Today’s blog comes from one of the longest serving members of M Cubed. Nitin Wadhwani joined the company in 1996 as a Resourcer, and has seen the organisation grow and evolve in his 23 years at the company. Today he talks us through some of the developments he’s seen, as well as where some of the key areas of demand there are for the specialist type of roles he places, primarily within the niche JD Edwards Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
Recruitment has certainly changed since I first started in the industry in the 90s and most certainly within the IT space, and that’s without mentioning the introduction of a then little known idea called the ‘Internet’. One of the numerous reasons I love working in the JDE space is the way in which the product has remained in high regard with its client base where so much around it has changed and vanished. It’s had challenging times and surpassed world recessions, hostile takeovers, as well as general new product innovation and yet it still plays a significant part in the market.
When I think back to the world when I first started supplying AS400 Consultants (RPG and SYNON developers) solely into positions across the UK the world really looked a little different to the one of today. It’s only with these reflections does it start to hit home just quite how much things have changed, how quickly, and when.
At the time the IBM AS400 mid-range was the second biggest selling piece of hardware on the market and SEC was a leading agent in that space. Then along came a sudden shift in technology and a move to everything Microsoft, everything Windows, i.e. everything ‘unstable’. It was also a time in which the so called ‘low cost’ airlines were just about landing onto the scene too which again brought about big changes. The landscape really changed for us at that time and we decided to focus predominantly in the supply of experts into JD Edwards positions into the UK and now a closer Europe as well. The JD Edwards market has, I believe, been a very interesting market and a demanding one for those consultants who have remained to make their careers within it. Their perseverance and belief in the software has definitely helped keep JDE ‘stay alive’ when it would have been very easy for them to jump to a new sector to what is perceived as ‘better’ ERP software’s they stayed and promoted it.
There have always been opportunities in the JDE space but those opportunities have of course become fewer over time and have surfaced in more unlikely and remote destinations. The consultants have always been an exceptionally flexible workforce again helping to keep the product visible and highlighting its versatility and seen as a viable solution to any company choosing an ERP.
Globalisation has made the world a much smaller place now than 20 years ago and therefore the need to be geographically mobile is more necessary than ever before. In parallel the acceptance of remote working is becoming more widespread so hopefully it will get more and more adopted so people can retain a healthy life and work balance.
Despite the market’s maturity I still see new talent entering the industry particularly from Portugal, Poland, Turkey, Romania and the Czech Republic; emerging countries where individuals have identified that there are opportunities to make successful and interesting careers. If you are a JDE specialist with whichever level of expertise, then even in such an established niche technology there is always an exciting opportunity waiting for you.
In recent years demand has been generated from the USA as organisation’s look to set up projects in Europe and with Oracle committing to the software until at least 2030 there is still a good level of demand for JDE skills. So if you’re somebody who enjoys travelling, enjoys taking in different cultures, then a role as a JDE contractor is certainly worth considering. Most of our demand is of course from the UK and Europe but we also supply people into roles further afield, South Africa, the USA and even the Far East. What never ceases to surprise me that even in a geography like the Far East someone will always know someone who you know from Europe making referencing easier. It‘s the old adage of ‘six degrees of separation’ and that is certainly true within the JDE community, in fact I would probably describe it as the ‘three degrees’ of.
In terms of ‘the ideal person’ then you’re really looking at a person that is assured, motivated, knowledgeable and proactive. Fortunately there are many such JDE consultants in the industry.
The average contract tends to last around nine months but we’ve seen contracts last for years due to the nature of the industry.
I speak to customers on a daily basis about their needs and skills required and they still believe in the software, whilst Oracle are accused of ‘not doing enough’ and sending out mix message about JDEs future, I believe it still ‘holds its own’ today due to the JDE specialists and their commitment to delivery and thus advertising a product that simply just ‘works’.
From conversations with the JD Edwards clients and the consultants I hear JDE is a very good software, very fit for purpose, frequently overlooked by modern ‘trending’ yet amongst all the adversity it remains resilient, functional, well thought of.
Just imagine if Oracle or Peoplesoft really pushed it.
If you’d like to talk to Nitin about how he and his team could help you can get in touch by calling +44 (0) 207 255 6655 or reaching out at firstname.lastname@example.org