I had an interesting conversation today with a few members of our technical support and training staff. The discussion was sparked by a comment from the trainer in the group. She was thinking back to all of the EnterpriseIQ Software classes she has taught that include our Capable to Promise module. She says that without fail when she teaches this module, jaws hang open and someone in the group asks how they get that module and how much does it cost. When they learn that it is already part of the core product that they own, and has been for years, they can't wait to get back and start using it. One of the support technicians chimed in that he had two calls just today from customers asking for features that already exist in the EnterpriseIQ software. The users just didn't know they were there.
On one side, these are great moments. Our staff loves the opportunity to help users learn what features and functionality they already have available to them and to teach them how the software will benefit them and make their job easier. However, on the flip side, this leaves me with the concern about those customers that aren't calling support or aren't coming to training. What features are going unused? What cumbersome workarounds have been devised by unknowing users when the perfect solution lies, unnoticed, right under their nose?
It reminds me of a time (many years ago) when I couldn't wait for the latest cell phone to come out. I don't remember the exact feature I was waiting for, but what I do remember is that about two months after I had purchased it, I learned that my previous cell phone would do the same thing. I used my phone the same way I always had. I was only familiar with the basic features I used each day. I never thought to look for anything more.
So whether you are using EnterpriseIQ by IQMS or a different ERP software package, it is important to find ways to constantly stay apprised of the latest features. Check with your software provider to determine what they offer to faciliate learning new functionality. IQMS offers many tools to help users stay up to date. Aside from our standard offering of training courses on multiple topics and standard documentation, users can also review release specific "What's Changed" documents, attend release specific virtual training sessions (VTC), or even participate in the on-line community for Software Change Requests where you can learn about and give feedback on changes before and as their happening.
What's Changed documentation is shipped with each update or can be viewed in advance on our website. Enhancement VTC sessions are performed by a live trainer with student interaction and are free of charge. Users merely contact the training department to sign up. Community Server requires registering as a user and from there you can choose to merely browse requests and review approved changes, submit your own change requests, or comment and vote on changes requested by others. So the moral of the story is to know what you have, use the tools available to you, and don't spend $300 to upgrade your cell phone unnecessarily.