I think we’ve just broke the mould as far as K3 are concerned! As part of the re-launch of our Equator product as an entity in its own right rather than an add on to our SYSPRO product, we recently held 2 seminars specifically for our Equator customers specifically aimed at showcasing the newly developed software to handle the new Pension Auto Enrolment legislation.

I have to admit I didn’t have a clue how to even get started on organizing this, but in typical K3 fashion, everybody pulled together from Kelly Fleming, my very own marketing person, who has worked tirelessly to help me with the new branding and marketing of the product to Kevin O’Donnell, who agreed to leave his development desk and spend 2 days going through the new software at our Salford Office and Leicester Racecourse venues.

I think it just illustrates the fear factor that this legislation has engendered, when we had over 60 people turn up across the two venues to look at what we had developed., this included customers and any IFA’s that decided that they would like to attend.

Now getting the venues organized with Kelly’s assistance was easy, she then emailed the users, organized the joining instructions and double checked who was going to attend, she left nothing to chance.

For my part all I had to do was organize the agenda something I hadn’t done before, on a subject that had never been covered before. How can I ensure we get everything covered, can we make it interesting, will everyone be happy with what we show, can we answer all of the questions all of this went through my mind in the final days and nights before the sessions.

I needn’t have worried, our customers must be experts in what they do. Virtually everyone that turned up had already prepared for the new legislation and obviously had a great understanding of what was required. This resulted in Kevin spending less than an hour and half going through the new functionality. It was however refreshing to hear a senior manager of an IT company state, “if what we have developed doesn’t work for your particular setup, then let us know and we’ll try and build it into the software for you prior to when it is required”, but then again Kevin is no ordinary senior manager. His relaxed manner and the depth of knowledge of not just his software, but the legislation it addresses is amazing and I think it was well appreciated by the attendees.

At both venues we finished up with a general Q&A session, which I think lightened up what had been quite a detailed initial session. What became apparent, was the common failing that I believe exists with all computer systems whether it be HR, Payroll or ERP, there is a general apathy when it comes to keeping staff up to date with the latest available functionality. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword in that companies don’t see the need to invest in refresher training for long serving staff or for new staff. This leads to a dilution of knowledge and lack of use of any newly available functionality. People who have used the system for a long time always use it as they have always done, new users are trained on the same methodology and functionality, hence a lot of the technology that gives efficiency and ease of use is ignored.

I’m a firm believer that once a system for any function is introduced, then a budget should be allocated for consultancy, training and where necessary new infrastructure to enable a business to take the maximum benefit from their investment.

But then again maybe I’m biased!