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

« August 2013 | Main | October 2013 »

September 27, 2013

"Forward View" Mirror - Connected Vehicles

Being a car enthusiast I am thrilled to be to be working on a connected vehicles technology initiative that we are executing within our Manufacturing vertical at Infosys. I've grown up dreaming of various possibilities of what my car should be able to do - this includes an insane desire of being able to communicate with cars (or rather drivers) around me on matters of driving ethics (stop honking!), rules (no lane cutting!), sharing information on great music in a traffic jam (cool down and look up FM 98.3!) and also appreciating their (rare) kindness (thanks for giving me way!). While it might take some more time for my fantasies to materialize but the speed at which the connected vehicles technology is evolving, vehicles can actually start talking to other vehicles and take care of most functions of driving.

A colleague and I were discussing on what the future of vehicles could look like and we let imagination run loose to see the following in our crystal ball.

Driverless Vehicles
This one is a no-brainer and everyone is talking about this. Google has already successfully tested various prototypes on different kinds of streets and in different traffic situations. A lot of car OEMs have started adopting sense and respond technology innovations that allow them to speed up on this path. It might take some more time before driverless vehicles are fully and commercially mainstream the way Google has envisioned it, but we will start to see it getting enabled in subtle ways already and gradually move towards being completely autonomous. To begin with, the adoption may even be higher and faster in the industrial automation scenarios.

Personalization
If vehicles could remember its user's preferences and automatically adapt themselves to their users, it would do wonders to the customer experience. We already have electronic positioning of seats, height adjustment, steering wheel positioning etc where multiple positions can be stored and adjusted by the users. Soon, the vehicle would be able to do this itself by recognizing its user. In addition, this may not be restricted to driver comforts but also aspects like color of the interiors, music playlists, navigation guides based on destinations and points of interests, payment preferences for concierge services, speed limits or prescribed driving patterns, types of alerts activated ... and the list goes on. If my car could do this, I wouldn't need to spend the first 5 minutes in my car just readjusting everything to my needs!

Other, even cooler prospects are of digital dashboards. If I can chose how my cars dashboard looks like, be able to personalize it, be able to change it frequently and be able to select from a library of cool templates, wouldn't it be awesome? I recently installed the much awaited iOS7 on my iPhone and it has completely changed its look and how I interact with it. What if, I could do this with my car's dashboard with a simple over the air (OTA) upgrade? A move in this direction has already started and conversations with a few tier 1 suppliers are already hinting on unlimited opportunities.

Ownership
Now, if the vehicle provides complete flexibility for customizing, configuring and personalization, do I need to purchase one? Could I share it with a group and still feel it to be my own if it could automatically adapt itself to my preferences? If I combine it with the driverless scenario, my car that currently stands in the parking lot for a major part of the day, whilst I am sitting in office, could actually put itself to good use. Is there a possible new business model emerging? Something that elevates the current rental and taxi services into a completely new sphere? Just image the benefits to infrastructure, environment and natural resources as well.

Digital & Social
This is where the fun starts, if it hasn't already been pretty amazing so far! My car becoming my Facebook wall, my Twitter handle, my Pandora box, my waitress at the McDonald's drive-in. What if my car can show my status? It helps people understand my needs/state of mind better. What if my car can place my order at McDonalds and pay for it as I simply grab my package and munch on it? What if the context of my digital space at home can get carried forward to my car such that my transition is seamless?

Some of this adds fodder to the debate on driver distraction when driving, and needs to be coupled with very strong principles of non-intrusive Human Machine Interface (HMI) and augmented reality. Nonetheless, there are unimaginable opportunities.

I'm sure the digital revolution and evolution of M2M (machine to machine) communication will eventually make every of my "what-ifs" true very soon. How I utilize my time and enjoy my drive while my car does all the work is something I still need to think. For now though, I make do with rolling down the window and waving a thank you to the car behind for giving me way.

The future surely and soundly awaits us to get there! Are we ready for the ride? Please write to me on your thoughts on the future of connected vehicles.

September 26, 2013

Gamification in Human Capital Management

Guest post by
Arathi Devi H., Project Manager, Infosys

 

Gamification may not be a word recognized in all dictionaries, but is already a major technology trend currently. Use of game play to engage an individual, has not been unknown to mankind. Right from childhood lessons to group engagement activities, games have always made the mundane chores more enjoyable experiences.

It was only natural, that these concepts were extended to marketing and further to business operations. But, can Gamification be applied to HCM? HCM systems play a vital role in measuring the overall health of organizations. Data integrity and user adoption are very important for any HCM system to perform to its fullest potential, and many organizations struggle at this very point.  At times, users may find systems too tedious and counterproductive. This puts the system integrity in jeopardy.  Gamification of areas that require mass participation can help this address this challenge and improve employee-engagement.

Let's explore few examples -

Learning Management System provides a competent platform for organizations to develop their workforce as well as establish compliance. Gamification of learning systems can entice users to make effective use of available resources. Methods like leaderboards, score-cards, badges and expert levels can be leveraged to encourage a competitive spirit with innate motivation to achieve more. Gaming aspects along with collaboration could also be used to encourage knowledge sharing. Success of education site, Khan Academy, is an excellent example about how online learning with game principles, along with social media collaboration are effective in keeping students engaged and making education a fun activity.

Talent Acquisition or Recruiting System employs an extensive variety of manual and automated methods to cherry pick the right candidate for a job. Game-based technologies can be used here to make the entire process & experience better to not only attract good talent but also help in measuring their aptitude and capabilities. More elaborate techniques like simulation, virtual reality, augmented reality or even scenario based role play can be applied here. Scenarios can be modeled around job complexity and applicant response can be used to gauge their ability. This can streamline the screening process and save a lot of manual effort, as demonstrated in apps like My Marriott Hotel and Quest for Oil.

Performance Management System is closely tied to employee-engagement. A successful performance measurement cycle requires mass participation in a timely manner. Gaming technologies like profile consolidation can be considered at this point. User achievements in other applications could be carried over to their performance review. For example, the badges and scoreboard achievements in learning systems can be used to provide brownie points in performance. Gaming methods that appeal to the competitive spirit, like progress bar and ranking based on completion timeframe, can also be used to encourage timely and accurate data collection.

Industry observers recognize that Gamification is positioned to become a highly significant trend over the next five years. HCM solutions with game-based capabilities can not only improve engagement but could also drive motivation and change employee behavior.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

How best to model profitability for financial institutions?

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys

 

Five years ago, most financial institutions saw dawn ahead of them with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. The turmoil left few of them battling their way back, while few of the financial institutions having their basic C's - Cost management, Credit quality and Capital conservation, in right track have been able to sustain and grow in the financial markets.  Together, these factors are reflected in one key element - profits. The business model for any financial institution boils down ability to capture the market trends and ability to assess business impact, embed them in forecasting cash flows and measure consequences on profitability.

Profitability is a key criterion for measuring the performance of the financial institution. With the growing competition and intricate internal dependencies on building profitability model, financial institutions are seeking to enforce technology which best suits their profitability measurement requirements.  Typically, financial institutions can adopt risk adjusted performance measures including Risk adjusted return on capital (RAROC) alongside Economic Value Analysis (EVA) or Activity Based Costing (ABC) for profitability modelling with focus on decision making at account level data or ledger level data. The aim is to build a clean, single sourced solution catering to need of analysis of income and costs, considering the risks associated, with a multi-dimensional view of products, customers, entity and channel.

A good profitability model allows analysis for the key profitability areas which help in effective customer retention and addition necessitating identification and understanding its "profit areas". It is critical make fact based decisions answering few of the questions like

  • Where its profit comes from?
  • From which products and from which customers?
  • Why it comes from specific profit areas?

All of these questions need to be associated back to the bank's costs - operational (cost of business activities) as well as financial costs (cost of money) - with the various products it provides and customers it serves. Typically, financial institutions face challenges in assigning activity costs incurred in the process of operating, which need to be assigned to products and customers unlike interest expense component which can directly be linked to the product.

As financial institutions try to build best profitability model, it is essential they are supported by right technology and the right solution to meet their business requirements.

Keep watching this space to read more on factors that drive the selection of technology, followed by comparative study of Oracle Financial Services Profitability Management and Hyperion Profitability Cost Management on few key deciding factors.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

How to approach implementation of Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH)

Guest post by
Pravin Sekhani, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

FAH allows organizations to centralize their accounting function through a scalable and user-configurable solution. The accounting engine in FAH uses transaction data and configuration in FAH as input and generates accounting entries as output. Though the concept of an accounting hub is not very new, many organizations have never embarked in a journey to implement this concept. We have implemented FAH for multiple organizations in different industries.  We have seen that the project stakeholders usually do not have much idea about the key decisions which they would need to make.   This blog will provide, such organizations and stakeholders, a perspective on some of the decision points in an implementation of FAH.

An organization may process transactions for same line of business or product/service through more than one transaction processing system. One of the first design decisions which an organization needs to make is whether to implement a common configuration of FAH for a line of business, irrespective of multiple source systems. The other option is to implement separate configuration for each transaction processing source system.

A common configuration means consistent accounting treatment irrespective of differences between transaction processing systems. It also means that a single configuration will need to be changed, in case of change in accounting policy for that line of business or product/service. However common configuration need common transaction data model. Therefore transactions generated in multiple systems for that line of business needs to be transformed into a common data model. Such transformation can be performed either in an upstream data warehouse or via a custom solution in Oracle database.

Separate configuration for each source system allows organization to integrate one system at a time with FAH. Such projects are relatively smaller and less complex. That said, the down side is having multiple configuration for a single line of business which may translate into higher long term maintenance cost.

Another decision point is related to configuration of Applications. Registration of application in one of the first steps in FAH configuration. Accounting rules are configured under an application. Accounting entries are also segregated by application. Hence, one of the key decision point is whether to configure a single application for all FAH configuration or to configure more application - one per line of business or source system. The benefit of single application is that accounting rules can be shared and reused within an application. The downside is that if the FAH is implemented in phases then regression testing will be required for solutions which are already live.

Similarly there are other decision points. However, there is no single right answer for each decision point. The decision depends on the organizations business and technology landscape, implementation approach - big bang or staggered, future growth plans etc. That said, it is recommended that the key SMEs from the project team are given basic training of how FAH works at the very start of the project. This will ensure that SMEs and the implementation partners collectively take knowledgeable decision for a successful FAH implementation.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

September 25, 2013

Siebel Open UI: Beyond usability experience

Guest post by
Karan Nanda, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

The Need:

Siebel Open UI is the UI patch released by Oracle Siebel as part of 8.1.1.9 release. It enhances the way Siebel UI can be customized to give a much better user experience. Beyond these, Siebel Open UI provides numerous productivity improvement benefits. However, where these benefits are not apparent, these need to be highlighted explicitly so that existing customers can realize the potential of Open UI beyond just usability improvement. Open UI provides many features namely browser independence, 3rd party integrations (facebook, twitter, weather & traffic updates), Color coding, 360 degree dashboard with collapsible applets. The decision makers may want to evaluate the ROI of Open UI implementation.

The Approach:

To set the context of ROI calculation, let's take a scenario. Utilizing its JavaScript framework, collapsible applets and eye catching pictorial representation, Open UI provides the ability to create 360 degree dashboard. This view gives users all the required information in a consolidated view based on their responsibilities and data needed on daily basis.

