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

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October 24, 2018

OAC Data Visualization (DVD/DVCS) New Features

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) is getting matured in the industry and gaining customer trust. So Oracle is adding more and more new and innovative features to make the product more usable and make more compatible in today's ever changing market.

There are number features has been added in the OAC DV version 4 and 5 which will provide whole new set functionalities that will enable OAC users to harvest features and functionality like OBIEE. We are going to discuss few of the new and exciting features in the below article with some live example:

·         Drill via Existing Column in Same Visulization

·         Drill to another Canvas or URL

·         Use one analysis as a filter for whole canvas

·         Pattern Brushing

·         Synchronized Visualization

·         Explain Feature

Continue reading " OAC Data Visualization (DVD/DVCS) New Features " »

September 7, 2018

Leveraging Oracle Revenue Management Cloud System to Meet IFRS 15 Contract Cost Amortization Requirements

Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service (RMCS) - Introduction

Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service (RMCS) is an automated and centralized revenue management product that empowers organizations to comply with the ASC 606 and the Accounting Standard IFRS 15 requirements of revenue from contracts with customers. RMCS helps organizations in automating the identification and creation of customer contracts and performance obligations, their valuations, and the accounting entries through a configurable framework.

RMCS is tailor made to meet the IFRS15 / ASC606 requirements including the transition requirements. Apart from this, RMCS also provides robust integration with third party applications including Oracle EBS (and other non-oracle systems) to fulfill the requirements of IFRS-15.

Standard RMCS features enable organizations to recognize revenue from contracts with customers as per IFRS-15. However, the product does not offer features to amortize the contract costs as per IFRS-15. At Infosys we have extended the usability of RMCS to recognize and amortize Contract Costs as per IFRS-15.

This document provides a solution overview on recognizing and amortizing Contract Costs in RMCS and the initial accounting setups which are required. The content included in this document is industry or organization agnostic.

 

Recognizing Revenue from Contracts with Customers in RMCS

The most striking change in recognition of Revenue has been the introduction of the new five- Step Model for recognition of revenue.

View image

 

The new standard impacts all the organizations requiring to report according to IFRS and US GAAP. Since, the change deals with revenue, and is expected to have organization wide impact.

Sample case showing how Revenue is recognized as per IFRS-15 in RMCS: -

Domain: Telecom

Contract Period: 6 months

Contract Start Date: 15.01.2018

Contract End Date: 15.07.2018

Plan: Telecom plan which include monthly fixed fee- $ 100 along with a handset at the start of the plan

Say, X Ltd sells separately Handset at $ 300 for 6 months and the monthly fee without handset at $ 80.

1.       As per IFRS-15, X Ltd needs to identify the contract (Step 1) which is a 6-month contract with the customer.

 

2.       Then, X Ltd needs to identify all the performance obligations (Step 2) from the contract with the customer which is:-

·         provide a handset

·         provide network services over 6 months

 

3.       Decide the transaction price (Step 3) which is $ 600

 

4.       Apportioning the transaction price (Step 4) of RS 600 to each performance obligation based on their relative stand-alone selling price: -

Performance Obligation

Standalone Selling Price

Allocated %

Allocated Revenue

Revenue Recognized

Handset

300

38.46%

230.76(600*38.46%)

230.76

Network Services

480(80*6)

61.54%

369.24(600*61.54%)

61.54(369.24/6)

Total

780

100%

600

292.30

 

5.       Recognizing the revenue (Step 5) when X Ltd satisfies the performance obligations:

·         Recognizing the Revenue from Handset, when X Ltd gives Handset to customer -$ 230.76

·         Recognizing the Revenue from Network Services provided for $ 61.54 monthly during the period of the contract which is 6 months.

Expected Accounting entries generated in RMCS are as summarized below: -

Period

Description

Amount

Debit

Credit

Event

T0

Recognition of Contract Asset and Liability in relation to the Services and Handset

Contract Asset

600

 

Initial Performance

Contract Liability

 

600

T1

Monthly Billing of Revenue 

Contract Clearing

292.30

 

Performance Obligation Billed

Contract Asset

 

292.30

T1

Recognizing of monthly Revenue and its allocation

Contract Liability

292.30

 

Performance Obligation Satisfied

Revenue from Handset

 

230.76

Revenue from Network Service

 

61.54

T2-T6

Monthly Billing of Revenue 

Contract Clearing

61.54

 

Performance Obligation Billed

Contract Asset

 

61.54

T2-T6

Recognizing of monthly Revenue and its allocation

Contract Liability

61.54

 

Performance Obligation Satisfied

Revenue from Network Service

 

61.54


Accounting for cost as per IFRS-15

IFRS 15(Revenue from Contract with Customers) is primarily a standard on revenue recognition, it also has requirements relating to contract costs. As a result, organizations may require change their accounting for these costs on adoption of IFRS 15.

Prior to IFRS 15, there was no specific accounting standard addressing the accounting for costs, entities referred to a number of different standards and principles in accounting for various types of costs incurred. Existing standards IAS 18 Revenue and IAS 11 Construction Contracts contained only limited guidance, mainly on applying the percentage of completion method (under which contract revenue and costs were recognized with reference to the stage of completion).

