What do a mountain stage and business growth have in common?
Last summer, my wife and I cycled from Apeldoorn to Rome in 26 days. It was a beautiful trip during which we cycled through Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy, and crossed the Alps. The high mountains were often challenging and the hilly landscape tiring, but above all it was an incredibly cool thing to do.
We’ve also tackled a challenging mountain with Cadran this year. We’ve had a year of tremendous growth behind us: growth in customers, employees, partners, product range, knowledge and sales. Sometimes there was a steep hill for us to climb, sometimes the road was bumpy, but there was also very often a nice, gentle slope; we have achieved a lot! For example, a Dutch global dairy supplier opted for a world-wide roll-out of JD Edwards and our CTRM module, and we implemented CTRM at Ragasa Industries in Mexico too. We also carried out projects for Interface, Milcobel, Vlisco and several other customers, which included upgrades and implementation of new versions of JD Edwards. At a major international rail transport leasing company, we implemented BI for JD Edwards in a short time by means of the template we had developed and the built-in star schemas in JD Edwards. We are one of the first companies in the world to have carried out this type of implementation, and we’re all extremely proud of it.
Exploring new areas
As well as an increasing demand for JD Edwards from potential customers, we also saw growth in upgrades and expansion of functionality with our existing customers. After years of economic crisis, companies are willing and able to invest again in the innovation and optimisation of systems. We are also seeing new developments such as digital transformation. Many new opportunities are arising from the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, E-Commerce, Big Data and Analytics, among other things. Companies are also increasingly wanting to access JD Edwards using mobile devices such as telephones and tablets. In addition, the supply of and demand for cloud solutions is growing. Oracle has an increasing number of cloud solutions such as Sales Cloud, BI Cloud and Planning & Budgeting Cloud. Such solutions can all be linked to JD Edwards in order to further optimise business processes.
Together we are strong
‘Together we are strong’ also holds true during a mountain stage. As a partner in the joint venture Redfaire International, we now have access to an international team of consultants operating in 15 countries. Through our managed services team, we offer our joint customers 24×7 support in 10 different languages. Redfaire International has grown enormously in the past year. We have some great new names among our customers, including CircleK, Varo Energies, Arvos and Li & Fung. We have also welcomed two new partners: the Scandinavian Xperitus and the Italian Sinfo One, which means there are now 350 consultants working for Redfaire International in Europe. We are working hard to expand our team and bring in new knowledge and abilities, including with young people.
A good plan is half the work
We planned our trip this summer really well: We allowed enough time for the steep mountains, but also plenty of time for the challenging hills of Tuscany that actually turned out to be far more tiring. There’s always hard work to be done, but you’re better off if you prepare for it. For that reason, in the past year we’ve also invested time in building up our knowledge in the area of Oracle Cloud solutions. We’ve got to know the ERP, SCM and BI Cloud modules better, and have started on building specific solutions for particular industries such as Wholesaling, Discrete Manufacturing and Food Industries. With this addition to our range we can actually offer our clients just about everything: a JD Edwards solution either on-site or in the private cloud (with Oracle’s IaaS solution), a public cloud solution with Oracle Cloud applications, or supplementary cloud applications in JD Edwards, such as Sales Cloud and BI Cloud.
The polka-dot jersey
Over the last year we’ve also won the polka-dot jersey, being named Oracle’s Industry Partner of the Year. We also won this award in 2011 and 2013. This was a nice crowning moment after all our hard work, and along with the award we also received a ticket to the Olympic Games in Rio, where we met Dafne Schippers. An unforgettable experience!
On the next stage
Onwards to 2017, the next mountain stage. We’re already enthusiastic and expect that companies will be investing further in ERP systems or will be optimising their processes with additional applications. A growing number of customers will probably explore the possibilities of the public cloud. I also expect that more and more customers will outsource their infrastructure and application management (managed services), so that they can concentrate better on their core competencies. Trading companies and companies in the manufacturing industry will decide more in 2017 than in the previous year to make acquisitions or undertake mergers. This will mean there is a greater need for a party like Redfaire International, which can roll out the international implementations. The existing economic growth will probably stabilise, unless there is a positive Trump effect on the economy.
2017: year of harmonising & digital transformation
We see that customers want to optimise their supply chain in 2017 as well as increase the added value in the chain. It’s becoming increasingly necessary for companies to harmonise their processes and make them more efficient, so that they can more easily transfer to the public cloud and more easily implement the digital transformation. However, at the moment you can see many exceptions and a lot of customisation and special processes. In the coming years, many companies will invest more energy in the simplification of these processes. Cadran would like to help you with the process of becoming a digital enterprise, and for this reason is organising a Digital Transformation Workshop for Production, CPG and Wholesale companies on 12 January.
My wife and I made it to Rome and accomplished our mission. Now it’s time to recharge, and to sit by the fire with a glass of something good and reflect on our trip. I’m proud of our team, and of our customers and partners who have made this such a fantastic year together with us!
Thanks for the cooperation, and here’s to the new adventures that 2017 has to offer!
With warm Christmas greetings,