IT Departments Consist of:
People + Technology
We believe support is EVERYTHING. We have our own, uniquely qualified support group ready at your call for on-site and help-desk based support. The Grape Squad is your one-stop source for technical support across the systems WineryConnect offers and beyond (general IT support). Your dedicated Grape Squad representative can answer many questions on the spot, and will work with our partners to find answers they don’t have. Either way, your staff have one number to call for help – the Grape Squad Hotline.
The Grape Squad also offers Best Practices training based on our years of experience helping wineries with things like regulatory reporting and inventory control, and can help with tasks such as data entry as needed.
vinESB is our very own “Enterprise Service Bus” – our cloud that connects other clouds. We have developed strategic partnerships with Best of Breed cloud solutions for wineries as selected by our customers and proven in use over the years. vinESB ties these solutions together and extends them. vinESB allows your winery to gather, manage, access and comprehensively utilize the date that matters most.
vinESB is also a platform we use to develop “Micro Apps” which are small pieces of software to fill in the cracks where our Best of Breed partner solutions are missing something. In particular this is where we look to build Winery Intelligence.
WineryConnect enables wineries to leverage Best-of-Breed business solutions by offering a “Virtual IT Department” set of capabilities including both IT people and our proprietary cloud IT infrastructure. The GrapeSquad is our industry expert support group covering all the solutions we connect along with any other technologies our customers use. Our vinESB platform offers enterprise-level cloud application integration as an affordable service. Taken together, our Virtual IT Department capabilities enable even smaller wineries with no IT staff compete with large wineries with full IT departments. At the same time, WineryConnect offers larger wineries even more value (where a larger number of transactions need to be automated between clouds) and partners with IT departments at those organizations to enable them to focus on on-premise IT needs and unique challenges faced by larger organizations. A fantastic side effect of all this is increased visibility across winery operations. Because vinESB sits in the middle connecting Best-of-Breed systems we get to listen and build Winery Intelligence. Our vinESB Micro Apps are in particular where we offer reporting and analytics across the organization.
WineryConnect enables this Best-of-Breed approach with a set of Technology, Training, & Support solutions tuned to the unique ways wineries work and proven in use over years.
Seed to Sale to Social
WineryConnect supports wineries comprehensively with what we call “Seed to Sale to Social” capabilities. From growing grapes and making wine through selling in all the ways wineries sell: in-person (tasting rooms, festivals, gift shops, restaurants, weddings & events), Direct to Consumer (online store, wine club, phone orders), and wholesale or self-distribution, right up through consumers interacting socially around your brand. WineryConnect focuses on broadly supporting wineries and then giving ownership and management deep insight across these operations.
Headquartered in the Cornell Technology Farm in Geneva, NY (the heart of the Finger Lakes wine region) WineryConnect is focused on helping wineries grow over the years, scaling revenue across technology platforms driven by deep insights into their business.
Wineries are generally very complex organizations which manufacture a controlled substance, sell it via multiple heavily regulated channels, run retail gift shops, restaurants, weddings, events and even more. Like every business these days, wineries need to make decisions around these activities based on data fed from various software systems. As much as possible you want data to be shared between these systems automatically for two reasons. First, you want to make it easy to grow your revenue by (for instance) not having to manually enter online sales into your POS, or not having to manually enter financial data from your POS into Quickbooks. The second critical thing automation does is make it easy for you to ask important questions of all your key business data.
How can we best segment our consumers based on purchase history across our online store and our tasting room sales? What wines are selling best when and where? Fundamentally, how are my Profit & Loss Statement and my Balance Sheet adding up?
An ability to answer these questions efficiently and effectively is based not only on technology being integrated and working well, but also on winery staff using technology correctly, and being able to get help when they need it without needing to know even which system they need help with, just that they need help.
Industry Leading Point Of Sale
WineryConnect has been an authorized Revel re-seller since 2014. We have proven our ability to deploy and support Revel for a wide range of wineries from start-ups to complex, multi-faceted wineries with multiple locations, restaurants, wedding and event management, festival operations, and so on. We have built our vinESB technology around Revel so that Revel reporting and the Revel integration to Quickbooks can be leveraged for online sales data as well as POS sales.
Industry Leading Online Store
Nexternal has been helping wineries sell online for over 18 years. They have an absolutely top-of-the-line subscription wine club module, as well as extremely robust customer segmentation and email marketing capabilities. Nexternal is our preferred eCommerce solution.
In late 2018 WineryConnect evaluated a range of winery production control systems along with several of our customers. Our customers chose InnoVint and we are currently in the process of integrating InnoVint with vinESB, which will drive further operational efficiencies and also open up a world of possibilities in terms of overall organizational reporting and analytics. We expect to have a basic integration done within the first quarter of 2020.
Meet Sam Vinakor. Bringing with him over two and a half decades of experience in software development, business process consulting, and business development, Sam has worked with government, large companies, and small companies across a range of industries and technologies. Sam is a specialist in what’s called Enterprise Architecture (EA). EA is essentially city planning for organizations – concerned with making sure every area of your winery has the support systems it needs today and that those systems are aligned with where you plan to be in the future. Specifically EA tries to be sure that as much as possible the different systems your winery uses talk to each other (see our Technology page for more on this) so your business processes can work smoothly together across departments.
One of the cardinal rules of EA is “never automate before you optimize” which is a way of saying that we should make sure the business process being followed is correct and complete before we try to bring in software to make things easier. WineryConnect has spent years working with wineries to understand things like how excise tax is generated on a monthly basis for the state and quarterly for federal reporting. We’ve worked with complicated wineries including restaurant, retail, wholesale, and remote operations, and we’ve also seen how many hats staff at small wineries have to wear. We’ve seen how winery marketing departments stay keenly aware of what’s happening with younger generations where everything has to be social and mobile.
Based on our experiences, the Grape Squad trains winery staff on how to use the technology we support most effectively with business goals and regulatory restrictions in mind. Further, every WineryConnect engagement includes extensive free consultation from Sam on business planning and direction. Sam is also available for more intensive consultation projects as needed. Contact Us for more information.
WineryConnect has quickly become a trusted advisor and an integral part of the Hazlitt team. From a deep-dive analysis of our Point Of Sale needs to a quick-hit assessment of hosting and technology requirement for our 5 main websites.
WineryConnect has worked directly with me to push the edge in terms of what is happening with Finger Lakes Winery online stores. Our new store looks clean and professional while incorporating interesting, winery specific capabilities.
It took under a week from the time I first met with WineryConnect till we were fully live with three Revel POS stations. I didn’t want to go through the busy season with our old system, and WineryConnect delivered.
Wagner Brewing had a specific challenge managing our kegs. WineryConnect worked with us to design a simple online and mobile app to track distributors, manifests, and kegs.