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Zudy VINYL OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Zudy VINYL is the #4 ranked solution in our list of top No-Code Development Platforms. It is most often compared to QuickBase: Zudy VINYL vs QuickBase

What is Zudy VINYL?

Zudy is a visionary enterprise application development company with a breakthrough low-code platform known as VINYL. VINYL’s patented technology-agnostic development environment turns mobile and web into one, enabling enterprises to build highly configurable applications in just days rather than months or years. Using VINYL, enterprises can dramatically increase the number of new applications they can build from an average of three per year to more than 50.

Zudy VINYL Buyer's Guide

Download the Zudy VINYL Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Zudy VINYL Customers

Brooks Brothers, Stericycle, DXL, Aetna, JCrew, Barstool Sports, iHeart Media, Cal-Maine Foods Inc, Collette Travel, Kraft Sports Group, Fresh Direct

Zudy VINYL Video

Archived Zudy VINYL Reviews (more than two years old)

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SI
Programmer Analyst at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Has replaced the paper trail with an electronic trail throughout with audits

Pros and Cons

  • "It's made things seamless and it's more efficient, and there's an audit trail where it wasn't there before."
  • "Right now it's very dependent on having an imagination to understand."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for progressive apps, especially when workflows of the past, again, paper trail, can be replaced with electronic, which is what mine has done.

How has it helped my organization?

VINYL has improved the way our organization functions with our paper trail. What I mean by that is that one of our process workflows was all paper-based. VINYL was taken and replaced the paper trail with an electronic trail throughout, with audits, which we didn't have before. It's made things seamless and it's more efficient, and there's an audit trail where it wasn't there before.

Has it increased my productivity? Yes, when I'm allowed to actually code in VINYL. But when I'm not in VINYL then it doesn't, obviously, and not everything can be switched to VINYL. We have to have buy-in from upper and lower management, whoever the users are.

We definitely have used the solution to bring more than one data set together. We have an IT dashboard checking system that brings together DNS, DHCP, WINS, SUS, Alertus. There are about fifteen different data sets that come together on one visual to see whether people have something installed on their PCs or not. It gives our help desk visibility across a person's PC as to what they're missing or what they have.

What is most valuable?

As a programmer, I came from a programming world, so it was hard for me to use the tool because it was very foreign to a programmer, but it's very dynamic. So if I build one panel, it can go across to the different tools, phone, iPad, computer, and I don't have to worry about redesigning it for each platform.

Only because consultants can see places to use the tool where we're blind to that because we've just done it that way in the past. I don't know if I'm explaining myself right, but when they come in they can see a need for it, or a use case for it, that we would have never picked. So the consultants have provided places where the tool can benefit us that we would have never thought of.

What needs improvement?

What additional features would I like to see is easy: drag and drop UI interface. That what you see is what you get. Right now it's very dependent on having an imagination to understand. If I put a control on a page, what it's going to look like at the end result. I would much rather have, I drag it in place and then I do the backend stuff. I would like to see it before I have to build it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I like the stability of VINYL because I can see them always increasing, changing, making it better. I've worked with it for three years now and what it used to be in the first year to what it is now is a world of difference. They've taken our suggestions, as users, and moved the platform in the right direction, fixing those problems and making it better. As long as they keep doing that, I see a long life for the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VINYL definitely has the capability to be scalable in the fact that it can be a reporting tool or an ETL tool or just bringing of datasets together tool. So, scalable across different solutions.

How are customer service and technical support?

Since we have two of the consultants on site, anytime I have a question, they're right there and if they don't know the answer, they go right onto the forums and reach back to the home company and get the answer for me. So, it's been outstanding.

The VINYL consultants are outstanding because they can bring a visual into our organization from the outside and see things like I said, we can't see. We're blind to it and then they're able to let us know, subtly, that we need to change, and change to a better app platform, which is VINYL, to get the work done more efficiently, more effectively.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup I came into my first week with the organization, so it was already ongoing. I'm not sure I'm a good perspective on that. It seemed scattered, but it may be our organization and not theirs, and it could just be the data.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We weren't sold on VINYL in the beginning. It was brought in, it was used for something, a proof of concept, but it wasn't really utilized to its full potential.

I went to the TechEd conference last year and I saw what it could do by seeing all the other customers and that's when we really started adapting it. I came back to the office and I said, "I see you use cases that I never would have seen if I hadn't seen the other solutions in place." So, I think the TechEd is our turning point where we started really utilizing it.

What other advice do I have?

I guess I would say "be open to it." And, if you're a programmer, don't look at it with a programmer's mind. If you're a business person or business analyst, you're going to be able to understand how the tool works. Programmers, coders have a pre-set understanding of how to code, and this is not how to code. This is how to build an APP. So you have to go into it with an open mind.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd probably rate it at an eight. It is a young product and still growing. I see it growing the right way. As long as they, the VINYL staff and developers, keep up with changes of the technology and the times, I see it growing to be better than eight, but right now, eight because of some of the limitations it has.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BG
Executive Director of Management Process Automation at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Real User
The product has improved our organization's functions. I'd like to see the next release of VINYL have more user interface solutions to it.

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features of the solution is how rapid we can implement it, going from a design to an operational concept in a very short period of time."
  • "I'd like to see the next release of VINYL have more user interface solutions to it, so that it could be a more user-friendly product on the front end for the customers that are utilizing the tool. We didn't have a solution to help automate all of our reporting in the past which identified the need to make sure that we could tap into our data sources and automate all of our reporting, which is exactly why we needed the tool."

What is our primary use case?

We use VINYL as a solution to eliminating management reports that are paper-based. We've automated all of those paper reports to be electronic web-based and on mobile applications.

How has it helped my organization?

The product has improved our organization's function through all of our management reports that we do monthly are now online, on mobile applications, and ready to be reviewed by executives weeks before they previously would have been available.

The solutions helped us identify where we have bad data within our organization and bringing that to the forefront so we can fix the root cause of issues that are happening. We use the solution to develop progressive apps as we are consistently iterating on what's already been developed and adding new capabilities and functionality to the apps that we're having developed.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of the solution is how rapid we can implement it, going from a design to an operational concept in a very short period of time.

What needs improvement?

We've been relying on Zudy from a consultant basis to do all of our development, and it's been fairly positive. I'd like to see the next release of VINYL have more user interface solutions to it, so that it could be a more user-friendly product on the front end for the customers that are utilizing the tool. We didn't have a solution to help automate all of our reporting in the past which identified the need to make sure that we could tap into our data sources and automate all of our reporting, which is exactly why we needed the tool.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The Zudy VINYL platform is consistent. We haven't had any issues with it going out of service or functionality where it should have been available and it hasn't been. It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think that there are concerns with the scalability of the VINYL platform, in making sure that it is secure and being able to be utilized for long periods of time without consistent maintenance.

How are customer service and technical support?

Zudy's technical support has been spot on. Every time we've needed them, they've been able to deliver what we're looking for.

What other advice do I have?

If I were to give advice to somebody researching a solution such as VINYL, I would tell them to make sure that they understand all of the ins and outs, especially on the front end in what the user sees to make sure that VINYL has the capabilities they're looking for from a front end and customer facing perspective. To ensure that it has visuals, its ease of use, its ability to click through and be mobile at the same time as web-based. 

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Zudy VINYL about a seven. I'm not too familiar with it yet to give it a more solid rating. 

We're able to develop things quickly, but at the same time there's been a lot of issues across multiple pages where it should have been fixed once, and it's fixed on certain pages, but not all as we're going through the development process.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Zudy VINYL. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
David Hendrickson
Senior Director of IT at NXC Imaging
Video Review
Real User
Rapid Application Development without having to worry about a per-user licencing fee

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

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?

Eleven months

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.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I 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.
Edwin Patterson
Director, Technology Management at PGT Trucking
Video Review
Real User
Speedy app development, outstanding business logic and data access layers

Pros and Cons

  • "There are two most valuable features: one is the ability to pull data from a bunch of different places and put them together. And the second is the speed at which you can get a new app developed. So instead of waiting months for this new app to come out, if you have an internal team putting it together, you can roll it out in weeks. I've even seen days. It's incredible how fast you can make changes."
  • "Some new features I think I'd like to see is visibility into running jobs so that we can see what the status is, or it's not stuck in its process and doing its thing, or how much longer it's going to take. I'd also like to see a native calendaring function so we can put calendars into our apps with maybe even recurring tasks or appointments and that sort of thing. We'd also like to see multi-select lists. The users being able to pick multiple things to filter on and get a list and be able to export that list."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case involves transitioning work that has traditionally been done on spreadsheets. We've used VINYL to connect different systems — especially pulling data from multiple places. Our primary system, as well as just some worksheets that are out there, we were able to pull that all in and view statistics about different things from different places all in one nice view.

How has it helped my organization?

