On April 5-7 IQMS welcomed over 500 customers to Las Vegas NV for the Pinnacle User Conference. The event represented a major milestone for the company. It was the farewell of outgoing CEO/founder Randall Flamm and first user conference for the new management team, including: Gary Nemmers CEO, Dan Redundz CTO, and Steve Bieszczat CMO.
Along with the new management team, the company also received a significant investment of $40M in August of 2015 – much of which has remained in the company and will be used for enabling Gary’s vision of dramatic technology, human capital, and marketing improvements.
Gary Nemmers is an experienced software executive and was engaging both on the main stage as well as our 1-1 conversations. Gary’s message at the event was simple, he clearly believes in the depth of functionality of the product and engagement of the customer base and current employees. His goal is singular, driving dramatic growth over the next 2-3 years and his strategy to achieve this revolves around:
- Improving the market awareness of IQMS
- Developing the internal team at IQMS with investments in technology and product management leadership
- Modernizing the technology platform
- Enabling the movement into other geographies and larger enterprises, while not forgetting the North American mid-market manufacturing market, which has made IQMS what it is today
Dan Redundz is an experienced technology leader and was formerly a member of the same executive team as Gary at HighJump software where he led a successful technology modernization journey similar to the one being undertaken at IQMS. Dan was clear and unapologetic in his presentation of the current strengths and shortcomings with the technology stack at IQMS today.
In its current state, IQMS has a robust and deep set of manufacturing ERP functionality that goes across 84 modules. Of particular note is the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) “module” that can run on as standalone application with a homegrown oracle based “Data Historian” and home grown plant and machine connectivity capabilities.
With these capabilities as a starting base, Dan does have significant work to do that has to be done quickly. IQMS today still has a thick client architecture that does not support web or mobile capabilities across the 84 modules mentioned above. Before Dan and the rest of the team can get to the exciting parts of building a true next-generation manufacturing ERP, they will have to knock out some critical infrastructure and platform modernization, including:
- Move from a thick client to browser agnostic html5 architecture
- Support multiple databases, including Microsoft SQL Server
- Create a modern user experience
- Enable a more modern Cloud offering, with options for public Clouds
We were pleasantly surprised to see the level of customer engagement at the conference. IQMS users are clearly passionate about the product and driving its success into the future. At both the Quality Management and Manufacturing Execution System breakouts there were over 100 attendees discussing topics as sophisticated as process integration between product design FMEAs, risk control plans, and actual process control performance.
The breadth of functionality and customer loyalty is a true strength for IQMS. However, the company will only be able to capitalize on these strengths if it can quickly (within the year) move to modernize the technology platform. When it comes to infrastructure investment, it is always the easiest can to kick down the road. IQMS leadership knows it can’t afford to kick the can one more time and now has the needed resources to make it happen.
The real question is how quickly can the team deliver and can they deliver quickly enough to drive the revenue growth demanded as well as effectively compete with a host of other manufacturing ERP vendors that are not standing still?