Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

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September 21, 2010

Is Fusion CRM game for it?

The success rates of CRM implementation have been reported low traditionally. Various studies attribute the reason to various factors like user adoptability, system adaptability, high TCO etc. Should I take the liberty of saying that marketing and sales users (next to warehouse users) would be ranked first in discarding a system which is not easy to use and fit the requirements. So, Is Fusion ready for sales and marketing users? Let us have a look at the features which marketing and sales users would go gala about it.

Web 2.0 integration: Yes social marketing is in there! Fusion CRM provides the integration to various Web 2.0 components like Wiki, forums, blogs, RSS feeds, mashups, social networks like linked in etc. The integration between people, applications are increased through tags, links and people connections, through integration with the instance messages, google, google maps.

Increased user Experience: It looks and feels better! It provides unified user experience, easy navigation with use of rich client components.

Iphone and Blackberry Integration: Most of it will be on your phone. Fusion CRM provides the users the option to complete their pending CRM application actions on Iphone and Blackberry. Opportunity management, Lead management, Customer and Contact management features of Fusion CRM can be available on your I phone and Blackberry. There will be real time information provided to users on Iphone and Blackberry through RSS feeds.

Outlook Integration: Fusion CRM is seamlessly integrated with MS outlook by providing the real time update to the CRM objects from outlook.

Point Solutions: Fusion CRM has taken a modular approach and can co-exist with other applications due to strong extensibility platform in Fusion. So Customers can choose the module in Fusion CRM which suits them the best and use other packages for other business process.

Delivery Agnostic: Fusion CRM can be deployed On Premise or On Demand or on combination of both without missing the functionalities based on the deployment option employed.

New and Enhanced modules: The role based applications in Fusion delivers a better solution to customers. The complete set of tools to help the sales to manage sales person, manage quotas, manage territories, data quality management are built with new and enhanced modules.

Thereby Fusion CRM delivers value across all the 3 dimensions of CRM - transactional, analytical and social. By offering the choice to deploy the Fusion CRM application - On premise or on demand or combination of both, this product is all set to meet the requirement of sales and marketing users in addition to suit the IT demands.

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Meet us at Booth No. 1701, Moscone Center South, OOW 2010.

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/Oracle/news-events/Pages/oracle-openworld-california10.aspx

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/infyatoow

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- Sushal Shetty
Sushal is a CRM consultant in Enterprise Solutions at Infosys Technologies Limited. She has done various consulting assignments for clients from Hi-Tech Manufacturing, Retail industries.

Disclaimer: Author has presented her views based on the working experience on Oracle Fusion Applications Beta.

September 16, 2010

Oracle's promising BI Roadmap - Taking the joy ride together (Part 1) !!

The relevance of information is defined by the accuracy, timeliness and efficiency with which it can be leveraged. 'Change' is a constantly happening process that reflects the present and defines the future, overcoming the flaws of the past. A company's legacy applications and technology might be outdated and needs to be modernized to perform and deal with competition.

Some customers tend to stay on the older versions and wait and watch the product and its future developments. Few years down the line the existing solution would be out dated and needs to be modernized to cater to the ever-growing requirements and continued product support. This is a very common scenario.

Oracle has evolved efficiently over the years from being just a data base company to a leader in middleware and applications. In this path, Oracle has acquired some prominent companies besides its home grown technologies and is in the process of integrating the best from the acquired. In the Business Intelligence spectrum, Oracle's acquisition of Siebel, Hyperion, Sunopsis and BEA define the future architecture of Oracle BI. OBIEE 11g is one such step in Oracle's world, a leap in Business Intelligence. Latest releases of OBI Apps provides additional source adapters and more capabilities.

As the BI needs of an organization grow, Oracle solutions provide multiple options to start with, grow from existing solution and evolve further.

PROTECT: To address the concerns and confusion that result from acquisitions, Oracle defines a clear roadmap along with the Lifetime Support for customer
investments.

EXTEND: Existing customers can upgrade to the latest versions to leverage the new capabilities, seamless integration with other Oracle technologies and integration with other applications such as Oracle EBS, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel and SAP.

* Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition is a low cost solution Optimized for Oracle database environments & Power users
* Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition One is a BI Pack for SMEs (50 users max )
* Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus is a high-end solution, optimized for heterogeneous environments & Enterprise Wide Deployments.

The existing IT staff of an organization experience the pressure and may not be having adequate bandwidth, time to deal with a software implementation/ upgrade while parallelly handling maintenance of existing solution. It is difficult to find experienced IT personnel who understands the business -  to suggest the right path and is costly to hire. Besides spending money on additional infrastructure and hiring, business can invest its capital in other higher priorities and key initiatives that deliver long term benefits. None can deny the importance of having the right BI solution in place.