An excellent example of the way Zudy VINYL has improved our business is that we can now report on the actual cost of moving a load. We didn't have all that data because it was in too many different places so that we couldn't do a good report without a lot of manual effort. Now it's straightforward. We get a simple report, and this is how much it costs to move this load. And then from that, we can determine profitability. We can now report quickly on the cost of loads. Pulling in costs, for example, such as doing the cost to get a permit if it's an oversized load. We now can roll that in with the rest of the cost of paying the driver and the fuel and whatnot.  

VINYL has improved our ability to deploy apps quickly. If you're talking about some of the things that used to take weeks to accomplish, we can now do them in days. The projects that would take months, now we're looking at weeks.

VINYL has spawned a whole new section of our IT business. It hasn't really focused it, but it's created new ones. Whereas we wouldn't have been attacking these problems before, we now are because we now have a tool we can use to fix things.

What is most valuable?

There are two most valuable features: one is the ability to pull data from a bunch of different places and put them together. The second is the speed at which you can get a new app developed. Instead of waiting months for this new app to come out, if you have an internal team putting it together, you can roll it out in weeks. I've even seen days. It's incredible how fast you can make changes.

What needs improvement?

Some new features I'd like to see is visibility into running jobs so that we can see what the status is, or that it's not stuck in its process and doing its thing, or how much longer it's going to take. I'd also like to see a native calendar function so we can put calendars into our apps with maybe even recurring tasks or appointments and that sort of thing. We'd also like to see multi-select lists. The users being able to pick multiple things to filter on and get a list and be able to export that list.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution's very stable. We haven't had any major hiccups, downtime or outages with it. We've thrown some things at it. If you get a circular job that's kind of stuck in itself you might have a problem, but that's more the fault of the developer as opposed to the platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're about a year into using the solution. The scalability isn't something we've pushed. We're tipping our toe in the water right now but it's meeting our needs for sure. As much as we've needed to, it's scaled up to it. We can make the solution as big as we want to make it. We're not constrained by a per-user licensing cost or any of those other restrictions as I mentioned.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support has been great for this company. Any problems we've had, we've gotten prompt responses. Tech support for it is top notch. We got some help from Zudy regarding building our first app. They mostly built the first app, and it was rock solid. I guess that's the way they like to do it so we learned some things.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before VINYL, we didn't have a solution to do these kinds of things, so we were just doing everything manually on paper and Excel.

The primary symptom that made us realize we needed something was that a lot of folks were doing their work in Excel, and we had data in all different places. One person had a spreadsheet here; another person was using a Google Doc. It was just all over the place. When the data's there, you can't get to it, and you can't report on it. It was pretty evident to us that we needed to do something and let's bring this data into one central place.

We chose VINYL because of the subscription model. It was easier to get into as opposed to a big purchase. The competing products didn't have as many features. They offered a complete software package that was already configured, and then you would customize it. Whereas with VINYL, you can take baby steps to get to where you want to go. Do a little piece at a time. Take one issue, take one problem, fix that, and then as it gradually grows into a full solution, rather than trying to fit this huge solution in all at once.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not that complicated. It was basically no more complicated than setting up any web app would be. I wouldn't say it was any more or less than what you would expect.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing costs we pay are, around $5,000 a month. That's every quarter. We've been doing it for about a year now, and the prices have remained steady. We feel it's a reasonable cost for what we're getting because it's unlimited users. It's as big as you want to make it, you're not constrained by a per-user licensing cost or any of those other restrictions, so that's going to stifle your development.

What other advice do I have?

VINYL has increased user satisfaction. We're bringing the users and getting them involved in the development process. We're making fewer mistakes in the process, and we're also getting them excited about it because they can see what's happening and they have their input. It's the features they want, not what IT thinks they want. They get more excited about it.

Our iterations are faster. With VINYL you're talking days or weeks potentially.

Another piece of advice I would give to a colleague researching for a software solution is, if you're looking for something that doesn't require a specialized programming language and you want something that you can develop quickly in, and you want something that's going to pull data from a bunch of different places, I think VINYL's a good option.

I would rate VINYL a nine. Not a 10, because nobody's perfect, but it's going to be huge for us.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Scott Grabowski
Manager of Retail Technology at Brooks Brothers
Video Review
Real User
Gives us the flexibility we need while standardizing and streamlining our processes

Pros and Cons

  • "VINYL has really helped us speed up application development at a reasonable cost."

    What is our primary use case?

    We actually have several significant use cases for VINYL. We replaced a few Legacy systems with Zudy and their platform, VINYL, and built from scratch a made to measure system for custom made garments designed in our stores and manufactured by our facilities.

    We built an alteration platform that allows us to have customers purchase garments off the rack and then record all of the alterations needed to get the perfect fit, and again, perform those duties elsewhere.

    Finally, we use VINYL to develop progressive apps by introducing new functions for our stores and giving them things that they didn't realize they needed. This really saves time and effort on their side so they can focus on what they really should be doing.

    How has it helped my organization?

    VINYL has improved the way our company does business by streamlining and standardizing the processes that are critical for producing garments and altering them, getting all of our stores on the same page with the right processes and the right options that are available to really perform for the customer. 

    With the solution improving our satisfaction and adoption of associates in our stores, they have then been able to focus on the customer more, and in turn, improve and increase customer satisfaction and focus on that customer in the store.

    VINYL has really helped us speed up application development at a reasonable cost. Previously and with a lot of traditional models, you're talking twelve, sixteen months before you really see the results of all the work that goes in beforehand. With VINYL and working with Zudy, we're able to really go to market with a viable product in a matter of a few months.

    Iteratively from there, it's weeks to months before we have new versions instead of another six months or another twelve months for another version. So, it has absolutely sped up things by multiple factors there.

    VINYL has benefited our business in a big way and we are very capable of focusing on the customer's needs when using it. One of the benefits for the store associates themselves and working with made to measure was allowing them to have multiple pathways to enter an order for a customer.

    Some associates might perform their duty with a customer in one method, but something we recently implemented was more of a customer wishlist function. Whatever fabrics they're interested in, we can set those aside for them in the system. Whether they want to develop a shirt or a suit or a sport coat now, or come back in six months, those are still on their wish list along with the products that they might have selected for that fabric.

    Previously you had to start from front to back every step of the way without much flexibility until we said, "we need a more flexible way". Now they have multiple pathways to enter an order, which gives them the strength or the flexibility they need to not have the customer waiting around while they're clicking in a system.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the most valuable features of VINYL is its flexibility. We've been able to change direction if needed, once we've learned lessons when we finally started using parts of the product. That flexibility and speed to get to market is really a strength, combined with its ability to connect to other data sources.

    It doesn't need to house much data. It's really, really strong in connecting to your other systems or third parties that you might subscribe to and pull it all into one place where you can use it.

    What needs improvement?

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The VINYL platform is very stable. We've had minimal issues, and whenever we do, we're able to fix them relatively easily.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    VINYL is very scalable, as well. We've started off using VINYL in pilot stores in the Northeast of the United States and expanded to the full U.S. and Canada. Since then, we've actually incorporated users in the Asia/Pacific market, Europe, and we're going to be expanding to China and India as well.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    VINYL's tech support and Zudy's tech support is top notch. Whenever we've had any of the issues that I mentioned before, they react quickly and completely to find a solution and work with you to get it done. They understand the urgency. If something isn't the way it should be, getting it solved is their top priority.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We knew that we needed to invest in a different solution that was more flexible and scalable. We've used VINYL to replace several Legacy systems. Previously we had individual Legacy systems for Made To Measure, which was homegrown, and not flexible.

    We had a different company we worked with for an implementation of an alteration system, which again, was not scalable, and did not grow with us as a company. It's those reasons that really helped point us in a direction to think longer term, and have a flexible solution that will grow with us as our business grows.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was relatively straightforward and Zudy helped us scale how large of a system we should have, what type of license would be appropriate, and really ensure that it would grow with us without having to completely re-engineer our setup.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Our licensing costs are approximately 100K annually, and from my perspective, that really is quite the value with the flexibility and what we're getting from the product.

    What other advice do I have?

    From my perspective at Brooks Brothers, VINYL has had pretty much every function or feature that we've needed. I'm interested to see what they do manage to incorporate on top of that because I'm sure we'll find a use for it.

    The VINYL Solution has helped increase productivity at Brooks Brothers. We've been able to standardize our processes in the stores and in our factories with a made to measure solution and alterations. In doing so, we've allowed the business to not worry about those and to focus on growing sales.

    This solution has increased our rate of iterations for deploying new releases from six months or twelve months down to two months or six weeks. So, quite the increase of frequency where we're able to deliver new features to the stores.

