO Pervez Qureshi, who had served in the same post at Activant, is hoping to double the vendor's revenue within five years.
In an exclusive interview with IDG News Service, Qureshi touched upon a wide range of topics while discussing "the new Epicor," and the strategies the company has set in motion.
IDGNS: You've been talking about "the new Epicor." What does that mean?
Qureshi: "Heritage" Epicor was a global company, very strong in manufacturing and services, growth-oriented, entrepreneurial, with great technology. Activant was primarily a U.S. company with a hyper-vertical, go-to-market focus, and very process- and metric-oriented in how [it] delivered things, and probably more profit-oriented than top-line growth oriented.
We had a lot of complementary aspects with very little overlap in markets. We didn't have the issues of integration you see with many [mergers], which is, "I've got two of everything, and now I've got to pick, and one side's going to win."
Internally, we are setting the bar a lot higher. We're putting in processes to measure everything we do. We're adopting agile and Scrum [application development methodologies and practices].
We are adding about 600 to 800 customers per year worldwide. And we're hiring as fast as we can. That includes sales and marketing, but the heaviest hiring is being done in professional services and development. We've added over 600 and are on track to adding 1,000 by the end of our fiscal year. That [partly makes up for] attrition, but net, we'll have added people this year.
IDGNS: How quickly do you want to grow the company, and how do you plan to get there?
Qureshi: Over the past 12 months, we've had about $860 million in revenue, and we've got 20,000 customers. We have a goal to roughly double in about five years.
Now, I'll also give a caveat. I'm not hung up on doubling. The point is, it's a vector. Some of it will be done through organic growth and the other part through acquisitions.
We want to be a global leader in the midmarket in each segment we serve: manufacturing, retail, distribution, and services. Within those there are key verticals. We expect SaaS [software as service] to become a big part of what we do. The [SaaS] revenue right now is very small. Product-wise, we're already there.
IDGNS: A private equity firm bought Epicor and Activant and merged the companies. What benefits have you gained by going private?
Qureshi: The time horizons are longer. Don't get me wrong, we're still focused on hitting quarterly numbers and annual numbers. But there isn't the intense "I'm going to worry about every penny per share." There is an intense focus on, how can I make this company a better asset, so five years from now or whenever there is an exit, the value of the firm is higher so we provide a better return. My job is to make this company more valuable as an asset than it is today.