Leveraging Open UI, a 360 degree view can be designed to represent Service Request entity and its child entities (Assets, Orders, Invoices, time, charges etc). This 360 degree view can lead to productivity improvement by providing clear and concise snapshot of data as needed by agents and supervisors by eliminating the need of going to individual views to get required information. This time saving could be derived by doing POC for actual users and comparing the time taken with and without 360 view get complete info on SR entity and child entities.

The Value:

The time saving from 360 degree view provides productivity improvement for all users accessing this view to perform their daily operations.

Illustrative figures:

Productivity Improvement (Time Saved) = 5 minutes/user
No. of users having active access to SR view = 625
Total Productivity Improvement = (5 X 625) = 3125 minutes

Further, using the resource cost, the net dollar saving because of this new view can be shown to customers. Similar POC can be done in synchronization with users to identify usability pain areas and avenues for productivity improvement across the application to arrive at the final ROI.

The Way Forward:

Organizations can implement Open UI in 3 different modes:

 Karan 1.jpgFig: Modes of implementing Open UI

As consultants, we can clearly articulate the business value to customers for not just implementing Open UI as available out of box or with minimal changes rather leverage its virtually unlimited customization capabilities provided by JavaScript framework. The exciting part is not to stop here, rather motivate customers to embrace Open UI with a lot of enthusiasm and implement all these unique features, after all Open UI instills the much needed freshness to Siebel UI.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

Profitability Modeling and Oracle

Guest post by
Shruti Jain, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Measuring profitability and costs are fundamental to the planning and strategizing of any business. The key question here is what is profitability modeling and how does it helps in formation of business strategies?

Profitability models can be used for evaluating investments in new projects, new products, and impact of new taxation laws or new regulations introduced in the business environment. It can be used for what-if analysis of evolving company strategies.

Profitability modeling is in essence forecasting the costs and profits in any business. However, the next question here is which profitability model is most suitable to my business. The appropriate profitability model to be applied to a particular business is primarily based on the industry dynamics and the business model itself.

Simple profitability modeling is based on historical data, financial modeling and trend analysis. However, in changing business environments where the scale of businesses have multiplied, the pace of changes are faster, variables are newer and scenarios are fresh with no prior data to analyze and model, analytical models are taking the lead.

Oracle provides two analytical products for profitability management. One is Oracle Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management (HPCM) and the second product is specific to the Financial Services Industry called Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications Profitability Management (OFSAA PM).

Let's analyze these products from a financial services perspective.

Profitability of banks or financial services is the determinant of how much risk a bank can take on its books and as risk is directly proportional to returns in banking, it is directly proportional to banks profitability and hence the returns to the shareholders. Solvency factors like liquidity, capital adequacy and market volatility are unique to the financial sector and impacts it's standing more than any other industry. As risk is an unavoidable part of banking, any profitability analysis without considering the risk aspects is incomplete. OFSAA Profitability Management has a competitive advantage here as it can bring together information from OFSAA FTP, OFSAA Basel 2 and OFSAA economic capital which are all built on top of a single FSDW data model design specifically for financial services industry and hence provide risk adjusted profitability measures OOTB.

Profitability models in other industries is driven more by investments, suppliers, raw materials, manufacturing operations, marketing and sales. Here cost and profit allocation between different cost and profit centers for various activities are more clearly identifiable and activity and consumption based costing is more often required. HPCM scores here as it provides a flexible allocation engine for both cost and resource/revenue allocation. It supports multiple methods including Activity Based Costing, custom allocations, standard costing and Time Estimations. HPCM also have an edge as it is based on Oracle Essbase which is industry's leading OLAP server supporting faster, easier and more powerful multidimensional analysis and scenario modeling. Banks and financial services which have simple ABC costing need can opt for HPCM product as well.

Both the solutions coexist in the financial services space and customers opt for one or both depending on their needs.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a large transformation ERP Program (Part-2)

Guest post by
Hemantkumar Nathu Lothe, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

In the last blog, we have seen two important points to be considered for successful first period closure which are-

1. Period End Closure Mock
2. Period Closure with User Entered Data in UAT

In this blog, we'll take a look at other three recommendations.

3. User Training and Acceptance-

The change management team from business plays a vital role in communicating changes happening to the business and process. The knowledge gets passed through to SME/Super Users to Key Users and from Key Users to End Users. These end users are like arteries and veins in the business. Successful training and in turn the acceptance from this community plays vital role in the success of period closure.

If end users are well aware of what are all things needs to be performed and are having the sufficient hands-on the system, will give them a confidence to perform their regular day work. They will not be required to run after the business process owners for clarifications of doubts, thereby reducing the time taken to perform their job which eventually leads to lesser time taken for executing the period closure steps.

4. SME/Super User Involvement-

Change is generally not welcomed and hence the acceptance of the new system from these business stewards is very important. SME or the super users are backbone of any transformation program. There is need to have a dedicated super user for the period closure activity who will co-ordinate with different business functions/tracks to perform their respective steps in the period closure. The bottom line should reside with this super user. As being involved in the implementation, he understands the solution devised as well as the business process. Having known the capabilities, tweaks and tricks, workarounds in the application and business process, the SME can play very important role to assist the end users perform their steps for period closure.

5. Support Methodology-

Generally every business tries to close the period by D+4/5 days and lots of adjustments and data entry is being done to the system during this period. A proper mechanism is required for the responsibility of entering these adjustments and processing these adjustments in system which calls for defining the support methodology. It would also help to place a mechanism in place to identify and clear the exceptions on daily basis so that it would not become a burden during the period close week.

Business can take call, given the nature of business, to give access to implementation consultants and/or SMEs for real system to carry out these activities. Lack of the understanding to end users for this mechanism may result in unwarranted delay in doing and processing the adjustments and corrections which may result in delay in period closure.

Among all other factors, the due consideration to above points will lead to 'Successful' first period closure.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

September 23, 2013

FATCA - Another legal binding - A boon or a burden

Guest post by
Shraddha Bafna, Consultant, Infosys

 

Another recent development in Legal regulation is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act - proposed and implied to restrain tax evasion by US persons through offshore accounts. As per this act, the Foreign Financial Institution needs to get into Inter Governmental Agreement (IGAs) with US to disclose the information of their American Clients to the Internal Revenue Service. Noncompliance of which would slam 30% as withholding tax on the 'withhold able payments' on the FFIs.

Although there have been apprehensions in few countries while acceptance in a few, but this law aims to curb down the losses from tax evasion which accounts to nearly $100 billion p.a. However the question which can hover is will the implementation of FATCA not stimulate other economies to come up with their own designed domestic laws in similar lines as FATCA. If that is the case, how complex would this entire structure be? This might help to eventually judge this legal binding as a boon or burden!

Though this law is definitely the boon for the world's largest economy, but there have been skepticism and uneasiness among the countries with respect to its scope and justification on its rewards in comparison to the expenses. The expected revenue to be generated as per the US President is round $ 210 Billion over ten years. For the other economies of the world this legal binding calls for huge additional operational cost and time spreading strategizing to prepare for the compliance, due diligence of accounts. Biggest challenge and cost would be for the revamping of the technology and software to accommodate the new customer KYC norms and facilitate the new regulations and reporting, in addition to manpower hiring and training, education and training of the customers and the staff - just to list a few.

The law is being effected in a phased manner and by June 2018 the institutions are required to be fully compliant. It's critical for the organizations to take a leap and proactively do project and implementation planning. The major challenges with the institutions lie in areas like the impact assessment, classification of the existing customers, overhauling their existing process of Customer on boarding and KYC norms, implementing functionality for withholding payments and most importantly keep a track of this as an ongoing process.

A structured and flexible FATCA Solution can help the institutions in a big way to address these challenges while giving greater organizational utility. Lots of vendors have come up with their offerings to address the requirement. One such offering to help abide the regulation by Oracle is Oracle Financial Services Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Management - which is designed to provide full FATCA compliance and minimize impact to the current architecture. The awarding feature of this Oracle Solution is that can be incrementally deployed to leverage the existing infrastructure and data sourcing , besides facilitating data consolidation into single repository. The solution can help provide real time interfacing and feedback to existing On Boarding system. The pre-configured and flexibility to configure business rules for US Indicia and FATCA Status Validation enables due diligence as per the best practices. Using these features the institutions can streamline their compliance processes, maintain central repository for data, perform the assessment and generate requisite reports to meet the reporting requirements - ultimately being FATCA Compliant.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________    

 

Does Cross Sell/Up Sell need a Picasso?

Guest post by
Yusuf Taherbhai Kaydawala, Consultant, Infosys

 

I was watching an American documentary called 'Super Size Me' recently where the actor takes on a challenge of eating only at McDonald's for 30 days. For me, the most memorable part of documentary was how smoothly and effectively, the store agents at McDonalds were able to up-sell meals to the actor by super sizing it. That got me thinking, do we really need to be an artist to cross-sell and up-sell to customers?

Cross sell/Up sell has become critical growth engine because it increases top-line with minimum additional marketing investment. Customer acquisition costs are very high so cross sell/up sell is essential to maximize profits. I have identified 4Ts to improve cross sell/up-sell:

Yusuf 1.jpg

View full size image

Timing: You wouldn't try to sell a new product to a frustrated customer angry with your product. Would You? So any intervention will only bear result when done at the right time in the customer journey and depends on the product category. For e.g. purchase of a phone, a low end phone may disappoint a customer and will not result in a purchase. We need to introduce a high end phone upfront to keep the customer interested. While selling a laptop, we need offer additional ram or extended warranty only after customer has decided on the model since it might confuse the customer if done upfront.

Tools: We need to implement a CRM system which will help our employees identify the correct products and offers for every interaction without overwhelming the employee or the customer. When purchasing a book from Amazon, not only can we see reviews by the editor and other customers, we can also see other books purchases by people who brought that. Amazon recommends a box sets and product bundles which are great ways to up-sell.

Training: We need to incentivize and train our customer-facing employees to enhance customer experiences by not only understanding customer needs but also the benefits that customer intends to derive from it. When purchasing an expensive car, the customer is also looking at peace of mind to protect this investment. Hence we can suggest an underbody coat or additional insurance to delight the customer.

Testing: Product and service bundles, discounts and promotions, are great ways to promote cross sell/up sell. We still might not get the desired results with most bundles and promotions built using concrete insights. We need to encourage a culture in which experimentation is promoted and failures are counted as steeping stones to success.

Predictive Analytics: We need a scalable and flexible analytics platform which is capable of understanding context of every transaction by using variety of data mining techniques, models and statistics to derive insights. These insights will ultimately power our 4Ts.  

Cross sell/up-sell is a great business practice. By developing right sales processes, using right tools & technology, and providing great customer experiences, we can convert our customer facing employees into Picassos. What do you think?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________    

 

September 22, 2013

Oracle Sales Cloud

Guest post by
Prity Tewary, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Infosys has lately been involved in multiple implementations of "Oracle Sales Cloud": An Oracle solution focusing on 2 key areas: Sales Planning and Salesperson Productivity.

This blog highlights some of the important modules of the product in each key area, Challenges and Learning's from past few implementations and the adoption roadmap that Infosys recommends for an organization to achieve the desired business benefits from an Oracle Sales Cloud implementation.

Product Modules

  • Sales Planning:  It's important to realize the need to automate and focus more on Sales Planning; instead of treating it as a non-revenue generating function. Analysis shows that managing territories through excels and home grown solutions is time consuming, error prone and has a higher Total Cost of Ownership.