IFRS 15 introduces a new guidance on accounting for the costs related to contract: -

View image

Basic Configuration required to achieve allocation in RMCS

 

  1.                    Trading community source system: Source systems are uniquely defined in the system which is required to support all other setups.
  2.                  Source document codes: Source document code is base setup to define source document types.
  3.                 Source document types: Source document types are defined to indicate different lines of business. For example: if a business has manufacture line and service line then two type of source document types need to be defined.
  4.                 Revenue system options: Different types of accounts i.e. contract asset account, contract liability account, contract discount account, price variance account and contract clearing account are defined through revenue system options.
  5.                   Standalone selling price effective periods: Depends on pricing policy of the business and how frequently these changes helps to determine effective periods to define standalone selling price of different products.
  6.               Contract identification rules: Contracts are created in system based on the contract identification rules. Different contract identification rules are created for different source document types.
  7.             Performance obligation identification rules: These rules are created to define how different performance obligation lines will be treated for a particular contract. Different performance obligation rules are created for different source document types.
  8.           Pricing dimension structure: Pricing dimension structure are used to define different segments which are required in defining pricing dimension values.
  9.               Pricing dimension assignments: This setup assigns different source document types with different pricing dimension structures.
  10.                   Standalone selling price profile: This setup is done to define items in different standalone selling profile and to define standalone selling price. Profiles are created based on different pricing dimension assignments.

Extending the Usability of RMCS to Costing Scenario

In order to recognize Contract Cost as per IFRS-15 (If the contract period is for more than 12 months), organizations need to amortize contract cost over the period of the contract. In this scenario, Contract Cost should be debited and Contract Asset should be credited. But initially in RMCS, while recognizing revenue Contract Liability Account is debited and Contract Revenue Account is credited. Therefore, in order to achieve the accounting for Contract Cost we need to apply Sub Ledger Accounting in RMCS.

Sub ledger Accounting supports multiple accounting representations concurrently in a single instance. We can create a particular set of rules for specific transactions and create accounting for the transaction with the accounting methods defined.

 

Configurations Required for Sub Ledger Accounting to Meet Cost Amortization

This is how best we can understand the relationship of the components used for Sub Ledger Accounting: -

View image

After completing basic RMCS configuration, below are the high level SLA setups required to achieve Costing Scenarios:

        I.            Accounting Method: We need to create a new Accounting Method so for accounting treatment for each accounting event class, accounting event type for the Costing Scenario.

      II.            Account Rules: Account Rules enable us to define the logic of determining the segment value to be used for each transaction. We create different rule types to fetch Account combination, Segment, and Value Set.

In order to create accounting entries for costing scenario, we need to create three different Account rules, namely: -

a.       Contract Liability Custom Account Rule

b.      Contract Asset Custom Account Rule

c.       Contract Revenue Custom Account Rule

Each of the above rules should have a condition to identify and alter the account for cost contracts.

 

    III.            Sub ledger Journal Entry (JE) Rule Set: Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Sets enables us to generate complete JE for an accounting event. This summary of the set of rules needs to be validated before it can be linked to the Accounting Methods for the sub ledger. The Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set can be assigned only to a Sub Ledger Accounting Method with the same chart of accounts. Before creating Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule set, ensure that the below subcomponents, if required, of Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set are correctly defined: -

a.       Description Rules

b.      Journal Line Rules

c.       Account Rules

 

    IV.            Accounting Methods assignment: After creating Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set, assign the Rule set with the already created Accounting Method. The Status of the Accounting method defined is incomplete initially.

      V.            Activate Sub Ledger Journal Entry Set Assignments: In order to activate the accounting setups, submit the Activate Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set Assignments process. The Status of the Accounting Method should be 'Active'.

Expected Accounting Entries in RMCS for Costing Scenario: -

Say, Contract Cost to be amortized -$ 2400 for 24 months

Period

Description

Amount

Debit

Credit

T0

Initial Performance

Contract Asset

2400

 

Contract Liability

 

2400

T1-T24

Amortization of Cost

Contract Cost

100

 

Contract Asset

 

100

Conclusions-RMCS with Custom Sub Ledger Accounting - A Game Changer!!!

With Oracle RMCS and Infosys tried and tested SLA extensions, now organizations can not only recognize Revenue according to IFRS 15 but also recognize and amortize contract costs as per IFRS 15. This enables organization to have a single Oracle supported solution for meeting all their IFRS15 requiremnts.

Please reach out to Infosys/authors for your organization specific requirements and to leverage the power of RMCS to ease your transition to IFRS 15 standard.


March 31, 2018

Blockchain & Finance - An Introduction for the CFO

Have you heard about blockchain? Even if you have not heard about blockchain, you would surely have heard about bitcoin.  Bitcoins are not blockchain but Bitcoins use the blockchain technology.

Why should a CFO concern about blockchain technology?

The blockchain technology is a big game changer.  It can be used to solve many business problems. While some industries are hugely impacted, others might have minor impact. Also, since the technology is evolving and maturing new impacts are getting discovered every day. Ignoring the technology could mean loss of competitive advantage, inefficient process impacting shareholder value. As the guardian of the shareholder value, it is of great importance to the CFO to understand the technology in general and impact on finance function in particular.

