Tracing roots back 50 years, Electronic Data Processing Plc (EDP) – the company behind the Vecta integrated Sales Intelligence & CRM solution – celebrate 50 years in business this year.
Always ahead of the game EDP’s innovation, team expertise and a progressive strategy still keeps the company at the forefront of software development 50 years on.
Beginning life as a computer bureau service in Sheffield in 1965, EDP has successfully adapted to suit the technological changes and countless significant IT landmarks, evolving to become one of the leading suppliers of advanced Software solutions. With solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of the wholesale and distribution sectors the company has built exceptional levels of expertise and a strong understanding of how and where technology can be applied to improve the efficiency of everyday business processes, and crucially, profitability.
“Pushing the boundaries of technology to stay ahead of the competition has been central to our success and longevity” said Julian Wassell, Chief Executive. “Significant investment in Research and Development has always been a key factor, with us consistently spending around 20% of our turnover each year. That may seem relatively high, but it’s something that we believe sets us apart from others in our sector.”
An ability to foresee future developments in software solutions enabled EDP to recognise early on that the internet would have a profound effect on business, so in 1999 the company built a dedicated Data Centre in Milton Keynes in anticipation of a demand for hosted services. That put EDP ahead of the ‘Cloud’ trend and allowed the company to lead the way in providing ‘Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS). “The development of the internet drove us to set up our centralised facility in Milton Keynes as we could foresee technology being driven by the web on mobile devices and systems that talked to each other,” said Mr. Wassell, “around 60% of our customers elected to use the hosted service to access their business critical information. They recognised the financial and staff resource benefits and anticipated the significant trend towards Cloud computing. Customers prefer to use our private Cloud because everything resides with us; it means that if they have any issues its only one phone call, dealt with quickly by a team that they already have a working relationship with.”
“Adopting the hosted approach for multi-award winning Vecta, our Sales Intelligence & CRM solution ensures that the seamless product and technology updates, now a prerequisite for IT systems, occur automatically.”
“Vecta is at the forefront of SaaS delivery, it’s a powerful solution that helps thousands of users in the wholesale and distribution sectors by improving sales performance and driving increased productivity and efficiency. Using the data already held within back office systems Vecta alerts sales staff to hidden opportunities; any gaps in customer spend and easily highlights ‘add-on’ revenue opportunities. Accessible anywhere via the Cloud EDP are also due to re-launch a sleek new version of the software over the coming months.
EDP’s most ambitious project to date has been developing the Quantum VS ERP software product, a simple to use but highly effective ERP solution created to deliver tangible time, financial and resource efficiencies. Quantum VS capitalises on all of the advantages of web based technology. With a £10m investment and the benefit of many years of experience working in the wholesale, merchant and supply sectors, EDP have formulated a flexible suite of software that can be implemented as individual ‘modules’ or as the full Quantum VS ‘suite’. By creating the product in modular format EDP offer a simplistic approach for wholesalers looking to cherry-pick specific software options to integrate easily with existing business systems.
Looking to the future
EDP has enjoyed a hugely successful 50 years, compelled by a drive to be one of the most dynamic software solution providers in the industry, enabling it to achieve many ‘industry firsts’. However, the company is also acutely aware and appreciative of the value and importance of customer care, taking immense pride in being considered a valuable and flexible business partner to its customers.
Moving forward, the company has plans to build upon these achievements and qualities, introducing new solutions to further enhance business success, confirmed by the forthcoming roll out of the third generation of the Quantum VS e-business integrated tool set (QVS3). “This type of service technology is moving faster than anything else,” acknowledged Mr Wassell. “Over the last three years, we have received unprecedented interest from organisation wanting to integrate e-business solutions into their businesses. They are recognising that their customers expect to be able to order products from them online and QVS3 also offers a sales team instant access to product information and add-on sales opportunities.”
Mr Wassell continued: “The QVS3 solution will be valuable for wholesalers as we will offer them an integrated approach and support in terms of website build, and the search engine optimisation process. Customers will be able to get everything they need from us – the EDP software and their website build.”