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    How the ‘All or Nothing’ Approach to IWMS is Limiting Your Growth

    James McDonald

    With the rise of mobility, globalization, and outsourcing, the professional environment must now work in more collaborative ways than ever. These business trends, along with innovations in technology, have forced management teams to reevaluate and invest in more intuitive workplace tools. Many are seeking software and business applications that offer the knowledge worker real-time data for better organizational decisions and a more collaborative environment.

    Unfortunately, many business applications still haven’t caught up with these growing trends, forcing many to invest in multiple software tools that are unable to augment collaboration across boundaries. Employees are forced to utilize business tools spanning multiple platforms, resulting in a reduction in productivity as users manually transfer data from one software to another. Data is often lost in translation, forcing management to make decisions based on only a portion of the facts. How_All_Or_Nothing_IWMS.jpgFor enterprises to truly get the most out of their investments, the gap between these tools must be bridged, offering a seamless, integrated tool.

    The 'All or Nothing' Approach

    If you are in the market for a new IWMS tool, there are a million and one things to consider. Every enterprise’s situation is unique, directly correlating back to their business and software tool needs. Unfortunately, many IWMS vendors have taken the “all or nothing” approach, forcing their customers to invest in a package that includes modules that aren’t needed today, and may never be. The systems aren’t intuitive enough to integrate with other software solutions, limiting both collaborative and reporting capabilities. The mindset they sell is: “You will need it someday.” But this leads to higher initial expenses, typically with additional costs, once an organization is ready for the next module to go live.

    In speaking with our customers and prospective clients, we’ve found that many felt this was their only option. They need a space module now, but know they will need the move management module later, so they might as well go ahead and bite the bullet. Besides, what good would it do to purchase various modules that couldn’t communicate with each other?

    The iOFFICE team has taken a different approach. We like to make our own choices, both personally and professionally, and feel our clients should have that same option. Why should you have to invest in a product you may not ever use? Or, what if one company’s space and move modules best fits your needs, while our reporting software is ideal? We’re putting the choice back on you because, at the end of the day, the goal of our business is to help your business prosper in every way possible.

    I’m sure you’re asking yourself: “But, if I purchase software from multiple developers? How will they all integrate with each other into one, cohesive system?” Well, read on, because we have the answers you’re looking for.

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    Composite Architecture

    Let’s start with the basics. Composite architecture, also known as component architecture, is a software application built by stitching together disparate business software into one cohesive unit. The components may be individually selected functions from within various applications, or entire systems whose outputs have been packaged as modules or web services. It affords users the ability to deploy data separately from each other, and in combination with each other. Basically, it means that the software tools play well and communicate with each other. And the result, is a more cohesive and collaborative business tool for the workforce.

    Many of our competitors will tell you this architecture doesn’t currently exist, or that it cannot be done effectively. But we know differently, because we’ve done it.

    Whether purchasing one of our modules, or all of them, we value every client equally. Your organization’s success has always been our primary goal. While we think highly of all our software tools, we recognize that some may not be the right fit for everyone.

    How_All_Or_Nothing_IWMS_Image.jpgThe iOFFICE team takes pride in our product and believe its capabilities will speak for themselves. So, we have built a platform that is a two-way information highway. Simply log in to our system, and gain access to all your other business software tools. We’ll take care of the rest, sharing and receiving data with these other tools.

    Still not 100% sure how it works? Let’s look at an example.

    We recently partnered with a well-known global enterprise. They purchased iOFFICE's space and move modules to assist them with the challenges they were facing from rapid growth. But they already had a HR system in place that their workforce was comfortable with and suited their needs. They were looking for one platform dynamic enough to combine the data from all systems, to produce strong analytics and reporting. With the help of iOFFICE, this organization avoided the disruption of having to switch all their data to an entirely new system, yet still gained a powerful business tool to assist them in achieving their goals for growth.

    In the modern day business environment, we rely on technology for virtually everything. From smart phones to SaaS business tools, we are constantly connected to the world around us. But, if one system can’t speak to another, the connection is broken, resulting in a decline in collaboration and, ultimately, productivity. When considering your next business investment, carefully review the enterprise’s goals moving forward, and where this tool will fit into the equation.

    James McDonald

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    James McDonald

    James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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