IBS Opens Product Roadmap to Customers
November 15, 2011 Alex Woodie
IBS last week unveiled a new initiative called the Enterprise Vertical Leadership Program (EVLP) that’s aimed at giving customers more say in the development of the company’s enterprise software, as well as creating standard versions of the software for major vertical markets.
IBS, which develops ERP software for IBM i and Windows servers, is remaking itself in the wake of being bought by Symphony Technology Group in June for $35 million. The Swedish software company’s strength is distribution-focused ERP software for midmarket customers, and its new EVLP initiative will seek to make the most of that.
Each customer admitted to the EVLP program will work with a dedicated core product development team at IBS that’s well-versed in specific industries, says Pallab Chatterjee, chairman of the board of IBS and an executive with STG. The teams will work on two- to three-year product roadmaps giving participants “the ability to drive enhancements and have direct input into release plans for their solution,” Chatterjee says in a press release.
The first member of EVLP is Rexel, a €12 billion ($16.5 billion) distributor of electrical supplies based in Paris, and the program’s anchor customer for the electrical goods vertical. “This program provides Rexel with a direct line into the product development cycles which allows for much faster deployment and response to market demands, product prioritization, more dedicated functionality for less cost, and gives us the ability to make certain functionalities standard,” Rexel’s CIO, Olivier Baldassari said in a press release.
IBS says the new program formalizes how it already works with top companies in key industries. The vendor says it plans to roll enhancements generated from the EVLP into vertical editions of the products. These vertical editions will have functionality tailored for a particular industry, and will reduce the need for companies to make modifications that complicate upgrades down the road.