Modules Recommended: Oracle Fusion Territory Management, Oracle Quota Management, Oracle Incentive Compensation

  • Sales Productivity:  Many organizations primarily conduct their sales process using Outlook or excels. In such a scenario there is lack of visibility of ownership resulting in dead or duplicate leads and lost opportunities. There is confusion and inconsistency in Lead and Opportunity qualification in spite of regular trainings conducted.

Modules Recommended: Oracle Lead, Opportunity and Forecast Management

Implementation Challenges

  • There is a substantial time required for developing organization's best practice Sales Method and Assessments.
  • Process standardization to cover rollout to other countries is a challenge.
  • Comprehensive geography data is not readily available.
  • There is no address validation against the master geography setup during customer import.

Learning's

  • There should be substantial emphasis on development of organization's best practices prior to project initiation.
  • There should be adequate representation of core team for process standardization.
  • A vendor should be identified who can provide a complete set of master geography data needed by the business for assigning territories.
  • Correctness of customer address should be ensured before import.

Adoption Roadmap

Infosys recommends a 2 phased approach for Oracle Sales Cloud implementation:

I. Phase 1- Sales Productivity

Focus on implementation of vanilla functionality of Oracle Sales Cloud. Infosys' offers an Oracle Cloud Fixed Price Solution for the customers to implement the product in a fixed time with measurable business value.

Modules to be implemented:

  • Lead Management
  • Opportunity Management
  • Forecasting
  • Territory Management
  • Customer Center
  • Sales Catalog

II. Phase 2- Implementation of additional Oracle Sales Cloud functionality

  • Sales Desktop (Outlook)
  • Sales Mobile ( Iphone, Android, Ipad)
  • Incentive Compensation etc.

Overall business value achieved with Oracle Sales Cloud implementation includes but is not limited to, increased Sales Velocity through process standardization, increased sales productivity and Selling Time through process automation, increased Customer Satisfaction and Conversion Rates and increased Revenue.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________    

 

Seamless Integration through Oracle Fusion SLA

Guest post by
Mili Bhaskar, Consultant, Infosys

 

Ever changing policies, regulations, controls and reporting requirements have forced organizations to design a complex accounting model with a lot of custom applications and manual interventions. Towards evolving into a better adaptive agile business function, finance operation faces a few challenges:

  • Garnering adaptability towards ever changing controls and audit compliances
  • Streamlining of multiple systems operating out of multiple geographies catering to different local and statutory requirements
  • Inculcating snap-of-the-finger decision making capabilities through predictive analysis of real-time data

Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub leverages the Oracle Fusion SLA capabilities to cater to these dynamic challenges through -

  • A Centralized integrated Accounting model for all sub ledger applications
  • An Exceptionally Robust accounting engine for any transactional attribute
  • Multidimensional representation of real-time accounting information

A Centralized integrated Accounting model for all sub ledger applications

Maintenance of multiple financial applications usually involves formulation of complex custom handshakes which will require manual intervention at various levels for data cleansing and application sync up. This shoots up the overhead cost of the application.

Oracle Fusion Subledger is a very flexible accounting model for generating accounting entries which enables automated account generation for events defined from transactional attributes. Automated account generation helps in error reduction and keeps the system clean from bulky custom components and bad data. Oracle Fusion SLA uses the what-if analysis to validate the accounting rules created and can do that for all transaction that flows in from any external application.

An Exceptionally Robust accounting engine for any transactional attribute

Exponential growth of organization's enterprise landscape into different geographies and system platforms involve complexities arising out of multiple compliance and regulatory requirements. Each country has its set of local and statutory compliance set which results in organizations creating multiple financial statements. Oracle Fusion SLA has the capability to maintain multiple accounting treatments for same set of transactions which enables the finance department to concurrently adhere to multiple compliance demands. Oracle Fusion SLA meets multiple financial reporting requirements, such as IFRS, U.S. GAAP, and local statutory requirements. Also Oracle Fusion SLA can store data effective rules for accounting events which helps in accommodating to changing accounting rules and standards.

Multidimensional representation of real-time accounting information

Oracle Fusion Application through the supporting reference feature in Oracle Fusion SLA provides the ability to store multiple sources as supporting references for the accounting entries generated for transactions. This feature enables organizations with multi-dimensional reporting which gives flexibility to organizations to track balances by accounts or any other supporting reference defined.

Oracle Fusion SLA gives the capability to synchronize multiple heterogeneous systems under one accounting roof without really modifying the existing landscape. Better tracking of financials, ease and scalability in reporting and the overall reduction in cost and effort utilized with very less dependency on IT achieved through; all this Oracle Fusion SLA has definitely helped Organizations to be ready for the ever changing trends and counter trends in the finance function.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________    

 

Infosys Finance Transformation Solution for Financial Services

Guest post by
Giriraj Somani, Industry Principal, Infosys

 

The FSI industry is under severe stress to achieve risk-weighted profitable growth, address changing regulatory compliance and accounting requirements, continue business growth by providing products at the right price and value to customers and enhance employee productivity through higher automation and simplified reconciliation.

However due to fragmented finance, risk and performance management systems, FSI industry has limited visibility on analytical accurate reconciled data to enable them to react on market trends.  To help FSI industry to meet their objectives and overcome their knowledge barrier, Infosys has developed a Finance Transformation Solution consisting of Oracle products and various accelerators and services.

Infosys Finance Transformation solution addresses FSI needs through initiatives like simplified reconciliation, integrated risk and finance, product costing, strategic finance planning, scenario analysis with inbuilt advance analytics for ease of strategic decision making. Solution will provide following capabilities:-

  • A single source of truth for finance, risk management and enterprise performance management
  • A common reference data model for enterprise applications
  • Single point of reconciliation
  • A simplified IT architecture to support an end-to-end process from sub-ledger to external reporting.

The solution has built in processes, ability to integrate across applications and an enhanced data model on top of the standard out-of-box functionalities provided by Oracle products. The integrated solution approach meets the demands of a streamlined reconciliation process, changing compliance needs and is supported by the strong reporting framework. Solution leverages lot of Oracle products for e.g. Oracle General Ledger, Oracle Financials Accounting Hub (FAH), Oracle Hyperion Performance Management Applications (HFM), Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) and Oracle Financial Services Analytical Application (OFSAA) which are integrated with our own FinRecon tool.

Few of solution features:-

  • Provides a comprehensive, modular and concept-to-implement reporting framework with a common language of finance and risk by utilizing scalable, flexible and unified meta-data sharing computation across different applications
  • Has an improvised OFSAA data model to include attributes required for Oracle FAH data processing to provide the single source of truth for different reporting
  • Has in built integration of FinRecon with Oracle FAH and OFSAA to enable 3way reconciliation
  • Has enhanced functionalities within Oracle FAH to achieve superior level of operational efficiency particularly with respect to reconciliation and period close

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________    

 

September 20, 2013

Product End of Life - Sustainability Matrix

Guest post by
Vikas Jhamb, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

Product categories and decision to extend product life or to buy new based on some of the considerations discussed in earlier part may be evaluated within the sustainability matrices mentioned below.

Technology and Consumer Involvement Matrix

Vikas 1.jpgThe level of consumer involvement can be key to decision making for new product purchase / upgrades or extension of life cycles. Functional and non-functional usages, which sometimes are related to enhancement in products due to technological advances, can be key considerations.

Product categories with lower consumer involvement and comparatively large technology life cycles may be candidates for remanufacturing and reconditioning. Categories with higher consumer involvement and shorter technology life cycle may be considered candidate for upgrades / new purchases.

Resource, Energy Consumption and Process Cycle Matrix

Vikas 2.jpgProcess cycle time and Energy / Resource Consumption between new and remanufactured products may play a role for the manufacturer and service providers in the supply chain to take recycle versus recondition decisions.

Product categories that have large difference in energy and virgin material consumption between recycle and recondition offer more environmental and economic sense to recycle. Product categories with complex remanufacturing process and comparatively less environmental impact can be considered for repair or re-use.

Summary
The choice to recycle or recondition / remanufacture is dependent on the nature of products and processes in the product category. The level of consumer involvement and total cost of ownership also influence decision making.

It's evident from the discussion that some categories of product like Industrial Equipments, Engines and Electric Motors are suitable for remanufacturing rather that for recycling or disposal. The energy and resource implications of remanufacture / recondition of these products are also high, making them the right candidates from an environmental implication. Products like Personal entertainment systems and communication devices may be considered candidates for repair / re-use.

Note: I would like to thank Supratik Ray (Principal Consultant, Infosys) for his inputs in this blog. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________    

The New HCM : On-Premise or Cloud (Part 2)

Guest post by
Kirti Shridhar Joshi, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

Click here to access the part 1 of the blog.

Given below is a comparison drawn between On-Premise and Cloud options for HCM.

Parameter

On-Premise

SaaS/ Cloud

Functionality

·    Matured & well developed best practices and greater depth & breadth of functionalities for wider geographies

·      Relatively young.

·      Not all HCM processes integrated or baked into SaaS

Customization

·   Flexible to modify, build bolt- ons

·      Restrict customizations/ Less flexible

Total Cost of Ownership

·   Involves large one- time upfront investment to procure licenses, recurring maintenance & support costs in addition to the hardware, infrastructure and IT costs

·      Requires minimal Capex as well as low cost for support & maintenance of systems

IT Administration

·   Complete ownership of the application including cost of maintenance, support and upgrade

·   New product version- result in additional cost due to redesign or retrofitting

·      No additional investments on maintenance, support or upgrade

·      Provide option to pick & choose functionalities

Control over information & processes

·   Allows full control over critical business data

·      Control over the application and business data resides with the SaaS vendor

Ease of Use

·   Rate lower on UI

·   Longer deployment cycles

·      Rate very high on UI

·      Fast deployment timelines

Scalability

·   For additional capacity building, extra costs need to be incurred for procuring licenses

·      Pay per use allows to channelize spending in response to business requirement/ capacity

Integration

·   Delivers integration tools to connect HCM system with third party vendors

·      Integration needs to be done with vendor offered tool & often involves more cost than in-house

Security

·   Only critical Security measures are implemented

·      Proactive & up- to- date Security

Lock in period

·   No lock-in period. Complete ownership with the buyer

·      Longer contractual agreements to reap benefits out of SaaS solution

 

The Way Ahead:

In order to decide on the Cloud or No Cloud roadmap, every organization will have to probe into their business needs & priorities and for convincing answers to the key questions noted in the above section. Below are some of the key considerations while deciding on the steps ahead:

  • Keep the big picture of your technological investments & goals in mind- your overall business drivers to adopt the new HCM Solution
  • Go for the solution that will help your people to be best at what they do- simple, easy to access, user friendly, generate reports & critical metrics at finger tips and great employee engagement & empowerment functionalities
  • Evaluate the product fitment based on the Size of your Organization- employee population, harmonized processes, data privacy issues, single system of employee record, ease of access/ ESS, global reporting requirements & compliance requirements
  • Requirements and Functionalities prioritization-
      o Outsourcing option- Organization's penchant for tight control over critical functions like Payroll
      o Best of Breed approach- Point solutions may offer more advanced functionalities that meet your organizations needs than those by popular Cloud or traditional On-Premise solutions
      o Product fitment needs may vary for each organization
           Ease of configuration
           Out-of-box vs Customizations
           Ease of integration with external products

Fashion, fad or gibberish? Or the brave new world, the cutting edge of technology? Points to ponder before we take the Pathway to the Cloud(s).