Before, we discuss how the blockchain impacts the finance function, let us understand what blockchain is, what its unique features are, what are its benefits.

What's the name?

The blockchain technology is also sometime referred to as DLT i.e. Distributed Ledger technology. While there are minor differences between the two, to keep things simple, we can assume both are the same.

What is blockchain / DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology)?

As the name indicates the technology uses blocks, chains, is distributed (i.e. decentralized) and ledgers (list of data). Basically DLT uses blocks to store data, the data is linked / chained to each other most likely using cryptology.  Apart from data storage / linkage, in DLT the complete data will be replicated (distributed). The data in the block chain is stored based on a 'consensus' rule and blockchain might also have smart contracts, which gets executed based on certain criteria.

Blockchain / DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) - How does it help?

Because of the above characteristics, a blockchain can help businesses

  • Speed up business processes - transactions taking days can be done in seconds.

  • Reduce costs - as it will enable direct peer-to-peer interaction without the need for intermediaries.

  • Reduces risks - as the transactions are immutable and cannot be changed ones created

  • Enforces and builds trust - all data is transparent and additions are through a consensus mechanism.

Maybe the above discussions are very technical, let me describe a finance use case for better understanding of the technology and the benefits. 

Trade Finance - Use Case - Using Oracle Cloud, Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service

Trade finance is one of the areas where the blockchain technology is already in use. Let us imagine a typical bill discounting scenario.  The scenario will have the following participants - buyer (say 'ABC Electronics'), seller (say 'LG Electronics'), and financing bank (say HSBC).  Assume we are the buyers, using Oracle Cloud applications.

ABC Electronics buys the goods from the LG, on receipt of the goods and the invoice from the LG, the details are sent (physical copies of invoice) to the HSBC bank. HSBC bank verifies the data and then releases funds to the LG based on the due date.

Note the above process

  • Might take 3-5 days, probably more

  • The participants to the process, do not have a visibility of the status - Are the goods received by the ABC Electronics, is the invoice received by the ABC Electronics, has HSBC bank got the document, has HSBC bank verified the documents.

  • The invoices might get damaged, lost, tampered with - as they move between the different parties.

How can Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service help here-

With blockchain we can now build a solution whereby

  • The business process of sending goods, receiving goods, receiving invoices, sending invoices to the buyer, verification of receipts and invoices by the buyer, sending the invoice to the bank can be captured / shared  on the blockchain

  • The transactions on consensus gets added to the block chain and cannot be tampered with (immutable)

  • Additions to the blockchain can be done by automatic process / manual process. Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service offers REST API's to automatically integrate the Oracle cloud applications with Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service.

  • New data can be added based on an agreed consensus mechanism, which can be built using Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service.

  • Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service also offers a front end application, which help the participants to view the status of the transactions (data transparency)

  • The physical invoices need not be sent to the bank, the bank can directly connect via RESTAPI offered by Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, to verify the invoices captured by the buyer. ( eases and speeds up the process)

  • With Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, a smart contracts can be built to automatic transfer amounts to the seller, on due verification of the invoices (process automation)

Below is the pictorial representation of how data (block) gets added to each node after each business event based on consensus between all participants and the same view is available to all participants.

With the above solution

  • The data is visible to all participants and is consistent across all participants.

  • Physical invoices need not be sent to the bank.

  • The correct invoice details are confirmed by all parties and cannot be tampered with (immutable). The ability is only possible due to the use of blockchain technology.

  • Smart contracts executed automatically to initiate supplier payments.

  • The time to process the payment to the seller can be done in few minutes instead of days

Are there other Use cases - Impacts on finance function?

While there is a big impact on financial services industry, crypto-currencies, the focus of this note is to discuss the impact on the finance function perspective, at a more micro level.

There are many other use cases. As the technology matures, the way it is implemented is also evolving and new use cases are getting discovered.

Oracle (in Oracle Open World 2017) while releasing the Blockchain Cloud Service solution, have listed a good set of questions which will help you determine the possible use cases for blockchain. Businesses need to check on below to discover potential use cases

  • Is my business process pre-dominantly cross departmental / cross organizational? ( think of intercompany reconciliation, interparty reconciliations)

  • Is there a trust issue among transacting parties? ( think of trade finance scenarios)

  • Does it involve intermediaries, possibly corruptible?

  • Does it require period reconciliations? ( think of intercompany reconciliation, interparty reconciliations)

  • Is there a need to improve traceability or audit trails? (think of bank confirmation letters, third party balance confirmation letters needed by auditors)

  • Do we need real time visibility of the current state of transactions? (think of publishing reports to various stakeholders)

  • Can I improve the business process by automating certain steps in it? (think of automatic payment, based on inspections by a third party).

From above, we can see numerous opportunities for improving the finance functions. Let me try to list possible use cases by critical functions of finance.

S Num

Function

Sub-Function

Possible impacts

1

Financial Management

 

Ø  Strategic Planning

Ø  Annual Planning

Ø  Rolling Forecasting (Quarterly / Monthly)

Ø  Working Capital management

Ø  Forex management

An internal, permissioned blockchain can be built to get consensus on the plan, which is transparent to all participants and immutable.

