By Bob Raida on
I thought I’d take a few minutes to write about some of the great new things we’re working on at Foundational for 2016, but as I collected my thoughts, I decided to first review how we got to where we are at the beginning of this New Year.
2015 was a transitional year for us. We started out as Paragon B2B, and ended as Foundational e-Business. The reason for this change was that we saw the opportunity, and need, to refine and clarify our message. For nearly 15 years Paragon’s outsourced EDI service provided a stable, cost effective alternative to traditional EDI, and in 2014 we decided to invest in the service, and the brand, to take it to the proverbial “next level”.
This “next level” consisted of a fresh brand, crisper message, more defined strategy, and the creation of the next generation of our technology so that Foundational will continue to prosper and solve a new generation of e-commerce issues for the supply chain.
Much of the first phase of this evolution is apparent in the revamped web site, name, marketing materials and so forth. The work behind the scenes in upgrading the technology isn’t obvious outside our four walls yet, so I’ll summarize here. We’ve grown very quickly over the past few years, and that rate of growth is expected to continue. In order to continue to provide an excellent customer experience we needed to solidify our internal systems and infrastructure.
- We implemented a new CRM system in order to better track customer activities, implementation, and support. This system is based on the Reveal CRM system sold by our parent company, Paragon Consulting.
- Our entire IT infrastructure was moved to an Expedient data center. Previously we had internally managed IT systems and used a data center that had become outdated. With Expedient virtualizing many of our servers and managing the environment, it enables us to focus on what we do best (which is not managing email servers and the like), and provides us with far more robust, secure and reliable infrastructure in an SSAE-16 / SOC certified data center.
- We reaffirmed our technology roadmap and created an exciting new direction for our service that will be the foundation of our next generation platform.
This last point is what I alluded to in the title as “a look ahead”. 2016 will be the year that we continue our evolution, and our next generation platform is a huge part of this year’s roadmap. Since the start, our service has been based upon the premise that EDI (and e-business) should be easy, cost effective, and flexible. As I’ve said many times before, we act as the outsourced EDI department for our customers. Our next generation platform will expand upon this notion, and offer our customers a new level of insight to data, more robust & flexible error checking, self service capabilities and real time integration with their business systems and their trading partners’ business systems. While all of this is very exciting for 2016, what I’m most excited about is that this new platform will position Foundational e-Business to be an excellent full service e-business solution even as changing consumer behaviors result in new demands on the supply chain.
Finally, for those of you that are customer service geeks (like myself) I’ll note that the interface we’re building will adhere to the principles detailed in one of my favorite business books – The Best Service is No Service by Bill Price and David Jaffe. In fact, I’ll write a review in an upcoming blog…stay tuned.