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

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August 30, 2013

Service Excellence through Enterprise Knowledge Management

Guest post by
Runal Vinodchandra Vakharia, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

We are in times where the world is moving at a faster pace, customers are matured and companies are competing with one another to retain customers, while looking to increase revenue from current customers. This has led to the understanding that service offerings can be important differentiators and provide an opportunity to create a customer bond through emotion therebyRunal - Image - 12.jpg improving overall customer service experience. One of the tools to enhance customer experience is by deploying knowledge management tools to disseminate key information to service personnel/customers on the fly.

Enterprise Knowledge Management (KM) is all about providing right information to the right customer (Partner/ Agent / End Customer) at the correct time. This information could be given to your partners or agents so they could do the job more efficiently, effectively and commendably. It also ensures high first call resolution rates, thereby improving service efficiency.

Maintaining a large volume of information is one of the key issues an organization faces.  This information will typically be spread over multiple data sources like Intranet, Document repository and Manuals etc. Due to this, service personnel are unable to identify accurate and/or currently updated information to be provided to customers. So when someone provides this incorrect information to the customer through any of your service channels, it leads to poor customer experience and possibility of losing a valuable customer. This is where Enterprise Knowledge Management is useful where it provide correct and timely information to all the concern parties (End Customer, Partner and Agent) in a service interaction.

As shown in the diagram, KM not only helps customers to identify the right product on the basis of the search specification but can also be configured to provide troubleshooting wizard options to customers. These features help customers resolve their queries in quickest possible time via increased customer involvement. To further increase customer participation and enhance KM repositories, you can define special offers to encourage customers become more active in contributing to your KM efforts.  Most KM tools provide an opportunity to customers to share the knowledge on the forums, blogs and other online communities. So devising and implementing a coherent KM strategy can work wonders for enhancing an organization's service experience efforts.  

Runal - Image 2.jpg
As somebody has rightly said 'The more customer service insight you have, the more revenues your company will get' and with help of Enterprise Knowledge Management would result in improvement customer satisfaction this would result in improve customer loyalty and better brand equity for an organization.

Thus, key to a successful Enterprise Knowledge Management solution is to build a culture where people feel ownership of the content they use. They contribute to the knowledge base via feedbacks and feel confident that they know not only where to find answers but are also confident about its accuracy. This culture will be put together over a period through a repeatable and consistent knowledge management process. As this culture grows, it will become the base for a successful service experience for customers and employees alike.

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Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Booth No. 1411, Moscone South

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/oracle-openworld

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August 28, 2013

Measuring the Success of Customer Experience Management

Guest post by
Ruja Basnet, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Organizations invest time and effort in undertaking customer experience (CX) transformation programs and redesign many business processes with an aim to become more customers centric. In view of this, measuring the success or otherwise of a CX program is of critical importance. Just like there is an effort to redesign business processes, it is also essential to choose the relevant metrics to measure the success of a CX transformation program. A basic understanding of CX success factors and process to measure it sets apart an enlightened CXM approach from just another BPR project. Correct measurement of customer experience enables organizations to identify concern areas, monitor the improvement on those concerns and always work towards being meaningful to its customers.

Below is an illustrative flow depicting the CX measurement thought process that can be followed:
Ruja- Image 1.jpg 
Channel/customer segment selection: There has been major shift in the way business and customer communicates. With the means like social sites, web portals, call centers or face to face interaction, customers can have different levels of satisfaction and different kinds of grievances from different channels. For example: the way an organization deals with their corporate customer and retail customer can be different, and so will be their experience. This will lead to disparate customer experience across channels and segments. So, customer channels and segments need to be considered while designing a measurement framework and metrics.

Selection of CX metrics based on specific business function: Once channel and customer segment is selected, a specific business function to be measured can be determined. In the end to end interaction with a customer there might be different experiences across business functions. For example: A customer might have pleasant experience during his order fulfillment and not so good one during one of the service request resolution. So, there has to be separate metrics for CX measurement based on specific business functions. This will guide organization in determining channel, segment and function wise issue resolution and revenue generation.

Data collections and analysis: Selected CX metrics needs to be shared with the concern business functions. For refining the quality of data collection, staffs needs to be trained in CX metrics and even staffs compensations can be linked with CX metrics. Proper data will lead to a good analysis of customer experience. It is necessary to share the insights from CX metrics to concern business functions based on the analysis of data collected.

