ERP maker Epicor to cut jobs

Cuts will save the company up to $20 million each year.

ERP vendor Epicor said Thursday it is cutting an unspecified number of jobs as part of a plan to save US$16 million to US$20 million each year.

Thursday's news follows recent, unconfirmed reports of layoffs at the Irvine, California, company, which aims its ERP (enterprise resource planning) software at midsized companies as well as divisions of large enterprises.

The economic environment means "it is more important than ever to maximize our flexibility to adapt to whatever market conditions we may face in the most efficient and effective manner" in an effort to maximize profits, Epicor CEO Thomas Kelly said in a statement.

Epicor is "excited" about both its near and long-term opportunities, he added.

Epicor is not disclosing how many employees are being laid off, but the cuts "hit a number of different levels" and are "definitely across the board geographically," said Damon Wright, senior director of investor relations.

The company said it is also planning to restrict discretionary spending and undertake "technology initiatives designed to improve efficiencies and reduce operating expenses."

Those measures could include cutting travel and boosting investment in videoconferencing technologies, Wright said.

Epicor's Web site states the company has 3,000 employees, and had about $429 million in revenue during fiscal 2007. The company claims to have more than 20,000 customers in more than 140 countries.

The company's announcement comes just weeks after it said that its anticipated Epicor 9 ERP suite will be generally available by year end.

Epicor 9 will combine the best features from various Epicor product lines into a "next-generation superset" based on service-oriented architecture and includes functions such as customer relationship management, business process management, governance, risk, compliance and enterprise performance management. The strategy echoes that of Oracle and its Fusion Applications development effort.

In making cuts, Epicor took care not to do anything that would affect the release of Epicor 9, Wright said.

Even as it cuts costs, Epicor is dealing with a takeover bid by Elliott Associates, a hedge fund. Epicor's board has so far recommended shareholders reject the bid.

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