I’m relatively new to Epicor development and it has been recommended this would be a good conference to attend(in 2021). I mentioned this to my manager and the feedback was wouldn’t we get more out of just hiring a consultant to get 1 on 1 training for the same amount of money. It wasn’t a no, but my manager questioned the value of the conference.
I’ve never been to a conference so don’t have any first hand experience, but I see her point. Any feedback for a newbie who wants to learn more about Epicor development in regards to the value of attending Insights?
I find that Insights is a good forum to interact with other users from other organizations to bounce problems and solutions off each other. Typically, you find those kind of discussions in a class or a lab at Insights. You’ll find find lots of creative ways to do things.
Keep in mind - you can find similar info here.
When I go, I’m typically at a class during every slot. I usually have several interesting classes at the same time, and have to make cuts. With a consultant, you have to know what you want to get out of them. At Insights, you browse the class descriptions and can dip your feet in by attending the classes.
Also - it’s not that expensive to attend when you consider the cost of the software. One valuable takeaway could be enough to pay for the entire trip.
We have met with a certified Epicor Vendor and basically was telling us that the training sessions were only surface …not depth digging presentations… and we would better off ask them for a specific need… (so basically preaching for his own profit… )
I cannot confirm or say otherwise as I have never been to Insights after 5 years of use… My management does not, at the moment, aknowledge my request to attend…
But i hope I can attend at least once in my life time…when my management decide in my favor!
Insights is a great conference to attend and I was looking forward to attending this year’s conference (I’m holding out hope that they move it to Fall!). The interaction with customers and consultants is wonderful! It is a perfect way to get educated on Epicor and because there is so much, can be a bit overwhelming at times.
The difference between hiring someone to do 1 on 1 training and attending Insights is that you only get that person’s opinion on how to solve a problem if you have 1 on 1 training and that person may not be able to answer your questions (we all have our specialties in the software).
Using Epicor is like using Windows in the fact that there is more than 1 way to resolve an issue depending on the variables!
Have you ever been to an Epicor User Group meeting? If not, you may want to seek a group out. The regional User Groups are another way to get education in Epicor and meet other users.
And don’t forget about the virtual training in the Epicor University!
To answer your question, hands down (after using sanitizer, of course!), Insights is worth the investment!
I was an Epicor USER (as a customer) for 1.5 years prior to coming to Epicor.
I chose Epicor over the other software vendors because the software was superior to other vendors.
21 years ago (before joining Epicor), I went to my first Insights… at the time, it was called “DUAL” which stood for “Dataworks User ALliance” (One of the former names of Epicor was “Dataworks”). Dual 1999 was held in Las Vegas that year, and was well attended… probably about 800 users if i remember correctly. It was an incredible time of growth for me as I was able to rub elbows with Developers, Consultants, Education, and Sales all at the same time. When I returned from the event, I told my boss (VP Operations) that “I Need to go to this every year. That was well worth the money”.
Well… I never got the opportunity to return as a customer, because as things happen, I changed jobs and went to work for Epicor later that year.
After several Name changes (Dual became “Perspectives”, which became “Insights”), it is still the same great event. We have added many features over time. “Hall of Solutions” (now called “Solution Pavilion”), hands on labs, extended education, many demonstrations, etc… this is NOT just a marketing event. You can spend all your time in Education learning about what you already have, OR you can learn about up and coming new features.
Now, with multiple 1000 people coming, it is an exciting event, that I don’t like to miss… I have been to about 15 of them, in such locations as Orlando, Nashville, Palm Desert, Anaheim, and Las Vegas. Yes, it is worth the money and time to go!
In all honesty from one year to the next there are good years and bad years. I would contend that least year for myself was the least valuable as it was a lot of the same. That being said with the release of 500 and soon 600 there is a lot of new content and that is reflected in the agenda. I expect this to be a great year. That’s as a seasoned attendee. As a new attendee you have a good 3 to 4 years before you hit the point where you need new content to be available to get value. After you get past attending for development help, I tend to go to classes that align with internal company initiatives. I.E. last year I went to quite a few production costing presentations (customer and epicor) to see what I could garner to aid in those internal initiatives.
What you get out of insights, especially for newish users, is the opportunity to start “Knowing what you don’t know”. There are usually things that you didn’t know existed, and didn’t know enough to even ask the question. Those are what makes it useful. You aren’t going to come back being an expert on anything you weren’t before, but you will have some good tools to research and new ideas to implement that can help your company.
Secondarily, building relationships with people in the community can pay off big time later. If you need help, people that you have met and interacted with are more likely to help, or get you going in the right direction.
My 2 cents:
In the Solutions Pavilion you can ask your CAM about something (face to face). They can say that is department X. They can walk you over to someone from Epicor who know s a lot about X. If that drifts into Y, you can then go find someone from Epicor who knows about Y. They stand next to screens running Epicor and can show you what and where.
That’s aside from the classes you attend by your choice of what you want to hear about.
I have been once and have been gagging trying to get back to it again. Yes I am from the other side of the world.
There is no doubt some content which is rather static between year to year, but as others have mentioned it’s those tidbits of information you pickup that you would never pickup in a manual or even trolling around forum where the real gold is…It is difficult to put a value on that.
Insights is worth the money especially the extra pre-Insights education classes. They do cost a bit but totally worth it for the subject matter if it’s fits what you’re looking for. The networking is also very nice and help make it worth it. If your company is on a tight budget then maybe plan to go every other year so you go when it’s closer to you; ie when it’s in Nashville or Vegas.
My last company would send us when it was in Nashville because we could take the company van and drive down as a group of four.
Full disclosure - I am have been an Epicor Consultant for 12 years and prior to that working in manufacturing for 30 years
Insights is well worth it for individuals at companies where they are willing / wanting to dig into the software to understand what it can do. They need to be guides to the rest of the organization on how to better use the software. Sending someone that is learning just for their role they may be better off with a consultant working specifically with that individual.
I have worked with small companies that the users are very focused on their job and either don’t want to explore Epicor or delve into other ways of doing their job. These are companies that would not get value out of the trip. @Beth - I agree with you - I would recommend attending the virtual sessions that Epicor and user groups are having (more coming) and also user groups that are local.
I agree as well. I would encourage attendees to take advantage of the extended education the weekend prior if you want to drill deep into specific modules. Overall the entire event is an excellent way to network with BOTH Epicor staff and other customers. To date I have only been to one Insights (2018) but have utilized both contacts and the information from the Extended Education many times.