 

A permissioned blockchain can be setup to speed up the funds disbursement process for trade finance

2

Financial Reporting and Analysis

 

Ø  Statutory and External Reporting (GAAP / IFRS / VAT etc.)

Ø  Management Reporting (Scorecard, Dashboard)

Ø  Strategic Finance (Scenario Planning. M&A)

Ø  Customer and Product Profitability Analysis

Ø  Balance Sheet, P&L ,Cashflows

A permissioned blockchain can be setup for secured communication of reports which is secured, tamperproof, quick to publish.

 

3

Governance, Risk and Compliance

 

Ø  Financial Policies & Procedures (Business Rules Management)

Ø  Tax Strategies and Compliance

Ø  Tax  Accounting

Ø  Audit, Controls and SOX Compliance

Ø  Enterprise and Operational Risk Management

Ø  System Security and Controls

Secured communication of reports to government authorities.

 

A permissioned blockchain can be built to get consensus on the account balances for audit purposes.

4

Finance Transactions and Operations

 

Ø  General Accounting

Ø  Managerial Accounting

Ø  Accounts Payable

Ø  Credit and Collections

A permissioned blockchain can be built which is transparent, immutable and consensus based to capture customer promises for cash collections.

5

Financial Consolidation

 

Ø  Period end Book closure (monthly, quarterly, yearly)

Ø  Currency translation and trial balances

Ø  INTRA and INTER company transaction accounting

Ø  System of records close ( COA,  GL, Sub-ledgers)

A permissioned blockchain can be built to share and agree on intercompany balances.

 

Any pitfalls? What should you check?

There are many potential uses of this technology. As the technology matures and more Proof of concept projects get executed, new use cases are getting discovered and old use cases are also getting dropped.  As per Gartner Hype cycle, blockchain technology has passed the 'Peak of Inflated expectation' phase and is likely to enter in the 'Trough of Disillusionment' phase as POC's start failing before entering the 'Slope of entitlement' phase.

Considering the hype, there is a risk of trying to force-fit blockchain in scenarios, where simpler, cheaper, faster options might work better. While blockchain are immutable, highly secure, there are few exceptions and special attention is needed to ensure the exceptions are understood and managed. The government regulation to manage blockchain contracts also need to be evolve. There are also concerns with data transparency, which might not always be a good thing.

Conclusion

Blockchain is a big game changer.  Its impact on the finance function is inevitable. As the technology matures, the technology will help the CFO automate, speedup processes, build internal controls even with third parties outside the organization.  The CFO organization should start discussion on discovering use cases. It is likely that new ways of doing processes might be developed, in a way never imagined before.

The intention of the article is to give an introduction to blockchain, the impact on finance function and how Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service can help with build a block chain quickly.

Continue reading " Blockchain & Finance - An Introduction for the CFO " »

March 15, 2018

Summary

The core intention of writing this blog is to describe features of legacy mainframe and the emerging era of Big Data. It also demonstrates the process of offloading data to Hadoop.  

 

Advantages of Mainframe:

Legacy systems used by many organizations are more secure, scalable and reliable machines which are capable of tackling huge workloads.

Mainframe handles even mission-critical applications with minimal resistance, like processing banking transactions, where both security and reliability and security are equally important.

 

Drawbacks of Mainframe:

They sustain Large hardware and software.

Processing Prices.

 

Many organizations, in the current era, take the urge to initiate a part of migration and continue the same in all the aspects of business applications to newer reliable platforms.

This process helps organizations to reduce costs incurred and meeting the evolving needs from the business 

 

 

Advantages of Big Data technology over Mainframe:

Cost Effective.

Scalable.

Fault Tolerant.

 

The cost in maintaining and to process the mainframe can further be reduces by the assimilating a layer of Hadoop or to completely off load the batch process to Hadoop

 

Similarities of mainframe and Hadoop are as below :

Distributed Frameworks

Handle massive volumes of data

Batch workloading

strong sorting

 

Business Benefits of adopting the Big Data Technologies along with Mainframe or over Mainframe

 

Using Hadoop ecosystems like PIG , HIVE or MapReduce the Batch processing can easily be done.

 

Jobs from the Mainframe systems can be taken and processed on the Hadoop the output of the same can be viewed at the mainframe end reducing million instructions per second (MIPS) costs.

(MIPS is a way to measure the cost of computing: the more MIPS delivered for the money)

 

Organizations look at return on investments at every corner during up-gradation or migration. similarly Migrating mainframe to Hadoop is this condition met due to minimal infrastructure , the batch process costs and flexible upgrade of applications.

 


Process of Offloading Data to Hadoop

 

Offloading approach is recommended in the following simple steps.

To create Active Archives and copies of limited mainframe datasets in the Hadoop distributed File system.

Secondly to migrate larger amount of data from the source from sources like semistructured data sources or Relational DBs

Final iteration of moving the expensive mainframe batch workloads to the much-sophisticated Hadoop

 

 

 

February 19, 2018

Chatting with Bots - More necessity than a science fiction

In the age where there are multiple applications involved in supply chain process, the knowledge about the customer orders is distributed. It has become a walk on the tight rope to keep the customer updated about the process of their order Vs cost to provide the information to the customer via customer service team or a complex BI solution. This blog opens a possibility of cost effective and light weight solution by introducing the 'Chatbot'.

