What is our primary use case?
Our company works with medical devices. We sell and service imaging equipment to hospitals and clinics in the territories we serve. NXC's primary use case for Zudy VINYL was to provide a mobile field service management application that our current ERP provider could not provide to us.
How has it helped my organization?
VINYL has improved the way that our company functions. Primarily, the first impact was user satisfaction. The majority of our employees at NXC imaging are not in the office. They're out in the field covering the territories that we serve so prior to VINYL, they had to log in or they had to find Wi-Fi, then log into a VPN. Then they had to connect to a terminal server. Then they had to open up Microsoft Dynamics AX and then navigate to their schedule. What VINYL has given us is the ability to serve up all of that information on their phone, so now they're free to do their jobs. They're pretty happy.
VINYL has given us the ability to really improve the speed with which we deploy releases and respond to the good ideas that our people have.
Another thing that this application has allowed us to do is to bring value to the business very quickly. The benefits or the impact on the IT organization is a big morale builder or booster for us. The real benefit is that our IT organization now has the confidence to say yes to requests as opposed to no or have significant delays. The team is motivated to field requests, work on improvements and rollout changes. It's very easy to roll out a change. It takes a couple of minutes depending on the app that we're we're talking about. It's pretty easy to keep my team going in the right direction.
Prior to VINYL, we were working within a Tier 2 application that took a very long time for us to change. It's very, very expensive. Our burn rate for making changes in VINYL is about a tenth of what it was in the other platform and we can do it in a tenth of the time.
Comparing where we've been to where we are now in terms of the technical platform, it's incredibly easy to make changes, and it's incredibly easy to approve. From being able to deliver value to their business from a user perspective, it's really cool as an IT leader to be able to say yes to requests and deliver them in a timely fashion, as opposed to saying no, or coming up with reasons to delay or to give them a long term "it depends" answer.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features of Zudy VINYL are the abilities for us to rapidly develop applications, deploy them easily, and then make adjustments as we realize the things that we forgot to put in the first release or the second release. We've done eight releases in eleven months for our field management solution.
What needs improvement?
The features that I'd like to see in VINYL next would be the ability to have more control over or have a rule-based control over column headings and column labels. Depending on what we're trying to display to a user, we can put in rules to change things around, make it easier for that.
The other thing would be a more sophisticated workflow engine. I'm an ex-Nintex user, and having a more graphical user interface to be able to build complex workflows would be really good.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability of VINYL is pretty amazing. It just works.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability of VINYL is what I'm counting on. The licensing model is amazing for us, to be able to do as many apps as we can for the cost that we're paying and not have to worry about the per-user cost going up. We are planning on replacing our entire ERP platform with VINYL apps, building the things that we need that we can't buy off the shelf.
How are customer service and technical support?
The tech support at Zudy is top notch. They are a bunch of talented people who are very responsive and we've not had any significant business interruption since going live with our first app last year.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
I knew that we had to make a change in our ERP platform. I was brought in to NXC Imaging to evaluate what was going on with their ERP solution. They were having all kinds of issues with their Microsoft Dynamics AX solution. It took me about two months to understand what had happened, and I immediately recognized that we needed to go down a different path.
We needed to change our strategy of staying with a Tier 1 or Tier 2 platform. What we do is unique and there isn't software that we can buy. I knew that we needed to invest in a no- code, or low-code application development platform that would give us rapid development capabilities. I've had experience with other platforms in the past, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to go after getting board approval to make this happen.
How was the initial setup?
Installing and getting Zudy up and running was very easy from an infrastructure point of view. What was unique about us is that we were their first Dynamics AX integration. They had not done AX before, so it took them about three days to figure out the business connectors and the data model, and from there we were rolling.
What about the implementation team?
The team that we used, and are using, to build our apps is Zudy. They've been a great group to work with; very talented, very flexible, very responsive, and they're just a good group of guys.
What was our ROI?
VINYL has affected our user productivity in many ways. The most measurable is the amount of time that our field engineers were spending feeding our old ERP system data. I can guess that every FE, and we've got more than fifty in our company, has got an extra hour of their day back not having to deal with the connectivity and all the different transactions that they're doing. The ability to interface with the apps on their phone has made their lives significantly better.
Another thing from an IT perspective, what VINYL has given us is the ability to reestablish confidence in our user base. Our people recognize the difference in VINYL versus before VINYL, and they really, really like the VINYL experience better than anything else they've had in the past.
The VINYL platform with the Zudy development team has allowed us to be significantly more responsive to the business as they come up with ideas or we needed to make process changes. Business process changes are evolving all the time, new markets, new technologies. I would say that the speed of the improvement in iterations is tenfold. We can do things 10 times faster in VINYL than we could in Dynamics AX at a tenth of the cost. Fixes that would take our old service provider weeks and months to do, can take five minutes.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The value for us with VINYL is that we've got one fee that we're paying per year and we can deploy and build as many apps and bring in as many users as we need. It's a big change from the Microsoft Dynamics AX model, where we have per-user fees, and in order for us to provide or to get access for our users, internal or external, it's a per-user fee. The value proposition is incredible. What they're giving us for functionality and the ability to do the things that we need to do, they're exceeding my expectations.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Our decision criteria were really based on opportunity and timelines, so I didn't have a lot of other people on our shortlist. OutSystems was one that I had had experience within the past, but their platform didn't really fit what we needed to do. I had some relationships with some folks at Zudy and the speed of trust happened; it didn't take us very long.
We were at the TechEd last year as a prospect. It was about a month after that we signed up, and eleven weeks later they delivered a proof of concept that our current ERP solution provider couldn't do in three years.
What other advice do I have?
If I knew of anybody that was out considering an investment in a low-code or a no-code development platform, I would encourage them to call me and let's have a conversation about how VINYL has changed my ability to lead at IT and it's changed NXC Imaging's ability to run their business.
On a scale from one to ten, I think Zudy VINYL is a nine. It's not quite a ten because it doesn't do everything and it can't write itself, but we've been able to do more things in the last eleven months to make our company run better than previous organizations and teams and applications did in the previous four years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.