An Innovative Force United

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Last week, ServiceMax, Apptus and Kenandy held the Force United CIO Innovators Summit in Menlo Park, Calif. The guest list included executives from some of the world’s top companies, including Coca Cola Enterprises, GE and Cisco, just to name a few. Attendees discussed the struggles of using their current legacy systems and heard about the benefits of using technology built natively on the Salesforce1 Platform.

Kenandy’s CEO, Sandra Kurtzig, spoke about the importance of a companies’ speed and agility in today’s economy. She explained how the world has changed since legacy systems were first built and how 90 percent of the world now uses mobile devices. She said there will be over 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Also, by that same year, more than 50 percent of the workforce will consist of millenials, who expect intuitive UIs and instant access to information at any time of the day, anywhere in the world. The legacy systems don’t have the social and mobile capabilities to facilitate the expectations of this future workforce.

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The consensus from the majority of the attendees was that they are very open to moving their operations to the cloud, and they feel very constrained by their current legacy systems. They also agreed they are not attached to the companies that provide their legacy systems, but because the systems have been in place for years, it’s not easy to cross over to the cloud.

In a discussion about ERP, the following question was raised: “What would it take for your company to implement a full cloud ERP solution?” The majority said they would have to ease their way into it. They would have to start with a single acquisition and prove its success, and that would begin the domino effect. A two-tier strategy could be the formula for ramping up enterprises to the cloud. Innovative CIOs are already beginning to take this approach, and it isn’t a question anymore of “if,” but “when” the rest will follow suit.

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Cloud technology has dramatically changed the way the world does business. We are now connected to everything, anywhere in the world in real-time; this presents an amazing opportunity for companies to rethink their legacy systems. All the partners in Force United have products that are built native on the Salesforce1 Platform. This allows you to do things that are unthinkable with legacy systems. With the speed at which business changes, companies need the agility and elasticity of the cloud.

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