Bluebee Software

Leveraging Progress® OpenEdge® as the underlying platform for its state of-the-art ERP application, Bluebee Software has continued to lead the market and grow its business by evolving its application to support changing customer requirements for “anytime, anywhere” access to business information.

Products:

OpenEdge

SS_Bluebee Software

Challenge

Support rapidly changing market and customer demands.

Solution

Leveraging Progress® OpenEdge® as the underlying platform for its state-of-the-art ERP SaaS application.

Result

Able to continuously modernize its existing application to support the mobile and web needs of its customers and react much faster than the competition.

Story

Challenge

Where so many companies view change as an obstacle, Bluebee Software has always understood that change equals opportunity. When the Quebec-based company first engaged Progress 15 years ago, it was a systems integrator. Since that time, Bluebee has grown into a leading software and service provider to the distribution and manufacturing sectors, continuously evolving its Progress OpenEdge-based ERP application to meet customer demand.

Over the decade Bluebee has worked with Progress OpenEdge, the market has undergone dramatic change, fueled in large part by widespread use of the web and laptops and the advent of mobile devices like the smartphone and tablet. And according to Sylvain Laporte, President of Bluebee Software, the company’s decision to use Progress OpenEdge has played a significant role in its ability to capitalize on those changes, continue to grow its business, and establish itself as a web and mobility leader.

“Today’s business competes in an ever-changing, always-connected environment. Laptops, smartphones and tablets are now the norm for today’s business users. Having the ability to quickly make business and technical changes to meet market and customer demand is absolutely critical for success. Where many software companies have either struggled or scrambled to meet customers’ requirements to connect to their business anytime, anywhere, Bluebee’s business has thrived. OpenEdge has enabled us to continuously modernize our existing application to support the mobile and web needs of our customers—without making any changes to the underlying architecture.”

Solution

Bluebee has truly been a forward-looking pioneer, recognizing the potential of the web and mobility long before they became trends. At a time when most software companies weren’t even thinking about mobility, Bluebee was already supporting mobile access to BlackBerry users going back to 2006.

In its search for an underlying platform for its application, Bluebee realized that its success hinged on the ability to stay one step ahead of its customers and ensure their ongoing success. That meant they needed to architect their solution to easily facilitate integration and support change so they could be responsive to evolving business requirements and keep atop of what the market not only needs today, but what it demands tomorrow.

Bluebee recognized years ago that mobility would become the wave of the future. And the company had the foresight to know that businesses would demand more than just access; they would require speed of access and the flexibility to control the type of data different people had access to. The company also predicted that different devices would serve different needs. For example, Blackberry’s primary focus has been on email access and the security of that access, whereas other devices, like tablets or the iPhone, focus on delivering more graphical information for reporting, financial analysis, sales forecasting, etc.

“We needed an architecture that could support all of those different requirements,” explains Jean-Marc Blanchette, Vice President of Bluebee. “In our search for a technology partner we found that Progress OpenEdge offered the flexibility and open architecture we needed not only to keep up with market change, but to actually lead the market. Once the mobility craze hit, our underlying OpenEdge architecture enabled us to react much faster than our competition. Today with OpenEdge, we can easily expand on any current or future platform—mobile, iPad, Android, or any other type of web-based system.”

The company’s fully web-based ERP application is offered through Software as a Service (SaaS) and enables its customers to extend their information and business process where they really need it—through intelligent telephony, mobile access to the web, or any other wireless technology.

After more than 10 years of expertise and leadership in web development with Progress tools, Bluebee has opened a whole new business practice by offering consulting services to a wider Progress population to help modernize character-based and GUI applications and provide new technologies via the Bluebee framework and custom development.

Result

Unlike most of its competitors, Bluebee delivers its solution via SaaS, which, Laporte explains, is a model that continues to deliver benefits to the organization and to its customers. “SaaS is very attractive to our customers. It has allowed us to remove the largest obstacle for those prospects that don’t move forward in the sales cycle—budget restrictions. Rather than making a large investment up-front by purchasing software licensing, our customers simply pay a monthly fee, based on the number of users.”

SaaS also gives customers a greater sense of control. Laporte explains: “They know we aren’t going to take their money and run; we are in it for the long-term. We know, and they know, that if we don’t continue to deliver, they can simply cancel their contract without being out-of-pocket for anything more than the monthly fees.”

For the organization itself, SaaS has dramatically reduced the average sales cycle. “We are closing deals far faster than we were before because we don’t have to contend with the issues of high, up-front implementation costs—the software plus the service plus the bells and whistles,” says Laporte. “With SaaS we can say: ‘You get a solution customized to your specific needs along with all the bells and whistles for a flat monthly fee.’ That is a powerful proposal.”

Bluebee also appreciates the recurring revenue stream. “When you have a lot of customers running SaaS, the profit adds up,” says Laporte. “In this economy, it is reassuring to know that we can count on certain revenue coming in month-to-month.”

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