UNIT4 unveils new People Platform

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Robert Lovell
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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor UNIT4 has launched a new people-centric platform to coincide with a complete group-wide rebranding.

At a launch event in London this week, chief executive José Duarte unveiled the revamped and rebranded ERP and financial software.

Duarte said the platform represented more than a year of hard work on a new approach to delivering business applications for service industries and government.

“We need to make software that is engaging, pleasant to be used by the people that have to consume it, so we focus on software for people not just software for business processes,” Duarte told attendees.

Included in the new platform are its well-known products Agresso and Coda which have now been rebranded as Unit4 Business World and Unit4 Financials.

The platform was also built to offer what the company calls ‘Smart Context’, minimising time spent on administrative tasks, and leveraging technologies such as social, mobile, predictive analytics to provide business applications that can drive themselves.

UNIT4 said the platform provided the foundation for business applications from now on and delivers on the company vision for “self-driving business applications, empowering people to better engage and create impact, while automating low-value repetitive tasks”.

Applications leveraging the platform can be deployed in the public cloud, private cloud or on-premises, he added.

“We are focusing our innovation efforts on closing the gap that exists between workforce expectations for application simplicity and increasingly complex business realities,” Duarte said.

The People Platform enables business applications to easily extend and adapt to current and future business needs and consists of four layers:

  • Personal experience – provides a simple, relevant and complete user experience that people have come to expect in our digital era.
  • Business capabilities – offers business functionality with high flexibility to adapt to the needs of horizontal, industry-specific and function-specific business processes designed for people-centric industries.
  • Smart context – leverages technologies such as social, mobile, predictive analytics and machine-learning to provide self-driving business applications that enable people to focus on better engaging with customers and citizens
  • Elastic foundation – Allow organisations and end-users to model data structures and functionality and meet evolving business requirements, and bring context around relationships to extended data structures and functionality

The launch follows news of a US$110m funding round for FinancialForce, a cloud JV venture founded by UNIT4 and Salesforce back in 2009. Duarte said FinancialForce would remain intact and separate from the UNIT4 changes around the People Platform.

The company has also changed its tag line from ‘Embracing change’ to ‘In business for people’ in line with its people-centric approach.

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