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Talent Management on Cloud (Part-2)

Guest post by
Somdatta Roy, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

This blog is in continuation to part 1, which you can access here.

Let us take the example of Germany or France where HR needs to adhere to extremely stringent regulatory and Works Council requirements. In such a scenario, the Core HR system is still largely perceived as a back office system used by HR community whereas the perception of Talent usage has changed with organisations needing to enable their workforce to be able to capture Talent data. Also, the workforce of today is increasingly getting younger and extremely technology savvy. Hence it has become imperative for HR organisation to be able to offer more tech-friendly solutions that will keep the workforce interested in using them. Cloud has always provided solutions which both in terms of technology as well as flexibility including User Interface has provided greater appeal to the workforce. In fact, mobility integration has been an icing on the cake by such Talent-on-Cloud solutions that it is now enabling the advanced workforce to use their mobile devices to complete their performance appraisals and enter feedback on trainings.

Another reason why Talent-on-Cloud is more popular and a quicker win than Core HR-on-Cloud is that, Talent functionalities being non-Core HR, actually causes far less disruption in the regular Core activities than when there is a whole end-to-end HR being transitioned from an age-old ERP system to a Cloud based one. Core HR always has huge dependencies not only in terms of custom requirements for regulatory needs, but also integration to multiple external systems like Payroll, Pensions, Financials, etc. Such dependencies, coupled with data privacy and regulatory requirements, often lead to solutions that cannot be used off-the-shelf, but need to be custom-built. These issues put Core HR in a frame that is not an easy candidate for 'one-size-fits-all'. On the contrary, Talent Management is a very good candidate for this purpose as the standardisation are easier achieved in Cloud and organisations are more open to changing their way of working in the Talent area, which is more evolving and developing, and hence more susceptible to use the standard best practices provided by SaaS products.

Having said that, there are already signs that Core HR-on-Cloud has crossed its infancy and is toddling up in the race as many global organisations are showing interest in considering this as well. As CIO and CFOs continue to look for effective technology spend, it is but obvious that Core HR-on-Cloud would be adopted by HR community sooner than later; however rate of adoption may not be at a fast pace, as it has been observed in Talent space.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 19, 2013

The New HCM : On-Premise or Cloud (Part 1)

Guest post by
Kirti Shridhar Joshi, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop? We'll make cloud computing announcements. I'm not going to fight this thing. But I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud. - Larry Ellison (Circa 2008)*

However today, HCM on the Cloud is not just a fashion statement or gibberish but a necessity of sorts ---- proven by millions of dollars of IT spend!

Cloud HCM has become very popular in the HCM World with HR Leadership increasingly looking to modernize HRIT in tandem with the emerging social trends and technological innovations such as cloud computing, mobile/ tablet devices, social media. Even though HCM Cloud applications have captured the imaginations of all and have a 'Wow' factor about them, Cloud or No Cloud is a 'difficult question with no easy answer'.

For every future HR investment, unless there is a compelling business need & a tangible benefit, the organizations are not willing to take the plunge. They want to evaluate the pros & cons before finalizing their future HRIT roadmap- whether to head for - the Cloud or to stay grounded.

Needs:
Let us first look at some of the common questions & expectations HR organizations have on top of their mind while deliberating on the Cloud:

 Kirti - 1.jpgChoices:

'The Computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before'- Bill Gates.**

Can we say the same about Cloud based HCM?

Given all the gaining popularity on HCM Cloud, is the Cloud based HCM really the way forward or will the traditional HCM be a safer bet? In Part 2 of this blog, let us put On-Premise and Cloud/ SaaS side-by-side on - key parameters which will help us decide.

References:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13953_3-10052188-80.html 
** http://www.salisbury.edu/mathcosc/ 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 18, 2013

Hitting a home run by going social

Guest post by
Tulica Tripathi, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Consumer behavior has undergone drastic change over the past few years. Today, customers recommend a new product on Facebook, share an interesting campaign on their wall, tweet publicly about their bad experiences and sometimes, purchase directly from social sites!

Social media, therefore, can be used very creatively and uniquely across industries to increase customer engagement and generate more buzz around your brands. Let's talk about some successful examples where social media was used to create online buzz.

FMCG

Unilever used a very emotional video to promote Dove- Real beauty sketches; it is amongt the most watched online ads ever, with over 163 million views globally. The video was a social experiment to prove that women are more beautiful than they think.

Such videos can help develop an emotional connect with a brand. Not only does it help in converting non users into 1st time customers, it also creates brand advocates out of long time users. Further, Facebook pages can be converted into an e-store with integrated purchase functionalities. Any complaints can be tracked as a Service Request in the CRM system.

Retail

Burger King used an insanely creative campaign to promote their Whopper burger. The campaign asked users to remove 10 Facebook friends in exchange of a burger. The friends were notified that they were sacrificed for a free burger! It was bold, brutal and successful.  Over 200, 000 friends were removed by 80,000+ people in less than a week.

Promotional campaigns like this can be integrated with the enterprise fulfillment solutions, where an order gets placed in the CRM on completion of a task.

Banking and Financials

Social media can also be used to develop a community. Missouri Bank, known popularly as Mobank, is an institution with an eclectic customer base consisting of visionaries and artists -- people known to take chances. Its Facebook page acts as an online neighborhood for its customers to interact with each other and the bank.

Such communities are useful to share information and promote smarter spending. The analytics generated can be used for product development, brand building, competitor's analysis and customer service.

Manufacturing

Chrysler launched a quick witted and amusingly excessive marketing campaign- Dodge Dart Registry. This changed the way you buy a car! It introduced the concept of crowd-funding where you customize the car and share the details with friends and family. Everyone can sponsor the parts as a gift. Once you reach your fundraising goal, the car is yours!

In all the above scenarios, the common theme is of a brand increasing its engagement with social media users to drive business objectives. Enterprise applications integrated with a social media marketing tool can effectively utilize the inputs received from social channels. These tools provide the ability to rapidly create, publish campaigns, monitor and engage with the consumers across all channels and analyze effectiveness.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Talent Management on Cloud (Part - 1)

Guest post by
Somdatta Roy, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

I want to move to a paperless performance management system that can be easily adopted by my workforce. I want to do more analytics to know my best talents and I want to reward my talent more quickly than my competitors so that I do not lose them. I want all the above in next 3 months at the lowest cost.

That has been the demand of many CHOs and CXOs for some time now. But the question to ask is, can traditional ERP or other back office systems offer such a quick turnaround? Left to ponder, most CXOs realised that this was not easy! The procurement cycle for hardware, software as well as implementation were far too long. The dichotomy of these situations have led HR Management in most organisations to shop for alternative models. 

And here stepped in the cloud solution providers, with their basket of talent solutions. They had, over time, offered the whole nine yards of talent solutions from recruiting to learning, from performance to rewards, from development to succession. Vendors like Successfactors, Taleo, Kronos, ADP and CornerStone, cornered this market segment effectively with a similar business model, and were termed as niche providers in the Cloud space. However, the end of last decade saw the rise of new world solutions like Workday and Oracle Fusion, who brought in more than just Talent-on-Cloud. They extended it to Core HR as well. To keep up with competition, Sucessfactors hitched itself with SAP, Taleo with Oracle and others too rambled to extend their services in this area.

However, the question remains - why Talent on cloud has gained more popularity than HR on cloud, despite ERP giants coming up with truly end-to-end services? Historically, HR has been a team of more traditional users than their front office counterparts, like CRM users, or their other back office counterparts like procurement. A large part of this bearing came from the fact that core HR dealt with data which was sensitive, needed protection and therefore always came under far greater audit compliance than Talent data. This led to HR community in most organisations taking a more wary and strict view of putting core HR data on cloud compared to Talent data.  Though the new generation cloud providers with end-to-end HR solutions have tried their best to dispel this fear, but the feeling of insecurity remained, leading to slower adaptability to cloud than Talent. The fact that a user putting data on cloud is never aware of the location of the data in itself, causes lack of trust and comfort. This is evidently observed in the European geography where data protection regulations of European Union, coupled with stringent monitoring by 'Works Councils' has made it a very slow adaption to HR on Cloud as against Talent on Cloud.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 17, 2013

Leverage OFSAA to build cohesive data!

Guest post by
Bhuvaneswari Venkataraman, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

Supervisors in financial institutions worldwide recognise the challenges in aggregating risk data during risk reporting.  To elaborate this further, let's take a simple scenario. During a Supervisory Audit in a Bank, the report 'Basel II controls for Corporate Lending' showed Loan balances and record counts at different points in a data flow, however the numbers were different at each point. The author of the report claimed that the figures were meant to be different at each stage, as data was transformed, aggregated and filtered.  However, there was no explanation for the calculations done during processing or for the items that had been excluded. There was no way to drill down to data elements that could be added back to match the totals in the aggregated data reflecting lack of confidence and difficulty in auditing the numbers.

To overcome these problems, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recommends several principles (Reference: http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs239.pdf) emphasising the need for upgraded risk data aggregation and risk reporting practices which would enable banks to  not only comply effectively but also strengthen their governance. The main recommendations from the FSB are:

  • Overarching governance and infrastructure
  • Risk data aggregation capabilities
  • Risk reporting practices
  • Supervisory review, tools and cooperation

It is evident from above that principles are coupled with each other and in a way one leads to the betterment/improvement of the other.  Interesting questions arise here as to

  • What could be a workable solution which covers the above principles?
  • Where should be the fundamental focus? 
  • What are they key elements and how should they be driven?\

Typically for any bank, there are always multiple systems (internal as well as external) generating complex feeds in various formats, having huge volumes and different attributes leading to the problems of 'inconsistent reports' due to varying interpretation of data and 'Errors' due to partial view(s) of the dataset. 

The clear un-disputed answer to address above questions and problems is 'Data' and the magical ways and means of integrating it into a single source of truth, which can then be analysed to fulfil Management, Statutory, Regulatory, and Governance Reporting requirements. The solution is formation of an integrated data repository of all financial and non-financial transactions, unified set of positions, accounts, customers and other dimensions, real time market data etc., providing a rich set of financial information supported by robust controls.   The key control feature here being Data Assurance which encompasses aspects of Data quality and Data Reconciliation.

Oracle provides such a solution through its integrated Application Suite OFSAA (Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications) for financial services Institutions. This has an underlying Data warehouse layer - Oracle Financial Services Data Foundation (OFSDF) encompassing all the tools and objects necessary for overcoming the above issues. It is composed of a Universal Data Model with pre-built, expandable and Scalable Data Marts along with a comprehensive, data optimised Common Staging Layer. It is further augmented by frameworks such as Data Integrator, Data quality, Data Reconciliation and offers a suitable platform for financial institution to build an integrated Finance, Risk, Treasury and Customer Repository of data. A plethora of proprietary modules under Enterprise Risk, Enterprise Performance, Governance, Risk and Compliance categories fulfil the need of complex analytical modelling and deriving knowledge from processing this data. An Overarching Business Intelligent layer provides the much needed pre-packaged reports which are commonly sought after. This provides a complete solution which clearly helps in gaining a competitive advantage.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Product End of Life: Sustainability Considerations

Guest post by
Supratik Ray, Principal Consultant, Infosys

 

The choice between Disposal, Reuse / Repair, Remanufacture and Recycle for optimal business and environmental impacts can be made based on some of the sustainability factors listed below:

Products Considerations: Technology Life Cycle in the product category is key consideration that influences consumer choice. Products go into obsolescence primarily due to two reasons - functional obsolescence or fashion obsolescence. Categories like Home electronics, Home / Office Computers, Mobiles communication devices have seen very rapid product obsolescence and hence the choice to remanufacture at the end of productive life cycle has not seen mass adoption. Product categories like heavy engineering products and white goods have seen advances in technology, but basic technology life cycle has not changed as drastically in short time frame. Hence, it may not be unfair to assume that products with shorter technology life cycles have faster rate of obsolescence.

