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

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September 27, 2011

Effective Sales Planning with Oracle Fusion Sales Planning Solution

Guest post by
Sushal Subashchandra Shetty, Consultant, Infosys

 

Are you not able to define effective territories for your sales organization?

Is your sales team swimming in the sea without targets?

Is your sales team cherry picking on prospects and you are not aware how to tackle it?

Are you losing track of your sales team's performance?

If answer to all/one of the above questions is yes, then my cent that you ought to read this further. The top problems which one of the large manufacturing company was facing were loss of productivity due to redundant and manual process, lack of consistent and efficient reporting, inaccurate commissioning.

If you are also facing the same problems as above then sales planning solution based on Oracle Fusion Applications is the one-stop solution for you.

Oracle Fusion Territory Management, Oracle Fusion Quota Management, Oracle Fusion Incentive Management modules are bundled together with a tight integration as a sales planning co-existence solution. Let us look at some interesting features of each of these modules:

Oracle Fusion Territory Management

This module will remove the redundancy and automating the territory management process to a great extent. The embedded BI will enhance the reporting, leading to informed decision making in sales teams. The USP's of this module are:

  • Simulation and What -if modeling tools to maneuver your territories and visualize the effect of the same on revenue stream
  • Territory Validation tools to identify the gaps, invalid territories
  • Embedded BI to ensure "data to dollar" transformation, by giving real time reports on the health of the territory

Oracle Fusion Quota Management

Customers always wanted a tool to manage Quotas/sales targets and this module does exactly same. The tight integration with Oracle Fusion Territory Management module is "icing in cake" for this module as the seamless data flow ensures near -to - elimination of manual process for sales planning. This thereby, not only brings in a strategic sales planning engine but also increases the productivity and efficiency of sales team with below tools:

  • In built tools for quota management like, Territory Quota Formulas, Spread formulas and Seasonality Factor Groups
  • Support of Top Down and Bottom Approach for sales target definition

Oracle Fusion Incentive Compensation

Right Commissioning has always been the "ace in the hole" for retention of top sales talent and Oracle Fusion Incentive Compensation brings in effectiveness and objectivity to this process. The key differentiators for this module is :

  • Embedded Dashboard/ Map representation to review the sales teams
  • Support of Dispute Management
  • Enhanced Sales Communication to enable sales team to achieve targets

This co-existence solution will provide a seamless solution along with your current ERP and CRM systems due to integration built on Oracle Service Oriented Architecture. So, basically you can still continue with your current ERP and other CRM application, but enhance your IT landscape with Oracle Fusion Sales planning solution. You can move your other applications to Oracle Fusion as you build a business case of the same. Thus, Sales planning solution will provide a complete, comprehensive solution for sales planning so that sales team of your organization can do what they do the best by increasing productivity and efficiency and retaining the top sales talent.

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

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Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, Booth No. 1813, Moscone South

Explore more at  http://www.infosys.com/Oracle/news-events/Pages/oracle-openworld-sanfrancisco11.aspx

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September 16, 2011

Asset Management in Electricity Distribution Utility: "The Challenges of Getting Softer"

Guest post by
Abhishek Prasad Verma, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

Power sector historically has been late in adopting IT to enable and streamline its business processes. The same is evident in its archaic operations and built in inefficiencies. However recently there has been a considerable effort by the utilities to look for all available options to improve operational efficiency in various field of operation like customer services, metering, billing etc. for improved customer services & tariff rationalization. So is the case with Asset Management System. In the first wave of transformation, the industry is looking forward to go softer and leaner i.e. it is exploring IT to replace its "Hard Book" based archaic manual systems.

This transformation is not easy and there are various challenges in getting softer. Few of them are -