    If researching VINYL versus other similar solutions, I would try to keep in mind really what their strengths are and compare them to each other. From my perspective, the strength of VINYL is clear with its flexibility and its ease of use, ease of development, and that's not to be understated. You can really deliver powerful apps in way less time than other solutions I've seen.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would rate VINYL probably an eight or a nine, simply because of the flexibility and the power that it has in bringing data to one source, and then reacting to it and building an app you need with those data points.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JR
    Associate Director, Commercial Systems at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    From a front-end perspective, the apps which we have built are intuitive to use

    Pros and Cons

    • "We have been able to leverage the platform to rapidly build custom solutions, and tailor-make them to our needs."
    • "The ease of use for individuals to self-serve could be improved. The solution is no-code, but there is still a decent learning curve associated with the product and some app design principles necessary before people can self-serve."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use VINYL for more purposes than I can count. If I were to distill it down to our guiding principles, Vinyl is utilized to fill in our gaps, whether it be from processes, systems, integration, or governance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has allowed us to implement processes and governance where we previously had none. It also has allowed us to peel away from large, enterprise products that dictate specific ways of doing things; ways that might not match the business need/process in place.

    What is most valuable?

    VINYL's flexibility: We have been able to leverage the platform to rapidly build custom solutions, and tailor-make them to our needs. To date, the speed of app creation and extensibility of the product have allowed us to solve critical business problems in a timely manner.

    From a front-end perspective, the apps which we have built are intuitive to use.

    What needs improvement?

    The ease of use for individuals to self-serve could be improved. The solution is no-code, but there is still a decent learning curve associated with the product and some app design principles necessary before people can self-serve.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The cloud nature of the application and the licensing model have allowed us to role out new apps to an increasing number of users without any issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The support is quite good through the professional services.

    How was the initial setup?

    While this tool was in-house before I started, but a typical application build takes a matter of weeks. 

    Our company uses agile methodologies to quickly prototype, build, test, and deploy our solutions.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have been leveraging Zudy Professional Services, which consistently delivers above expectations.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I was not involved in the pricing and licensing.

    What other advice do I have?

    We use it quite extensively within the teams that I support. There are already initiatives underway to expand to additional business units/domains.

    The product can do almost whatever you need it to do. However, the "how" to do this can be challenging. Leveraging Zudy Professional Services has allowed us to get more bang for our buck using this product.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    SS
    General IT Clerk with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Cross-platform integration helps us access the data we need; we can aggregate data faster and more easily

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's extremely easy to use in getting into the IDE and then back down to your applications, and getting from your applications to your pages, and navigating through all your tables. That's very simple and pretty intuitive."
    • "It allows us higher visibility into our data, which allows us to data-check faster, and validate data that we had not been able to validate, prior."
    • "When you are trying to delete certain columns or delete or drop tables, it will throw an error and it will force you to hunt down every location where those things are being referenced. You have to delete them from the very end and work your way backward... It would be easier, when you're deleting that table, if it would concatenate all the way down."
    • "There are a lot of almost "hidden" features captured in these Edge Case settings... If you want a scroll bar at the bottom, instead of having it select rows to show, you have to select Disable Panel Location Service, which doesn't sound at all like what it's supposed to do. Naming conventions could be changed a little bit."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for accessing data from a database.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It makes things more modular. We're able to get information from our data that we were not able to before. We can get the data faster and aggregate more easily ways and in more visible ways.

    What is most valuable?

    All the features are pretty valuable. One that stands out is the cross-platform integration, which helps us access the data we need to see.

    It's pretty easy to learn. Sometimes the terminology can be a little tricky to get around, but it's just queries with no code so once you get the hang of it, it's pretty simple. It's extremely easy to use in getting into the IDE and then back down to your applications, and getting from your applications to your pages, and navigating through all your tables. That's very simple and pretty intuitive.

    What needs improvement?

    They have business objects which are essentially queries or tables. To learn the structure of their software is a little tricky at first. You have tables and sitting on top of them you have data objects which are required in order to use your application which sits on top of them. To understand how those flow between each other, and the terminology that's used between them, can be difficult.

    It took about a month to get everything straight in my head. You could probably do it faster. What took so long was having not having an application to develop. If you don't have an application to develop and play with, you don't really know what you're playing with. If you had an app to make, that time could be cut to three weeks.

    Also, when you are trying to delete certain columns or delete or drop tables, sometimes it will throw an error and it will force you to hunt down every location where those things are being referenced. You have to delete them from the very end and work your way backward. That can get frustrating. It would be easier, when you're deleting that table, if it would concatenate all the way down. I know that's almost an industry standard when you're dealing with tables, but it could be better.

    At times, when you're in an application, and you use a "back" arrow, it's limited in what it can do. I know you can have certain pages sent back to other pages, but sometimes to set all that up is a little annoying. I'm not exactly sure how I would improve that, but you can get lost once you start clicking through tabs. You end up backing up through the same pages, back and forth, and it can be frustrating.

    There are a lot of almost "hidden" features captured in these Edge Case settings. That's an example of the terminology being a little bit tricky. In those settings might be exactly what you need, but the terminology that they use is not very clear. If you want a scroll bar at the bottom, instead of having it select rows to show, you have to select Disable Panel Location Service, which doesn't sound at all like what it's supposed to do. It's little things like that. Naming conventions could be changed a little bit.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's pretty stable. It just sits on top of your stuff and it does a good job of maintaining the connection between the two. I've never had an issue where it breaks or the connection is lost for some reason. When you're working between two different systems it's tricky but that's not really a VINYL issue, it's just hard to get two machines to talk to each other sometimes.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's pretty scalable. We're using it across a lot of different departments and it's pretty easy to throw up a new app and start working. When we add data in it very easily handles that, and we have some very large tables. It does a good job of getting information from those tables and using the information. There have been a couple of times when it timed-out but that has mostly been due to the fact that there is so much data in there. I wouldn't expect any query to be able to handle it very quickly.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Zudy's technical support staff are great. I ask them questions all the time and they are very responsive and thorough. In most cases, they get back to us in a couple of hours, if that. It depends on how busy they are and on the question. Sometimes there are questions that require more research or maybe a phone call, rather than email. Those take longer to hash out, but they're very responsive.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn't involved in the initial setup but to my understanding, it took a little bit to get started. Once they got the ball rolling, it was pretty quick. It was just a matter of trying to connect to our many databases and get them set up in a way that's usable, because there are a lot of edge cases on our end. But once you developed those it was super-easy to do the rest from there.

    I haven't gone, but I know that Zudy offers free training in Boston for this solution, which I think is excellent. Maybe that's just part of their way of getting their name out there. I am planning to go in the future. I imagine it's a great resource as well, on top of the manuals or the tech support or the "how to's" that they provide.

    What about the implementation team?

    There wasn't a third-party consultant involved. Someone from Zudy was directly involved in helping us set up.

    What was our ROI?

    There is definitely ROI. It allows us higher visibility into our data, which allows us to data-check faster, and validate data that we had not been able to validate, prior. It has definitely saved us money. On a day-to-day level, people are able to do their work more efficiently and that's going to save them time, which is going to save money.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate other options for the purposes we intend to use VINYL for. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Initially, make sure you have a good structure for your database. It's not necessary, but it makes the integration a little easier. Once you have that, the best way to learn is just to play with it. Build a simple app. Work on building your tables. It's good to have a goal in mind. You focus on making that app, a very simple one, but one that is also working well. Once you get that working, within a couple of weeks you'll be a pro and you can be running through apps and developing on some level.

    Beyond that, it's just fine-tuning those skills and learning what other features VINYL offers.

    We have five people using it. Only I am really developing on it. Perhaps there's one other person developing on it. The goal is to have the majority of people using it in some capacity to replace all of their miscellaneous spreadsheets and to replace a lot of the interfaces that they're using. We want to make everything more consistent and centralized around one application that everyone can use.

    In terms of maintenance, it takes two or three people: one on their end to make sure they're okay if something happens; one on our end to make sure our systems are okay, and one person to develop. There isn't much day-to-day maintenance.

    I don't really have much to compare it to. This is the first time I've used a no-code solution like this. But in my experience, I'd say it's a nine out of ten. It doesn't get a ten because there are some features that seem to be "hidden" behind the terminology. The more you play with it you learn it but sometimes those features are not very up-front. It's not until you dig through the user manual that you get to understand what those features are about.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    Robbie Woodsum
    Business Systems Analyst with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Very flexible, easy, and fast, but it has trouble handling large data sets

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's like breaking apart coding and development into an ultra-configuration tool... It really is flexible."
    • "Maintenance is very minimal. With our live production applications, they just don't break, which is great. We love that. There's zero-to-little maintenance required."
    • "One of the troubles we have sometimes is the amount of data we're processing within the applications. That can really add a lot of "laggy-ness." That's an ongoing struggle we're going to have while we use it. It doesn't happen for all our applications, only some of them that are heavy on the reporting."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use VINYL when none of our other systems solves the business need that's being asked for. We've used it for a lot of different things. We've got an event management application, we have a compliance tracker, previously we used it for a work-request application. We use it for custom-reporting, and we've also been using it as a way to bring together a couple different systems which we call our "Customer 360," where we can go and get an idea of a customer and all their related entities.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Since we're still primarily on an AS/400-based system, any client-facing output has some limitations using output from that system. What has been a great process-improvement and improvement in business communications - giving us really good client-facing communication - is having our Zudy applications take information from our AS/400, consume that information, and make it look nice. It turns it into something that we're happy to send out to our customers, something that's a lot more contemporary. It enables us to use a little bit more graphic design and it looks new and fresh.