Product Design influences decision about repair or remanufacture. Some products, for example heavy engines and electric motors retain the core that can be reconditioned or remanufactured to provide near new functional performance. The inherent product characteristics and considerations given to recondition or remanufacture as initial design stage plays an important role.

Process Considerations: Use Process has more involvement from the end user of the products. Consumer satisfaction of using the new / reconditioned / remanufactured products plays a key role. Perceived values, total cost of ownership including use and discard phase, and involvement during use phase are critical factors that influence decision to purchase a new product or extend the life of an existing one. Product categories like personal computing and communication devices and entertainment systems have very high personal involvement. On the contrary, industrial products and appliances may score low on the same.

Manufacturing Process includes processes that may go into the value delivery network of the product from consumption of virgin resources to delivery of the product to the consumer. In the reverse cycle of recondition / remanufacture / recycle, it also includes reverse logistic considerations. The energy considerations in either the make or use phase also plays a pivotal role in some categories such as industrial equipments, locomotives etc. Energy considerations in either of the phases may influence decision making. Process improvements due to technical or business justification and adoptions of process to suit changes in end products also impacts decision matrix.

I would like to thank Vikas Jhamb (Lead Consultant, Infosys) for providing his valuable inputs in writing this blog.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 16, 2013

Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go?

One of the most frequently asked questions by Enterprises all over the world today is - Should their Applications be on the Cloud or On-Premise?
My 3 part Blog series tries to answer this question by looking at various aspects of Cloud and On Premise solutions and then coming up with the best suited model as per Customer Business requirements.

In the first part of this blog series, we will be taking a deeper look into the features of both the Solutions.

What is Cloud?
Cloud or SaaS (Software as a Service) is an off premise form of computing where the data is stored on the internet. The Cloud can be of 2 different types
 Public Cloud - Here the data is maintained by a third party cloud service provider who performs the data updates and also is responsible for the Security of the data
 Private Cloud - Here the data is maintained by the Customer who would have better control over the data
The underlying software is maintained by the Customer in both public and private Clouds. The application would be accessible to Users with the required credentials over the Internet.
Example - Salesforce.com

What is On-Premise?
In an On-Premise application the data is stored in a physical server deployed at the Customer location. The Customer would have complete control over these servers and the data associated with it. The hosted applications can only be accessed through the Customer Intranet for Internal Users and will not be available through Internet.
Example - Siebel

The Salient Features of both the solutions are mentioned below

Cloud
 Vendor or 3rd party owns and maintains the infrastructure
 Vendor owns and maintains the Software
 Delivery via Internet
 Vendor hosts the Client
On-Premise
 Client owns/leases and maintains the infrastructure
 Client owns and maintains the software
 Delivery usually via LAN/WAN
 Client is self-hosted or hosted by a 3rd party

In the second part of the blog, we will be taking a look at the advantages being provided by the Cloud and On Premise solutions

September 13, 2013

Connected Vehicle: Mining its Ecosystem

Guest post by
Ashish Verma, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Millions of lives are lost in road accidents annually due to lack of crash-avoidance technology such as Wi-Fi based vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication.  Vehicles equipped with such technology are still at a distance and will require further experiments before actually becoming reality. Connected vehicle is one such step in that direction. Connected vehicle services are provided by vehicle OEMs with the help of smart phones sitting on top of vehicle dashboard. It has paved a way for installing In-vehicle apps which can act as content provider from multiple sources (such as embedded sensing devices and big data application) to provide a seamless driving experience.

Connected vehicle ecosystem is quite complex and evolving day by day. An effort is being made below to explain it.

Ashish Verma 2.jpg Figure 1: Connected Vehicle: Eco System


Vehicle Owner/Driver:  Integrated screen on the dashboard of the car provide vehicle related critical data and alerts for safe driving experience, navigational information in known and unknown territory and entertainment services. Here need is to ensure passenger safety and minimal allowed distraction.

Smart Embedded Devices: Story of connected vehicle is not complete without smart hardware that can reside on vehicle or connect to onboard diagnostics port and provide a platform for interfacing applications.

In-Vehicle App Store: These are the applications designed to sit on top of the smart devices integrated in the vehicle providing interactive interface for customer and vehicle to receive and transmit digital data from sensors and other sources.

Telematics: Technology that plays a crucial role in fleet management and vehicle tracking can be utilized for connected vehicle to transmit data from embedded sensors/smart devices installed on Car dashboard to central data processing unit.

Automotive OEM: Manufactures investing in connected vehicle technology will add value to their customer offering even after sale of vehicle providing more personalized services. Such technology will ensure driver's safety and help automotive manufacture to increase customer loyalty.

Cloud Application: Evolution of cloud based application will provide a platform for real time data processing and handling of vast amount of structured and unstructured data. Such application requires capability of a mining engine to arrive on an analytical result based on complex algorithm that will not only inform customer about potential vehicle problem but also help the OEMs to move up in value chain.

System Integrator: Implementation of connected vehicle technology will require integration of multiple applications and knowledge of various technologies working behind these applications. Making them compatible is a challenging task and requires managing multiple diverse teams. System integrators will have to evolve themselves to provide end to end services not only around connected vehicle but will have to take into account customer experience on smart devices.

I believe that breakthrough in such technology will be boon for passenger safety, mobility and connectivity. Information collected from such a wonderful technology will transform the way businesses are conducted in many industries such as automotive, insurance and transportation. It will transform the driving experience of people, help gain insight into driving pattern and enhance chances of accident free traffic flow management.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Embedding Risk factors to build Strategies for Higher Performance of Financial Services

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys

 

In today's global financial markets, financial institutions are hard pressed to monitor and analyze performance data from multiple sources.  More essentially, the challenge lies in generating a combined view of risk and performance. The outlook of Financial Institutions in evaluation of performance is changing; both financial and non-financial aspects like risk are in focus. Financial Institutions are looking for a strong basis and approach that can drive performance smoothly with due consideration to associated risk factors.

The shift towards inclusion of enterprise risk management into performance management is necessitating well-controlled, consistent data at a sufficiently quick pace. To deliver value to customers and continued business growth by enhancing profitability, it is important to leverage information from single reliable source, for high value strategic decisions. The financial perspective of any Financial Institution with an eye on risk factors is an important component for strategy formulations and assessment.

From an analysis viewpoint, the need for single view of Key Performance Indicators with supported capabilities for further analysis including regular forecasting, sensitivity analysis and scenario planning has become prominent. Key performance indicators are risk metrics and/or ratios that provide insight into a bank's performance and potential loss due risk exposures. Few of the common financial measures for Financial Services that matter include asset quality, capital adequacy, Earning at Risk, Loan loss and Risk Adjusted Return on Capital (RAROC).

Risk Adjusted Performance Analytics, part of Infosys Finance Transformation solution provides single integrated platform for financial management and helps maximizes shareholder wealth. This analytics is based on best of breed functionality from Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications (OFSAA) and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE). Up-to-date and actionable KPIs allow management to track developments and avoid any bottle necks. These KPI can be linked policy thresholds which can act as an early warning system when performance levels swing or thresholds breaches or limits and prompt mitigation plans. In order to benefit from the exercise, financial executive can use drill down feature, to analyze data for any shortfalls at a more granular level and build cause and effect relationship.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 12, 2013

Seamless Employee Integration between Taleo & On-premise ERP

Guest post by
Shweta Bondre, Project Manager, Infosys

 

With organizations moving towards SaaS based applications; integration has become a core part of an enterprise. Real-time synchronous data flow is necessary for any application to achieve faster processing and better performance. Should this integration between systems employ only the tools provided in source system? Traditionally yes, but not anymore. Let's see how Taleo - a SaaS based HCM solution, integrates with other applications for seamless data flow.

Taleo Cloud Service enables around 1500 enterprises and mid-sized businesses, in recruiting top talent, aligning key goals, performance management as well as developing and compensating top performers. The market for top quality talent is highly competitive so speed and agility are vital to success. This crucial aspect is addressed by Taleo API, which enables seamless transfer between Taleo with data warehouses and backend human resources information system (HRIS) systems such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, etc.

Integrations with Taleo systems can be achieved either real-time or via batch processing. In addition to the traditional route of integrating using Taleo provided tool, viz. Taleo API, here we will be analyzing some other options available for integrating Taleo seamlessly with other systems.

  1. Taleo Connect Web Services - Taleo provides programming access to your organization's information using a simple, powerful, and secure application programming interface, the Taleo Web Service API. The Taleo Connect Web Services allows faster real-time integration with Recruitment for low volume transactions. Volumes up to 25,000 transactions per day can be processed. Data limit per transaction is 1 record for import and 200 records for export. 
  2. IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud integration - IBM WebSphere Cast Iron is a powerful Cloud integration product that has Taleo connectors, which has been specifically engineered for Taleo. It provides a configurable data migration and integration solution to align the HR applications with the Taleo suite. No coding is required to build integrations, thus enabling Taleo integration to be completed faster.
  3. Dell Boomi AtomSphere - Employee and Legacy Data migrations can be automated in real-time with Taleo using Boomi AtomSphere. This middleware tool provides seamless integration of employee information between Taleo and other HR processes. Batch processing is available to migrate the legacy data from the disparate HR systems to Taleo. Complex transformation logics required for data migration as well as integration can be built in this tool and is completely configurable.

  

Shweta 1.jpg 

Integration Tool Pros & Cons

Integration Tool/ Parameters

Taleo Web Services

(API)

IBM Cast Iron

Dell Boomi

Return on Investment

Nil, part of suite

Low

Medium

Dashboard

Not Available

Partial

Available

Deployment Methods

SaaS

SaaS

SaaS, In-house

Integration Platform

Not Available

Standard

On-Demand

Maintenance

None

Low

None

Configuration

Required

Pre-Built

Pre-Built

Solution Longevity

High

Low

Low

Security

High

Medium

Medium

Social Media Connectivity

Yes

Unknown

Unknown

Change Management

Low

Medium

Medium

 

While there are several options for integrating Taleo with other applications, the decision to use a given method can depend on various considerations and merits-demerits as discussed above.

Note: I would like to thank Rameshkumar Subramanian (Principal Consultant, Infosys) for his contribution in this blog.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

External Transactions and Automatic Bank Reconciliation

Guest post by
Kiran A. Mathew, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Lack of internal controls on reconciliation and estimation cash in your organization can lead to various issues like:

  • Lack of holistic view of cash position which impair management decisions
  • Misappropriation of Cash and other fraudulent activities.

Organizations always resort to bring in the internal controls in cash position analysis and reconciliation process to address these issues.