  1. Streamlining the business processes: Processes in Power distribution company are archaic and often burdened with non-value add activities because of reliance on paper based transactions and over-emphasis on delegation of power in absence of lack of transparency and system. The software can be as effective as the business process. And hence it is very important to streamline the business processes related with asset and maintenance management before having a software design.
  2. Creating an Asset repository: Most of the distribution companies do not have a single view of the assets installed on the field because of the use of distributed paper based asset registers. Without a proper system it is practically impossible to track and maintain assets in this industry which is characterized by assets that are geographically scattered and involve frequent movement esp the ones like transformers and meters. Hence it is of utmost importance to create a realistic asset repository in terms of its technical, operational, location, network and financial parameters.
  3. Asset Modeling: Asset modeling involves asset classification and identification of relevant parameters for each asset type. Often asset modeling in an asset management system is guided by asset management and maintenance perspective. However for an effective business process cutting across the IT landscape, it is very important to see asset management system in integration with other dependent systems like billing, meter data management, meter data acquisition and energy audit system. The asset modeling in asset management should be holistic in a way that it can capture and provide asset information required by other systems.
  4. Asset Numbering: Asset numbering is a way of uniquely identifying an asset and tracking its entire life cycle. Often a debated issue related with asset numbering is intelligent vs dumb numbering. Both have their pros and cons and it is essential to discuss this out in the early stage of the implementation.
  5. Treatment of Linear Assets: Linear assets like conductors and cables, unlike point assets are continuous assets and hence modeling them in the system is a bit tricky. They can be treated as group assets based on length or companies may decide to treat each segment as separate Asset. There is a tradeoff between accuracy of information and ease of operation in the system in both the approaches that should be weighed upon.
  6. Variations in Depreciation Method: Any asset management system provides standard set of depreciation method like straight-line, No deprecation, Group depreciation, double declining balance etc. But sometimes depreciation method is mandated by the relevant regulatory body ex in India distribution companies follow the depreciation method as prescribed by CERC. It is a variant of a straight line depreciation method where for specific duration the asset is depreciated at fixed rate and hence forth the WDV is equally apportioned to the remaining useful life of the asset. Such methods need substantial customization in the standard packages.
  7. The Financial Value of Existing Assets: Most of the utilities value and depreciate assets in group without individual asset level information like asset serial number, installation date etc in their manual books. Therefore the transition from old book based system to IT enabled AM system, has challenges in terms of apportioning the asset value to individual assets on the field. This creates a need to develop an approach to have proper asset valuation from the system in the transition phase.
  8. Shift from distributed to collaborative roles and responsibilities: Traditionally asset management was an exercise distributed between O&M and Accounts department. However with advent of systems it becomes more of a collaborative task right from creation to the retirement of an asset. This is an important challenge to be catered to as part of change management exercise.

Though the challenges highlighted above are common for each implementation in a power distribution industry and there are best practices to resolve them, the actual solution may differ from company to company. Hence it is very important for the business and the IT implementation partner to discuss and have a solution map for them early in the implementation phase.

Note: I would like to specifically mention Abhishek Bhargava, Senior Consultant with Infosys for sharing ideas for this blog.

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Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, Booth No. 1813, Moscone South

Explore more at  http://www.infosys.com/Oracle/news-events/Pages/oracle-openworld-sanfrancisco11.aspx

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

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September 7, 2011

BACKUP and RECOVERY in EXADATA

Guest post by
Vinayak Gangadhar Kurdekar, Technology Lead, Infosys

 

Businesses today need to increasingly leverage a unified platform to host all their database and applications at one place. To meet this challenge, Oracle has designed the Exadata server technology that bundles database and applications together to provide high performance, high availability, scalability and throughput. Mere implementation of the exadata server and its components is not enough. Disasters can strike at anytime. To ensure survivability and safeguard against any major disasters, effective backup and recovery solution is a must. The backup and recovery strategy needs to be not only precise but proven in all aspects. To achieve this Oracle has come out with multiple backup and recovery solutions designed in-house and third party.

  1. Disk based backup and recovery.
  2. Tape based backup and recovery.
  3. Backup and recovery using dataguard.

Oracle's solution for effective backup and recovery of exadata is achieved using time tested recovery manager. Using recovery manager or RMAN in short we can take full backups and even incremental backups of the exadata server. RMAN is designed to work intimately with exadata server providing for block corruption detection during back and restore. The backups can be automatically parallelized across the exadata storage servers to save time. In addition, the backups can also be compressed using native compression methods and Exadata hybrid columnar compression resulting in substantial savings in terms of storage space and time required to perform the backup and restore operations. Disk based backups have the added advantage that they can be used directly without any type of restoration required. Approximate backup and recovery rates using exadata database machine for physical files are:

Machine Type

Full Image Backup

Incremental Backup

Backup Restore

Recovery

Full Rack

7.1 TB/Hr

10-46 TB/Hr

24 TB/Hr

2.1 TB/Hr

Half Rack

7.1 TB/Hr

10-46 TB/Hr

13 TB/Hr

2.1 TB/Hr

Exadata has been designed to integrate with Oracle Secure backup (OSB) and other third party solutions for taking tape based backups. Using Oracle secure backup we can backup both the filesystem and the database. OSB can be used to encrypt backups for increased security and reliability. Tape based backups can also be scaled linearly by adding media servers and tape drives. Multiple copies of tape based backups can be stored at offsite for added safety. If dataguard is configured as a high availability measure then both disk and tape backups can be performed on the physical standby environment without impacting the performance of the primary system.

The backup and recovery solution for performing either disk or tape backups can be fully automated by using RMAN scripts. This requires minimal human intervention and removes the manual effort required for performing daily backups, resulting in huge cost savings to the customer. Many customers have successfully adopted this concept in their production environments.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, Booth No. 1813, Moscone South

Explore more at  http://www.infosys.com/Oracle/news-events/Pages/oracle-openworld-sanfrancisco11.aspx

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

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