QAD just won the 2016 Stratus Award for Cloud Company of the Year. If you’re not familiar with this award, the Stratus Awards recognize companies and individuals innovating in the cloud and who provide software and services that not only stand out in the market, but add value to our daily lives. Winning this award is a huge achievement, and it’s a reflection of the dedication and team effort everyone working at QAD makes to deliver the best product possible.
QAD: A Long History in the Cloud
Many people don’t know this, but QAD realized early on that making a strategic decision to move to the cloud provides immense benefits for manufacturers. As a result of this insight, QAD introduced QAD Supplier Portal in the cloud in 2003. We began offering our complete ERP solution in the cloud in 2007. Both events occurred well ahead of our competitor’s moves to the cloud.
One of the most important aspects of QAD Cloud ERP — and QAD solutions in general — is that we took the time to understand our customers’ needs before just jumping into new technology. With our 35 years of manufacturing focus, we knew right from the start that manufacturing ERP would not be successful if it conformed to SaaS models based solely on technology rather than customer realities.
Putting Customers First
For example, we have always offered our customers the ability to control the timing of upgrades and software patches, which is a fundamental requirement in manufacturing. Sure, CRM systems can change on a daily basis. CRM systems don’t affect the core business. When manufacturers must verify that their software and every procedure conforms to regulatory requirements, frequent software changes becomes disruptive and cost-prohibitive. Even updating ISO procedures to conform to constant changes can become a full-time job rather than a path to certify that the company has a consistent, repeatable process. With the Customer Relations Management system, you can also add various third-party solutions to make the software more useable. For instance, if you wanted to increase your contact syncing ability you may look into PieSync, if you wanted to track emails, you might look into MailChimp.
Also because of the need for certifications, we never tried to shoehorn our customers into a multitenant environment just because we could. We always knew that every manufacturing company is different — each one has unique processes, unique customizations and a unique ecosystem of third-party solutions and partners that support it. So we took that into account when we created our cloud offering.
Unlike the manufacturing customers of many other cloud ERP vendors, our customers saw the wisdom of our strategy and they willingly move to the cloud when the time is right for them.
QAD’s Industry Focus
We’ve been recognized before for our singular understanding of the needs of manufacturing companies. For example, QAD received Frost & Sullivan’s Global Cloud ERP Automotive Product Leadership Award in 2015 for the QAD Cloud ERP Automotive Edition. We built the Automotive Edition with a thorough understanding of the challenges facing our automotive customers — including the need for MMOG/LE certification in order to be a supplier to most OEMs.
We were the first cloud ERP supplier to offer a Food and Drug Administration qualified environment to customers, helping them to get a head start on the time-consuming certification process for computer systems.
Technology Should Be Strategic
We tell our customers that their technology, deployment and solution decisions should be strategic for them. We feel the same way about our own technology decisions. Before we select any technology, we first take the time to understand the task. Once we completely understand how our users will interact with the software, what the regulatory ramifications are, the need for historical information and a myriad of other details, then and only then do we scour the market for the technology with the right combination of characteristics to suit the task.
For example, in-memory processing is getting a lot of buzz right now. We’re big fans of in-memory processing — just not for transactional systems. We use an in-memory database where it makes sense, such as in our QAD DSCP/ DynaSys Supply Chain solution, where it works really well for simulations and the fast changes that occur in a modern supply chain.
But that approach doesn’t make sense when you need to store and refer back to history, as you would in the manufacturing industry for recalls, after-sale service and other support needs. There, we use a different database and a different technology. Our BI tools and embedded analytics use technology designed to optimize the task for users. We make it simple for our customers to have the best possible technology to suit their requirements.
And that strategic view on choosing technology is what makes us different. We don’t follow fads or adopt technology simply because it’s cool. We analyze the trends and technology advantages and take the time to understand how it can benefit our customers and streamline and improve the way they run their business.
It makes all the difference, and it’s a way of life at QAD.