Glovia Confirms the Potential of Its G2 ERP at User Conference

glovia-logo.jpgRecently I was kindly invited to attend the Glovia G2 user conference, hosted by Glovia, a subsidiary of Fujitsu, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event wasn’t particularly large in terms of the number of attendees, so it was quite focused, and Glovia’s management and key people were fully available for questions in a very open and casual manner. I also discovered that many Glovia clients have known each other for quite a while; they meet regularly and have established an informal community around the software product.

Glovia has confirmed its image, in my eyes, of a software company that is open-minded, has a deep understanding of its clients’ businesses, and is highly attentive to customers' comments, needs, wishes, and suggestions. My understanding is that the company’s top managers are fully aware of each single client’s project details and business processes, which is a very positive factor. The vendor obviously communicates tightly with its clients on a regular basis, too. All comments and suggestions from users have been carefully collected for further analysis and future considerations in product improvement and development.

Of the recent enhancements to the Glovia G2 system, one of the most notable is to the pre-configured grids—part of the user interface facilities that allow display, grouping, and drilling of system records of almost any nature, from master data to sales orders and financial transactions. The grids are essentially personalized data subsets and are a very effective tool that allows users to focus on exactly what they need. It requires minimum data entry; everything can be done by searching and selecting data records. Users can easily customize and personalize grids, link them to another application (for example, shipping and delivery tracking applications), share them with colleagues, or save them as a report or spreadsheet file for further analysis. No code change or any additional software is required for this. Users can create their own grids, and the system supports multiple personal configurations.

The vendor announced several other enhancements to Glovia G2:

  • Out-of-the-box and seamless integration with mail servers Windows Mail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and Google Mail.

  • Single sign-on security capabilities, based on Microsoft Windows–based Active Directory. This access control capability allows for mapping of Active Directory users to the ERP users by simple dragging and dropping.

  • Improved serial tracing functionality. A serial number can be hidden if required, and serial numbers can be used in sales orders processing and work order component backflushing and transaction completion. Also, a mechanism for serial number validation and multi-level tracing has been added.

  • Enhanced time zone functionality, which allows dates and times to display and process in local time, and, subsequently, to be stored on the server in a consistent manner.

  • Extended quality management module, allowing incoming inspection and work-in-process inspection.

  • Deeper factory planning functionality, with useful new features, such as potential demand impact analysis, ability to call standard and custom Glovia G2 functions as well as external links (AutoCAD, FedEx, etc.), improved visual planning displaying and selection capabilities, and some Repetitive Schedule enhancements.

  • Enhanced product configurator, including support of multi-level local structure bills of material (BOMs) and routings analysis, ability to call the configurator from sales quote functionality, widened re-configuration functionality, and more.

  • Multiple inbound and outbound Web service integrations, such as some adding, changing, and cancelling sales and purchasing orders.

Overall, it could be useful to know what major ideas Glovia’s development strategy is based on:

  • Increasing user productivity, for both end users and G2 developers

  • Improving user experience and making it intuitive so that a user would be able to understand the system’s behavior without experimentation, external assistance, or special training

  • Embracing current and future technology and ERP trends and continuing to make flexible software that can adapt to those trends

  • Lowering the total cost of G2 ownership

Not yet a top goal for the majority of ERP vendors, incorporating a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy is one of Glovia’s highest priority tasks. The company recognizes this trend and takes it seriously; it is currently finalizing development and testing of its Glovia Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (GMEAP). An impressive live demonstration of the platform was arranged for all conference attendees to showcase the development. It demonstrated a mix of multiple platforms and types of devices being used simultaneously—an iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet, Apple PC, Windows 8-based laptop, and Android smartphone. All these devices easily accessed a running instance of Glovia G2 via a wireless network.

Another strategic and longer-term task that James Gorham, executive vice president of Glovia International, mentioned is to reach a point of software maturity and standard functionality available where all unique customer-specific requirements can be accommodated through regular system features, or via a flexible user interface with special fine-tuning tools, thus eliminating the need for custom code amendments. Since Glovia has already significantly reduced the number of modifications requested by its clients, this task does not seem to be unachievable. Upon reaching the goal, the next logical step would be to offer a multitenant cloud deployment offering for manufacturers with even extremely complex and non-standard business processes—for businesses that can’t currently join the cloud club because the available ERP is too generic.

As a solution initially made by manufacturers for manufacturers, Glovia G2 is indeed a very competitive product for manufacturing companies, including sophisticated manufacturing environments that have convoluted processes and a large number of daily transactions.

The software has been recently certified by TEC and if you are interested in the detailed evaluation of Glovia G2 functionality, the certification report is available here.
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