Many enterprises have been serving customers for years and can't afford to lose the data or capabilities that they've built their business on—but that doesn't have to stop them from modernizing.
Legacy systems are often deeply embedded in the core operations of a business, and it can seem risky and expensive to disrupt things with a modernization project. At the same time, the expectations of customers continue to rise, and the competition isn't standing still, adding functionality and features that may lure your customers away.
You can't afford to sit still, but you don't have to start over either. With the right partner, it's possible to leverage your existing investments while enhancing and extending your current systems to meet the demands of your customers. Without code rewrites, you can keep your customers happy and even open up new markets.
Power & Tel is a premier wholesale distributor in the communications marketplace, and over time the requirements of their customers have changed. Without disrupting their existing distribution model, they now needed to add functionality.
"We are in a unique business situation," said Dennis Dominioni, Vice President of IT and Quality for Power & Tel. "Now, we must continue to provide new tools that extend from our ERP into the field, and frankly, into the hands of their customers."
Power & Tel turned to Infor, a Progress Partner that builds business applications for industries including wholesale distribution, for help. "Our customers typically run on low margins and have a lot of competitive pressure, so they look to us as a source of technology, of innovation, and of maintaining a current platform that they can run," said Eric Ryerson, Senior Director of Development at Infor.
The solution Infor offered was Infor Distribution SX.e, a Progress OpenEdge-based ERP solution. Explaining the use of OpenEdge in their solution, Ryerson noted, "It's incredibly fast... and has enabled us to stay modern and provide a higher level of innovation for our customers."
Power & Tel has been using Progress throughout their growth, starting in 1998, and Dominioni praised both Progress and Infor for keeping their products current and providing a low cost path to migrate when they needed to.
"We average about one billion transactions per week, and since 1998 we so far have not lost one byte of data. And we take a lot of comfort in that." Dominioni said, adding, "between Infor and Progress, we’ve been able to keep up, and we’re very proud of that."
Ryerson observed that the decision to use OpenEdge resulted in close to a 20% increase in productivity for his own team as well, allowing them to move faster and reduce costs while providing the latest technology.
One request Power & Tel has been getting lately is likely one many companies are hearing more and more about—they needed to help customers deploy apps to their users via mobile devices. OpenEdge solutions can be extended with software perfectly designed for this task, thanks to Kendo UI and Telerik Platform for OpenEdge.
Kendo UI “allows us to code once and deploy to multiple devices, multiple operating systems, and even to a web browser” says Jaime Zepeda, Solutions Development Manager at Power & Tel. Their developers also praised Kendo for ease of use right out of the box with plugin widgets, built-in responsiveness and scalability. In tandem with Telerik Platform, Zepeda noted that a project that would have taken nine months was cut down to three months when using Telerik Platform and integrating back to the OpenEdge backend application.
Jackie Thomas, Chief Financial Officer of Power & Tel, also observed that the efficiency resulting from this integration showed up in the financial numbers too. “We’ve been provided with greater visibility and control over resources,” she noted, “which has resulted in a reduction in our total cost of ownership.”
We're always excited to hear our many partners and customers using best-in-class Progress solutions to lead their industries with modern technology. To learn more about Power & Tel's success, you can read the full story here, or watch the videos below. To learn how we can support you too, feel free to contact us anytime.
Tanya O’Connor is a former senior director of product marketing at Progress.
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