How Intuit QuickBase Supports Advanced IT
When your stated goal is to build "the most advanced IT in the world," people are going to expect results. At Ceva Santé Animale, CIO François Tricot wanted to deliver business apps to his users much faster than with traditional IT app delivery without blowing the budget on new resources and skills.
With Intuit QuickBase, Ceva's IT team has a low-code platform for building, customizing, and connecting business apps in days, not months. Tricot launched a new department of IT called QuickApps solely for the purpose of delivering QuickBase apps to business users, who can browse an internal app store, request an app, and be up and running by the end of the week.
"I have invested in platforms that allow me to go from idea to live in just days. QuickBase is a master at that," says Tricot.
With 2,000 users and 200 active apps, the results speak for themselves. QuickBase is now the second-most used technology at Ceva (behind email), and Tricot's "Beyond the Cloud" strategy has reduced overall IT spending by 30% since 2008.
QuickBase as a Platform for Growth
Ceva first adopted QuickBase in 2008, just after Tricot was hired as CIO. The company's first QuickBase app was a customer relationship management (CRM) app for a business unit in the UK. Within days, the leader of the business unit had a fully functional CRM system he could customize on his own with no coding required.
That first application started with around 25 users. Since then, QuickBase has been the launching pad for hundreds of connected cloud applications that serve several functional areas:
- CRM apps in more than 20 countries
- Call logs
- A QuickBase app provides data to a public-facing website through the QuickBase HTTP API. Users can find and map directions to providers using certain Ceva products.
- Supply Chain
- Supply chain professionals use a QuickBase app to report shortages. The need for this app was identified during an emergency shortage, and the app was built and deployed to 40 countries within one week.
- An inventory risk management app helps supply chain professionals keep products moving to avoid running into critical life expectancy deadlines.
- Human Resources
- All jobs and candidate information are synced between a QuickBase app and a public-facing website.
- Several countries use QuickBase apps for payroll reporting and performance appraisals.
- Quality Control
- Quality Control professionals rely on a QuickBase application to manage information about test samples
- Research & Development
- QuickBase enables research and development with portfolio management and project management apps
- Ceva has enabled several administration tasks via QuickBase, including workflow for capital expenditures, product lifecycle management, master data descriptions, insurance, and risk management.
- Regulatory Compliance
- Ceva uses a QuickBase app to store and manage marketing authorizations worldwide for all products.
Beyond the Cloud
The success of these applications has contributed to the success of Tricots overall IT strategy, which he calls "Beyond the Cloud." The focus of the strategy is to capture the power of mobility and the internet to create an corporate IT that is indistinguishable from consumer IT. The goal is to build an IT infrastructure that is both the most advanced in the world and the least expensive.
As a platform, QuickBase enables rapid application development at Ceva. Tricots team has the skills and technology to build quickly, and QuickBase is integrated with Cevas provisioning and identity management systems. The result is an IT team that can bring new apps to life far more quickly than with traditional IT development processes.
"QuickBase helps me deliver, in a matter of days or weeks, applications to users according to their needs. The classic development process takes about six months to finish anything, if not a year. If I do that, I lose my job because the users would not be happy with the service theyre getting from IT," says Tricot.
Once the app is delivered, users are free to customize it to adapt to evolving needs. This empowers business users to solve their own problems — which has the dual benefit of lowering IT backlog and increasing user satisfaction.
"What makes a user happy about QuickBase is the fact that they can manage the applications themselves. We generally have to help them to do the first version of the application, but then they take ownership of it and they manage it completely by themselves. They invite new users. They give them a role, security roles. They add fields on forms. They create new reports by themselves. They do everything by themselves," says Tricot.
Tricots focus on user satisfaction extends beyond the speed of app delivery. He resists the traditional top-down corporate approach, instead allowing work groups to select and adopt their own solutions through an internal app store. From there, employees can navigate through hundreds of available applications — including more than 100 QuickBase apps — and implement the right solution for their group.
The QuickApps team has delivered 25 new QuickBase apps to the business since January 2014, with an average workload of just 4.1 man days. Those apps have delivered extreme ROI in terms of real dollars and efficiency gains — enabling staff to spend more time delivering innovation to the business and less time administering their jobs.
Adopting internet-enabled technologies allows frees Cevas IT team to focus on delivering new solutions, not troubleshooting remote connection problems. It also boosts user satisfaction, says Tricot, because employees are free to use whatever device they like to connect to their applications.
"They can use Mac, PC, Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone — whatever they want. The people decide. They dont have a master anymore. This is a global trend and QuickBase is part of that strategy," he says.
Advanced IT Strategy Pays Off
Since implementing the "Beyond the Cloud" strategy in 2008, Ceva has reaped the benefits. Overall IT spending is down 30% in that time — and is 40% lower than the IT spend at Cevas two closest competitors (according to Gartner benchmarks) — yet Cevas IT is able to deliver business applications faster than ever.
Most importantly, QuickBase has contributed to an IT infrastructure that takes full advantage of the scalability and flexibility of internet architecture.
"My IT is available everywhere. And when you build a QuickBase app, its available everywhere. Any network, any device — it works," says Tricot.
About Intuit QuickBase
Intuit QuickBase is a low-code platform for quickly and easily building, customizing and connecting secure, scalable cloud apps without compromising IT governance and controls.