Why work hard when you have 'the experts' who have done this already? Infosys has the right credentials with the right people, equipped to handle such programs with its proprietary tools and accelerators.

Leverage the services of Infosys to - 

  • Reduce Risk and Lower TCO
  • Maximize the business value 
  • A Quicker ROI

 

Continued.... here

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Meet us at Booth No. 1701, Moscone Center South, OOW 2010.

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/Oracle/news-events/Pages/oracle-openworld-california10.aspx

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/infyatoow

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September 14, 2010

How can you manage user expectations while transitioning from existing BI platforms and applications to Oracle BI Fusion Edition?

Managing user expectations is increasingly becoming the key concern of organizations while implementing or upgrading BI software applications and platforms. Goading as well as guiding the users to embrace the change is extremely important for successful implementation of Oracle's BI Fusion platform and its pervasive use within the company. So how can a company manage user expectations and upgrade to Fusion keeping both users and management in sync. Is this really possible?

In my opinion, an integrated & focused approach towards managing user expectations is required to fulfill this objective. This approach should concentrate on the following key areas:

• BI Governance Program & Roadmap:  Depending upon the management style and culture of the company we should develop a program & structure consisting of decision making bodies, program manager, key concern areas, rules & principles for implementation along with a visual plan clearly demarcating timelines and deliverables at various stages of the implementation. Ownership is critical in this program as success of the transition depends upon continuous evaluation and reporting. BI Roadmap provides the executives a time-bound and comprehensible execution strategy.

• Role Mapping and Tool fitment: Increasing usability is synonymous with reducing complexity and this is achieved by understanding user roles and information & BI functionality required for each role. This aids in fitment of Fusion application for each role thus removing superfluous functionalities and configuring the right ones. Role mapping is very effective in delivering highly interactive and self-service BI.

• Marketing Plan: Popularizing Fusion BI should be done by devising campaigns using videos, SMS/ MMS, e-mails, posters, blogs etc. Publishing of weekly newsletters describing the functionality of the new application and timelines for the implementation helps in users getting acclimatize to the change. Regular meeting across departments and projects encourage familiarity with the applications, thus improving adoption and usage rates. Stimulation of interest about the application among users through incentives abets this process.

• Support & Feedback: Tools should be implemented in order to capture user problems and catalogued to develop FAQ's. Dedicated helpdesk need to be set-up for collecting the queries and resolving issues pertaining to the BI Fusion application. Surveys should be conducted periodically to generate information regarding BI user experience and ways of improving them.

• Monitoring Usage statistics of the Fusion BI application and understanding how users are reacting to the change can bring about remarkable insights to the usability of the application.

I would be interested to know your experience in such situations and the approach that you followed to manage user expectations while undergoing BI transition.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Meet us at Booth No. 1701, Moscone Center South, OOW 2010.

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/Oracle/news-events/Pages/oracle-openworld-california10.aspx

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/infyatoow

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- Shobhan Majumdar
Shobhan is an Associate Consultant in Enterprise Solutions at Infosys. He has more than two years of IT experience and good exposure to finance as well. He specializes and works on OBIEE 11g platform. 

September 13, 2010

Oracle Edge Products - What are the latest Retail Needs

Most Retailers have by now embraced the Internet's effect on their businesses. Earlier versions used to see Retailers creating a different entitity such as XYZ Online or XYZ.net for their online sales. But with the recent phase of Multi Channel Commerce initiatives Retailers are quickly merging operations for procuring, selling and shipping items across the multiple channels. This meant that the IT applications had to quickly adapt and integrate with each other to serve the growing business needs of a seamless enterprise. Oracle has taken a big step in acquiring or developing solutions to meet this growing need of Retailers! This post describes what these new products are and why they are called Edge!

For a while now Oracle products had a presence in the Core areas of a Retail Enterprise often called ERP. Oracle's strategy is to sorround these applications, be it Oracle eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Lawson or even SAP with a host of edge or peripheral applications which integrate with the core ERP but also work as engines of growth.  Some of the edge applications are

1. Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) - eg Hyperion Suite

2. Enterise Data management products such as PIM, Customer Hub

3. Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE)

4. Oracle Transportation Management

5. Oracle Demand Planning - Demantra Suite.

Each of the above product suite has unique features and has a thing in common too. The commonality being that all of the above need to integrate tightly with the in house ERP system.

Retailers across the board are planning or executing projects in these areas, with the core ERP functionality settling around R12 or PeopleSoft 9.1, these edge areas are where the next generation of functionalities and hence cost savings and increased customer service will come from.

At Infosys we have strong practitioners across the various horizontal edge products and vertical edge products such as

Horizontal apps are OTM, Demantra, Projects (Primavera), Enterprise Asset Managment, Oracle Beehive, Master Data Management, Oracle BI/EPM.