Un-reconciled orphan transactions from external applications, un-reconciled bank statement lines and an error prone manual reconciliation process are some of the challenges which finance department faces during cash position analysis. The process becomes even more complex and time consuming depending upon the volume of transaction.

Organizations look forward to automating the bank reconciliation process to minimizing the risk of errors and frauds. The automation process still faces limitations/hurdles with external transaction sources for payments and receipts which arising out of co-existence scenarios.

Oracle Fusion Cash Management module ensures accurate recording of cash transactions through the External Transaction Creation Feature. You can create external transaction via:

  • Manual Entry
  • Import using Create External Transaction Program
  • Balancing transactions created by the automated reconciliation process
  • Bank statement creation program to record the un-reconciled statement lines

 Kiran - 1111.jpg

View full size image

Figure 1: Oracle Fusion Cash Management Process Flow

Once external transactions are created in Oracle Fusion Cash Management, they are accounted and reconciled with the imported bank statements. In order to create transactions from unreconciled statement lines like bank charges, interest etc. the bank statement transaction creation program can be used by configuring rules to create transactions in the system.

Oracle Fusion Cash Management promises a streamlined and automated financial accounting and reconciliation model for your enterprise by reducing manual interventions and leaving no allowances for redundancies, errors and fraudulent activities.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Integration Points and Challenges in Risk Transformation Initiatives

Guest post by
Sukruti Suresh, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Across the financial institution sector, banks and insurance providers are faced with changing regulatory environment. The need of the hour is to align the risk and finance systems to the changing business and regulatory conditions. In order to optimize the IT infrastructure, financial institutions are in the process of undertaking transformation programs to integrate the intertwined functions of Treasury, Risk and Finance. Traditional legacy General Ledger (GL) systems, reconciliation systems and Risk Management systems operate in silos.

In order to achieve complete integration following deliberations must be taken into account:

  1. Achieve operational efficiency by de-duplication of data in the To-Be design of system architecture
  2. Ensure data downstream and upstream impacts are addressed while designing the To-Be architecture
  3. Provide multi-level unit specific security parameters to ensure data security at unit and group level
  4. Minimize the manual intervention in the integrated To-Be architecture design
  5. Ensure future scalability to meet any changes in forthcoming regulatory requirements
  6. Active stakeholder engagement and hand-holding from Finance, IT, Risk and Treasury
  7. Effective documentation management to capture key challenges, resolution and mitigation strategies

While the aforementioned consideration aspects makes for a good set for an ideal finance transformation program, there are multiple operational, IT and business challenges financial institutions are facing globally. Few common challenges are:

  1. Conflict of ideas between business and IT with respect to the data requirements, flow and design
  2. Multiple vendors from consulting and IT domain handling fragmented pieces of program
  3. Lack of experienced resources with good understanding of both business as well as systems
  4. Challenges in articulating business requirements in system terms causing continually changing requirements
  5. Compatibility issues of newer systems with legacy systems

In order to achieve complete integration, Infosys offers a comprehensive Finance Transformation Solution. This enables an organization to outline the optimum finance and risk architecture by analyzing current requirements and providing sufficient cover for the future. This is done by leveraging the OFSAA Data model & the product stack offering. Infosys FT Solution covers an end to end coverage of process extending from data extraction from source system to Management Reporting. It uses product components like Financial Accounting Hub (FAH), General Ledger (GL) & Hyperion Financials Management (HFM), OBIEE etc. along with tools and accelerators like FinRECON, Pre-Defined Repositories for Rapid Implementation, tools and accelerators etc.

Infosys Finance Transformation Solution helps in addressing issues in areas like Finance Management, Governance Risk & Compliance Management and Performance Management. The selling point of this solution is the point that it is highly customizable. Based on business needs, it can be tailored to fit the requirement perfectly. It includes several use cases, documents, process flows etc., Pre-defined Accounting rules library for multiple representations across products and enhanced OFSAA data model for accounting requirements, Pre-defined reference model to enable easy integration with existing applications and create a common operating environment that minimizes operational risk.

The above mentioned considerations and challenges form a good snapshot of the ongoing Risk Transformation projects. In my opinion, integrating finance, risk and treasury systems has the potential to generate synergy to achieve process, operational and business efficiency. Some mitigating measures that can potentially reduce the risks emanating from challenges can be in the form of fit-gap assessment, system architecture study, encouraging cross stream discussions, proper assessment of business and technical requirements. The benefits of integrating risk, treasury and finance system can be expected in the form of process optimization, lower total cost of ownership and dependable data interpretation across the board.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 11, 2013

Solutions to curb market volatility and support the falling currency

Guest post by
Surabhi Shah, Consultant, Infosys

 

With the fluctuating market trends and growing need for more foreign borrowings has changed the face of Indian economy significantly. Tracing the genesis back of the rupee-dollar relationship, rupee's journey has taken several folds since 2012.  The year 2012-13 has been a roller-coaster ride for Indian Rupee with rupee depreciating all time low to 68.80. As a stepping stone, RBI came up with continuous measures to tighten the liquidity in the economy and to support the depreciating currency. With India being a developing economy and sky touching inflation, the depreciation of currency was quite evident. However, to curb the scenario, improvement in local macro economic factors is the most fundamental variable to sustain appreciation of Indian currency and economy growth in medium term.

If we go deeper down, the tumbling rupee, mounting Capital account deficit & shaking economy are just symptoms to the illness. RBI announced a series of measures to provide a backbone to the falling scenario of Indian currency. The reaction to the RBI's current measures was immediate in the banking and capital markets. Banks derive revenues mainly from three streams - treasury, credit and fee-based activities. The effect of the RBI measures was more on the first two impacting banks heavily. Banks got hit on treasury books due to rise in yields which caused a temporary pause on cheap availability of funds. On credit front, banks can channelize their excess Statutory Liquidity Reserves into lending. Also, in due course, some banks may raise short-term deposit rates to get bulk deposits which will lead to rise of credit costs.

Trading sentiment, mainly in financial and banking sector, is stifled after RBI measures to curb rupee volatility. From bank's perspective, the nature of the RBI's measures are temporary and are precisely directed at regulating the irrational volatility in the foreign exchange market and hold no other significance. Liquidity tightening measures by the RBI helped little to stabilize the rupee, in contrary increased volatility in the bond markets by triggering yields to rise across the curve and have put India's economic growth in jeopardy. Stock markets reacted negatively to the RBI's stance and concerns over growth and inflation outlook. As a corrective measure, banks reduced mark-to-market losses on bond portfolio with the expectation that bank stock prices would move up and that tide would lift the markets up.

The fluctuation in key market variables is playing major role in making the situation more unpredictable. Current IT companies offer multiple risk management solutions to capture the market fluctuations and to estimate the losses arising due to the risk factor movements. One such functionality is available in Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications (OFSAA) market risk solution; it provides the provision to configure present currency depreciation as one of the stress test scenario and perform analysis around it. Different stress test scenario can be derived where all market variables interest rates, exchange rate, equity/ index prices can be shocked to determine change in the market value. Using stress testing framework user can define variables (% changes in risk factors) and combine them into stress scenarios. These tools driven by top notch companies are useful to identify and encapsulate market movements. As an add-on feature OFSAA provides back testing capability across multiple portfolios to guarantee the profitability and devise strategic measures. In current market scenario, performing backtesting measures based on a user defined look back period can lead to a successful strategy.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Budgeting at granular level in Oracle Project Management

Guest post by
Rajan Gupta, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

Budgeting is one of the key features of Oracle Project Management (PJT) to maintain the financial control on the Project. Different plan types and versions can be created to do the what-if scenarios. Budgeting and forecasting helps Project Managers/Controllers to keep tab on financial health of the Project. Unless budget is accurate, forecast figures will not be correct. Budgeting in PJT can be done based upon resource allocation of resources, financial categories, material items consumption.

Budget can be created manually or by copying from source (Staffing Plan, Financial plan or Work plan) or from an existing source of the budget. Oracle provides lot of flexibility in planning the elements either at Project level, top task or lowest level either by Organization, Job, and Position etc. However if planning is done at that granular level and budget is generated automatically from the source as Work plan that it has implications as can be understood in below examples:-

  1. Labour resource assignments
    Resources can be planned at lowest level tasks but actuals can be entered by resources on different tasks. If there are no controls enabled in system then it is quite possible that resources book hour in the unplanned task.  Therefore implementer should either enable transaction controls to restrict the users or customize the views of time entry system so that only relevant tasks are visible to users. That way planning and actuals can be attained in the correct task and unplanned cost can be avoided.
  2. BOM (Assembled Item) Resource Assignments
    BOM Material resources can be planned at lowest level tasks but actuals that are imported into Projects are rolled up by equipment cost and inventory cost. Therefore there will be unplanned cost in Projects for this scenario as actual cost from WIP and Inventory do not roll up against planned material item (BOM) in work plan. BOM related items need to be carefully planned so that planned items and actual items are mapped in a one-one relationship. To overcome this issue, total BOM cost can be segregated by individual planning cost elements and assigned to the task accordingly. That means planning should be done by segregating material cost, equipment cost (non-labor), financial cost and labor cost rather than directly assigning the BOM at the task level.

Taking into consideration above of the scenarios, implementer can consider following options:-

  • Enable budgeting/forecasting at top task/project level rather than planning at lowest level.
  • Enable controls in the system so that planned and actuals costs are appeared in a one on one relationship at resource assignment level. For example:- Enable inclusive Transaction Control, Modify OTL Views(PA_ONLINE_TASKS_V)
  • Customize Client extension of budgeting and forecasting so that child element cost is rolled up to the parent planning element.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Siebel Open UI - Steps closer to Enterprise Mobility

Guest post by
Alpesh Narendra Chauhan, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

Enterprise Mobility: 

Field work force wants to access CRM applications on their mobile devices, giving them agility and flexibility to access required data anytime and anywhere to respond to customer query quicker. Consumerization of IT is enforcing enterprises to go for mobility solutions. Enterprises are defining mobility strategies to define long term mobility goals. Users are expecting to use same consumer technologies for personal as well as professional work, which is resulting in surge of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation. With emergence of smart devices usage, enterprise mobility is going to gain further momentum.

What is Siebel Open UI?

Oracle's Siebel CRM is a leading CRM application. Siebel application has four layers: data, business logic, User Interface (UI) and physical UI layer.  Siebel configuration is managed through Siebel tools to modify these layers. In traditional Siebel application, UI layer and physical UI layer were tightly coupled and it was challenging to make changes in application UI.  Through Open UI, Siebel has delivered standard based application, which is based on HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. Now, it is easier to change Siebel UI to provide rich and intuitive user interface. Siebel application becomes truly mobile with Open UI as user can access application on any smart devices (iOS, Android based devices) and on all modern browsers.

Enterprise Mobility - Drivers, Challenges and Benefits:  

 Alpesh 1.jpgSiebel Open UI - Make your CRM application mobile:

Siebel Open UI helps enterprises to overcome mobility challenges.  It is easy to upgrade to Open UI from existing Siebel application as Open UI changes the presentation UI layer only, while other layers remains the same. Upgrade to Open UI can be carried out with minimal development effort. Biggest advantage for upgrading to Siebel Open UI for present Siebel clients is to fully leverage their present investments in the Siebel, resulting in lesser total cost of ownership.

Siebel provides robust data and view based access control mechanisms. Open UI doesn't require any third party plug-ins like ActiveX, which reduces attack surface. Plus, Oracle has validated Open UI by leading web application security assessment solutions to ensure the application security.

