Industry First: EtQ Launches traqpath - Free CAPA & Event Management

freemium.pngEtQ launches traqpath, its new issue and event management system today. traqpath is cloud-accessible, mobile, collaborative, and intuitive. However, what makes this product unique and particularly interesting is that EtQ is launching traqpath as a freemium product. Click here to speak with Dan

The combination of Web, mobile and freemium business model makes traqpath even more accessible than the spreadsheets, local databases, and email that have become ad hoc issue trackers. What impact will the launch of a Freemium Web and mobile issue, and event management system have on quality and compliance?

Freemium = Free + Premium

Freemium models have been around for decades and are commonplace in consumer-facing apps. There have been some notable freemium successes that crossed over into the business world as well, such as LinkedIn and Dropbox. The general freemium concept is “free” to everyone + “premium” paid tiers for those that like the basic service, but want more. As an example, Dropbox allows free access for any individual to store 2 GB of data. Then come the premium tiers – for individuals there is Dropbox Pro that provides 1 TB of data for $10/month, and for business, Dropbox Business, which provides unlimited storage for at least 5 users starting at $15/month.

In order for freemium to work, it must provide something - for free - that appeals to a large group of users and businesses. It must scale to that large group. Finally, it must provide some means to convert those users into revenue.

So What Is traqpath?

traqpath is an issue and event management system that EtQ is targeting at compliance users. The focus is on ease of use, ease of access, and collaboration within a workgroup and extended team, not across an enterprise. There is a need for workgroup issue management systems that provide visibility, unlike de facto standards like email and spreadsheets, but without the complexity of formal enterprise systems.dan1.png

The beta experience of the free version of traqpath was positive – simply sign up with an email, username and password, agree to the terms, and log in. It was easy to invite other team members and build a collaborative team of free users. Users can create new events using prepopulated types (Complaints, Audit Finding, Environmental Incident, etc.) or create their own. Give it a title and description, assign it, add actions, create a CAPA from it, etc. Actions can be assigned to the workgroup, or outside the group. Enter anyone’s email (e.g. suppliers) and they get notified and one-time access to review and respond to that individual item. Generate some simple and predefined graphs. All of this is intuitive and predefined. This simplicity of operation should drive user adoption.dan2.png

Where Does traqpath Fit?

Is this something that a broad compliance audience would find appealing? Recall that disparate systems and data sources is the single largest quality management challenge, at 38% percent of respondents. In practice, many informal systems such as email and spreadsheets fill the data and process gaps between the big enterprise systems; where an easy to use and collaborative system with Web and mobile apps, such as traqpath, would provide much greater visibility and enterprise value. While it’s easy to see broader use at small businesses, a system like traqpath could supplant many informal issue trackers at medium and large businesses as well, particularly those in unregulated industries. traqpath is validated per regulatory requirements and its short term roadmap includes adding a setting to turn on eSignature and audit trail tracking.

In LNS Research’s opinion traqpath also has potential for applications outside of quality and compliance. While it may not have direct application for consumers, there is potential for tracking events, actions and issue resolution across businesses – accounting, customer service, etc. – particularly small and very small businesses. Considering that the 2012 U.S. Census identified 5.7 million firms with fewer than 500 employees and generating roughly $12 trillion in revenue, this is an appreciable potential market for traqpath, as this market has issue and event management needs but limited interest in traditional enterprise applications.

There are other vendors that provide issue management solutions as well. Some have more advanced configuration and analytical tools than shown in the free traqpath, but it will be interesting to see how these organization position against a free and easily accessible system.

Freemium Quality Offerings

Back to the earlier freemium success model: demand, scalability, and revenue. There seems to be a market for traqpath, and potentially sizeable. traqpath operates on a multi-tenant Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud-based and mobile package that works on iOS as well as Android. Scalable? Check. The remaining question is the premium model. EtQ is putting the “premium” portion of the freemium model aside at this time. Success for traqpath may be accomplished simply by drawing a new population of users to the EtQ brand. Presently EtQ is focused on launching traqpath as a free system, and commits that the current traqpath feature set will remain free.

The addition of a freemium model to the quality space adds a new and interesting element to an already dynamic space. It will be interesting to gauge the response from both the market and software provider community over the coming months.

For More Information

To form your own opinion of traqpath, try it here (free):

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All entries in this Industrial Transformation blog represent the opinions of the authors based on their industry experience and their view of the information collected using the methods described in our Research Integrity. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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