Bettering the Beta
Bettering the Beta The beta test at ICU started in December 2000. Since then, says Herron, there have been minor revisions, the principal one being getting through the ICU firewall. Once the ePDA beta code was fixed to allow access through the firewall, Herrons next request was easier startup of the Collective server. "It was still a little raw, requiring a great deal of input on my part just to bring it up. Theyve simplified that process tremendously. We picked up problems such as searches being case-sensitive, which isnt what you want because you could get the impression that the record doesnt exist and create a duplicate. That was one they corrected."
Though the implementation is barely past beta, Herron is pleased. "Overall, I think this technology will give our sales people an edge that doesnt exist in this business today. Theyll be able to plug in queries [and] get inventory information returned immediately. Theyll be able to place orders immediately, and theyll be fully automated," says Herron. "This tool is basically a communications platform that allows us to connect our salespeople with any data source that we have inside our company."