Open UI will not only make your CRM application mobile but it provides usability features (device driven layouts, infinite scrolls, etc.) which will improve productivity of workforce. Open UI provides rich and Intuitive UI, which will help in user adoption as well.

For existing Siebel Client, moving to Open UI is a smarter choice and we should expect majority of existing Siebel users to upgrade to Open UI to meet their mobility needs.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 10, 2013

Oracle ADF Mobile - Taking the pole position on Enterprise Mobility

Guest post by
Praveen Verma, Project Manager, Infosys

 

With the advent of wireless technology and smartphones, world now realizes that this century will be the century of transformation, led by communication. We will continue to see massive changes in the way information is made available. This ongoing transformation is also being acknowledged by various industries, who in-turn, have started exploring various possibilities, challenges and opportunities with the changing environment.

But, with the highly complex platform landscape in the mobility world, aided by multitude of devices available, and concepts like BYOD; it becomes very difficult for organizations to plan, define and execute the enterprise mobility strategy. More so, leveraging it for business transformation, quick decision making and access to business critical information in real time, while on the move. This ensued in what we now know as 'the hybrid mobile application'. 

Enter Oracle ADF - Oracle's answer to the growing need for cross platform hybrid solutions

Oracle, with its leadership position in Enterprise Solutions, identified Enterprise Mobility as potential business enabler and transformational catalyst, and launched its much awaited ADF Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) in October 2012. 

Oracle has built this platform leveraging the open source framework 'Cordova'. It also took away developer's pain of writing code to integrate mobile solutions with backend systems and developing the UI for variety of form factors.  It further eased out development by providing various techniques like visual and declarative tools to design, develop and deploy mobile applications for other dominant platform like iOS and Android, with a single code base.

ADF also leverages the power of Java and allows developers to integrate business logic in Java. Add to that, it provides out-of-box components to use various native devices features like GPS, email, camera, contacts and local databases on the mobile device. The framework also addresses security aspects in the app and provides multiple ways to authenticate the application. It further strengthens the security by allowing feature level control; so one can easily authorize features for various users.  It provides support to standard SOAP and Restful services for integration with backend systems.

Taking the pole position on enterprise mobility

Oracle ADF has all the ingredients to be a unified platform for developing applications for diverse devices. Moreover the right mix of features and benefits like -

  • Support to open standards, Cordova plugin 
  • Integration with native device libraries
  • Support to newer features of java and other related technologies
  • Adaptability of changing and evolving device platform with extension of support to new platform like Blackberry 10OS, Windows 8 Mobile
  • Bundled solution to MDM needs with the platform
  • Learning and development support on oracle ADF mobile academy

These features will undoubtedly allow the evolving, yet revolutionary, hybrid mobile application development platform - Oracle ADF - to deliver unprecedented business value-add to organizations. Organizations having Oracle as well as non-Oracle ERP applications can benefit from it, making ADF a top choice in platforms for enterprise mobile solutions, and thus take the pole position.

Note: I would like to thank Bharat Rao (Lead Consultant, Infosys) for his valuable inputs in this blog.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Sick and tired of allocating quotas? Switch to Oracle Fusion CRM Quota Management

Guest post by
Vidyullatha Prakash, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Over the years, managing sales quotas across the sales organization has been an excessively resource and time consuming endeavor. Across industry verticals, sales managers had come to loathe "that time of the year" when their job was to set sales quotas and territories. This cumbersome process required sales executives to coordinate infinite reports and spreadsheets, often leading to delays and humongous errors. Furthermore, since it was an annual exercise, no updates were done when team changes or re-organizations happened or when there were any additions/deletions to the sales teams. Oracle Fusion Quota Management comes across as a breather to sales managers since it provides a number of capabilities that drastically reduce the time and effort required to perform the sales planning process. They can also leverage deep territory insights and related analytics to automate the calculation and reconciliation of bottom-up quotas based on the predicted market potential or historical performance of the territory. They can benefit from the rich set of embedded analytics by automating the distribution of assigned quotas to salespersons using pre-defined or custom distribution formulas. It also makes life easier for Incentive Compensation Analysts by keeping them informed of any changes being done to Quota allocations. Thus, the Quota management module in Fusion CRM aids to resolve numerous key business challenges like Complex Quota Allocation, Inaccurate Tracking, Unclear Results, Limited Forecasting and Long Sales Planning Cycle.

Fusion Quota Management also offers a unique feature in that it provides for the integration of territory proposals with sales quota plans. This allows territory administrators to kick off quota planning along with territory alignment, which immensely reduces the length of the sales planning cycle as quota planning happens in parallel with territory re-alignment. The seamless integration between Fusion Quota Management, Territory management and Incentive Compensation modules provides unparalleled force and flexibility to drive the Sales Planning process, ensuring equitable distribution of opportunities with achievable targets, thus greatly maximizing revenue potential.  Sales executives can immediately begin allocating quota based on their proposed territory structure.

Quota management synchronizes changes made to territories with proposals in the following two phases:

Proposal activation (Mid Year Planning- Not Many changes)

  • On activation, the changes made to territories within the proposals are copied to the active territory hierarchy. Quota management will synchronize changes made to the territory within a proposal (regardless of whether the proposals are associated to sales quota plan or not) with the sales quota plans. The changes are synchronized to all sales quota plans that are not in 'Completed' status.

Proposal association with sales quota plan (Fiscal Year Planning- Many changes)

  • Quota management allows territory proposals (I.e. Draft and Pending Activation) to be associated with sales quota plans to help Quota Planning and Territory Planning to happen in Parallel.
  • The territory hierarchy will have all proposal territories superimposed on the production territories.
  • Poll proposal functionality helps to continuously synchronize the changes made to the territories within the proposals and Quota Management.

Thus, Oracle Fusion CRM's Quota Management in coalition with Territory Management optimizes quota allocation with territory alignment and tracks performance to plan.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

September 6, 2013

Oracle Fusion Sourcing & Spend Analytics: A solution to your sourcing issues

Guest post by
Sucheta Devaraj, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Procurement activities today have a very significant role to play in any business. The objectives of a business have gone much beyond the traditional belief that procurement's principal role is just to procure goods and services to meet the organization's requirements. These activities impact the expenses incurred by an organization and thus impact the bottom line as well.

Very often an organization's divisions, branches, marketing teams and manufacturing divisions are fragmented, and dispersed across the world  and they work on  different ERP systems because of which the procurement process end up using disparate amount of resources and  time. The overheads involved in interacting with suppliers have increased exorbitantly, and even the negotiation time has increased significantly reducing the benefits from the sourcing strategies.  Due to the voluminous data available in the enterprise systems it becomes increasingly difficult for the management of a company to take suitable and informed strategic decisions at the right time.

Oracle Fusion Procurement: Sourcing and spend analytics modules help an organization to tackle procurement related issues by decreasing lead  time of procurement activities, it helps in eliminating any low value added controls, unnecessary  paperwork and delays. Some of the key features of Fusion sourcing and spend analytics modules which helps in Procurement process optimization are:

  • Insight into procure to pay (P2P) process - Oracle Procurement & spend analytics helps in integration of data across supply chain, enabling the management and employees to make more informed and actionable decisions. It provides a good insight about the business spend and the whole P2P cycle, with widespread analysis of the supplier performances, supplier payable trends and overall performance of the procurement activities
  • Analytics to facilitate decision-making - Spend analyzer provides statistics about the expenditure patterns for both indirect and direct overheads and information about potential saving prospects. Supplier performance analytics provides data about supplier performances, delivery performance, quality of goods services received, payment activities and payments due / overdue analysis. Procurement Performance Analytics provides data to monitor and augment Procurement effectiveness on an uninterrupted basis to identify bottlenecks and take proactive measures to minimize the impact. Sourcing Analytics provides data to evaluate Negotiations, Supplier responses and the following Award decisions to recognize trends and check if there is an opportunity to save on the expenses.
  • Supports in creating long-term savings - Manual collation of responses received from suppliers can be a tedious task Fusion Sourcing provides award analysis tools that allows users to determine the best award decision for business, based on elements such as quality, value and price.

Oracle Fusion Apps thus helps businesses to leverage on the available technology to optimize the procurement process by helping to regulate material and component cost and manage them in an efficient way.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Improvise the way you incentivize with Oracle Fusion Incentive Compensation

Guest post by
Vidyullatha Prakash, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Over the years, sales organizations have faced multiple challenges when it came to incentivizing the sales force. Some of the key issues that have plagued businesses have been underperforming sales channels that occur because of sales plans not driving the correct selling behavior. As a result, sales strategy changes take a long time to be replicated in the system and results in high cycle time to compute compensation eligibility. Also, as a side effect of this, organizations are unable to recognize, reward and retain top performers. This is the standpoint from the business side. There is a whole other set of problems related to accuracy and line of sight facing the sales force in the field. Sales Representatives are often in a quandary as they lack clear understanding on which opportunities to chase, which of those are high margin or high value deals that will maximize their incentive compensation. They also have poor visibility to their earnings or quota.  Dispute Handling, being an extensively prolonged manual process, is another mammoth nuisance in itself. Hierarchical approvals still rely on constantly changing excel versions that prove to be a nightmare to the sales organization.

Oracle Fusion Incentive Compensation comes in as a life-saver to the entire sales team. It addresses woes faced by Sales Management and executives alike. It is a robust, enterprise scalable compensation engine which applies commission and bonus rules to elicit the most optimal sales from the sales force. It boasts of various innovative features that quell multiple obstacles hitherto faced by sales groups.

  • Rich, adaptable and intuitive plan design, so as to assist in incentivizing sales force with sophisticated compensation plans in line with the business strategy.
  • Performance dashboards that provide direct line of sight into real-time sales performance reduce shadow accounting and increase sales productivity.
  • Real time visibility for sales reps so that they can easily track ongoing performance and earnings via personalized dashboards, reinforcing desired sales behavior. 
  • Enables the business to handle sales globally, with cross-organization crediting & roll up capabilities aided by multi-currency goal definition and calculation.
  • Accurate, on time payment with robust, scalable, high-performance processing engine with parallel processing and retro-active & incremental calculation addresses large volumes.
  • Business-user-driven, Real-time reporting and analytics to aid in informed decision making.
  • Self-service dispute management that gives Sales Reps ability to create, track and view resolution of compensation issues.
  • Powerful user-defined expression builder and multi-dimensional rate tables.
  • Sales credit allocation and hierarchical rollup rules.
  • Integration web services, file-based import/export and ETL capabilities.
  • Accelerate rollout and deployment of new plan initiatives and plan changes with guided, top-down plan creation.
  • Regulatory and audit compliance by providing full trail from transactions to payment, as well as all relevant calculation details.

Fusion Incentive Compensation integrates seamlessly with Territory and Quota Management, thus making the complete sales planning endeavor a piece of cake. In the process, it helps to focus the sales organization on desired behavior, also enabling to achieve financial control and compliance in parallel.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

CX 2020: Soothsayer who saw the future?

Guest post by
Saurabh Vasant Muley, Group Project Manager, Infosys

 

With availability of multiple channels for interactions, increasing influence of social media & ability to be connected on the move, customer's expectations from brands/enterprises have increased many-fold. Since interaction with a brand can happen thorough various channels, user journeys have become more complex & less predictable. This is an excellent opportunity for enterprises to leverage this situation to their advantage.

