Kris Hopkins
Kris Hopkins, President
VP of Information Technology
Echo Group Inc,
Council Bluffs, IA

Happy New Year!  Looking back at 2013 it was a very busy year.  In 2012 the Eclipse Users Group started offering the web based training at no additional cost.  There were 56 free web classes this year and attendance has sky rocketed!  In 2011 we trained 179 people online, that number jumped to over 1900 for 2012 & 2013 each.  We really appreciate your participation.  Obviously the free web based training was just what the membership was looking for and it will be continued in 2014.  Make sure to look for the class lists that are updated regularly on our web page.

2013 was also the year that we brought back the "Eclipse Users Group Conference".  Due to the response that too will be done again in 2014 and will be greatly expanded.  Last year's conference sold out during the early bird registration.  For 2014 we have partnered with a larger hotel to better accommodate more attendees and a larger vendor expo area.  Last year's conference also had 3 training tracks; in 2014 we are hoping to increase that to 5 or more separate training tracks.  So mark your calendars for September 18-19, 2014 in Atlanta.  We have also put a name to the conference now thanks to a great idea submitted by Mike Winstead. The yearly conference will be called "Encounter".  Hopefully you are able to attend and encounter training on features of Eclipse as well as new contacts to network with well after the conference is over.  


 In January 2013 we had a brain dump session with Epicor's Eclipse Product Development team and a number of Eclipse Users Group Members, also in attendance was Dr. Barry Lawrence from Texas A&M.  From that meeting Release 8.7.9 was created.  This Release will contain several enhancements to Purchasing, Inventory, and Product Maintenance.  It is scheduled to be generally available in May of this year.  The timing is perfect since Epicor's Insights Conference will feature classes on some of the new features.  There will also be quite a few ideas from the Purchasing section of the IDEAS site that will be implemented in this release as well.


 The Enhancement Committee has been very busy in 2013 and will continue through 2014.  One of the major projects they are working on right now is the review of every single idea on the IDEAS page.  Bill Wright, Eclipse Product Manager, has been reviewing each idea with the committee lead as well as Chris Bohn, Enhancement Committee Chair.  The purpose of this exercise is to make sure that Eclipse is aware of each idea out there so if they are working on a bug fix or adding a feature to that area of the system that some of the smaller ideas can get shoe horned in at the same time.  There are also several ideas that are done in a release that was programmed after the ideas were posted.  They are flagging those completed ideas and also flagging some that quite honestly cannot be done as not planned.  It is a very long tedious process with 627 ideas but it is a job that really needs to be done.  

Epicor is working on the 2014 Insights Conference.  The schedule is not posted as of yet, but hopefully will be soon.  Early bird registration ends February 18th so if you plan on attending be sure to register soon.  The website is: .  We have been told they are still offering a discount to anyone that would like to teach a class.  If you are interested please email me at   I will need to know the name of your class and a brief description of what you will be teaching.  I'm gathering a list of all the Eclipse Users Group presenters and sending that into Epicor, and then they will email me the code to give you in order to get your 50% discount. 


Make sure to watch for information in our newsletter about 2014 events/projects.


I hope your 2013 was as productive as ours and that your 2014 is all you wish it to be.


Kris Hopkins

President, Eclipse Users Group

VP of IT, Echo Group

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