Tag Archives: Software

Antony Bourne, Global Industry Director, IFS

Antony BourneAs the Global Industry Director at IFS, Antony’s responsibilities include acting as the Global Industry Director for Industrial Manufacturing and High Tech as well as managing the other global industry directors. Antony has over 15 years experience in the IT industry, including working in the manufacturing sector. Prior to joining IFS in 1997, he held Business Analyst positions with Ford Motor Company and AlliedSignal. During this time he implemented ERP applications as well as business process improvements.

1. What did the audience learn from attending the webinar?

They learnt that cost is not always the most important factor when choosing a new ERP package, functionality and usability are instead.

Another key factor is that flexibility of the solution ensures ROI.

2. What did you most enjoy about presenting to a live audience?

I always enjoy getting questions and feedback from the audience since it shows that they have understood the issues and want to learn more.

3. How did you get into the industry and what do you most enjoy about your role?

Started as a business analyst at an automotive supplier, installed a new ERP package when our plant was sold to another company, then was going to go to Ireland to be trained in a German ERP package, but had a call from IFS and have been there ever since (since 1997).

 4. What’s the best thing someone has ever taught you?

To always try my best, be honest, and don’t say that I know everything because I don’t and I never will. I am always learning new things from different companies on how they operate their business as well as embracing new technologies as they emerge in the market.

5. How are you hoping to help IFS to grow in the near future and what are your plans for 2015 and 2016?

By showing IFS Applications 9 to both existing customers and prospective customers, and by working with marketing and the analyst community to ensure that they are aware of what we can do and what makes us different to other ERP providers.

6. What motivates you?

I really enjoy meeting customers that I helped with during the sales process successfully going live and meeting up year after year. Listening them tell me that they are still happy with the solution and the support that they get from us makes me feel so happy.

Anthony presented along with his colleague Nick Castellina the IFS webinar ‘Select Flexible Enterprise Software and Be Prepared for Business Challenges’.

The session is now available to watch here.


Is Your Business Solution Adequate to Support Your Growth: Find Out in my Upcoming Webinar

Finding a needle in a haystack is hard, but the task pales in comparison to finding a specific needle in a pile of needles. Selecting the ideal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution from among the numerous options on the market can feel like just as daunting a challenge. ERP represents a serious investment for any organization and is vital to future success. As such, a great deal is at stake. The ERP selection process should be regarded as a top priority, with appropriate time and resources devoted to it. Top performing organizations approach the selection process with a clear plan in mind and come away with solutions that implement smoothly and help drive business immediately. Further, those that get the most value out of ERP choose a solution that can support them through business change and as they continue to grow. On the other hand, less meticulous organizations become saddled with solutions that continually disappoint, put additional strain on the organization, and often need to be replaced.

In many of my past research surveys, I asked survey takers to indicate the selection criteria they choose when selecting ERP. Functionality and ease of use always come out on top. But while these two selection criteria are integral to selecting a solution that fits your organization today, neither of these criteria are necessarily permanent. Functionality may no longer be adequate as your organization’s needs change, and a system that seems easy to use today may feel clunky in comparison to newer, upgraded solutions over time. In fact, a recent study of mine asked survey takers to indicate the reasons that they replaced their old ERP system (Figure 1). Three of the top four reasons concern solutions that are no longer able to support the business. Maybe it does not have the features needed to continue to operate effectively; maybe it is unable to support connections with emerging technologies; or maybe it can no longer handle the business due to explosive growth. Regardless of the reason, what is the point of paying maintenance on an ERP solution that can no longer support the business?

Figure I: Is it Time to Replace Our System?

But replacing an ERP can be expensive and disruptive to the business as well as carry a lot of risk. Organizations could be better off staying on the latest version of their solution (the Best-in-Class are 61% more likely to be on the latest release), as well as doing necessary tailoring themselves. For this reason, Best-in-Class organizations are 83% more likely to have a solution that can be quickly tailored to reflect business change. Therefore, flexibility needs to be a top criteria used when selecting an ERP.

This flexibility expands an organizations ability to grow, support new business models, remain compliant, and take advantage of emerging technology. My research has uncovered numerous benefits from selecting an adaptable solution. I have also uncovered many tips on how to take advantage of this flexibility to become a more effective organization. I would like to invite you to attend a webinar that I am presenting on June 9 at 10am EST in partnership with IFS to hear some of these tips. You can register for the webinar by clicking here. I hope you can make it.


Dr Paul Denny-Gouldson, VP Strategic Solutions & Dr Scott Weiss, Senior Director of Product Management, IDBS

Paul Denny-GouldsonAs VP of Strategic Solutions, Paul heads the overall strategic planning for the various market verticals and scientific domains that IDBS works in. By working both internally, across IDBS, and externally, with customers and partners, Paul is charged with the exploration and creation of new products, solutions and service offerings. He joined IDBS in 2005 as part of the acquisition of his ELN company and has spearheaded the drive to make E-WorkBook Suite the market leader.