All leading enterprises are either in process of formulating customer Experience (CX) strategy or have already embarked on the journey of CX adoption in some form or other. Let us visualize how the CX paradigm will span out over a period on some key dimensions.

Adoption of CX:
Enterprises will go through levels of CX adoption wherein with each level the CX coverage, maturity of processes will increase. The timeline for adoption for each level will vary for each enterprise but all will progress through the maturity levels.

Products and Technology for Enablement for CX:
Products, services & technology solutions, which provide enablement of CX processes, will get more evolved over the period. We can expect move towards niche products offering specific functionalities, preference for "Off the shelf" product/services, shift towards "Cloud" based zero foot print solution. Solution implementations will become technology agnostic and have short time to market: measured in weeks compared to months as seen currently.

Measuring Customer Experience:
We can expect major shift from current scenario of having subjective definitions to establishment of quantitative, industry specific, metrics for measuring CX. Such metrics will be comprehensive, covering CX from the perspective of both enterprise & customers. In the long term, one can expect industry benchmarks to be established for performance on such measures and enterprises will be compared on these metrics.

CX - Extent of influence on the Enterprise:
CX, over short term will help enterprises focus from "inside out" view to an "outside in" view of customer. As the journey continues, in long term, CX will not be limited to sales and marketing & customer service areas but will have strong influence on core operational/engineering aspects of an enterprise:  product engineering, order management, supply chain, order fulfillment etc.

CX will propel itself from a key element of corporate roadmap towards CX being a central theme of corporate road map. As enterprises start seeing the benefits CX adoption, CX will be seen commanding much higher mind share of the corner offices.

It will be race between "increasing Customer expectations" & enterprises trying to be "ahead of the curve to be competitive". As we approach 2020, enterprises having agility and maturity on CX be ahead in this race!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

 

Using Pessimism through Optimism in ERP Implementations

Guest post by
Samik Das, Lead Consultant, Infosys

 

"Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism." - Arnold Bennett


Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the current project will oblige me to adopt a non-conventional way of project management. It all started last year, when I welcomed this new assignment with a big heart. We all were progressing in the very orthodox way our corporate guidelines are conscripted while initiation. To our outmost surprise the work permit process itself became a separate project, and then I started moving my focus from the standard levied processes to the clandestine ones. Very soon, I promoted "Pessimism" as the key weapon of the whole project management process. I had to undergo several iterations of self-confrontation before introducing the pessimism with a higher dose. Everyone knows that "medicines in high amount become poison" and here I was trying to induce poison in higher amount in the management process. Did the approach succeed? Yes!! Anyone will neither read the stories of people who failed in their lives nor are those published as well as promoted commercially.

Too much of optimism can be equally detrimental to the project and if not grounded in reality can result a disaster. This can lead important team players to hold their tongues when they should ideally speak up due to the fear factor of being branded as the bearer of negative vibes. At the same false optimism can degrade a leader's credibility within the team. Surprisingly, many a times this is ignored for the sake of team building, motivation and so on.

The standard tools of project management often fail to help leaders to define the ground reality. My job was to define reality, identify the potential risks, chalk out the mitigation plan, getting the consensus from relevant stakeholders and mobilize resources to achieve the same. The delicate balance between deriving the reality through pessimism and maintaining a positive outlook, thus remaining grounded has to be a virtue for leaders in complex projects. The critical success factor lies into dealing the pessimism in an optimistic way and this way a few traps from this thought process can, rather should be avoided.

  • Danger of pessimism: A manager who brings forth the probable adverse situations about a project's prospects can build a negative story line for the whole team. Team members might start believing that their project is not in focus for right reasons and will be marked for failure. Instead of working hard to achieve the higher goals, they will begin looking for an escape through the nearest exit. It should be kept in mind - not to convey the darker side of the project in a pessimistic way.
  • Communication Method: One should not convey the sense of doom to the respective project stakeholders and team members without a solution or plan in place. Preferred way should be conveying with the mitigation plan in place. The leaders should be able to stretch their teams without breaking them. They should be motivated by defining reality, sometimes using extreme pressures to set up an underdog as one of the dynamics.
  • Share success story: Every team member loves to hear success stories, that too from a leader who has witnessed that. This keeps the moral boost high and can motivate the whole team to work together achieving the common interest.
  • Limiting the transparency: We always talk about high transparency in processes, policies and so on. The reality has to be defined in a way that strikes a proper balance between accepting the bitter truths and motivating the team has to be achieved. The struggle of the leader should not be visible to the whole team, which can bring negativities within. It is the essence of true leadership.

Before I conclude, I will use Pessimism once again considering the optimistic readers' critics and my thought process compels me to define the mitigation plan to make them enjoy the reading as well. The communication will go in this way, "Hello optimistic readers, if you found my piece of writing too pessimistic, please read "Pessimism" as "Realistic Thinking" and re-read it! Hope you will enjoy in either form." 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________   

September 4, 2013

Oracle Project Manufacturing - A complete solution for project manufacturing based industries

Guest post by
Srushti Gogate, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

 

Oracle Project Manufacturing is a part of the Oracle e-Business Suite which provides integration between Oracle Projects and Oracle Manufacturing applications. Typically in project based organizations like aerospace, manufacturing and EPC industries, Oracle Project Manufacturing; commonly referred as PJM provides a robust and comprehensive solution for managing project finances and supply chain.

Manufacturing and EPC industries predominantly indulge in execution of large scale projects with huge budgets extending over a long period. In addition to budgeting and financing, project execution also involves supply chain functions like Order booking, procurement, assembly and other shop floor activities which are well taken care by respective Oracle Suite of products like Order Management, Purchasing, work in Process etc. PJM facilitates manufacturing activities to be undertaken for specific projects thus seamlessly integrating Oracle Projects suite of products with all the manufacturing applications.

Some of the key features of PJM include:

  1. Streamlined process to support project supply chain management
  2. Cost Group feature which allows a single item (Material) to have different cost for different projects
  3. Planning group feature which enables user to better manage demand and supply
  4. Project based Procurement in combination with Oracle Purchasing and i-Procurement
    a. PJM enables to raise  inventory Purchase requisitions and place purchase orders on vendors against specific projects to procure material required
    b. It also enables to receive the material at specific project locators
  5. Inventory Tracking based on project in combination with Oracle Inventory
    a. PJM enables to track the inventory available at specific project locators and manage material costs for the project
  6. Project based discrete work orders in combination with Oracle Work In Process
    a. PJM enables building of assemblies on shop floor for specific projects and helps tracking of resource and overhead cost.
  7. Project Planning in combination with Oracle Advance Supply Chain Planning
    a. PJM provides a very robust functionality of material planning for a project and automatically generating supply documents to meet the demand.
    b. It provides functionalities like hard and soft pegging which involves reservation of material for specific projects
  8. Inter and Intra project transfers
    a. PJM facilitates transfer of project material within tasks of a project or from one project to another
  9. Effective cost tracking in combination with Oracle Projects
    a. PJM enables collection of all manufacturing transactions against a project and posting them to GL.
  10. Track customer orders for specific projects in combination with Oracle Order Management
    a. PJM, along with Oracle Order Management provides a facility to capture and track customer demand for individual projects.
  11. PJM also provides some advanced features like Task Auto Assignment which allows user to default tasks of a project during manufacturing transactions thus saving effort.

Oracle Project Manufacturing thus bridges the gap between supply chain operations and project execution activities thus ensuring better control for the industries.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

Cost Effective And Flexible Shared ERP Solution for SME Segment (Part-3)

Guest post by
Ajay Ashok Verekar, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

In part-1 and part-2, we discussed ERP solution to SME and its features and limitation, now we will talk about benefits to system implementer (SI).

Benefits to System Implementer - 

In current clumsy market condition, businesses from top customers are reducing and competition is very high, so this solution will give opportunity to IT companies to explore more customers. This solution is same like implementation of ERP system for high value customer which is having multiple businesses and organisations globally.

  1. New business opportunity will be available. More customers will be joined which will make IT companies to connect with more business or organisation. This will give better future opportunities.
  2. Revenue model needs to be developed for such shared ERP instance business. Revenue or profit can be generated from License cost, hardware and software cost. Support business will also generate more revenue.
  3. We have mentioned Oracle system but IT companies can develop their own ERP system for such solution. Oracle or Siebel are offering On Demand products which are also cloud based products. Hence with partnership with Oracle, companies can offer such ON Demand Product as part of solution to SME.
  4. This solution is not only applicable for MFG organisation but also applicable to distribution or other type of business.
  5. Supply chain Engine. - If this ERP system is designed properly then with help of cloud computing, SI will able to develop supply chain engine. This will connect to all customer and supplier together in one instance or it can be easily connected to other business if customer permits to do so.
  6. OEM develops their product by outsourcing and markets with help of third party distribution chain. Such OEM will want to go for such one instance system which they can implement ERP system at supplier or distributor end with less cost and less maintenance.

Conclusion-
Solution will empower small and medium enterprise to go for good ERP system. This will give cost beneficial and flexible solution to all SME. Business growth opportunity to IT companies and companies can create supply chain engine using same solution and using cloud technologies.  System will help reduce the carbon footprint globally due to use of shared resources.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a Large Transformation ERP Program (Part-1)

Guest post by
Hemantkumar Nathu Lothe, Senior Consultant, Infosys

 

For any transformational project, Go-Live is the ultimate goal. However, this is not end of the episode and the real action start during the first financial period closure. Most of the times, the period closure activity is being considered as the barometer for the successful implementation and hence it becomes imperative that the first period closure is as smooth and without surprises.

There are the definite guides and outlines provided for the financial period closure which details the steps and sequence to follow for the period closure. Business can weigh the success of the period closure on different parameters like the time scale taken, achievement of the objective, efforts involved, categories of the issues faced etc.

This blog details the first 2 things among the recommended 5 to be considered as catalyst for successful period closure as below-

  1. Period End Closure Mock-
    Generally the individual modules capture the scenario for steps to be performed for period closure. This necessarily need not cover the entire period closure process from business perspective. Hence there is a need to list a separate scenario across all tracks for period closure. This one scenario would list all the details required along with the sequence and steps that needs to be performed for period closure.
    Induction of this scenario right from the CRP phase into the project will initiate and instil the importance of this activity across various business tracks and the execution of this scenario will bring on the dependencies of the business functions on each other for the successful closure of period. The execution of this period close scenario right from CRP through UAT will give business an insight what goes for the successful period closure.
  2. Period Closure with User Entered Data in UAT-
    The most common issue for the first month end processing is removing the exceptions. Mainly these exceptions arise because of the wrong data entry in the application. It is practically not possible to build all the validations for the correct data entry and many times may not be feasible to check authenticity of the data being entered at the source during implementation. Clearing these exceptions and correcting the 'incorrect' data eats the major time in the entire period closure process.
    Majorly UAT focuses on executing the business process with the migrated data. However due care is exercised for the authenticity and correctness of migrated data so these may not pose threat for period closure. Hence the best practice would be to ask all the super users/SMEs to enter the critical transactional data in system which can be used for the period closure scenario execution in UAT. If the implementation methodology permits, even business can ask key users from business to execute the process track scenario which eventually creates the transactional data for period closure.

We will continue the other 3 recommendations in the next blog, so keep watching...

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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  

____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles

Infosys on Twitter