    What needs improvement?

    One of the troubles we have sometimes is the amount of data we're processing within the applications. That can really add a lot of "laggy-ness." That's an ongoing struggle we're going to have while we use it. It doesn't happen for all our applications, only some of them that are heavy on the reporting. 

    And where we can get a more contemporary client-facing output and PDF version, it's still somewhat limited as to what we can do with those templates.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We don't really have any crashes, so that's always good. You can get an error if you're trying to do too much at once, before the system can catch up. That's understandable. 

    If we do find anything that turns out to be a real error, it's super-quick to go in and figure out what the error is. You make a pretty simple change to correct it. The different layers within the platform for each application are pretty linear. You've got the same three layers: the cosmetic layer, the business-rules, and your data layer. It's always going to be somewhere in one of those layers that you find the issue or figure out where you need to make a change. You're not having to really go anywhere else to do that. It's pretty centralized.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The greater the amount of data we're trying to use, the more bogged down the applications will get. It does reach a point where it's very noticeable how slow the application is moving because of the amount of data it's trying to use.

    For example, sometimes it can be five minutes to refresh an application that's only producing some 75 PDFs. That seems a little slow. We've got another application that's producing about 230 reports - they're all pretty similar - and that can take upwards of ten to 15 minutes to process. One of the reports we have to access, it's our own fault that it takes so long to process because we've got so many data fields that we're aggregating together. But in general, the more data you're working with the slower it goes.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We haven't really needed tech support. Because the maintenance is so small, when something goes wrong we've got our contracted developers who usually jump on it right away. They can find and fix the problem that same day.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn't part of the initial setup so I'm not sure what steps it took to get there but I think the complexity of the setup depends on what you're using it for. We've got a lot of different data sources coming together from a lot of places, so I imagine that getting that all together was a notable effort. We definitely had to work through permissions, allowing access on our server, allowing access on their server. There is a good amount of setup. I don't know how long it took.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was us with Zudy handling implementation of the platform.

    What other advice do I have?

    Definitely make sure that internal staff learn how applications are built. Zudy does provide free training and I highly recommend it so that you can bring all development back in-house, be a little bit more self-sufficient with it and not reliant on Zudy. From the very beginning, learn the platform as much as possible and learn from Zudy developers that you work with.

    The entire time we've had VINYL, we've had Zudy developers contracted to our company, so it's actually Zudy employees who have been doing the development. I've never actually built one of our own solutions but I did attend a Zudy training session to learn how to build solutions. Our applications are so much more advanced than what we covered in the training but I can see how it all fits together. It's like breaking apart coding and development into an ultra-configuration tool.

    I wouldn't say that it's relatively simple. You do have to have a developer mindset about bringing all the pieces together. I wouldn't say someone brand new could be given this tool and build an application. You do have to have some understanding of how the different layers in the VINYL platform work together. And even then, there are just so many more advanced features that you can use that really get into how we're using it. As far as anything really basic goes, even then you would need some level of training to be able to use the tool.

    In terms of how many users are currently using VINYL in our organization, most of our applications have been targeted to very niche users. Originally, it probably wasn't more than 50 or so, but we've been working on soft-releases and rollout of one of our other applications for that "Customer 360" view and, eventually, the entire company will have access to that. We have close to 400 employees.

    We're an insurance company so the roles of the VINYL users are anything and everything. For our event management, there's an underwriting tool and that's used in agency relations. We've got another tool used by underwriting. That department has been the primary user. We've got an application that simplifies calculations of insurance premiums for very very specific policy types. Our underwriting compliance team use it to track their filings. We have a deductible-billing application, which is one of the ones that is consuming information and putting it into a new, modern output. That's used by our finance department. There's another agency relations application we use that tracks progress of our top agents and it tracks extra commission that we can provide to those agents. And the "Customer 360" can be used by any department, mainly our underwriting and claims departments. It really is flexible.

    Maintenance is very minimal. With our live production applications, they just don't break, which is great. We love that. There's zero-to-little maintenance required.

    We've got quite a few applications in production now and we've got more in development. There are a few more on the list to go into development. We've still got a sizable backlog to work through.

    Overall I would rate it a seven out of ten. I love how customizable it is, how easy it is, how fast it can be. The downside is that scalability and the troubles dealing with large data sets.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    NS
    Senior Consultant at a retailer with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    Enables us to map data across different environments but the UI needs work

    Pros and Cons

    • "VINYL works across different data sources. It is very useful to be able to map the data across different data sources and different environments. It is also very easy to develop small applications within a short span of time."
    • "Version 2.3 has a good UI but we want a more customizable UI."

    What is our primary use case?

    I'm a back-end database developer. Our primary work is data migration. We're running between ten and 15 applications through VINYL.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Up until now we have had only certain functions supported across different databases, some 50 to 60 functions. We needed an option to create new functions. VINYL is helping us to add additional logic. It's making our work simpler at times.

    What is most valuable?

    VINYL works across different data sources. It is very useful to be able to map the data across different data sources and different environments. It is also very easy to develop small applications within a short span of time.

    In addition, it is easy to use. It took about a week for me to analyze how VINYL performs on different applications, how the logic is written inside. Its backend is .NET.

    What needs improvement?

    Version 2.3 has a good UI but we want a more customizable UI. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has given us good performance handling APIs, handling different data sources, handling different file structures, and handling email servers. The performance depends on our servers but it's quite good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is on the database side, so it's not a problem.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Tech support comes back to us with good ideas. Their suggestions, at times, are very helpful for us in making decisions because they have been working at Zudy for a long time. Sometimes their views are different and that is very helpful. They communicate very well with us and that is keeping us on track regarding the timeline in which we want to achieve things. We're getting good initiative from them also.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not have a previous solution. We were in need of a good rapid application development software which could easily be handled by two or three people in terms of maintenance. We wanted something that is easy to understand. And we also went with VINYL because it is really user-friendly.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is okay. But we needed Zudy staff to guide us on the first setup we did. We communicate with them to help stand up servers on our side, new servers like sandboxes and the like. In such cases, we will generally get help from the Zudy team. 

    Overall, the setup is 50-50, complex and straightforward. The deployment took about four hours. Implementation of VINYL depends on domain. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing is moderate. It's okay.

    What other advice do I have?

    A full-stack developer can easily understand VINYL because it covers almost all areas of development. We can develop our own code and push it inside VINYL. If a database developer goes into VINYL, he's used to a different set of rules, a different set of charts, etc. So that is different. This tool is particularly suited for a full-stack developer.

    We have some 1,000 users of VINYL. The deployment took just one person within our company. Two people are enough for maintenance of the solution. For us, it is maintained by our solution architect and senior solution architect.

    Our future plan is to enhance more applications inside VINYL. The current applications that we are taking care of have some bugs that we're looking into, to make sure everything looks good. VINYL is helping to implement the process quickly.

    I would rate VINYL at seven out of ten. We still need some more improvements inside, as I mentioned, such as the UI. In coming versions, I'm sure this product will rock. It's continuing to develop and mature.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PC
    VP of IT at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    We find it is easy to learn and use, and the user interface is easy to pick up.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We find it is easy to learn and use, and the user interface is easy to pick up. We have trained some of our own people to be able to do apps with VINYL. Therefore, we can turn things around quickly."
    • "Once or twice, when a new version of VINYL comes out, it has had a negative impact on a feature. However, we do everything in a test environment. Unless we miss something in test, we don't go live with it if it isn't perfect. Zudy hasn't had too many stumbles along the way, but there have been a couple times, and it's been minor."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for headcount, some dashboarding, and centralized reporting for various departments.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In one group, we created an application which helps provide insight into profitability per salesperson. For each of their orders/customers, where is the best profitability? Where are the low margins? This has been transformative.

    What is most valuable?

    It is flexible and versatile. You can connect to multiple data sources or databases concurrently, which is very useful. You don't have to extract and load or build a data warehouse, if you don't want to. You can attach to databases live and pull data live wherever it is. It can be in the cloud, on-premise, or on a subsidiary's premise. You can get at them all. You're not just stuck with doing redundant copies of data.

    We find it is easy to learn and use, and the user interface is easy to pick up. We have trained some of our own people to be able to do apps with VINYL. Therefore, we can turn things around quickly.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Once or twice, when a new version of VINYL comes out, it has had a negative impact on a feature. However, we do everything in a test environment. Unless we miss something in test, we don't go live with it if it isn't perfect. Zudy hasn't had too many stumbles along the way, but there have been a couple times, and it's been minor.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I haven't seen any limitations to the scalability, and we have demanded a lot.

