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Preparing For Decade 3 of the 21st Century

Nervous Nights

I won’t hide the fact that I have my sleepless nights about the bold decision we have made to partner with INFOR, the largest privately held ERP software company in North America, to move from their local server based ERP to their cloud based offering. INFOR has over 90,000 customers in more than 200 countries and over 15,000 employees; you would think I could rest easy! But really, we are one of the first companies in North America to fully adopt their cloud computing services and were heavily incented to go that route. Why us you ask?

Remember Y2K

I have to go back a step to explain. We were ready to upgrade our software back in 1999. However, every software support company was up to their eyeballs preparing their software for the dreaded Y2K moment. So we made the minor adjustments to be Y2K compliant and in late 2000 started our search for a new ERP. We chose INFOR and made a very important decision to go ‘vanilla’, meaning that we would make virtually less than a handful of modifications to their system and adapt to what was offered rather than rewrite code.

We’re a Tenant!

Due to the earlier ‘vanilla’ decision, in 2017 we had the option to go to Infor’s multi-tenant cloud services running on Amazon Web Services. This means that rather than having a unique software suite in the cloud (or on a local server), we would be one of many accessing the same software, of course, with our unique data set. This has a tremendous impact on total licensing cost and allows us to benefit from all upgrades without any disruption or extra cost.

A Suite of Services in the Cloud

Not only will we be accessing our ERP in the INFOR cloud, we will also be running a fully integrated CRM, eCommerce platform, Service and Warranty Product Tracking, BI (Business Intelligence) and a Document Management product, again, all in the cloud.

The Why (apologies to Simon Sinek!)

Doverco Inc. has a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for several years out. To get there from here, we understand several basic truths: we need to provide the interface that younger buyers at our customers will expect and appreciate. Our web site will also be world class features providing advanced procurement options and controls. We know that native mobile applications are table stakes in today’s world and we are gearing up to be relevant and easily accessible with the right tools at our disposal and for our customers.

A Word About the People

It seems cliché to say that you can’t do it without the right people, but it’s true. Our outstanding IT Manager, Stefan Taganyi, has carefully guided us in exploring, learning about and prodding us into the future. And rather than trying to create ‘super-users’ as we did 16 years ago when we moved to INFOR, our goal now is to teach everybody on our staff to be a super knowledgeable system user and explorer.

 

And finally, I’ll find something else to lose a little bit of sleep about when this is done!

Mark Dover

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