In today's radically changing business landscape, customer expectations from the organization also keeps changing. Therefore CX metrics needs to be reviewed periodically for updating based on the feedback from the cross functional team. Organizations can then be in a more worthy position to make strategic decisions and layout their future objectives based on the well formulated data analysis obtained from CX metrics.

Organizations which align CX metrics to business outcome are more likely to be successful with their CX management program and stand ahead of the competition. This will guide organizations in prioritizing the concern areas, estimating return on investment of these concern areas and planning organization's resources accordingly. This in turn results in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, decreased operational cost and higher revenue generation of the organization.

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Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Booth No. 1411, Moscone South

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/oracle-openworld

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August 27, 2013

Cost Effective and Flexible Shared ERP solution for SME Segment (Part 2)

Guest post by
Ajay Ashok Verekar, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

In part-1, we discussed about importance of small and medium enterprises in global market and challenges faced by SME for ERP implementation.

What IT companies can offer -

I think proposed solution will empower SME to go for good ERP system like Oracle or any other ERP solution. Our solution can be accessible to small scale to large scale enterprises.

Solution-

As a part of solution, IT companies can provide Oracle application or ERP system on Open network or on Internet to every customer. This is like shared ERP system across customers.  Companies can make the most of Cloud computing technologies to get more benefits of technologies and cut operating cost.

  1. Implementation - System Implementer (SI) can do template implementation. Template means Implementer will do standard Oracle application/ERP implementation without any customisation or any changes in standard oracle functional flow. Based on my past ERP implementation, we had done 2/3 sites vanilla implementation and I found systems are running smooth and fulfilling customer requirements. Hence SI will give customer basic functionality by implementing basic modules without any customisation which will fulfil customer basic daily transaction and reporting requirement like MFG transaction, P2P, O2C and accounting transaction in system.  Customer will do Modules or Process selection based on requirement with help of SI.
  2. Organisation structure- SI will create different organisation structure on one instance for each customer. Organisation structure level will be decided by customer. e.g. Some client won't require Full Oracle application structure from Business Group  to Inventory -locator. So in this case based on requirement SI will just create structure from Operating Unit to Locator. Above operating unit level structure will be kept common for certain customers.
  3. Data Migration - Standard template will be provided to customer for data migration. Using template, SI will collect minimum information from customer and will apply standard remaining information based on oracle flow.
  4. Training - User will be given training for daily transaction data entry based on standard flow and not about any Set up and other functional or technical training. User will do only data entry with respect to his daily transaction.  Tool like UPK or video recording will be used to share training details.
  5. Business flow mapping- As per my experience, Normal business can be mapped in Standard Oracle/ERP flow without any customisation. Any business need to track MFG transaction, Supply chain transaction, stock keeping and respective accounting etc. which can be managed using standard Oracle/ERP flow. SI will implement standard Oracle/ERP process across all customers.
  6. Reporting - Standard customised reports will be developed to pass on transaction and stock information to customer. These report Outputs will be developed in EXCEL so that customer can play with information and develop reports as per their or statutory requirement. Accounting information will be passed to customer in excel report format if customer organisation structure is developed up to Operating unit level only.
  7. Support- IT companies will develop common support team to all customers hence support will be like shared service. This team will work in shift to provide 24*7 supports. This team will have resources across Oracle application business flow and DBA activities.

Features of Solution-

  1. License cost - License cost will be shared across customer. E.g. Manufacturing Module cost in Oracle/ERP System is approx 4594 $ / Year for Min 10 Users. So if Small scale organisation is going for 2 users each then this cost will be shared by 5 organisations. SI will pass on these benefits to customer.  However for this benefit IT Company needs to discuss with ERP vendor for license agreement.
  2. Hardware and software cost- This cost will be also going to be shared across multiple customers. Also cloud computing will reduce some cost of vendor as well. Compare to In-house system, Cloud computing will reduce significant amount of Hardware and software cost of SME.
  3. Implementation project cost- Implementation cost will be very less and its standard flow implementation. There won't be requirement of big project team from customer side or from System Implementer side. System will be like plug and play.
  4. Support- Support will be managed by System Implementer. This will be like BPO business /shared support service. So cost of support will be shared across customer. Client doesn't need to maintain their own IT staff or business team to maintain any ERP system. Business will do only daily transaction data entry, support will be provided by SI.
  5. Software Maintenance - Software Maintenance will be done by SI and this cost will be also shared across customer.
  6. Training - Training cost will be also reduced for both customer and SI as UPK or video recording will be used by both.
  7. Flexibility- Customer will have better flexibility to tune up with software and move out of software in worst scenario.  If customer wants to switch to their own ERP system instead of shared, this is possible with ease based on available data on shared instance.
  8. Organisational fitment- Oracle system will give better fitment as erp package for business transformation and changes in environment or process compared to small or customised ERP system.  Customer will get more flexibility during business development and customer will able to accommodate business growth in ERP system.
  9. Overall with less cost and risk, customer can go for good ERP system.
  10. Alongside all above points, System will help to reduce Carbon footprint globally due to use of shared resources. 