The IT landscape involve multiple applications to fulfil every single order due to the nature of business, way the organization have evolved, number of business entities involved or due to the speciality of the applications. Below is the example of a manufacturing and retail organization

Pic 1 - Typical IT landscape

In this complex matrix, the traditional methods to keep the customer updated about the progress of their orders are as follows

  • Send text message or email about the status
  • Set up a customer service team to handle customer requests via call, text, email or chat

But the drawback of these conventional methods are that there is no single system which holds the moment of truth about every order. In order to avoid the customer service team juggling between applications, a complex BI reports are installed to oversee all applications resulting in even more complex IT landscape.

Alternative solution is that 'Chatbot'. According to Wikipedia, a chatbot is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Customers can chat with Chatbot to get the information about their orders. Let's see why the Chatbot solution is cool.

Implementing the Chatbot:

PIC2.png

There are 2 main functionalities of Chatbots:

  • Receive and understand what the customer is saying, and
  • Retrieve the Customer information required

 In order to receive and understanding what customer is saying via chat, Chatbot uses Natural Language processing systems. Via artificial intelligence and machine learning, Chatbot is trained to understand the customer's request better. There are numerous cloud based chatbot development platforms can be leveraged to design, build and train the Chatbots. Oracle Cloud Platform or IBM Watson are examples of such Platform as a Service (PAAS)  solutions available.         


Text Box:  
Pic 3 - Example of a chat conversation in mobile
For retrieving the information required, the Chatbot uses web services to connect with each application. For example Order management Cloud has an Order Import Web service which can be involved by using the retail order number. Similar order information web service can be created. The Chatbot will have to invoke the web service and find out the best status of all the application and publish it to the customer.

Via these NLP and web services, implementing a Chatbot solution is easier than ever.

These Chatbots are not too bulky and intrusive like traditional BI solutions. They occupy less space in server or can be easily placed in Cloud as well.

Customer Experience:

Customer Experience, in short CX, is a major focus area for the organizations. With referral customers giving more business than new customers, the organization want the customer to be handled with care. The Chatbot will give the customers an unparalleled experience just like chatting with a human.

The Chatbot can chat in different language as preferred by the customer. In addition, Chatbot can be trained to reply on text or voice commends as well.

The Chatbot can be used on computer, tab or even mobile to give customer an excellent convenience.

Capex, What Capex?

 Setting up a multi-language enabled customer service team 24 x 7 or implementing a complex BI solution is far more costly for the organization. The cost and time to implement a Chatbot is far less when compared to the traditional methods. Readymade Chatbots are available which are already designed and built to a general extend. The implementation will be limited to involve the order information web services from various application and to train the Chatbots.

capex.png

The Chatbots can also be used for expediting an order if customer requires. Chatbot can send mails to the Production team in manufacturing facility with the chat history to ensure that the order is expedited.

With the technical advancements, Chatbots are even helping patients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and insomnia.

To summarize, Chatbots are easy, simple and light weight applications that solve the major problem of keeping the customer engaged. So if you are chatting on a web site to know the status of your order, you may be chatting with a robot already!!!

February 9, 2018

Getting Started with People soft Campus Solution

Overview on PeopleSoft Application

·         PeopleSoft is a comprehensive, multi-tasking ERP system

·         Various domains e.g. FSCM, HRMS, Campus solutions are integrated in the product

·         Flexibility in decision- making is enhanced due to integration of data in between different domains in PeopleSoft

·         Reporting can be in summarized and detailed analysis depending upon the requirement from single domain or consolidation of two or more domains

·         Robust facility for audit trail enables management to cater for user login transactions creating accountability across organizations

·         Reports and data can be synchronized for different accounting periods

Campus Solutions (CS 9.0, 9.1,9.2) Business Processes:

·         Student Management:

 

o   Recruit Prospects

o   Admin Students

o   Enroll in Classes

o   Advise & Transition Students

o   Manage Financial Services

o   Manage campus services

·         Academic Management

o   Schedule courses & Resources

o   Plan Academic Programs

o   Teach courses

·         Institutional Advancement

·         Campus Community

·         Personal Information Management

·         Maintaining Biography/Demographic/ Health Data

·         Maintaining Health Data

·         Maintaining Identification Data

·         Maintaining Participation Data

·         Organization Data Management

·         Maintaining Organization Data

·         Maintaining Event Data

·         Maintaining Committees

·         The 3Cs

o   Communications

o   Checklists

o   Comments

Continue reading " Getting Started with People soft Campus Solution " »

January 22, 2018

Vroom Vroom... with the Infosys Automotive Solution

Automotive Industry has been largely ahead of the innovation curve bringing in more technology to the vehicle towards the needs of the market. But all this while, they were challenged working with their own archaic systems. Good customer experience does not just mean good client facing applications but also the entire supply chain has to be customer oriented. Each of the supply chain elements need to be integrated to the get the part/vehicle at the right place at the right time.

Writing in fear of being cliché, an Automotive supply chain has its own complexities which sometimes are not as intuitive to anyone who does not live and breathe this industry. This is where Infosys Automotive Solution has been crafted and perfected over the years, to cater to such specific supply chain challenges.

