I recently attended IQMS‘ User Group 2012 conference at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. Having been to several previous User Groups, I can honestly say this was the most gratifying User Group I have ever attended. I don’t know if it was any one thing that made it so great – the venue was new, the agenda was modified, the IQMS attendees list was modified, the meeting materials were greatly enhanced and half of the customer attendees were new to User Group. But whether one or many things made it great, I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend and present.
Several IQMS employees were responsible during the three-day event to either present in break-out sessions or back up another presenter. My sessions focused on customer relationship management (CRM), report writing, security and Web-based programs such as WebDirect and our vendor and employee portals.
My CRM session covered what’s changed in the software since our last User Group event and was also a software enhancement discussion session. I like creating the presentations for the sessions because as the QA Manager, I’ve known about some of the new and exciting changes for quite some time, and now I get to share those changes with our customers.
At IQMS, we utilize just about all of the modules in our manufacturing ERP software, EnterpriseIQ, and the most heavily used is CRM. So although many of the changes presented were requested by customers, many were also requested by internal users, such as IQMS Technical Support and Sales and Marketing.
My security session was on best practices, as well as a little bit about what’s changed. I had to be on my toes in this group because most of the attendees are sophisticated users, usually the DBA, and very knowledgeable about many aspects of EnterpriseIQ security, as well as Windows security. I enjoyed this session for many reasons: Experienced users means we can skip the basics and quickly delve into complicated issues, many of the users have been around for a while and I’ve had the chance to get to know them over the years and because of their experience, the users help each other out right in the sessions.
The report writing session was also a best practices session with tips we’ve gathered over the years to help with report writing and usage within EnterpriseIQ. But I couldn’t help going over a few what’s changed items because they are really cool and I love using them. Remember, we use our software internally, so if there is an easier way to use selection criteria or find a report, I’m going to share it so everyone can save time.
My Web-based programs session was a lot of fun because I was able to share a lot of what’s changed in our employee and vendor portals (I use the employee portal quite a bit). I also announced we are currently developing a WebAPI for the Business to Commerce (BtoC) trade and customers were very excited to hear about that.
Another surprise, that I didn’t learn about until User Group, was announced by Randy Flamm, president of IQMS, on the first day. He was very excited to announce we will be supporting the iOS operating system and the room went wild! Lots of iPhone and iPad users out there and even though it won’t be as easy to implement as Android, we see the need to support it for our mobile products.
I have to add one more comment, and that is about two of the new conference materials, both pocket guides. One was a mini-guidebook that fit into the conference badge pocket we wore on our lanyards. It listed all of the sessions offered, as well as had a map of the hotel, which you need at the expansive MGM Grand.
The other cool pocket guide was the smartphone app, free to attendees, that we downloaded and used at the User Group event. There is so much to remember at User Group, especially as an employee of IQMS, I loved using the app as a reference not only to where I needed to be but where the rest of IQMS attendees were in the conference area.
Reading through what I’ve written, it’s given me some perspective and if I had to select one element that made User Group so gratifying, it would have to be our customers. They were so happy to be there and intrigued about all that we’ve developed and what we will be developing in the future.
Did you attend IQMS User Group 2012? If so, what was your favorite part?