Order Management SaaS Tech: Beyond A Concept
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Order Management SaaS Tech: Beyond A Concept

Order Management SaaS Tech. – no doubt it is a good concept. In fact, the vast majority of retailers and brands have abandoned the old on-premise concept, embracing SaaS technology, instead. Naturally, this goes beyond just OMS technologies. No need to point out that the IT world has embraced cloud technology. Let’s face it, we are in 2018… not the early 2000’s anymore.

Yes, to Cloud… but Embracing SaaS?Order management SaaS tech means embracing agile development practices.

Looking at the dozen or so significant OMS providers, only two or three, still offer on-premise solutions. Retail tech has become cloudy. But it is still perplexing that not all have embraced the SaaS philosophy. Order management SaaS tech is more than merely porting old code onto a cloud provider. To truly embrace the benefits – look for multi-tenant systems. It also means embracing agile development practices.

Agile Development

Core to the agile development practice is to work on a continual development cycle. It means embracing the idea of launching the minimum viable product (MVP). After that, work to enhance and improve based on market and customer feedback. In other words, gone are the days of teams working on a 2-3 year development project before launching. Instead, develop the unicycle. Then with market feedback, improve it to create the next launch as the bicycle. Then subsequently, create the moped, the motorcycle, three wheeler, and finally a four wheel car. Being market led, provides a car that customers actually want, and can use effectively.

Sure, there are times when you need to create technologies the market does not know it needs. Yes, the iPod, the iPad, HyperLoop, and fidget spinner are all great examples. Oops, maybe not the spinner. However, most of the time, market lead development creates products retailers actually need.

Why the Deviation?

Getting order management SaaS tech right, relies on developing in an agile environment. All retail technology vendors need to understand this. It then begs the question of why don’t they all release an MVP, with multiple improvement releases to follow? In fact, one vendor issues significant releases, roughly every two years. From a true and native SaaS perspective, this is insane! No retail chain should put up with this non-market lead approach. If they did not ask you while developing the product, will they care about you when you have a problem?

 

Will the Real OMS Please Stand Up Whitepaper

 

Make Life Easier or Harder?

A third baffling aspect about order management SaaS tech today, is the focus on coding. In the mid-market and enterprise space only one system provides a true out-of-the-box solution. All other systems are platform focused, needing custom coding.

Sure, custom coded systems seem attractive. But, they are definitely NOT what most retailers need. Funny enough, two of the largest competitors in the space, continue to promise customers that they will soon have an out-of-the-box offering. In fact, OOTB (out-of-the-box) offerings have become the trend in the order management SaaS tech space.

As mentioned, custom coded systems seem attractive. It matches a retailer’s every need. However, it also requires considerable maintenance, after the fact. For example, coding is needed every time a business rule needs to be changed (at the beginning and end of every cycle/season).

This does NOT make life easier for the retailer or retail staff. It even goes against the whole order management SaaS tech philosophy. Now we have done away with agile processes and focused teams. Now you have consultants, freelancers, and coding teams hacking an OMS together. Concerned at all about quality assurance, and all the compliance requirements with this scenario? You should be!

Is it REALLY Out-of-the-Box?

It is easy for a salesperson to tell you that their technology is an Out-of-the-Box technology. However, just checking off a box is not the same as embracing the concept. A recent Forbes article interviewed Sahal Laher, Chief Digital Officer and CIO of Destination XL Group (DXL). In the article, Laher points out that, “We could buy SAP, for example, but no one uses vanilla SAP out of the box.” His point being that even though there was the effort to tick off the box as a selling point, the OOTB option is seldom actually used by their clients. That should be a big red flag.

Laher goes on to point out their decision to proceed with a NO-CODING retailing system. In doing so, he pointed out that they (DXL) “are avoiding costly, time-consuming customization.” Laher expands that, “using a no-code platform, app development is faster and more agile. Months turn into weeks, weeks turn into days.”

Order Management SaaS Tech

If your OMS vendor only makes significant releases ever two years or so...then you need another vendor. Order management SaaS tech means hitting on three points. First, it is about an OMS technology that really was developed for cloud infrastructures. The days of on-premise technology are long past. Second, make sure your technology vendor embraces agile methodologies. This includes frequent annual releases and updates. If your vendor’s market reputation is that they actually make significant releases only once every year or two, then you need another vendor. Finally, don’t put up with platform solutions that must be hard-coded. This completely misses the mark on the SaaS based philosophy. It will cost you much more in the long run. Think, out-of-the-box, ready to go!

 

Author:

Charles Dimov - Director Marketing OrderDynamicsCharles Dimov is Vice President 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, Category Manager, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.

 

 

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