Introduction — Customer Experience Is Not a Technology
“Creating an unbreakable relationship with our customers” has been SYSPRO’s mission, stated Joey Benadretti (left), President of SYSPRO USA, last week at Grape Escape. And they must be doing that. Though a ‘smaller’ software company, SYSPRO added ~900 new enterprise customers last year — worldwide — to their customer base.
Both Mr. Benadretti and Brian Stein (right), CEO of SYSPRO USA provided insights into SYSPRO’s strategy going forward. They continue to demonstrate that the SMB market can have an award-winning and comprehensive, fully-functional ERP software with all the latest technology. Many of the industries SYSPRO supports, indeed, their core industries, such as food, electronics, medical devices, Aerospace, Auto, and other manufacturing sectors have stringent data requirements and a need for process integrity (requirements that not everybody can meet). Lot traceability, serialization, and specific labeling are key, nontrivial capabilities embedded in the software in so many industries today. And regulations are becoming more stringent, with severe consequences for non-compliance.
SYSPRO insists on being more than a group of tech jocks and plays an active and engaging role in their customers’ businesses and professional success. That is an important mission. Most software-in-a-box providers do not even attempt this. Yes, they ask for feedback, but beyond a ‘name and registration form,’ they don’t really know their customers. ERP, after all, is like the circulatory system of the enterprise body, so in-depth business familiarity is crucial.
SYSPRO is different. They maintain lots of touch points and ensure that each and every touch point emphasizes customer care and respect. SYSPRO also makes the effort to know their customers’ businesses and know them as people. The customer care reps are not just nice people on a hot line.1
Meeting and Exceeding the Market
But technology marches on and that, after all, is the main charter. Mobile and app stores are already an old story at SYSPRO. Now big data analytics and high performance/benchmark performance demonstrate that SYSPRO can do some heavy lifting, i.e., high-transaction processing for their customers. They prove that small does not have to mean ‘lite.’
Due to these and other advances, SYSPRO has been supplanting some other larger ERP providers lately. They didn’t sit still on old technology (read ERP’s Dilemma) and have kept up with the trends and requirements in the tech field.
Brian Stein said, “What we as software providers sometimes think are the very hottest features/functions and capabilities don’t always align with what our customers ultimately think is most important. And that’s despite all the voluminous research we all do while asking the hard questions such as, ‘what do you want,’ and then trying to build product to match that documented list. My kids used to play a song that said, ‘Tell me what you WANT, what you REALLY, REALLY WANT … ’ Maybe we should send that out when we’re compiling our lists.”
Though customers may whine, “Why are these companies constantly upgrading and revising their software,” at the end of the day, that is what you, the user, are paying for. And with the rate of change in global trade and regulations, what to say of the competitive landscape, many firms just have to take the leap forward. However, alignment is key, and as Joey said, “The goal is an unbreakable bond,” so listening and being heard do matter. SYSPRO asked their customers what they wanted, and six hundred responded in their community dialogue to determine the next moves. That’s community involvement.
Foundationally, SYSPRO, like many ERPs, has upgraded their solutions (see links to other SYSPRO articles below). Their Version 7.0 has the latest architectural capabilities based on the above-mentioned survey work, as well as the leadership required by a progressive technology firm, to keep their customers in step with the latest technology options. They call the results (the top 7 capabilities for this version 7) SYPSRO 7-on-7. They are:
- Personalized customization and role-based optimization using Windows 8 UI, active tiles and touch
- Advanced functionality such as rapid sales quoting and order entry, product configuration, compliance with the latest regulations with trace and serialization, to name a few
- Device-agnostic mobile capabilities and platform UI, drill down. Of note here is this is licensed per user — not per device — so customers are not penalized each time they change devices nor do they face escalating charges if they have a lot of devices. (How nice.)
- Vertical industry features for SYSPRO’s core micro-vertical markets
- Big-data ‘ready’ — data integration and toolsets
- Performance — faster transactional speeds, expanded flexible data model and scalability
- New multi-source reporting solutions that speed processing (very useful for companies that have multiple technology products in their portfolio)
As we learned from Little Boy, one of the first atomic bombs, small does not mean you don’t have what it takes to deliver big time. But beyond that, SYSPRO is also demonstrating that it isn’t about hiring big teams, it’s just about having more drive and more care for your customers to make a great company — and a great product.
More on SYSPRO:
To view other articles from this issue of the brief, click here.