Interview with Patrice Boivin: Web Portal Trend is Taking Off


Interview with Patrice Boivin: Web Portal Trend is Taking Off

Aug. 3, 2019
RER talks with Patrice Boivin, CEO of Orion Software, about its enhanced web portal, web-based forms for technicians, notifications to mobile devices, and more.

RER talks with Patrice Boivin, CEO of Orion Software, about its enhanced web portal, web-based forms for technicians, notifications to mobile devices, and more.

RER: What are the new developments in your software during the past year?

Boivin: We have a complete system from CRM to a complete ERP. So, the past year was focused on improving three main modules. First the field service can now be compared to the best solutions. We added web-based technical forms for the technicians to fill-out the inspection from the mobile app with a very visual step-by-step form. Our ERP reporting offers multi-divisions, market or product line reporting on multiple legal entities with different currencies. And lastly, our e-commerce was revamped with better website integration function with the goal of making it a full customer portal.

What new capabilities and functions have you added in regard to e-commerce?

We mainly focused on developing a new platform integrated to our Sirius e solutions that is easily implemented with the newest technology. It speeds up the deployment time and it is much more flexible than our previous version.

Can you give an example of how integration between telematics and your software have benefited your rental customers?

Our customers are using it to track the field technicians and truck drivers during the day. The dispatch center shows their position on the map and they immediately tell their customers how long it will take to get to their site.

To your knowledge, are online reservations and communication of a piece of equipment being called off-rent increasing among your rental customers? How is your software making it easier?

The trend of web portal is definitely taking off. Some customers are being hurt because they are relying on legacy systems that cannot connect. At Orion, we have had a complete Web portal for many years. Our customers can offer full visibility on their equipment rented and their account information within a native application. If they have multiple systems from different vendors, we offer our solutions and integrate the legacy system in the back.

What kind of support do you offer rental companies that use your software, i.e., call-in helpdesks, online chats, instruction for users, etc.

At Orion, we were always offering a support service primarily on call-in and email. We introduced online chat in 2018 along with a portal to view and edit tickets and access the knowledge base. We use it extensively to share all kind of documents including training videos. The number of calls was reduced drastically with our newest technology.

In the day-to-day operation of a rental business communication is essential between the shop, sales staff, yard people, counter people and delivery drivers. How does this communication function in real time in terms of determining the immediate location and status of an asset?

All information on the Mobile app, the logistics app or the CRM comes from the central base of Sirius e. So, for instance, the same graph that is used to display availability is updated in real time from any user interfaces. Users can also use notifications to mobile devices to make sure they don’t miss a change made to their calendar. Finally, they have access to an alert center that will warn them of anything that is urgent to handle.

What kind of dashboards does your software have and what information do they offer?

We have two dashboards. One is the main place to operate the business with the contracts, the maintenance schedule, the purchase center, etc. And we have a performance dashboard that focuses on displaying graphs and related reports of the main indicators for a rental and service company.

What information can your customers access through your online portal, and how “user-friendly” is it?

Our online portal is available on a mobile app from Apple store and Android Play store or within a browser. We made it very easy to use with the intent to run it on a phone in the field on the run. The site manager has limited time to order, off-rent or request for maintenance and they need it to be always available. If an equipment breakdown during the day, they need to react quickly, and the mobile devices are ideal for the that kind of scenario. It’s a complete application with account management and reports. We can also offer it integrated into a web site.

What kind of automated notifications do your send to your customers, i.e., “reservation confirmed”, “the delivery is on its way”, “the equipment is due to be returned or you will be billed for another cycle”; “the machine is due for servicing”, billing notifications, etc.?

We have them all. We provide status of delivery, reservation confirmation, maintenance alerts, billing and contract expiration and renewal. We added a collection dashboard this year with reminder emails automated.

What would you say are the reports your customers use the most, that they find most beneficial?

The day’s utilization and the ROI. We offer very unique representation of the rental performance using those indicators. Many customers are more interested to follow up the revenue trends and opportunity reports to identify where their growth is coming from and align the sales team.

How can your software help a rental company determine a profitable rate structure?

We integrate with Rouse analytics and we offer graphs to identify the competitive segments by using various factor such as ROI, price discount and reduction, and Utilization.

Are there any particular software features you are working on that you are planning [that you are comfortable talking about]?

Our focus will be on implementing large ERP with multiple branches connected on an ecommerce platform.


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