With Thursday's announcement, CDK will release Drive Flex to an already-selected group of dealerships to pilot the system through June. CDK will demonstrate it at the NADA convention in Las Vegas March 22-25, and begin taking orders after NADA. The actual rollout to buyers will come after June.
Drive Flex is a cloud-based DMS with new interfaces and enterprise-level security, CDK Chief Technology Officer Rajiv Amar said.
For most of the DMS offerings on the market, "the usability is challenging — you've got to go to five different screens to do an action," Amar said. "We said workflow really matters. Make it possible on a single screen."
The system also offers "modern application programming interfaces that enable easy integration to other software offerings, to put the dealer in control for future growth and innovations," CDK said in a statement.
Drive Flex has no ties to Auto/Mate, a DMS provider that is especially strong among one- to two-rooftop dealership groups. CDK is in the process of acquiring Auto/Mate, in part to better serve that niche. The deal is still going through regulatory approvals.
Separate from the Auto/Mate move, "we've been innovating this, knowing there's a need for innovation in DMS," MacDonald said.