Unit4 ERP software aims to prioritize people experience

Unit4 promises to deliver features including the ability to self-drive, automate repetitive administrative tasks, integrate third-party applications and add customer extensions.

Unit4 this week refocused its enterprise resource planning product, calling it the People Experience Suite, in an effort to make user experience an integral part of its enterprise resource planning platform.

Unit4 ERP product People Experience Suite is a cloud-based platform that combines functions of enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM) software and planning, and analytics software. According to the company, the suite improves the user experience, as well as enable non-IT specialists to run ERP tasks.

Unit4 ERP has an extendable architecture that allows non-IT personnel to change and configure services within the organization through localizations and best practice, work traditionally done by IT professionals. "This is all accomplished by providing low/no-code tooling that is easily accessible by citizen developers," said Claus Jepsen, deputy CTO at Unit4.

The People Platform is an important component of the People Experience Suite, which provides tools for making Unit4 applications able to automate repetitive administrative tasks. It also lets enterprises integrate third-party applications and add customer extensions.

According to Jepsen, Unit4's Extension and Integration Kit technologies enable the platform to integrate with any third-party application; however, in order to gain access to the technology a company needs to be a Unit4 partner. Meanwhile, customer extensions are "additions to the core ERP that fulfill specific customer needs, but aren't seen as general applicable functionalities to be part of ERP," Jepsen said.

David Wilson, founder and CEO t Fosway Group, said that although there are currently a lot of talk from other vendors about user experience, Unit4's functional capability across the whole ERP space means it has the potential for more than just improving the user experience for companies and their employees.

The key difference between Unit4 and some other HCM vendors, Wilson said, is that its offering provides the capability to manage key business processes, as well as financials.

"So, whilst they are focusing on people experience, the scope of the experience will be wider than HR. ... It also means Unit4's analytics will be able to cross-analyze HR activity with business outcomes natively within the platform," he said. "But obviously at the moment, it's still a work in progress. It's more of a statement of direction rather than necessarily a full deliverable reality today."

Unit4's competitors include Workday, NetSuite and SAP. Workday is a cloud-based ERP system vendor that specializes in HCM and financial management applications. Oracle NetSuite offers businesses of different sizes upgrades and customization. SAP's ERP system enables enterprises to run their business processes, including accounting, sales, human resources and finance, in an integrated environment.

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