    Everyone at my current location has access to the product via the Intranet, about a few hundred people.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We find the team members who work with us from Zudy catch on to business issues and processes quickly. They make good suggestions and are excellent listeners, which distinguishes them from more than 90 percent of the rest of the consultants and service providers out there. These people listen and do what you ask them to do. It's truly a distinguishing characteristic.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I was looking for a tool with which I could easy build dashboards from multiple sources which didn't necessarily go together. It didn't make sense to build a single data warehouse out of information which was quite disparate. So, I found a viable solution in VINYL.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    The implementation team was a combination of Zudy's and our technical teams.

    I have two Zudy staff full-time onsite for deployment and maintenance, plus my own team.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Pricing and licensing are expensive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did evaluate other competitors.

    What other advice do I have?

    Consider Zudy, at least when you are getting started, because their people listen and deliver what you ask them to do.

    We love the tool. I like it enough to introduce it to another division of the company. 

    They have added some security features at our specific request. We are told that other customers are very receptive to those security features.

    We have had minimal problems with the product and a high degree of success with their consultants, service providers, and technical support people. In addition, the success that we have experienced with recommendations that we've suggested to improve the product. They are easy and fantastic to do business with. They don't have to be micromanaged.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    NP
    Logistics Director of Planning and Projects at FreshDirect
    Real User
    It is very scalable from its licensing to design

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is very scalable from its licensing to design. We have not had any performance issues when scaling."
    • "I would like them to build out more tools for communication, particularly the ability to do a multinode panel via email."
    • "The interface has had a lot of changes to it. It is better than it was before. However, with the subqueries in particular, this has been the most difficult part of the interface."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for workflow management and transportation.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are its flexibility and rapid development. We need to be able to find stuff quickly and produce solutions to our users. We are a quickly changing, rapidly integrating company. Therefore, this solution allows us to keep pushing forward and ensures our continuous improvement.

    What needs improvement?

    On the development side, we would like to see continued improvement on the visibility of the subqueries, as we are building applications. E.g., I would like to have more visualization in the back-end of the data objects and how they are interrelated.

    The interface has had a lot of changes to it. It is better than it was before. However, with the subqueries in particular, this has been the most difficult part of the interface.

    I would like them to build out more tools for communication, particularly the ability to do a multinode panel via email.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have had no performance issues with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable from its licensing to design. We have not had any performance issues when scaling.

    I do think we may need to consider using a different server, but I don't think that is anything against Zudy.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have not had to use their technical support. 

    We have spoken with their consultants and developers though, who have been responsive and know what they are doing. Early on, we requested things to be added to the firmware, and it was added in a week or two.

    They have some online training material. They have courses that they do in person. They also make stuff available online. I have had some white papers provided to me by the consultants, which were understandable and clear.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    It mostly replaced Excel, Access, and emails. Access 365 was not doing as much as it had in previous versions.

    Our CEO had a relationship with someone at Zudy, so we tested the product and saw it as an early opportunity. It fit with our requirements and we were trying to move on from Microsoft Access.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. The data connections simply pull in data, and it took five minutes to start building an app.

    It's easy to understand the basics and learn from other examples. However, it takes a bit of experience to know everything that it's capable of doing.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was a slow roll out. VINYL was the cause of it.

    We have probably been using it in production for a year, but have had no issues in product. 

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen a 30 percent decrease in time for some of our workflows.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    As far as connectivity and ease of use, nobody else was doing anything better.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    SR
    Sr. Team Manager - Tour Manager Department at a leisure / travel company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Provides us a platform that will make us much more efficient, with everything in one place

    Pros and Cons

    • "The way that they've done some of the reports, they've created really great data dumps. If I want to see a snapshot of something in time, for a given timeframe, I can download it. From that download, I can create further analysis or do my own thing with it, which is really helpful. I'm even able to go back several years and get data."

      What is our primary use case?

      We're a tour company and we have a schedule of several hundred tour managers who are managing all the tours that we operate. All of their schedules for the year are put in here. We also manage all of their quality surveys. We ask for quality surveys and we get those back. They're not stored here, but they're reported out here. We also manage any guest comments in here. And the big one is reconciling all the tour funds. That's not active yet, but it's being tested right now, and that will go active and live in November. So, there's a lot that's happening with this.

      How has it helped my organization?

      To me, the most important piece is going to be the funding, the reconciliation, because right now it's a very manual process, and this will automate it. It's going to make it a lot more streamlined. It's going to be a lot quicker for people to process it and, therefore, get money back. It's efficient and I like that. They'll be able to just take a snapshot of the receipt and upload it into the system, and then it just all gets submitted. It's cleaner and it will be a lot smoother process.

      Zudy has created a platform that will make us much more efficient, with everything in one place. It's a much better way of reporting out. It leaves less room for any human error. I think it will be great. The piece that I'm talking about, specifically, is the funding reconciliation, but in general, all of the other things that they've done so far have been super helpful.

      What is most valuable?

      The way that they've done some of the reports, they've created really great data dumps. If I want to see a snapshot of something for a given timeframe, I can download it. From that download, I can create further analysis or do my own thing with it, which is really helpful. I'm even able to go back several years and get data. So when I'm doing a comparison of year over year, I am able to do it just from what they have done, what they have created for us.

      In terms of it being easy to learn, it's logical so it makes sense of things. The steps are pretty logical and the display is very user-friendly. A "pencil" means "write," i.e. that you are able to write. So it's clear. It's not ambiguous, what you can and what you can't do on it. 

      What needs improvement?

      In the beginning, we were working with it while it was still being tweaked. So sometimes things weren't working 100 percent, or they were working but, because they were being tested behind the scenes, some things were kind of funky. But, just a quick email to them saying, "Is this correct?" would usually have a really logical answer, and then it would be fixed.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's pretty much a stable product. I haven't seen many issues with it. I do know that there have been some smaller issues with some new people that are also starting to work on it, and their name being in the system, but I haven't been involved in that part of it.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      So far, so good. I haven't seen anything that it hasn't been able to handle, but the real test will happen in November when we have several hundred people on it, adding their funds and trying to process or submit their funds.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I can tell you that I really appreciate Martin and Grant, the two guys who have been helping us in developing this. They have been really outstanding. You ask for something, you ask for a specific design, that you want to see something, and they get it. They just give you what you need. It's been really great. It's been a great pleasure working with them.

      Whenever I have a request such as, "It would be great to have this," I've been able to send an email to Martin. He has come back and said, "Yeah, we could do that." And, he just does it. There's really not much room for improvement for me, because I feel that is great: To be able to ask for something, and then he immediately just gets it to us. That's been quite helpful.

      Their overall support is a ten out of ten. They have been very supportive. If you ask them for something, and they're able to deliver, they do. And if they can't deliver, they just are straightforward and tell you that they can't do that.

      How was the initial setup?

      I came into the project after it had already started, so I only got, if not end result, the "first draft." It was pretty clear. There were some things that we suggested be changed and they were super helpful about that.

      What other advice do I have?

      Have meetings with the developers, and make sure that you're clear on exactly what you need before you start to have them develop it. Be really clear.

      I would give VINYL an eight out of ten, and I would say that it's great. The eight is because it's pretty user-friendly, it's clean, and it's reliable. I don't know if there are other things out there that are better than this, but for what we have needed so far, based on what I've seen so far, this is pretty helpful.

      Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
      Jaquelyn Freeman
      Finance Manager at a import and exporter with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      Gives us "numbers on demand" from multiple sources containing large amounts of data

      Pros and Cons

      • "It's customizable to whatever you see might use it for... It's very user-friendly, and the front-end is exactly what we need to see, very simple. It can get more complicated too, if those are the needs."
      • "I would love to have the home screen a little more customizable because, as we're building more and more reports, it would be nice to have more options in how they're organized on the screen."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it mainly for financial reporting. It helps us see our net margins in detail, net margin by customer, by category. It allows us to see our sales in more detail, and same-day versus a couple weeks after month-end closes, for example. But we mainly use it for financial purposes.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has been very beneficial. We have quite a few people using it who would always rely on the finance team to merge Excel spreadsheets, merge data from multiple sources, and then provide a final report to them for whatever turnaround period was required. But now they're able to just go to the website and see what they need right away. If it's data they want to download instead of just seeing it in a final report, they can do that.

      Overall, "numbers on demand" has been a really big change for us. VINYL has been able to pull information from a couple of sources, and stuff that would end up just being in giant Excel spreadsheets otherwise, we're able to have it available immediately.

      It's also helped the accounting department, specifically, for our month-ends. We still have to validate all our numbers manually, but we compare our numbers now to VINYL and make sure all our manual calculations are in line with VINYL. It's helped with a lot of troubleshooting.

      It has made us clean up our data too, to make sure VINYL can read it. We have to make sure we're consistent with how we input our data and categorize everything. We've been able to really expand our reporting and see net margins in so many more ways than we were able to before.

      In addition, we've been using a distributor that will send us just giant spreadsheets weekly, of all the data, of all the sales, item by item. The biggest value for us has been the ability for VINYL to do massive revenue recognition for us, every day. That's been the biggest advantage for us, being able to pull this data in every day. Previously, this was something we were only doing at the end of every month.

      What is most valuable?