Prior to this, Paul founded a number of companies focused on combining science, technology and business. He started his career as a Post Doc and subsequently Senior Scientist at Sanofi-Synthelabo Toulouse (now Sanofi) for just under five years, where he managed a multi-disciplinary molecular and cell biology department.

Paul obtained his PhD in Computational Biology from Essex University in 1996, and has authored over 25 scientific papers and book chapters.

Scott WeissScott joined IDBS in 2004, and leverages over 25 years’ experience in pharmaceutical drug development, informatics and software development. He is currently responsible for product strategy at IDBS, and enjoys leading a talented team focused on designing intuitive software that enables organizations to accelerate their R&D – by fostering efficiency, collaboration and data insight. Prior to IDBS, he served as Director of In-Vivo Pharmacology at Vernalis Research. Scott obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology specializing in neuroscience at the University of Leeds and has authored over 45 scientific papers, journal articles and patents.

1. What did the audience learn from attending the webinar?

Paul Denny-Gouldson: We hope that we made a clear case for the business benefits of focusing on user experience (UX) when it comes to developing, and using and implementing research and development (R&D) software.

After exploring the drivers behind the trend towards prioritizing UX in software design, we set out to show that UX and critical functionality are not mutually exclusive and that in fact you can have the best of both worlds.

We believe that we’ve shown that UX-friendly design can facilitate working and collaboration in the externalized, multi-stakeholder lab of the future. By reducing the amount of training needed for in-house and partner R&D specialists, organizations will be able to control costs and support the uptake of new technology.

2. What did you most enjoy about presenting to a live audience?

Scott Weiss: The buzz from presenting live comes from the fact that you really have to articulate your passion in order to stoke the same passion in your audience. I think we both enjoy the immediacy of live presenting and it’s a great opportunity to look at a subject from a new angle thanks to the input from your audience.

3. How did you get into the industry and what do you most enjoy about your role?

Paul Denny-Gouldson: I worked for Sanofi for around five years in France – that was the incentive to start a company to solve some of the problems that I was seeing while running a team of brilliant scientists – we needed to capture what everyone was doing in a way that made it re-usable and reportable. I get a real buzz from solving problems and helping people do more and hopefully one of those people will go on to do something to really impacts people’s lives in a positive way.

Scott Weiss: Both at university and as a post-graduate in pharma, computers and software were an essential part of my daily routine; whether I was writing snippets of code or using commercial software. When I eventually ran a department, I brought in ActivityBase to manage our data and reporting needs. At that point I was hooked, and the rest is history. The best part of being in the product management team is that I get to work with customers and the talented people at IDBS to help deliver clever solutions to common business challenges.

 4. What motivates you?

Paul Denny-Gouldson: Making a difference and my family.

Scott Weiss: I left pharmaceuticals because I felt what I could accomplish at IDBS would have a far bigger impact on the industry than I ever could working within it. Satisfaction comes from delivering successful products that people enjoy using and ‘can’t live without’ in their day-to-day working lives.

 5. What’s the best thing someone has ever taught you?

Paul Denny-Gouldson: Always talk to people to make sure the dialogue keeps flowing.

Scott Weiss: Listen to people. My first impulse is usually to start talking. I had an inspirational boss early in my career who taught me to listen first. Talk second. I usually remember his advice.

You can watch Paul’s and Scott’s webinar ‘Putting User Experience at the Heart of R&D’ on demand here.


Putting UX at the heart of R&D software

Remember when bringing home a new gadget meant sitting down and reading the instructions first? If you don’t then you were born UX. A.D. that is to say after User Experience (UX) came to dominate commercial technology. Today’s technology is increasingly mobile, UX-centric and focused on intuitive use. And these trends in commercial technology are having knock-on effects on the expectations of users in the research and development (R&D) informatics space: Today’s R&D software user expects simplicity, while still being able to manage complex processes and scenarios.

The functionality arms race

Back in the 1990s and 2000s, the prime drivers of R&D software developers were adding and improving on features and functions. As R&D processes became ever more complex and software providers raced to match functionality, usability and aesthetics suffered.

Today’s R&D is even more challenging, as collaborative and service-oriented ways of working and externalization have become increasingly common.

Simplify everything

The intuitive, UX-oriented nature of modern commercial technology now means that R&D software users have an expectation of simplicity and ease of use even when using complex, specialized R&D software.

And it turns out that putting UX considerations front and center when implementing R&D software doesn’t just make for happy users – the wider business benefits are also substantial. UX-oriented software can act as an enabler for effective and efficient R&D, without compromising on functionality.

By identifying and adopting software that lives up to UX best practice, organizations can cut costs of ownership through lower maintenance and training expenses, reduce roll-out overheads and boost user uptake. UX-friendly software also facilitates collaboration with external partners by making shared systems user friendly with minimal, or even no, training.

If you’d like to hear more about how UX can support efficiency and efficacy in R&D, why not check out IDBS’ webinar “Putting User Experience at the Heart of R&D‘ hosted by Paul Denny-Gouldson and Scott Weiss.