Distributed Order Management: Why are frequent updates important?
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Distributed Order Management: Why Are Frequent Updates Important?

OrderDynamics customers get major updates rolled out six (6) times each year. Is that good? Should it be more frequent, or less? When considering an order management system,  or frankly any retail technology, you need to think about a whether you want a yearly license and maintenance cycle, or have native SaaS based systems just auto-update. Today, the old-school idea of “bring your system on premise with a dedicated computer system”, has long fallen as a losing proposition. Read the Forrester report about how SaaS is the retail industry standard. But, on updates, how frequent is good enough?

SaaS – but on Which Cloud? Hosting your OMS on AWS means you are sending money to your fiercest competitor

In the order management space, the smart move is to focus on DOM solutions (cloud-based) rather than an on-premise OMS (order management system). As a decision maker or influencer, ask each vendor about their views on this. Most importantly ask: “Is it on the Amazon AWS cloud?” If the order management system is on the AWS network, then realize that your hard earned dollars are going toward supporting a fierce competitor of yours in retail. Many retailers are starting to take a stand against hosting on a retail competitor’s network. Recent public examples include Target, Kroger, and Walmart, but there are undercurrents of even more taking a stand.

Remember that by far, the most profitable part of Amazon is their AWS system. Hosting your retail technology stack, like an OMS on AWS means you are sending money to your fiercest competitor. It helps them compete with you more effectively on the retail side. Why would you do that? For further reading on that see our earlier post on OMS systems on AWS.

Make a decision, and don’t support your competition.

Why Not Licensing?

Older software models force retailers to pay a license upgrade fee once every year or two. Then you get the upgrades. Then you get your IT team in play as they upgrade your system. Costly, in more ways than one. Not only is there a steep licensing fee, it diverts IT resources from other projects to the upgrade and renewed training task, not to mention re-installation time, testing, debugging (that inevitably happens), and trouble shooting when there is a serious challenge.

The other implication here is that a new development and evolution in technology would take a full year or two before your retail operation adopts it. Is that reasonable for an industry often labeled ‘hypercompetitive’?

Unlike this agony, SaaS solutions take this pain away, with smaller, more frequent upgrades that are easier to adjust to and digest by your staff, as well as being automatic. No need for the IT crew to kick into a heavy and business disrupting upgrade cycle.

 

Forrester - SaaS is the New OMS

Frequency of Updates

Back to our premise, how frequently should a SaaS-based Distributed Order Management system be updated? From the opener, we expressly mentioned that OrderDynamics’ DOM pushes out automtic updates six times per year. It takes place behind the scenes. Our IT experts make sure the system is working optimally, fixes challenges before any client sees the update, and best of all, it is all done without your own IT resources needing to get involved. Instead they can focus on helping you run your retail business. If the update needs a different hardware configuration, or upgrade, it is all done in the cloud. Again no retail IT resources needed.

Six major updates per year, is a good balance between keeping the DOM on the cutting edge of its technology evolution, but not so frequent that it becomes a burden for customers. Because the updates happen in the background, your system is continually improving, getting better, and providing more depth of functionality with every release. Since these releases are often retailer requested enhancements, these new releases give you the opportunity to leverage industry best practices.

What You Need to Think About

Ask yourself if your retail operation is 'OK' with being out of date for the next two years?When considering a new OMS for your retail operation, don’t even think about an on-premise solution. Rather, look for a multi-tenant SaaS solution, that is hosted on a non-competitive network. There are many cloud technology vendors with exceptional systems like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and others. Yet 65% of OMS SaaS based OMS configurations are run on AWS. Avoid vendors who don’t give you an alternative. After all, it is not supporting your business.

Furthermore, ask your vendor about the frequency of their updates. Better yet, make them prove that they update frequently. One vendor with a light OMS recently relaunched their technology with great fanfare. It had taken them two years to update their technology! That’s insane, in the world of SaaS based technologies.

Even though this competitor offers a cloud based solution, their team clearly had not embraced the concept of continual evolution, and frequent updates. As a retailer, this should be a big red flag.

Back to our starting question. Are six yearly updates too much, or good enough? To answer that ask yourself if your retail operation is ‘OK’ with being out of date for the next two years?

 

Full Disclosure

OrderDynamics’ advanced distributed order management (DOM) system, is a native-SaaS technology. That means it was programmed from the ground up, as a cloud-based technology embracing all the cost benefits of cloud solutions, agile development practices, and frequent updates. OrderDynamics fully supports our retail clients, as our solution is hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud, in localized regions around the world. That means your data and processing is stored in your local region, North America, Europe, APAC…. Not only is this a better practice for privacy policy reasons, it just makes sense. Call us, we will be happy to discuss.

 

Author:

Charles Dimov - Director Marketing OrderDynamicsCharles Dimov is Director of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.

 

 

 

Related:

Retail Order Fulfillment: Is there a better way?

Want to Know More About Distributed Order Management?

Retail Technology Integration: How Important Is It?