      It's customizable to whatever you might use it for, so I don't know about specific features. It's specific to our needs. But I've gone in and I've learned it myself a little bit, with their help. I've gone to some of the Zudy training for VINYL.

      As far as features go, it's the ability for me to go in and see what's going on when I need to. And to be able to start to do some back-end programming of it myself. That's been nice too.

      It's very user-friendly, and the front-end is exactly what we need to see, very simple. It can get more complicated too, if those are the needs.

      What needs improvement?

      I would love to have the home screen a little more customizable because, as we're building more and more reports, it would be nice to have more options in how they're organized on the screen.

      I'm not sure if this is something they could do, but if we had it more customizable for different departments - if sales saw it one way, whereas finance had something different than sales - that would be helpful. We also have a few companies within Elite Group that are using it so more customization could be nice.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's never been down. The only time we've had issues is if we change something, and then it messes something up in the back-end. But that's always been our fault. Generally, VINYL has really helped us to find our own user errors. We've found more of our own problems than we've ever found with VINYL.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We have three years of data in there. It has handled it well. All our limitations, as far as data is concerned, have been related to the file size. We export things from VINYL into Excel and Excel has a maximum. We can't go over 500,000 lines. I don't think any of our scalability issues have stemmed from VINYL itself.

      We keep adding companies to it, and that's been no problem but we're not a huge company. We haven't had any problems with scalability. It's not a problem to add users. It's really quick. That's never caused a problem.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I deal with a lot of people at VINYL. We have our consultants, a couple guys at VINYL, and we talk once a week. If there are any issues I go directly to them. There's also a trainer I've been in contact with when it was less specific to our use of VINYL and just a general VINYL question. 

      Everyone has been extremely helpful and friendly. We've never had a problem with them fixing what needs to be fixed. They know what's priority. They know our Friday management report is the most important thing for us and, whatever we do - any changes we make to VINYL - we have to make sure the Friday management report goes out smoothly and as expected.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      Before VINYL, it was very manual for us. Zudy is the first tool where we really tried to bring together these two data sources. We went to Zudy VINYL to merge Accpac and our distributor data. It was the first tool we really found. We needed something that could be extremely customizable.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was involved in getting it to go live. We had a lot of logic to build into it, and that's when I was brought on, to find ways to work with them, to figure out how to go from what's in our system to what the actual correct numbers should be.

      It was easy to learn to use. What they present is final. You don't have that many ways to use it. It's not like a major ERP system where you have all these options, all these different menus that you can go through. What's presented on the screen is a report. For me, it's pretty intuitive if I want to change the date range, if I want to change what customer I'm looking at. I don't think anyone else has mentioned to me not finding it intuitive or finding issues with the navigation. It's a pretty straightforward tool, so I find it quite easy to work with.

      What was our ROI?

      It's valuable for all of us, in terms of our time. It has saved us time.

      What other advice do I have?

      Discuss your needs with them, make sure they understand the end goal. Then they can customize it to your needs. With us, we kept changing what we wanted, how to use it, so we had to keep going back to the drawing board. But they're extremely willing to find a way to make what you want, as long as they know what you want.

      There is some patience required in getting it set up because it's different for everyone. Everyone uses it differently, so you do have to be patient with the initial setup process. When I was brought on it was because we had to find a way to go from our system, take our numbers, and figure out what it was we wanted to see on the screen, and how we could get them from our system into VINYL. We don't really do inventory the normal way with our company, so we had to find a way to get inventory displayed through VINYL.

      Be patient and communicate, explain what your needs are, and figure out where the data come from in your system to be able to project it into VINYL. The way we use it is so heavy on finance. We need our numbers to be precise. Everything comes down to precision and numbers for us. We're able to get that and it's helped us for sure.

      I really like VINYL. I would rate it a nine out of ten. I see the advantage of it and I also see so many ways we could use it more here. I want to keep pushing for us to use it in more ways because I can see how it can be so beneficial if we start pulling in other systems.

      The fun part is, the messier it feels for us, the more excited they sound at wanting to solve the problem.

      Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
      Sahal Laher
      Head of Global Digital/Marketing Technology at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      "No-code" solution allows us to deliver value to the business very quickly

      Pros and Cons

      • "The fact that it's no-code is one of the most important features because it allows us to deliver very quickly. We can get the value to the business delivered much more quickly than with other solutions."

        What is our primary use case?

        This solution has touched many parts of the organization, everything from a dashboard for some of the store analytics, to custom applications for alterations, made-to-measure, clienteling, inventory management. It really covers the whole gamut.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It has removed many manual processes and allowed us to automate. It has reduced paper connected with things we do in our stores, such as alterations and made-to-measure customers. Not only does it help with efficiency for the employees, but it's also a better experience for the customer.

        It has really been an evolution for the organization. We didn't see it as just a project where you do the project and stop. We're always looking at how do we continuously improve parts of our processes and operations. That's really the way we continue to approach it: How can the tool keep helping us to innovate and drive new solutions in other areas?

        What is most valuable?

        The fact that it's no-code is one of the most important features because it allows us to deliver very quickly. We can get the value to the business delivered much more quickly than with other solutions.

        What needs improvement?

        This is just a pie in the sky wish list, but if they could add a machine-learning type of platform to go with it, or some artificial intelligence capabilities, so that as it’s collecting data it would also be turning some of that into insights, that would be something. That's a pretty ambitious request because I realize you will need different tools, but that would be a nice to have.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Three to five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        There have been no stability issues. It's all in the cloud. We've never had any outage. It's very stable. 

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        For us, it has scaled for over 6,000 users globally, and there have been no issues.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        The tech support is very good. We haven't had to use tech support very much, but when we do, things are resolved on the first call. That is the result you always want to have. You don't want to keep having to call over and over and deal with the same issue. We're very satisfied.

        Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

        We used to have five to seven different custom applications that we got rid of because they were becoming very difficult to support. We wanted to get rid of the multiple siloed applications because they were not meeting the business needs. We moved to get everything under one umbrella and have a single experience and user interface for the employees, and to get all of the data in one place.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup was very quick. We actually delivered our first pilot within two weeks. In that time, we had the first application use case running in a few stores.

        Regarding the setup itself, it took only a couple of hours to install it.

        It's very easy to learn the platform. We have business users who have taken on roles now where they maintain and make changes to the platform. You really don't need to be a programmer.

        What was our ROI?

        Our return on investment is orders of magnitude more than what we paid for the software. I don't know an exact number, but what I will tell you is that if you look at the cost of the platform, before we had it we would probably spend that much in just one month in inefficiencies in our processes. Being able to clean that up, if you take that over the four years we've been using it, that's a huge return. Even if you extrapolate it out on an annual basis, return on investment is more than 10x.

        I would say that we have probably easily had a return of 12 to 15 times more than what we have spent. It's a very solid ROI.

        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

        I feel the product’s pricing is a good value.

        The licensing model is very straightforward. You license the platform and you can build however many solutions you want with it. I like that model.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We looked at numerous other applications from some of the larger software providers. Because we have 6,000 users, all of the other applications and tools got very expensive from a licensing standpoint. An additional issue was that the other applications, from a data standpoint, needed to create another data store and co-locate all of the data. That was another drawback. We did do several other proofs of concept with larger players, but our needs were not going to be met by them in a cost-effective way.

        I have not seen a tool that is really on this level. There may be a lot of other tools that do parts of what this tool does, or there might be tools that do all of it, but the time to value and the time to implement is much longer, and it's a more complex implementation. To me, speed and simplicity are really the two biggest things that VINYL has in terms of a leg up on the competition.

        What other advice do I have?

        The product itself is very solid. The places where we've had issues are internal, with regards to a cultural mindset shift, because the business was not used to getting solutions this quickly. They have to think differently about how they engage with these projects. They have to move into more of an agile mindset and move away from the old waterfall mindset of saying, “Hey, if we're going to do this design for three months, build for three months, test three months, then in nine months we'll get a tool.” Instead, these are rapid sprints where, every few weeks, we're delivering new capability. That, to me, has been the biggest adjustment for us.

        The technology piece is relatively straightforward. It's really the change management and people management that you have to work on.

        Make sure your business is ready for it. People have to be willing to move quickly and change their way of thinking so that you can deliver value incrementally, as opposed to trying to boil the ocean and do everything in one go over nine to 12 months.

        We've been very happy with it. I would give it a nine out of 10. I never give anyone a 10. I think for every product there are things they can continue to build that will help the customer. I'm sure there are other things Zudy could do which would give us even more things we could do with it.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        JP
        CFO of the Markets Group at a media company with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Lite Integration enables us to easily pull data together from several systems, without coding

        Pros and Cons

        • "The Lite Integration is really the key thing. You're able to attach the Vinyl software to a variety of different systems very easily and pull data together in a way that is really difficult to do using traditional technology... Also, the fact that it's a no-code platform also makes it easier for people to understand and deal with internally, to continue to build applications and modify existing applications."
        • "With the Lite Integration, I didn't to have to disrupt my entire organization to do something. We haven't had to disrupt IT and the business organizations to keep them up and running."
        • "While some of the reporting functionality is adequate, reporting needs to continue to be worked on, given the fact that there are a lot of really good reporting tools out there."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use it to build applications that help us facilitate moving data between different systems, and also for pulling together disparate data sources into one place where so that it is easy to look at.

