Epicor is one of the most important software players in the world of distribution. Its Prophet 21, Eclipse and Prelude packages are among the most widely used in many vertical markets. Very quietly, Donna Troy joined Epicor last spring as executive vice president and general manager, ERP Americas. There has been a lot of speculation about the direction Epicor Distribution ERP would take with a new person at the helm. Troy remained a mystery to most observers. Well, I got to meet her and wanted to introduce her to the readers of MDM.
Troy is probably the first nuclear physicist that I have met in the executive ranks of software companies. Finding computers launched her careers at IBM, Dell, SAP and McAfee. The die was cast. You can read her resume elsewhere, so I will skip the details and jump into what I think we might see down the road.
Troy has been meeting customers and getting to know her team. While she may be drinking from the proverbial fire hose, she seems to be getting the important information.
I asked about her vision for Epicor. She was forthcoming on how she would be affecting the future of the company, but not yet ready to make public pronouncements. What I can say is she sees a focus on building the brand. Epicor (and Activant previously) has always had a strong sales culture. This will be strengthened under Troy. But technology will not be taking a back seat.
A lot of people are asking about “convergence” (her predecessor’s vision of converging Epicor’s E9, Prophet 21 and Eclipse into a single package). Troy is all about eliminating silos. She believes in Service Oriented Architecture and Software as a Service. How will these buzzwords be implemented into a working application? We will have to wait and see.
You will not see any 180-degree turns. Troy will be molding and morphing the company to remain a leader in the industry. The details will become more apparent in the near future. There is a strong foundation to work with, and I believe you will start to see her imprint on the company.
2013 was an interesting year for Epicor. First Kevin Roach left in January. He was replaced by Troy. Then a second surprise hit when Pervez Qureshi left during the summer. Joe Cowan was named as president and CEO.
I could not resist asking Troy if having her boss of three months replaced posed any challenges. She did not even blink an eye. According to Troy, she has been through changes in management before. Her goals for the company remain the same, and she is comfortable with Joe Cowan at the top.
I look forward to more interaction with Troy and will be watching as she molds Epicor Distribution ERP Software to continue as a strong competitor.
Steve Epner is principal in the Brown Smith Wallace Consulting firm based in St. Louis. He has been advising distributors for over 30 years. Epner also teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Graduate School of Business at Saint Louis University.
Epner is the author of Simplify Everything: Get Your Team from Do-Do to Done-Done with One Surefire Process, available from MDM.