Unit4, Serving up Self-Driving ERP for the Future of Work
Posted by Scott Kamieneski
2016 was a year of continued change and momentum-building for Unit4, in North America and globally. With new product announcements, a growing list of impressive customers and re-energized internal leadership, Unit4 is poised to extend its positive trajectory in 2017.
"As we start to eat into what I consider the legacy vendors – those that are very much leaning on their maintenance and history – vendors like Unit4 are investing strongly in new technology, new ways of going to market. We are the future, not the past.”
– Jeremy Roche, CPO
Being a European headquartered software vendor, Unit4 has been a household name in Europe for a long time now, but this has not been the case here in North America where so many large software vendors are based. By staying laser-focused on our mission to positively impact people-centric service organizations, our brand is becoming more widely recognized in the market, as evidenced by this TechTarget article which positively highlights our work.
In the years to come, the US and Canadian economies will be faced with a workforce crisis due to a shrinking and aging workforce. This will put increasing pressure on the people/service centric industries we serve, driving them to adopt technologies to improve productivity. As explained in this video interview with Stephan Sieber, our commitment to being in business for people is all the more important because our customers are also in business for people. They serve citizens, students, researchers, business travellers and consultants, families and vulnerable people – so we're focused on making our customers' organizations run smoothly and giving them back time traditionally spent on administrative tasks for the high value interactions they in turn have with their customers.
“We're introducing the concepts of self-driving, so the applications will actually start to predict what's going to happen and help people to highlight things that they should pay attention to, and then take out some of the drudgery of day-to-day work. We can make the back office a place where people actually like to use the applications rather than one where they're forced to."
– Jeremy Roche, CPO
In 2016, under the leadership of our new CEO Stephan Sieber, we made a lot of progress to serve our customers with products that make their lives easier, and our North American business reaped the rewards with exceptional growth and an expanded partner ecosystem! To make implementations faster and smoother we deployed Value Accelerators, tried and tested industry-specific templates for successful implementations, cutting down on time for requirements gathering and simplifying business processes. Asset Management and Professional Services Automation were released to reduce time spent on rote administration, enabling customers to concentrate on what matters most in services businesses and providing the data-driven insights needed to make important decisions. Unit4 Business World became Unit4 Business World On!, our biggest release ever, offering industry-specific cloud-based ERP and helping our customers improve service levels and become more competitive. We are growing our share of the student information systems market faster than any other vendor with Unit4 Student Management, and we have received excellent recognition from analysts and users alike. With the acquisition of the German company prevero, we can now bring best-in-class corporate performance management to our customers. We've also been a front-runner in enterprise solution innovation with our introduction of digital assistant, Wanda, and our work on self-driving experiences, which are helping to cut down on clunky administrative tasks like time sheets and expense submissions that are easily predicted and automated.
“... Unit4 was not born in the cloud but is acting like a cloud-first provider and the people-centric model delivers a great user experience that millennials find very attractive.”
– Jim O’Donnell, TechTarget, Unit4 ERP aims to be the next SAP or Oracle – eventually
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We are proud to have welcomed many new customers into the Unit4 community, including University of Waterloo, District of Squamish, Louisburg College, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Vernon College, Relay Graduate School of Education, Eckerd Kids, PATH, International Cruise & Excursions, Inc., amongst others. In order to continually improve on the services we deliver, we also launched customer advisory councils in several industries, which are already yielding great insights into how work gets done and how we can improve our solutions for those we serve.
What's next? Well, there's a theme here: keeping up with change. Organizations are always dealing with increasing competition and changes in their industries. At Unit4, our goal is to help you deal with those challenges by increasing your efficiency. Now, well into the first quarter and looking ahead to the rest of 2017, we're going to be focused on being in business for people, helping our customers keep up with the speed of change by harnessing technological innovations to help people work the way it makes sense to them. We are making aspirations for the future of work into a reality.