1.       Supersessions: This is where the rubber hits the road. Almost every leading ERP product in the market has functionality to define supersessions but is it integrated to the entire process?? The answer will be "No".  The complexity does not end with ensuring we are selling always the oldest part of the supply chain but we are also buying the latest part in the chain. Ensuring the End of life and forecasting processes for the product chain are tied together. Even from a pricing perspective, how is the solution going to align the prices along the chain or create incentives for driving buying behavior from dealers?

2.       Referrals: Referral is a concept beyond Promising. How does one ensure we refer to the next nearest warehouse to meet the demand to ensure customer experience does not take a hit? While doing this, how do we keep the logistics cost minimal? How do we ensure we follow the milk run routes or do rate shopping real time? How do we ensure routes are combined together? While traditionally these problems are solved through transport integrations but many have solved this problem too much downstream.

3.       Fair share: When we are in a back order situation in the entire network and there are continuing supply constraints, how do we ensure that the incoming supplies are transferred and is fair shared across all distribution centers. Should it be based on FIFO, or customer priority etc.? These are problems that applications have continued to ignore putting these as execution problems.

4.       Slotting: Warehouse space is real state, how do we ensure that the fastest goods are always picked fastest. Also will the fastest always remain fastest? Or will there be seasonality, trends which we have to cater to. Slotting is ensuring that a continuous proactive process.

5.       Dealer incentives: This is an important part of the supply chain, often ignored. Supply chains are like humans, unless we build in incentives, we won't be able to drive the required behavior from the supply chain constituents.  The big question would be what should we stock at dealer inventories which are client facing and what we stock at middle level warehouses vs central warehouses. At the end of the day, inventory budget and customer service levels will drive the decisions but a dealer would only be concerned about their own profitability.

While we covered some of the nuances of the automotive spare part supply chain, there are many more such niche challenges which are unique and have been built in Infosys Automotive Supply Chain Solution. The solution not only covers the spare part supply chain but also caters to vehicle business as well. Additionally, we have solution flavor catering to Tier1 suppliers as well. To know more, reach out to us at Oracle Modern Supply Chain event at San Jose.@ OracleMSCE @Infy from 29-31st January 2018.

August 23, 2017

BCMS PHASE 1

Back ground:

Business evolves in rapidly changing environments, often driven by the pace of technological advancements, new regulations, increased competition and demanding customers. These drivers have fundamentally shaped organizations' emphasis on objectives based on time, quality and compliance. Some of these could present opportunities to organizations, whilst others could seriously damage their performance if they are inadequately managed.

Business continuity management system (BCMS) is a proactive approach that can maximize business opportunities. It enables organizations to optimize the continuity of operations, thereby safeguarding their corporate performance. It is a versatile discipline that encapsulates the multidisciplinary characteristics of management and technical subjects. The discipline is about the management of threats and their impacts to critical operations. Predominantly, it improves the organization's capacity to withstand the impact of an incident that may otherwise jeopardize its ability to achieve its objectives

 

What is business continuity management?

The most widely accepted definition of BCM (business continuity management) is a complete management process it identifies possible threats to an organization and the impacts to daily business operations those fears, if recognized, might cause, and which provides a structure for building organizational flexibility with the capability of an effective response that shields the interests of its reputations, brand and key stakeholders.

 

This definition forms the official definition of ISO 22301, the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) International and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). It is developed by leading experts in the BCM industry and reflects the very nature of the discipline works in organizations.

One distinctive characteristic of BCM is that it adopts a wide range of methodologies from other branches of management subjects, notably, risk, strategy, finance and project management. This denotes an all-encompassing management approach of establishing a corporate capability of safeguarding the organization's high-value assets.

This management discipline is broadly made up of two interrelating activities: analytical and planning. The analytical activity is an in-depth examination into the corporate functions, operations and business drivers that contribute to the organization's business performance. It is supported by a series of methodologies that assess threats and their impacts to critical operations. On the other hand, the planning activity develops the organization's business continuity capability in response to an incident. It comprises key processes with defined outputs that address the business continuity requirements identified in the analytical activity.

 

Why BCMS:

Due to the increase in expanding threats and international terrorism to Critical international/National Infrastructure, the UK Govt. rationalized by introducing the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This particular body of legislation outmoded by Civil Defense Act 1948 which was the legislation covering civil protection in the UK.(Scotland)  introduced the Contingency Planning regulations 2005 and published "Preparing Scotland", a controller to preparedness for public and private sector organizations. 

It is now a lawful necessity for officials to recommend BCM and for organizations to implement Business Continuity Management System in a right time and at right place.

It has made mandatory create BCMS plan by Business Continuity Governance Board chaired by the Secretary of University Court. The purpose is to address the problem of business continuity and mount a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) in the organizations and there by engage particular officer for BCMS to design, plan, develop, implement, test and manage the entire system. The aim to implement the BCMS as a discipline within the Glasgow University combining risk registers maintained by Research Institutes, University, Colleges, and Schools.

The BCMS is implemented at the University Estate and provide a hands-on outline to permit us to deliver the important activities of the University, even in times of chaos.

