In my last blog (IQMS Community Server – Game Changing Technology) I discussed the affects that Community Server has had on our Design, Programming, Testing and Documentation departments. This time I will discuss how the rest of our organization has been impacted.
The Professional Services Group is charged with successful implementations by focusing on meeting the client’s business goals. During the implementation GAP analysis, when software workflows are compared against currently used business processes, it is not unusual to uncover issues that need to be addressed with software modifications. By using Community Server to input and track these software change requests (SCRs), the overall turn around time has been shortened as we are able to give priority to these SCRs. The rest of the customer community is able to comment on best practices regarding individual business processes that will be affected by the proposed changes. Remember that all enhancements to the core modules are made available to all EnterpriseIQ customers at no extra cost.
Community Server has had an immense impact on the day-to-day operations in the support department. Prior to managing SCRs through Community Server, all SCRs had to be reviewed by a support technician to ensure that the requested functionality was not already a part of the latest version of the software. Often this would require additional correspondence between support and the customer to get all of the necessary details. When it was determined by support that the SCR was valid, it could then be escalated to the development group. By removing the “middle man”, we have not only freed up additional time for our support staff, but also decreased the steps necessary and the time it takes to get a response to the customer. A decreased call volume in support can also be seen because users are now able to check the status of their SCRs on their own. Plus, due to the visibility of other users' SCRs, the number of duplicate SCRs has decreased as well. The use of Community Server for managing SCRs has truly created a “win-win” situation for our technical support group and the customers we serve.
I feel that the biggest win this technology has enabled lies in our product offerings. The EnterpriseIQ family of products offers more integrated modules for every aspect of the manufacturing enterprises than any system on the market - bar none. With the input of thousands of Community Server members, we work toward the goal of making every module “best of breed” in both quality and functionality. Not only has customer satisfaction improved but our new licensing sales have increased. Our sales staff enjoys showing off the product in comparison to our competitor’s products.
The following are new modules directly related to requests and ideas that came in via Community Server: Expense Reporting, Quality Audit, Process Monitoring, UPS / FedEx Certified Shipment Manager, and the Environmental Regulation Tracking and Reporting Module.
Although the advent of Community Server has increased the development, testing, and documentation workload the payoff has been very good for both IQMS and our customers.