        How has it helped my organization?

        We have a lot of events. With our Jingle Ball events we have 12 concerts all over the country over the Christmas season. There is a lot of advertising across those and sponsorships as well. It's really complicated, operationally, to manage. It was historically managed in spreadsheets and Google Docs. We were able to move everything into a VINYL application and it's helped us understand more.

        It has helped us standardize some processes that were very haphazard. It has helped us put some more rigor and clarity around certain things that were done very manually on Excel spreadsheets regarding processes. Now we know what local markets versus national might be selling in terms of assets against the events. And it just gives us better business intelligence.

        The key thing is not that it did anything that you couldn't do another way. It was more the fact that it was very easy to get this built up and running quickly, and it's not a headache to maintain like a lot of other traditional IT platforms are.

        In some cases, it's not a question of whether VINYL does something that other software doesn't do, it's a question of how it does it and the ease with which it does. With Zudy's consultancy, we were able to go from an idea to having a proof of concept in a couple of weeks, to let everybody see what we were going to do. That would have taken a lot longer using traditional coding technology.

        What is most valuable?

        The Lite Integration is really the key thing. You're able to attach the VINYL software to a variety of different systems very easily and pull data together in a way that is really difficult to do using traditional technology. That's really the key, core functionality that really makes the software very useful.

        Also, the fact that it's a no-code platform also makes it easier for people to understand and deal with internally, to continue to build applications and modify existing applications.

        What needs improvement?

        When we started with them the platform was brand new. There were - I don't want to say deficiencies - just things they didn't have yet. We worked a lot with them on security and some other things. And they've continually updated the platform to include new features and functionality.

        One of the things that was lacking for a while, although it continues to get better, is the user interface. It was built more "functionally." It was better for functionality than it was for being pretty, from the standpoint of the user. They've done a lot of work there, but I think there's probably a little more work to do, continually.

        Also, while some of the reporting functionality is adequate, reporting needs to continue to be worked on, given the fact that there are a lot of really good reporting tools out there.

        But, for a product of its age and life cycle position, they are super-responsive to what the clients need. And as they add more clients, certain clients will say, "Hey, I really need this feature functionality," and they'll build it into the suite. Then everybody has access to it, which is great.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Stability is not an issue. We run it in AWS and we've never had any stability issues with it at all. We haven't had instances of it going down. It's possible that has happened, but nothing has been brought to my attention. Typically, if there was a problem, I would hear about it.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We have not pressure-tested it enough. The applications that we have in it are not super heavy in terms of bandwidth and we haven't had any issues. I don't think we're pushing enough volume through the app to test the scalability.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Tech support has been super-responsive. We've generally had a retainer agreement for consulting hours, so we get what we need really quickly.

        In full disclosure, I have a strong relationship with senior management. One of the reasons we were an early adopter is that I know the owners of the company. I know the CEO. He brought us in. I have direct access to the owners and the senior management team whenever I need to. If we have a problem, I get whatever I need.

        But the team and the consultants underneath have been really responsive. At this stage, I'm really outside the process now because the IT team runs it and they deal with it. I'm hearing no complaints, so I assume support is what it needs to be. People would come to me if there was something that was an issue. But it's been running really smoothly for quite a bit of time.

        Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

        For this particular type of requirement, we mostly built apps in .NET with our application development team. This is a departure from that, as a way to build apps. But we haven't used any of Zudy's competitors. We were just using traditional methods and this is our first foray into the no-code sort of platform.

        It was one of those things where we had some needs and this was a very low-cost option. We were one of their earliest customers so they did invest in some consulting time for free to help us build a couple of things, to prove out conceptually that the system could do what we wanted. That helped us.

        But part of it was the fact that it was a low-cost option. With the Lite Integration, I wasn't going to have to disrupt my entire organization to do something. We haven't had to disrupt IT and the business organizations to keep them up and running. It's a nice product from that perspective because it allows you to gain some efficiencies without having to rip apart your IT organization to actually install something; sometimes, moving to new platforms can be really complicated.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup was pretty easy. Initially, they did the setup for us. They hosted it in their own AWS instance. And somewhere around 12 to 18 months ago we moved it over to our own AWS instance, and that was fairly seamless from what I was told. We really haven't had any issues with it at all.

        The technical setup was pretty clean. We were up and running pretty quickly. We got in and they merged everything into our single sign-on process really well. There were no issues that I know of.

        From what my people have told us, it's easy to learn. We've had some Finance people learn it, as well as some people on the IT side.

        What was our ROI?

        It's hard to say what our ROI is, but VINYL has certainly helped us. Our investment has been limited and we've gotten good process benefits out of it. I can't really say in dollars and cents, but it's certainly helped us improve rigor and process in a number of areas.

        We haven't done the calculations because this wasn't one of those things where I said, "I'm going to go spend this money and then I'm going to save some money somewhere else." This was more about fixing a broken process than it was about trying to save money.

        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

        Pricing was actually one of the things that drew us to the product initially. At the time there was another platform called OutSystems that we looked at. At the time, because OutSystems was a little more mature, there was a thought from our IT team that they would have preferred to use OutSystems vs VINYL. But the way it was licensed at the time, I got a flat monthly fee from Zudy for the VINYL product, which allowed me to basically have unlimited use of it. That was really helpful.

        I know that some of the competition or competitor sites or products were priced on the number of seats, the number of people accessing it at any given time. Given that I have a company that is north of 10,000 people, those sorts of licensing issues can get prohibitively expensive, especially if you have a product that's going to hit fairly widely across the enterprise. So the pricing mechanism from a licensing perspective was very attractive.

        We have an annual license, we pay monthly. It's very competitive and very worthwhile given the return we get out of it. I don't know if my pricing is different or better or worse than other customers', considering we were an early adopter.

        The key thing here is that the pricing is just one price. We can do as much or as little with the product as we want to which is very attractive. I don't have to worry about if I build a new app, I have to pay more. Or, if I put 20 more people logging into the app, I don't have to pay any extra for that either. That makes it really easy for us to use internally, without having to worry about that sort of thing.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We looked at OutSystems. There were a couple of other tools out there that we looked at.

        As a Finance person, all I can say is anecdotally what I've heard from the IT people. Overall, we're happy with the tool. I have not had people come to me and say we should drop this and do something else. But I couldn't really comment deeply on how it compares to the competition. All I know is that we're happy with what we have.

        What other advice do I have?

        You need to have buy-in from both the business team and the IT team. Anytime you implement a new platform like this, if you don't have people internally who are going to embrace the product, it's going to fail.

        I'd call VINYL an eight out of 10. It does what it's supposed to do. It continues to improve. We're getting good usage out of it, and I think it's a great value for the price.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        Larry Egan
        Vice President of IT at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc
        Real User
        Top 20
        Streamlines app building by quickly connecting to almost any data source

        Pros and Cons

        • "Valuable features include the ability to connect to disparate data sources, the workflow engine, and the speed and agility in building apps."
        • "Perhaps the UI could be improved."

        What is our primary use case?

        I use it for business process automation across a variety of areas. I am in charge of commercial IT and we have used this technology to enhance some of the commercial business processes.

        In my current organization, we are using it in account planning, incentive compensation, field communications via SMS alerts, and onboarding of employees.

        How has it helped my organization?

        The ability to build apps quickly by connecting to almost any data source, while having workflow and routing, really give you the ability to enhance more static systems and drive value to the business.

        What is most valuable?

        • Ability to connect to disparate data sources
        • The workflow engine
        • Speed and agility in building apps

        What needs improvement?

        Perhaps the UI could be improved.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Three to five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        There have been no stability issues. It is a very stable platform.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues with scalability.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        The support team always makes itself available and drives resolutions quicker than we can typically keep up. It is really excellent.

        How was the initial setup?

        Their services are excellent. They typically provide a team of resources to get the environment set up and help build your first app.

        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

        Pricing is less than the cost of a consultant and the value you receive is much greater.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We looked at other middleware products but liked the unique capabilities of this one.

        What other advice do I have?

        Try it. Sometimes, the use cases are not evident. Start slow and pilot it and the value becomes evident.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        MM
        Chief of Staff at a non-tech company with 51-200 employees
        Real User
        Easily accessible, gives us more capabilities within our systems to pull information out

        Pros and Cons

        • "It gives us an accurate idea of where we stand as a business, on many different levels. It also gives our sales department more of an idea of how they are doing for the month, every month. And it gives us more capabilities within our systems, to pull information out."

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it for different applications. We're doing some dashboarding, some demo tracking, some commission. So far, those are the three applications that have been working for us, or are in the works.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It gives us an accurate idea of where we stand as a business, on many different levels. It also gives our sales department more of an idea of how they are doing for the month, every month. And it gives us more capabilities within our systems to pull information out. It's just a better, more accurate, and faster system.