The Business Continuity Management Plan (BCMP) is a comprehensive set of steps to be taken before, during, and after a disaster. The plan outlines a set of guidelines to ensure the continuity of business operations and availability of critical resources, in the event of a disaster. Development Centre/s specific BCMS plan document outlines various risks, mitigation plans and recovery strategies applicable for all the projects executed from these center/s.

Scope:

Locations

Location-1

Location-2

Location-3

Location-4

Location-5

 

Objectives:

* To be aware of possible situations/Risks that could endanger business.

 

* To suggest ways to prevent the destruction/ damages and protect the business.

 

* To ensure uninterrupted services to the clients

 

* In case of disaster, ensure resumption of critical service delivery within the recovery timelines.

 

* In case of disaster, to limit the extent and impact of damage as much as possible.

 

* To ensure currency, correctness and records of BCM Plan/events for Projects.

 

* To suggest roles and responsibilities for various stakeholders in disaster planning and recovery process.

 

Overall Infosys BCMS team structure

BCMS Head

 

BCMS Anchor

 

BCMS Backup Anchor

 

BCMS Team Anchor (Location)

 

BCMS Team Member

DM            

<< 

SPM/PM          

<< 

PM/TL        

<< 

Location-1

Name

EX: HYDSEZ

<< 

Name1          

<< 

Name2 

Location-2

Name

EX: CHENNAI

<< 

Name3               

Location-3

Name

EX: BANGALORE

<< 

Name4

Name5

Location-4

Name

EX: PUNE

<< 

Name6    

Location-5

Name Onsite

EX: USA

<< 

Name7  

Name8 

                                                                                                               

Assumptions, Responsibility matrix, Business impact Analysis and Risk Assessment are going prepared according to SOW (Statement of Work) and MSA (Master Sign Agreement) of the project.

 

                                                                                                                                Continued in Phase 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading " BCMS PHASE 1 " »

July 21, 2017

HAS HFM NOT REALLY MOVED TO CLOUD??

Has HFM not moved to cloud?

1.png


As the name indicates, FCCS - Financial Close & Consolidation Cloud Service, but still after reading through multiple blogs, what I interpreted is that FCCS is not HFM in cloud or a replacement of HFM. However, the list of features included in FCCS does support the fact that it seems to be a distant if not closer relative of HFM, if not a complete package altogether.

Let's first have a look in detail on all the features, which I found to be similar to HFM. And then I would go on covering the variances as well.

Feature

HFM

FCCS

Standard Dimensions

x

x

Standard Consolidations & Eliminations

x

x

ICP Matching reports

x

x

Currency Translations & CTA Calculations

x

x

Cash Flow

x

x

Multi GAAP Support

x

x

Drill through

x

x

Journal workflow

x

x

Data Audit

x

x

Data load from ERP

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




FCCS is primarily built from the customer's base point of view. The intent of this application is to reduce the manual effort or limited need for customization, since there is no concept of rule file here, & all the functionalities mentioned above have been provided out of the box.

Hence, FCCS would be of greater benefit to those customers who do not require complex calculations & plain vanilla implementation / consolidation is the requirement.

The foremost advantage of FCCS would be the database size for each application which is 150GB & that would mean the application is capable of holding around 1K entities & 5K accounts. However, this DB size is extendible, for a higher price though.

Lesser user roles exist in the shared services which would indirectly mean easier maintenance from security perspective.

Now let us discuss the differences in both the solutions, or rather I must say, the shortfalls in FCCS, which project the fact that FCCS is surely not a replacement of HFM or HFM in the cloud.

Feature

HFM

FCCS

Standard Dimensions

8

11

Custom Dimensions

Up to 20

2

System defined dimension

members

Only in Value

Several

Parent Entity Data Input

Available through very data input mode

Only Journals

Ownership Management

Yes

No

Currency Translations & CTA Calculations

Multiply / Divide available

Only Multiply

 

 2.png

However, after considering the Oracle's future roadmap of FCCS, the day is not too far when HFM & FCCS might become closer buddies as well.

 

June 27, 2017

Business Intelligence in Oil & Gas Industry

     

Why BI in Oil & Gas Industry?

Have ever wonder what Business Analyst / Technologist / Management Team would analyze the Production and Financial data in Upstream sector of Oil and Gas Industry:

  • How and where am I spending my dollars in OPEX across the wells in same location?
  • What is the impact on overall CAPEX spending if there is drastic increase in any of the well drilling phase (Planning, drilling, completions, etc.)?
  • What is the growth trends of Oil, Gas and natural gas production across well, fields, etc. with current, Month on Month and Year on Year comparisons?
  • Not able reconcile actual and budget on various tasks while drilling the well?
  • How to avoid duplicate/mismatch in the production / financial data for a well?
  • Can I get the cockpit view of production and non-production time?


KPI's


"Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in upstream Oil & Gas sectors are the measurable value that is intended to show how well the business is adhering to its business model and strategies that directly or indirectly reflect the level of success in meeting its goals".


Some of the Production KPIs which measures the Production Strategical Performances and goals.

