Keywords: QAD EXPLORE, ERP, Cloud ERP, Cloud, Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS), Q-Scan.
ARC Advisory Group attended a very upbeat annual QAD EXPLORE user meeting May 5-8, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This event brought together over 800 attendees, representing 250 companies from 35 countries. QAD's global customer base includes the automotive, high technology, life sciences, and consumer packaged goods industries. The event included executive sessions, technical training sessions, discussion forums, and breakout sessions with users, industry analysts, QAD staff and partners, as well as independent industry and technology experts. Under the theme, "Learn, Network, Discover," the event emphasized the company's cloud technology, engineering services, and customer engagement process for the effective enterprise.
The event began with Gordon Fleming, CMO, and Karl Lopker, CEO welcoming over 30 percent more attendees to EXPLORE than the previous year. They discussed QAD's performance, future revenue outlook, and the growth of its cloud technology and services, which currently account for 10 percent of QAD revenues. Mr. Lopker explained the importance of QAD's cloud technology and services, which are growing at over 35 percent per year. North America has replaced EMEA as the leading geography, followed by EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Mr. Lopker also discussed some recent acquisitions designed to strengthen and broaden QAD's capabilities to meet customer needs. These included DynaSys, which enhances QAD's supply chain management capabilities; Precision, a lead transportation management solution; and CEBOS, a product quality management platform.
QAD President, Pam Lopker, discussed the many recent and planned enhancements to QAD ERP that would make it simpler, easier to use, and provide faster more effective implementation in functions such as finance, manufacturing, performance dashboards, serialization, quality, traceability, and supply chain operations.
Other company executives discussed the global services customer engagement process and the new IPaaS cloud-based enterprise integration solution offered through SaaS. The company believes that its four-step customer engagement process is a competitive advantage.
The four steps are: 1) conduct a discovery meeting, 2) conduct a vision workshop, 3) deliver a Q-Scan assessment, and 4) project implementation. Q-Scans provide a fixed fee and scope diagnostic and prescriptive consultation performed by QAD experts that focus on a specific area of the business. It's new cloud-based IPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) based on the Dell Boomi provides a library of pre-built connectors and MDM (Master Data Management) solutions enabling integration of IT applications and the use of the Internet of Things (IoT). QAD's cloud–based solutions address both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise integration needs.
Cloud–Based Solutions Address Cloud-to-Cloud and
Cloud- to-On-Premise Integration
Breakout Sessions and Workshops
The many breakout sessions ranged from industry-specific sessions, to detailed educational sessions on specific ERP functionality, to user case studies on their cloud ERP projects. Most sessions consisted of a QAD expert and a user discussing their specific project. Highlights, from ARC's perspective, were the sessions on product serialization, product quality management, the industry-specific sessions, and the Facet Technologies case study on the company's application of QAD cloud-based ERP delivered by SaaS. This case study highlighted the reduced cost of ownership, predictable costs, and the way the solution enabled Facet Technologies' IT organization to focus on improving manufacturing operations, rather than having to deal with less value-adding IT software and hardware issues.
Enterprise Quality Management Platform
Conference participants could sense the excitement about how QAD had strengthened its offerings both through its own product development and through key acquisitions. QAD Explore provided attendees ample opportunity to network with other users, with QAD experts, and with the company's partners. It appeared to ARC that the company was able to maintain a consistently high quality of content over the three days of the conference.
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