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5 Benefits of an Early Adopter System Integrator



5 Benefits of an Early Adopter System Integrator

August 17, 2021

Early Adopter System Integrator

As an early adopter system integrator for the newest versions of Blue Yonder warehouse management and labor management solutions, Open Sky Group brings many benefits to clients. We implemented the first North American instance of Blue Yonder warehouse management 9.1.x in 2016 and have been on the leading edge of each subsequent new release. Since 2006 we’ve also brought up 900+ supply chain software projects.

A Little History

While Open Sky Group has been implementing Blue Yonder (formerly JDA RedPrairie) solutions for clients since 2006, it wasn’t until 2014 that we became a reseller of the software. With that capability, we made a commitment to ourselves and our clients to always be early adopters of the newest versions. When Blue Yonder made a giant push forward to its mobile, role-based interface, Open Sky Group was ready to learn and adapt so that clients could have firsthand knowledge of what was available.

Why does this matter?

We’ve been on the leading edge of every new Blue Yonder version since 2015. We helped to beta test 9.x. As the first implementation of JDA WMS 9.1.x in North America, we were down in the trenches for all the ins and outs that implementing new software versions can bring. It strengthened our relationship with Blue Yonder and we developed a protocol for involving Blue Yonder WMS support during implementations so that significant fixes could be put into subsequent releases and eliminate issues.  With Blue Yonder’s commitment to producing quality solutions and Open Sky Group’s mindset of holding software providers accountable for producing quality products, together we continue to make each release better than the last.

How do clients benefit from an Early Adopter System Integrator?

We have such deep knowledge of the older versions of RedPrairie – combine that with being an early adopter system integrator and here’s what our clients get:

  • Experienced implementation teams that understand exactly where you are, where you can go, and most importantly, how to get you there rapidly so that you can begin reaping benefits sooner. Open Sky Group has implemented JDA 9.1.x for many clients and version 2017.x for 17 warehouses and counting. That’s a lot of experience working for you.
  • A strong relationship with Blue Yonder Software – We work with Blue Yonder very closely on all of our implementations so that we can get challenges resolved quickly.
  • Early knowledge of software capabilities – Not only are we implementing the newest versions, but we’re also generally involved in testing some or many aspects of these new versions before they’re released. That gives us a taste of what the software can and will do before implementation.
  • Upgrade expertise – We understand that there are many companies still on older versions that may be heavily customized and the worry/challenges connected with upgrading. We can help guide your upgrade to successful completion, ensuring that you do not lose the functionality you need to make your business run smoothly.
  • One source for everything you need in a WMS Implementation. We are the largest WMS reseller and implementation partner and reseller of Blue Yonder in North America.

Contact Open Sky Group today to discover more about the newest versions of Blue Yonder solutions and our experience with them.

If you are a current Blue Yonder customer with an older version and you’re thinking of upgrading, here are some answers to questions you might have:

What Does Upgrading Mean?

Outside of gaining all the benefits of the mobile, web-based interface of the newer versions, upgrading doesn’t change your number of licenses unless you want to add more.  You might actually need fewer users, given the productivity gains we and our clients have seen with the newest versions.

Won’t Upgrading be a Nightmare?

It doesn’t have to be. We do an analysis of your current system and come back to you with an upgrade path and an estimate of time and costs to upgrade. Our methodology of disciplined agility means that we streamline the upgrade process, saving you time and money.

What’s the Value of Upgrading?

A lot of the value depends on what’s important to your organization. Lately, we’ve seen a lot of WMS upgrades driven by outdated technology and the high costs of supporting customizations.  Your IT department is likely well aware of the costs of continuing to use outdated equipment. Further, using newer technology for your WMS can likely open up your options for using other, newer technologies in your warehouse.  Open Sky Group is very good at helping our clients avoid modifications because of our deep understanding of how to properly use and configure the software.

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Jeremy Hudson

Vice President of Client Services

Jeremy’s focus is on the products and services clients need to stay competitive. Open Sky Group’s mission is to deliver technology-enabled solutions that allow our customers to achieve more while having the flexibility to adapt to change. Jeremy lives the core values and mission by bringing the best experience possible to our clients. He is an essential member of implementation teams, working alongside clients, and encouraging them to use innovation and best practices instead of customizations for success.

Jason Yantiss

Vice President of Client Services

Jason provides leadership to a variety of teams focused on implementation and integration. With 27+ years of experience holding operational and technical management roles in transportation, billing, and warehousing across a vast array of industry verticals, Jason is adept at driving multiple complex projects, understanding customer needs at all levels of the operation and providing viable solutions. Jason’s resume of 150+ implementation projects include Warehouse, Labor, Transportation, Yard Management and multiple AR/AP Freight Pay and Customer Billing systems. 

Eric McPherson

Vice President of Client Services

Mac works to oversee implementation and integration projects. A former Marine officer and military police officer, he brings over 27 years of supply chain experience, including 11 years at Blue Yonder in both delivery and service sales. Mac is a dedicated, team-oriented professional with a background in business management, professional services, customer service, and supply chain technology. His specialties include sales support, supply chain execution systems, project management, fulfillment operations, distribution operations, and GSA contracts.

Shannon Caflisch

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Shannon is responsible for the strategy and management of all sales, business development, and marketing programs. With over 25 years of sales experience and 15 years focused in the supply chain space, Shannon focuses on building strong relationships with clients and partners and strives to deliver the right software solutions to help conquer supply chain challenges. Shannon believes in learning by listening to understand clients’ goals, struggles, and what is important to their business to build lasting, successful relationships.

Alan Prillaman

Senior Vice President of Client Services

As Senior VP of Client Services, Alan oversees all consulting services and account management at Open Sky Group. Possessing over 30 years of combined industry and consulting experience, Alan leverages his unique background in IT, logistics, quality management systems, manufacturing and distribution operations, and facility and strategic account management to provide clients with creative resolutions to complex challenges. His core philosophy and passion are to deliver tangible value for and establish long-term trusted partnerships with our clients.

Mike Noble

Senior Vice President of Technology

As Senior Vice President of Technology, Mike leads Open Sky Group’s Managed Services, Software Services, Infrastructure Services, and Information Technology teams bringing 35+ years of experience in Supply Chain Execution and Information Technology. Mike and his teams ensure we maintain the highest levels of customer service in a secure and reliable environment, constantly reviewing and evaluating new technologies, their appropriateness and applicability so we can safely and securely transact our own business – and help our clients accomplish the same.

Chad Kramlich


Joining Open Sky Group in 2015, Chad, served as Chief Revenue Officer for three years prior to his appointment to CEO in 2022. With over 25 years of experience delivering results for high-growth software and consulting organizations, Chad is leveraging his background in building efficient and effective implementation teams, establishing high-impact services operations, achieving revenue growth, and deepening executive-level client relations to help propel Open Sky Group into a very successful future.