Solution Limitation-

  1. High end customisation- High end customisation won't be available in system.
  2. Data Security- Data security will be concern for Customers.  System Integrator Partners can maintain data security clause and data should not be shared across customer without permission.
    Also customer can refer data information in their preferred coding so that it won't be understood easily to anyone.
  3. Open network- Open network need more securities from Virus or any criminal sources. This may add some cost burden on customer. But this burden will be there in normal practice as well for any ERP implementation.

In Part 3, I will cover benefits to system implementer or IT companies from this solution.

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Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Booth No. 1411, Moscone South

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/oracle-openworld

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

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August 23, 2013

Streamline Territory Management Process using Oracle Fusion Territory Management

Guest post by
Vikrant Venkata Leela Addepalli, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

In the present competitive environment, assignment of right sales resource to a sales account goes a long way for any organization in terms of gaining Customer Confidence and in generating good revenues & posting decent margins.  Considering the evolving technology, most Organizations would like to look beyond traditional way of assigning Sales Resources to a Sales Account, which was just based on the location of the Sales Account. Oracle Fusion Territory Management is a comprehensive territory management solution for any Organization for assignment of Sales Resources to a Sales Account.

Interesting and key features offered by Fusion Territory Management include:

  1. Dimensions based territory assignment: Territory Assignment for Sales accounts in Oracle Fusion Applications is based on 6 out of the box dimensions like Geography, Account, Account Type, Organization Type, Customer Size and Industry. Three custom/Auxiliary Dimensions are also available to provide more flexibility and increase assignment options. A Territory would get assigned or get stamped to a Sales Account when the attributes on a Sales account and the dimensions on a territory match and thereby assigning the resource on the territory to the Sales Account. Also note that always the leaf or bottom most territory in the territory hierarchy would get assigned incase multiple territories match the required criteria.
  2. Geography Zones: Most applications provide the functionality for uploading or importing of Master Geography Data but do not provide the flexibility for creating custom geography zones like APAC, EMEIA, North US, North UK etc., which might be unique from Organization to Organization. Oracle Fusion Applications provides this unique feature of creating custom geography zones. While creating this custom geography zones, the imported master geographies can also be used as part of a geography zone. Say for example, if we create a zone 'North US', we can include all states which would be part of North US. These Geography Zones would then be used as dimension members for Geography Dimension.
  3. Manual Inclusion & Exclusion: In addition to the regular ways of territory assignments, there might be one of cases, where in a specific account has to be assigned to a specific territory or a specific account should not be part of a specific territory. Oracle Fusion Applications provide Manual Inclusion and Exclusion functionality in addition to the above dimension based assignments. Using this functionality, a Sales functionality can be assigned to a territory or de-assigned from a territory irrespective of the territory dimensions.
  4. Embedded Analytics and Business Intelligence: Using embedded Analytics, we can create balanced and effective territories. Oracle Fusion Applications provides various options to create Business Intelligence Reports using which Sales Managers can take informed and calculated decisions.

As it is developed on Fusion Middleware, which is an Open Source Platform, Oracle Fusion Territory Management can be used as a standalone solution or can co-exist with different systems like Oracle, Non Oracle and Home grown applications either using Cloud or on-premise offering.

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Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Booth No. 1411, Moscone South

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/oracle-openworld

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

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New approach of Social Project Management with Oracle Fusion PPM

Guest post by
Sandeep Suresh Deshpande, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

Project teams today are exposed to increasing pressure to complete the project on time within budget under dynamic conditions of -

  • Rapidly changing Project Management perspective
  • Distributed teams working in highly volatile environment chasing moving targets
  • Problems arising out of knowledge dissemination
  • Complex long running projects

"Even though we have Project Wiki pages, KM workshops, VOIPs, periodic status reporting and project meetings, my project is in red"

Social Project Management with Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management Team Connect:

With Fusion Project Portfolio Management, project community has an access to a common platform which enables the gateway to all the relevant resources working within the boundaries of Fusion Enterprise ERP.

