Keeping up with the customers

I found it interesting to note how two recent and completely unrelated events, both emphasized the growing impact of mobile devices in the world of computer technology. The first was a product survey that SYSPRO conducted amongst its customers across the globe. It produced an extensive number of individual responses to a wide range of questions; offering ample evidence of SYSPRO’s ability to understand and address the needs of its customers. Our intention was to listen to what our customers regarded as the key needs to be addressed in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, to help equip them better for the future. We were also keen to get their honest comments on our existing products and services.

One of the factors we explored in the survey was the extent to which mobile devices were catching on, and how users believed this would develop in the management of ERP solutions. Although only 13% of respondents confirmed that they were already using mobile technology, a further 38% indicated that they planned to use them in the near future. Incidentally, our survey showed that the most popular three devices currently used are Apple’s iPhones and iPads (30%) followed by Android devices (23%) and BlackBerries (22%).

Our respondents saw the following transactions as most relevant for mobile devices:

  • Sales order entries
  • Stock taking
  • Customer updates and entries to the database
  • Shop floor data collection
  • Purchasing

When not actually transacting, the following items were the most requested queries for mobile users:

  • Customer insights
  • Inventory availability
  • Sales orders progress

This confirms the views of keynote speakers at this year’s Gartner Symposium that took place in Orlando, USA, from 16 – 20 October 2011. Under the theme ‘Re-imagine IT: Leading from the front’ several speakers stressed that the use of mobile devices to keep productivity going is set to soar. Together with the harnessing of social media and the ever-growing importance of the cloud (Software-as-a-Service), the ability to work anywhere, anytime and from any device has come to stay. Speakers emphasized mobile’s capacity to increase productivity, facilitate faster response times, improve employee and customer satisfaction; creating the resultant cost savings.

But that was not where the similarities ended. At the same symposium speakers stressed that “customer delight, customer involvement, and customer intimacy” was the credo for the future. It was predicted that walls will be broken down between IT solution providers and their customers, partners and suppliers. I certainly agree with this perspective.

Once again our survey not only supported this view, but underscored the fact that SYSPRO’s customer centricity is what sets it apart as a leading player in the field of ERP solutions for small to medium sized companies.

Almost all customers migrating from one version of SYSPRO to another reported a positive experience. This further emphasizes SYSPRO’s commitment to providing a “hassle free” upgrade path.

It is worth considering the fact that migration to a new system or a new version is very seldom a pleasurable experience. It is at best a tolerable one. SYSPRO looks forward to continually ensuring this migration remains seamless and effortless for all customers; in a manner that will delight our clients and exceed their expectations.

SYSPRO continues to ensure that our development efforts are directed at providing customers with solutions to their unique business issues and in so doing assist with their individual growth.

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