VAI Announces Roadmap for IBM i-Based ERP
May 1, 2012 Alex Woodie
VAI recently announced that it’s released a roadmap for S2K Enterprise Resource, its IBM i-based ERP software used by small and midsize manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The company says the roadmap calls for S2K to be enhanced in several areas, including big data, cloud computing, mobile computing, analytics, CRM, and collaboration.
VAI says it has a lot of new stuff in the pipeline. Like many ERP software vendors, VAI is working on figuring out the best way to bring new cloud, mobile, and analytic capabilities to its user base. Its customers are also being affected by the so-called “big data” revolution, and VAI wants to keep pace with customer demands for real-time capabilities in business intelligence, in particular.
To that end, the company’s roadmap calls for a heavy dose of key performance indicators (KPIs), interactive dashboards, and graphics to provide “real-time” business intelligence capabilities. These will be built into S2K Analytics, which is based on IBM‘s Cognos software.
VAI is also working on new releases of its CRM and sales force automation (SFA) offerings. Its core CRM system runs on IBM i and helps organizations track customer engagements. The company offers SFA capabilities in S2K Sales Force, a relatively new offering that’s based on IBM’s WebSphere.
Enhancing back office functionality is another focus of VAI. Among the priorities are plans to boost forecasting and requirements planning capabilities to help customers reduce inventory and increase efficiencies and streamlining the implementation and management of EDI. The company’s warehouse management system (WMS) is also slated to be enhanced with multi-language support, RFID tracking, and integration with voice picking solutions.
VAI also has something cooking in the field of data integration tools. The company says its offering “will replace and bridge the gaps between conventional translators, data integration tools, business process automation tools, Web services toolkits, XML transformation toolkits, and spreadsheet integrators.”
Other areas that VAI is working on include: enhancing workflow monitoring and email alerts; enhancing its backup retail point of sale (POS) solution; and shipping a new release of S2K Enterprise Suite for Food.
VAI founder and CEO Bob Vormittag says his company worked with IBM on the roadmap. “New advances in analytics and mobile cloud technology will empower mid-market and enterprise organizations to embrace analytics and quickly realize the value in accessing the right data in real-time,” Vormittag says in a press release. “ERP continues to be the critical next step for organizations looking to improve efficiencies by using integrated applications to make more-informed business decisions at a much faster pace.”
The first wave of new S2K enterprise solutions (including new releases of S2K Analytics and S2K Sales Force) will be available this October in tandem with its annual user conference, which will be held in Las Vegas.. That’s also when the company is planning to ship S2K version 5.0.4, which the company revealed in March. VAI says a second wave of “advanced Web 2.0-enhanced solutions” will be delivered in the fall of 2013.