Adapting to customer expectations is a common concern among B2B businesses using the Epicor Prophet 21 ERP. It’s 2019 after all, and your B2B customers expect B2C-like shopping experiences and customer service. (Here’s a guide to help you give your customers the best B2B shopping experience on Magento.)
But how do you upgrade to a market-leading eCommerce platform like Magento without switching ERPs or disrupting business? How can you bridge the gap between the old world and the new?
With Magento Epicor Prophet 21 integration!
Epicor built P21 decades ago to meet the needs of B2B businesses. It was popular among wholesale distributors because it could support many distribution models with features like:
For a long time, these features were more than enough. But those days are over. B2B eCommerce has changed and will continue to do so. Pretty soon customer ‘expectations’ will become requirements, and customers will choose business partners who can meet them.
Without help from a future-ready eCommerce platform, Epicor P21 cannot support the needs of the changing B2B market. For example, even with P21’s recent update, its user interface assumes that your customers know exactly what they need and where to find it.
…and you know what happens when we assume…
It’s time to rely on data. Mckinsey’s B2B customer experience research reveals that today’s B2B customers want:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Today, services like Amazon Business and eBay Business offer robust and satisfying B2B shopping experiences that customers want. This means that integrating your ERP with a modern eCommerce framework is the only way to compete.
We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of Magento 2 and how the platform can support B2B business growth. Today, Magento (the company) is working hard to enhance its platform’s already impressive suite of B2B features. These include:
This makes Magento 2 a great solution for wholesale distributors running the P21 ERP, which lacks the bells and whistles of a modern eCommerce platform.
You’ve got Epicor Prophet 21. Magento has the scalable eCommerce features you need to thrive. All that’s left is to connect them.
So far so good, except that every business uses Prophet 21 differently. This means that there’s no out of the box solution (a connector) that can integrate Epicor P21 with Magento.
Don’t get discouraged.
“Just because Prophet 21 is a legacy system doesn’t mean it can’t remain the foundation of your business. But the integration with Magento is complex, so you’ll need a qualified development partner to make them work for you.”
– Mayank Agrawal, Chief Technical Officer, DotcomWeavers
Your developer will help you create a custom integration plan. Though each approach will be based on different requirements, most integrations follow the same process.
Start by preparing your systems:
Technical Note: The default P21 APIs sometimes lack required functionalities. Your Solution? Custom APIs that Magento or a similar framework can use to connect with Epicor P21.
Epicor P21 provides an API add-on. Once enabled, it opens the P21 system to talk to any external system via SOAP-based Web Services. Magento allows consuming APIs using SOAP-based services to establish a connection between the systems.
Customer Data Management & Acquisition
Product Master Data
Product Pricing & Availability
Order Information & Fulfillment
Elements Payment Integration
To determine if Magento Epicor Prophet 21 integration is right for you, your development partner will (and should) ask lots of questions. Here are 7 questions we ask every business before they commit to the integration.
Though it’s a legacy ERP, Epicor Prophet 21 can still support your business for years to come. That is if it’s integrated with a modern customer-friendly eCommerce platform like Magento.
This integration eliminates the need to change your ERP system – a huge task. Instead, you’ll get streamlined data flow AND a fresh eCommerce site that gives your customers the convenience and ease of use they demand.
Still wondering if Magento Epicor Prophet 21 integration is right for your business? Get in touch with us for a free consultation or leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!