          This is like having an application within your business and it's a totally different premise, rather than having to go in and have all this coding done, which just takes so long. And everything else is done by spreadsheets. You don't want to stare at a spreadsheet all day long, because there are a million of them and there could be errors. The idea of there being errors is less likely than it used to be.

          What is most valuable?

          • Ease of use
          • Easily accessible

          What needs improvement?

          We've been on a hold with one of the products that we started with, which was one of our processes. It just wasn't capable of doing it. It could extract it but it couldn't get the information back in internally, correctly. And that's just because our system is old.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          One to three years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No issues with stability. It is very much a stable product.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The first project we gave them, our biggest, was the problem. It wasn't able to do it but, as I said, the system we were using was too old, and they're too advanced.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          We have a guy that comes to our office every Wednesday and he's easily accessible at any hour, any day of the week. If there is a tech problem, he deals with our IT department directly. Honestly, everything is quick. I think because of the way our world is nowadays, where everything is so easily accessible, and being accessible even on a weekend makes it that much better.

          Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

          We were using a manual system that we created ourselves, and that's why we switched.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was straightforward, not complex at all. We're not delving into the learning of how to use it yet. We have somebody in-house who is trying to learn it, but we have other projects going on, so it's taken a back-burner. But, as I said, its accessibility is very easy.

          What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

          You always look for the underlying cost, there's always underlying costs but the value is fine. I don't think it should cost any more. You pay for the software but you're also paying for their employees, when they work onsite for you.

          Licensing is fine. We have to finalize the agreement once a year and that's pretty much it. Otherwise, it's ours and we can do whatever we want with it.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We did look at other options but they don't have the flexibility that this does. This has a lot of flexibility.

          What other advice do I have?

          They give you a free trial of what it can do. Go in with something that's easier, not harder, because that is going to give you an idea of what it can do, and you can basically work from that point on.

          I rate it an eight out of 10. There is always room for improvement. If they could just make it a little bit easier for the customer to learn how to use it themselves, that would make it better.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          DR
          Scheduling Manager at a leisure / travel company with 501-1,000 employees
          Real User
          Connects to all our departments and systems and reduces manual work

          Pros and Cons

            • "The calendar has room for improvement, but that's what they're going to be working on next, to make a Gantt chart."

            What is our primary use case?

            Our primary use case is scheduling. We do a lot of scheduling and collecting of survey data.

            How has it helped my organization?

            The tour managers are able to view their results - versus having to wait two times a year to get their results - they can review them in real time. They're also able to instantly receive their schedules versus having to manually send them via an Excel grid. It's also able to distinguish what type of guide we are using.

            What is most valuable?

            The fact it connects to all of our systems outside of Zudy. It connects with our internal systems and it makes things more productive and not manual.

            What needs improvement?

            The calendar has room for improvement, but that's what they're going to be working on next: making a Gantt chart.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It is a stable product for the most part, but if there are any issues their developers are instantly available to address them.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            There have been no scalability issues. It handles a lot of stuff. It replaced two of our programs.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Their technical support is awesome. I work exclusively with their technical department and they're able to turn things around super quick and make changes and adjustments. Nothing takes very long, usually, and they're always available.

            Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

            We used Microsoft Project and Microsoft Access, but the system just kept on crashing and it wasn't sustained by our IT department, so it was a lot of having to do it ourselves. It was manual and there was a lot of room for error. We moved to Zudy because it was a system everybody could understand and it wasn't outdated.

            How was the initial setup?

            The setup was a little complex, but not that bad. I had Zudy specifically here. I was working with two of the developers and they were with me every step of the way.

            What other advice do I have?

            The sky is the limit. It is able to pretty much do anything and everything that you thought a computer couldn't do. You should just really embrace it. It took me a while to embrace it but they're a really great company to work with.

            I would rate it at eight out of 10. I think a Gantt chart would probably put it to a nine. I don't think anything's ever perfect. I'm feeling concerned about when we end our relationship directly with Zudy and just work with our own IT department, how quick the changes will be. 

            Overall, it's a really great product. It's able to tie into different departments. From my understanding, it's what they were intending for this. We're able to use it across the board, all the departments.

            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
            it_user877734
            Vice President Technology at Collette
            Video Review
            User
            A platform which can grow with us and get us out of spreadsheets

            Pros and Cons

            • "It is a platform which can grow with us and get us out of spreadsheets."
            • "You do not need to be a programmer to use it or build something in it."
            • "You can unite data which lives in different sources without moving that data."
            • "If it could be prettier, it might be a bit more attractive on the business side. The most meaningful improvement might be done in some of the aesthetics of the reporting and dashboarding."

            How has it helped my organization?

            Often times, the expression "spreadsheet hell" is thrown around our walls, and people get too entrenched in sharing, emailing, creating, and saving spreadsheets just to share information. The Zudy product, Vinyl, has really allowed us to get out of spreadsheets and start to build dashboards for information which needs to be shared. In that sense, we have grown as a business in directions which are scalable for us in the future. 

            What is most valuable?

            • You do not need to be a programmer to use it or build something in it. This is pretty important in our business.
            • You can unite data which lives in different sources without moving that data. This have been a real game changer for us.
            • Our partnership with Zudy has really worked out for us.

            What needs improvement?

            The most meaningful improvement might be done in some of the aesthetics of the reporting and dashboarding. We unify and unite data in ways which are flexible and usable, but do not always have the aesthetics of some of the other reporting platforms out there. If it could be prettier, it might be a bit more attractive on the business side.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            For us, it is very stable. We can host it internally and in the cloud. It is secure and accessible. We have been using this product for about a year and a half, and we have only seen improved sustained stability and usable.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            The product's evolution to this point has proven that it is becoming more scalable.

            We are still a small enough business that it meets our needs today, but the improvements that I have seen in Vinyl mean that we will be using this product for years.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            The support from Zudy has been tremendous. The people that we have worked with (not just Tommy, Trish, and Charles), but the people in our business probably think Martin works for our company. It would not surprise me based on the number of times that we see him walking the halls and solving problems for people with this platform. Whenever we reach out, we receive someone who is friendly and competent. 

            Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

            I was very new in my role at Collette when I started talking with Zudy. What I walked into was the scenario where there were a lot of people depending on spreadsheets, a nightmare of version control and sharing of data, and I was looking to solve beyond what we had internally. Therefore, about a year and a half ago, we engaged with Zudy and it was the solution for us.

            It is a platform which can grow with us and get us out of spreadsheets.

            How was the initial setup?

            I was not involved in the day-to-day of the initial setup, therefore it is hard for me to comment. However, I know that we were successful with it. Probably any limitations that we had at setup were due to some of the friction that we have internally in our network.

            What other advice do I have?

            I would rate the product a nine out of 10, because I always leave room for improvement. I do not have any gripes. When you discuss the triumvirate of people, process, and technology, it has worked out for us in those regards. I have optimism for the future, but I am excited for what they will improve.

            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
            it_user877725
            IT Director at Cal-Maine Foods
            Video Review
            User
            The product has reduced the time that it takes us to produce apps

            Pros and Cons

            • "The product has reduced the time that it takes us to produce apps."
            • "This is an extremely scalable solution because it enables us to interface with all types of disparate information."

              How has it helped my organization?

              The greatest benefit that this product has had for Cal-Maine has been to empower our developers to very quickly be able to produce applications. This is very important in today's time frame.

              What is most valuable?

              The product has reduced the time that it takes us to produce apps.

              Being an agriculture company, we are pretty mean and lean when it comes to spend. It really helps to produce applications in a faster period of time.

              What needs improvement?

              One of the cool things about Vinyl is they are constantly improving it. They have a new version that they are showing, which we have not seen yet, at the meeting that I am attending. 

              They are constantly adding new features. That is really important. We suggest things sometimes, then all of the sudden, they miraculously appear.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Less than one year.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              We have never really had any downtime with Vinyl at all. We actually host this in our own environment as opposed to a cloud environment, which is their typical model. We have been very pleased with the stability of the product.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              This is an extremely scalable solution because it enables us to interface with all types of disparate information. So, the larger we grow, the more we can use a product like Vinyl.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We are located in Mississippi. There is not a lot of technology available in Mississippi when it comes to solutions like this. One of the things that we value about Vinyl is they have a tremendous support team.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              We deployed Vinyl about nine months ago. Previously, we were using a small application that wrote code for our personnel in a manner very unlike the way that Vinyl does. It was something that we worked with because it was all we could find, but as soon as we found Vinyl, we put it into play.

              What about the implementation team?

              To deploy Vinyl in our environment, we engaged the Zudy engineers to help us. This is not a product where someone could just get the code, install it, and do it themselves. A very important part of a business relationship with a software company is application support. This all worked together for our installation to go well.

              What other advice do I have?

              Some people are really reluctant to rate anything a 10 out of 10. However, when you have a good product which does a good job, and it is affordable, why not give it a 10?

              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.