Secured project communities, native project collaboration leveraging Web 2.0 tools and single place for real-time project-based interactions and communications ensure seamless information sharing amongst project team, and resultant improved productivity and project health. Project workspace supports easy and controlled access to project documents, announcement, discussion forums, project calendar, activity streams, tagging, notes and chat sessions.

Gone are the days when your team used to log a defect in a tool, then someone would collate all the defects on a weekly basis, to do a root cause analysis in the 'Defect Prevention' meetings, and then publish the report to finally arrive at the solution after a fortnight, all of these under the watchful eyes of an already stressed Project Manager.

In Social Project Management with Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management Team Connect, the team member would open a discussion thread around a potential defect he / she has found, someone sitting in the other corner of the globe who has already worked on a similar issue, would do some deep dive analysis by referring to the project documents and related discussion forums and would post a solution to the thread also providing an online help through interactive chat sessions, finally to see that the issue is resolved.

"Take a benefit from Oracle's comprehensive field research with esteemed customers and partners manifesting you to stay connected with your core project management transactions through a social enterprise"

Next time, when the project manager logs in, he is happy to see that the problem is resolved by his "Global" team and the entire information is available for the complete project community for future reference, without anyone spending extra effort in co-ordination activities. Who is benefitted - the Enterprise!

Thus, Social Project Management ensures that you have a satisfied customer through improved product quality deliverables by leveraging collective intelligence and transparent project operations.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Booth No. 1411, Moscone South

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/oracle-openworld

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

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

Why clients prefer Oracle BPM over Oracle Workflow

Guest post by
Rinku Das, Technology Architect, Infosys

 

Now-a-days most of the Oracle clients are migrating from Oracle E-Business Suite 11i to Oracle E-Business Suite R12. This is due to the addition of new oracle modules in R12, new features in the existing modules in R12 and many more. But the most important from the integration point of view is the architectural change which gives more flexibility to integrate with other non-Oracle applications. Better integration can be achieved using Oracle Fusion Applications but as it involves high cost and requires skilled fusion resources clients prefer to migrate to Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R12.

Oracle EBS R12 supports Oracle Workflow, a graphical modeling tool used for building business processes and connect information flows between human workers and computer applications. Like Oracle Workflow, Oracle BPMN is also a graph flow language for building business processes. Even though both perform the same job but still clients prefer Oracle BPM. Below are the two main reasons for the migration

  1. In Oracle E-Business, Oracle business interfaces like Business Events, PL/SQL and XML Gateway built using multiple technologies can be exposed as web services. This is feasible using Integrated SOA Gateway (ISG) which is an integral part of Oracle EBS R12.1.  Oracle BPM can implement such web services in a better way than Oracle Workflow as BPM is layered on Oracle SOA Suite.
  2. A business process that is implemented using Oracle Workflow can also be implemented using Oracle BPM, but the models used are different. An integrated environment is provided by Oracle BPM Suite for developing, administering and using business applications centered on business processes. In Oracle Workflow life cycle, only limited types of users can interact. But in Oracle BPM, different types of users like Process Analyst/Architect, Process Developer, Business Application User, Business Administrator and Process Owner can interact at different stages of BPM life cycle. Other advantages of Oracle BPM include better tracking and monitoring process, and easy integration with other technology through an implementation of service and process based architecture.\

Below are the few points which should be implemented for smooth migration from Oracle workflow to Oracle BPMN.

Note: BPMN which stands for Business Process Modeling Notation is a graphical notation for capturing business processes and interactions.

  • The first step is to understand the current workflow process very well including user roles & business rules and then map each object to the corresponding activity/task/object in Oracle BPMN.
  • Migration of workflow control flow to BPMN control flow.
  • Conversion of approval flow from workflow process to BPMN process.
  • Migration of workflow error handling process to BPM exception process. In BPMN, Fault Policy feature can also be used for error handling.
  • Migration of data from workflow to BPMN and the implementation of notification process.
  • Implementation of monitoring process within Oracle BPM Suite.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Meet Infosys experts at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Booth No. 1411, Moscone South

Explore more at http://www.infosys.com/oracle-openworld

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

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