QAD 2016 Explore ERP user conference report.
I am not an ERP analyst. I know a little about the space, but I don’t follow it closely. I had heard of QAD, but until about three months ago I couldn’t have passed a test on it.
So, imagine me at a conference populated more by suits than jeans. Actually, I was invited to participate in a panel on MES and ERP connectivity. An analyst and two users. interesting discussion.
The key words of the conference included “Effective Enterprise,” “Cloud,” and “User Experience.” All QAD speakers tied their remarks to effective enterprise. Carter Lloyds, CMO, pointed out that 30% of QAD customers now use QAD Cloud double from last year. That is an interesting indication of the acceptance of cloud by CIO organizations.
One of the things I noticed right away in the talks by company speakers was adoption of the latest trends from Silicon Valley. They are looking into such ideas as personalization, social messaging and alerts, and extensions / customization capabilities. Moving to the cloud allows QAD users to integrate with other applications (more later). QAD is also studying standards and interoperability—topics near to my heart. One other discussion concerned the use of bots. I’m beginning to hear that technology discussed frequently in manufacturing software circles. Usually such a migration takes years, not months.
“Hey, Siri, what are my supply chain KPIs?”
I was just in a conversation about marketing and how that’s more than just promoting product features. The “QAD Advantage” is an intriguing paradigm for aligning the company—standard solutions->flexible platform->program/project management->training / certification->customer engagement process.
The panel was interesting. Not because of me, of course. The room was full—more than 100 probably. Attendees wanted to know about integrating operations, MES, and ERP information. How people were doing it. What were the obstacles.
I’m used to discussions of both ERP and MES involving highly engineered solutions that take years and lots of dollars to implement. Most of these were smaller scale. Yes, they are smaller plants, but integration is still integration. And the benefits are what you’d expect—access to information. Plant managers continue to work on the problem of bringing accurate, real-time information to everyone who needs it to make better decisions.
QAD plus its partner Factivity (an MES supplier) offer a solution promoted by several in attendance.
We’ve heard forever about the promises of ERP originally about bringing factory data to the executive suite. Then we heard about the problems of connecting the levels. We’re getting there, finally.