June 18, 2020 | Larry Goldman | Senior Director, Product Marketing
In this post in our employee spotlight series, we are pleased to introduce you to a JD Edwards Functional Solutions Architect.
Since our inception in 2008, Spinnaker Support has provided exceptional JD Edwards third-party support, managed services, and project-based consulting. As one of the largest groups (possibly THE largest one) of JDE experts outside of Oracle, our global team serves an impressive and growing customer base and receives high satisfaction ratings every year.
Our JDE engineers average 21 years of experience with all of the JDE products, and many held roles at JD Edwards (the company) before and after the Oracle acquisition. These professionals embody a deep understanding of our customers’ needs and an enduring commitment to solving every issue promptly and completely.
Hi, Dale. Tell us about your role at Spinnaker Support.
My job entails working with customers to provide solutions to issues they have within the JDE software. I also work with others on our JDE team to assist with issues that may need additional resources (the team approach) to resolve tougher issues. I lead our JDE team for Year-End Processing to ensure we meet the needs of our customer’s year-end reporting requirements such as 1099’s, W2’s, Canadian year-end forms, etc.
Spinnaker Support assigns an engineer to each customer that we designate as their Account Support Lead (ASL). I have many customers for whom I have been assigned as ASL, and I communicate on a monthly basis with each and everyone to make sure we’re meeting their expectations.
What is your background?
After I graduated from college in 1982 with a BS degree in Computer Science, I worked for several companies – including the Dallas Times Herald and my own store of Dalt’s restaurant – in the role of controller. I began to gravitate more towards a role as liaison between IT and accounting and managing help desks.
I joined JD Edwards (pre-Oracle) in January 1991 and have been working with JDE software ever since. I’ve held positions as training coordinator, trainer, consulting, training manager, documentation consulting, and probably a few more that I can’t remember. In my 14 years there, I primarily consulted for the financial modules of JDE, implemented the software, and helped guide customers with issues. I’ve been with Spinnaker Support since 2008, from the start of the JDE support offering.
When and why did you first get involved with JDE technology?
The Dallas office of JD Edwards needed someone to lead their training department to make sure trainers, training materials, and rooms were available. The position was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door and to grow with the company. Best decision I have ever made. I learned the financial modules (GL, AP, and AR to start with) then began as an instructor, and then became proficient on additional modules (Fixed Assets, WorldSoftware reporting tools, FASTR, STAR & World Writer) along the way. If I didn’t know something, I told customers I would find out and get back to them. I always did, and this built trust with customers and continued to grow my own knowledge.
Do you have a JDE specialty?
As I mentioned, the financial modules are my expertise in JDE. I know about other modules (Contract/Service Billing, Job Cost, and Multi-Currency) and how they interface into the General Ledger, but I don’t consider myself as an expert in those areas. The modules I know are the foundation of any customer implementation, and I continue to learn more about them every day. I like to say, “If someone tells you they know everything about the software, they’re lying.”
Some of the issues that come to us require a team effort for a resolution. At Spinnaker Support, we have the best team around. Support staff, developers, and customer subject matter experts will dive deep into the software to help customers. I find this process rewarding on several levels.
What do you most like about working with Spinnaker Support customers?
As I said before, I get to know and communicate monthly with all of my ASL assigned customers. They get to know me as an analyst and an individual, and they know I will do everything in my power to make sure they get the support they expect. That includes bringing in other experts to assist. The relationships are important to me, and I do everything I can to answer calls or emails right away, even if I am involved in supporting other customers. I’ve built a trust with my customers that will hopefully keep them coming back for years.
Do you have a recent example of going “above and beyond” to help a customer?
I wish I could think of a recent specific case, but perhaps the best example is how I work to solve customer issues regardless of the hour. When a customer needs assistance with an urgent issue, I’ll often take calls after I’ve left the office for the day. I get this often around the end of a month. A customer is going through the month-end close, needs to get batches posted, and runs into an error. I know these issues are urgent and will jump in to help if I can or give them some direction.
What is one piece of support advice you would give to a JDE customer?
“When in doubt, seek us out.” When you have made a mistake in JDE (it happens to all of us), call us first to discuss the best way to correct the issue. When some customers try to fix it themselves, they end up causing a far bigger issue than they started with. Sometimes, the issue is so compounded that we have no choice but to SQL the data.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I have several hobbies. My wife and I love to camp in our 5th-wheel camper (you might as well call it “glamping”), and we belong to two square dance clubs that keep us dancing (before COVID) at least two nights a week. I work out every workday morning, and I enjoy woodworking and creating signs and plaques for gifts.