Today HighJump is wrapping up its 2015 user conference – the first since HighJump and Accellos merged into a single entity. The conference has around 650 attendees. And the new HighJump is now a substantially larger organization, as measured by revenues, employees, and products. Combined revenues for 2014 eclipsed $150 million and the total staff is around 750 employees. The executives placed substantial emphasis on the technology strategy and development roadmap during the general sessions. I was encouraged to hear that the company has a comprehensive and cohesive vision for its product portfolio. I say this because I am a firm believer that long-term value creation comes from robust corporate vision, product strategy, and execution. With that said, I will provide a brief overview of the company’s overarching technology strategy that was articulated at the conference.
HighJump One Platform
The company is anchoring its strategy on the tenets of adaptability and usability –both legacy strengths of the organization. HighJump has branded its technology vision, already five months in the making, as the HighJump One Platform. The platform is a next generation set of user facing technologies and interfaces leveraging HTML 5. This architecture provides benefits in the form of usability improvements, a common IT toolkit, and a consistent look and feel across all HighJump products. The ability for HighJump’s applications to provide an enhanced interface and fit across a wider range of devices, such as smart phones and tablets, in addition to traditional form factors, is a primary example of usability improvements to be delivered by the platform. A specific example of more modern applicability is design for touch screen devices. During the sessions, management presented live demos of processes in action on the platform. Also, the use Pulse, the Accellos BI tool, was highlighted numerous times, implying that it will be the go-to-market BI tool for HighJump. The company also created a separate set of branding, HighJump In Motion, to distinguish products it will be developing specifically for mobile devices. Examples include applications that take advantage of cameras and store- and-forward capabilities available in mobile devices.
Organizationally, HighJump has merged its Supply Chain Advantage and Accellos One WMS teams. They plan to offer continued investment and enhancements in the three WMS products. As an example of recent enhancements, the newest release of the Warehouse Advantage track and trace has expanded these capabilities. It now offers item and product genealogy as well as recall lifecycle capabilities.
A presentation by Ashley Furniture, a flagship HighJump customer, highlighted the adaptability of Warehouse Advantage by discussing the use of the application set for Yard Management. More specifically, Ashley Furniture used Warehouse Advantage as a system of record and leveraged Labor Advantage by adapting its X Y coordinate system to add proximity capabilities to its RFID-based yard management system.
Finally, on the omni-channel front, HighJump offered sessions on Retail Advantage, the company’s in-store fulfillment application. Also, enVista had a booth in the partner pavilion, showing its Distributed Order Management offering. I was unaware of enVista’s DOM solution prior to this conference. DOM is certainly a valuable addition to HighJump’s ecosystem, given its critical role in providing global inventory visibility and cross-channel order fulfillment in today’s omni-channel retail environment.