Vertical edge apps are  Oracle Retail Merchandising system, Oracle Insurance, Oracle Utilities and Oracle Life Sciences. 

As the ERP space settles down, it is a must for every practitioner, implementor or user to grow beyond the ERP functionality and acquire knowlege in atleast one of these growing edge products.

What has been your experience with these Edge products?

September 2, 2010

Critical points to be consider while "Asset Group" Design process for Successful eAM implementation

Generally Asset Group is new concept to most of companies switching over from legacy plant maintenance system to Oracle Enterprise Asset Management system, as in most of the legacy system it does not exists, they have Asset/Equipment numbers without Asset Groups, in Oracle eAM assets are created from Asset Groups only, so Asset Group is mandatory in Oracle eAM. This blog would explain the impact of Asset Groups in various places of the eAM application and help to expedite the Asset Group design process.

Following factors would help in designing the Asset Grouping "Asset Group"

1)      Grouping by  Similar Type of Assets :- Asset Grouping should be based on Similar Type of Assets

e.g.  CNC Lathe, Conventional Lathe (Manual), based on specific application/usage i.e. Vertical Lathe (VTL), Horizontal Lathe etc and its Manufacturer.

 2)       Similar Asset Specifications/ Technical Details (Attributes) :- Asset Grouping should be based on  similar  Technical Details of an asset (Attributes) ,

Asset Attributes are linked to the Asset Groups only and gets defaulted from the Asset Group to Asset Number.

                e.g.    CNC Lathe Group will have following asset Attributes

a)      Make of CNC system

b)      Type of Scale

c)       Type of Ball Screw

d)      Make of DC/AC Servo motor

e)      Tachometer Type/Make

So whenever an Asset is created out of above asset group (CNC Lathe) all the above attributes would automatically get copied to the new Asset Number which got created out of "CNC Lathe"  Group.

                e.g.    Conventional Lathe Group will have following asset Attributes

a)      Make of PLC system

b)      Type of Guide ways (e.g. linear)

c)       Make of lead screw

d)      Make of Induction motor

 So whenever an Asset is created out of above asset group (Conventional Lathe) all the above attributes will automatically copied to the new Asset Number which got created out of Conventional Lathe Group.

Same is applicable in Case of Asset Categories, all the Asset Categories are initially associated/configured at the Asset Group level only and then it gets defaulted to respective Asset Number of Particular Asset Group.

 3)      Asset BOM  :-In Asset BOM  you can just mention  " From effective"  to  "To affectivity"  as  "0"  so that the Spare part once defined for a particular Asset Group will be applicable to All the Assets belonging to a that particular Asset Group. So Asset Group is important consideration from Asset BOM designs point of view and its maintenance.

 4)       Searching of Asset Number:- Searching of Asset Number becomes easy as assets are grouped in proper logical  Asset Group   , e.g. If  you want to search Asset and you are not aware of the Asset Number but you know it is CNC type lathe  then you can search it based on the Asset Group "CNC lathe" and get only all the CNC lathes .

 5)      Preventive Maintenance Forecasting: -  If you Group the assets correctly then Generating and defining preventive maintenance becomes easy  e.g. If you want to Generate PM only for CNC lathes then you can just select Asset Group of CNC Lathe and Generate a PM for all the assets belonging to CNC Lathe Asset Group.  Similarly if you define Proper Asset group, defining the Preventive maintenance becomes easy as you can forecast the PM jobs based on the Asset Groups.

 6)      Cost analysis:- You can analyses the Maintenance cost of All CNC Lathe Vs Convention lathes by making use of  Asset Groups through reports.

 7)      Templates for Activity and Preventive Maintenance:- Asset Grouping  is very important while defining  the Templates for "Activity Association Template" and Preventive Maintenance (PM) "Schedule Template Definition"  and "Meter  Template Association".

These templates get defined only at the Asset Group  Level .Once you define the Templates for "Activity Association Template" and "Schedule Template Definition" for PM at Asset Group level , in future if any new asset is defined out of above Asset Group system would automatically create link the activities from Activity template and create PM plan defaulting the values from the Template. So the effort of association of activity and definition of new PM reduced also no chance of missing PM activities on new machines /Equipments coming inside the Plant/Fields.

 8)      Failure Analysis:-  Asset Group important consideration while Failure analysis configuration, all the Failure sets are linked to Asset Groups only . Failure codes from the Failure sets gets defaulted to the work orders of respective Asset Group's Asset Numbers.

To summaries, while designing the "Asset Group" you have to consider above important points and there should not be just one Asset Group for different types of Assets at the same time it should not be one to one ( One Asset Group to One  Asset Number) which would create major issue while maintaining and searching the Asset  data.

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