        • Sales Volumes and Revenue
        • Intangible/Tangible Drilling Cost
        • Intangible/Tangible Facilities Cost
        • Intangible/Tangible Completions Cost
        • NPT (Non - Productive Time)

Figure 1 - Operational Scorecards - KPIs

Some of the below Financial KPIs acts as the key element in visualizing the financial attributes and goals:

        • Authorization for Expenditure
        • Field Cost
        • G/L Actual
        • Operating cost and Expenses
        • Revenue
        • Drilling Cost
        • Facilities Cost
        • Completions Cost

Reports

This Section focuses on BI Reporting for Upstream Applications in Oil & Gas Sectors:


Production Reports - Shows the calculated Monthly Production Volumes in Standard (BOE - Barrel of Oil Equivalent) and Native Measures for Shale and Conventional drilling and completed wells and production units. Some of the sample Production Reports are:

        • Monthly Actual vs Budget

        • Production Report

        • Production Outlook

        • Month on Month Production Report

        • Cumulative Year to Date Production report


Figure 2 - Monthly Budget vs Actual Report


Lease Operating Reports - Helps to track the Payouts, Expenses, Incomes and Profit/Loss for the well.

Budget Report - Information Summarizing Large Capital and Operating Expenditure Approvals for Exploration, Development and Production.

Maintenance Cost Report - Shows the Monthly, Yearly - Operating Cost, Expense Cost, Sales Cost, Volumes, Revenues for the Mineral Products (Oil, Water, Natural Gas etc.,) extracted from each well.

Capital Expenditure Accruals Report - Shows the Timely Accrued Expenses of the various category (such as Drilling, Completion, facilities) incurred from drilling the well till it is ready for producing the minerals Such as Oil, Gas, NGL Etc.

Still we haven't focused on how to avoid the duplicate/mismatch in the production or financial data for a well and the possible solution can be mastering the Well Id using industry standard MDM tool. Let's focus it in the next blog.



Continue reading " Business Intelligence in Oil & Gas Industry " »

May 20, 2017

If the Terminator T-800 takes over ERP world

The other day I was watching Sundar Pichai's keynote during the I/O 2017, where he introduced Google Lens, an intelligent image computing product from Google. The first thought that came to my mind was Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator 2- Judgement Day, were the T-800, a cybernetic organism from the future looks at an object and the details of the object pops up in its vision. I imagine a day, when this technology gets more mature and the VR head gears become lighter and cooler perhaps like eye glasses, and we can all be like the T-800, where we look at people and their online profile pops up. Maybe it could tell me that the tall guy in front me in the queue is my 5th grade classmate...

Then I started thinking about what this could mean in the ERP world. We already see benefits of OCR in processing invoices with zero touch, etc. Some image processors are able to automatically process applications and detect photos where the applicant's eyes are closed or identify that the photo is not as per specification. But what Google is talking about is altogether at a different level, with machine learning capabilities. Having used some of the Google API's to generate QR code and to find geocode, I expect relatively easy to learn & use APIs from them, that would abstract the underlying complexities and return the most appropriate result for our request. My thoughts on few of its applications in the near future...

 

·         Inventory Counting - Cameras can be kept along the warehouse so all items are visible. We should be able to count each item and their location in a blink.

·         Login - May be this will give us a robust facial authentication mechanism to login!

·         Attendance - Place cameras at vantage points and the in-time and out-time of employees can automatically be recorded. I don't need to keep wiping my hands because it is wet and the biometric readers think I am an alien!

·         Field Service - Camera could watch the field service technician fixing let us say an electronic equipment and replacing a circuit board. The parts used can be re-ordered and debriefing recorded automatically.

·          Expense - System already has the field service technician's task and schedule. Let us say the technician is on a two-day visit to perform a planned preventive maintenance of a rig. On showing the lunch receipt to the mobile camera, it understands it is a food receipt, it picks the date in the receipt and understands it is within the visit's date range, gets the amount and records the expenses against the task.

·         Inspection - As part of inspection during material receiving, determine if the product meets the color specifications, if there are any scratches, cracks, defects etc. and automatically receive or reject material and record it in the application.

·         Enterprise asset preventive maintenance - Today we have sensors monitoring enterprise assets and raising preventive maintenance service requests. This can become better for e.g we can have photos taken of the asset at intervals and understand changes like color of a tube, bulging of the pump, rusting of the bend and raise preventive maintenance service requests.

 

Being an Ironman fan, I love the image processor part of Jarvis and the glasses Tony Stark wears in Iron Man 3 that does image computing and also projects images. I expect that in the next few years something similar will be so commonplace that not just Mr. Stark but all of us can experience it! 

May 7, 2017

Co- existence - A Step Towards Cloud Adoption

Nowadays, with all the buzz around the word 'CLOUD', enterprises are progressively looking at possibilities of cloud adoption which principally has become an acronym for key trends like - Digitization, Modernization and Automation. While for enterprises, looking for green field implementations, it is easier to look at cloud options, embrace them and bring forth the much needed change, the real challenge is with organizations with large scale investment into existing applications which are STILL working. So, in this blog, will provide some insight into one of the most commonly used 'co- existence' approach of embracing cloud.

Continue reading " Co- existence - A Step Towards Cloud Adoption " »

April 30, 2017

Reverse Logistics For A Forward Thrust To Sustainment Quotient

One of the key technology focus areas in Green Supply Chain Management that enables an organization to transition into a sustainable organization is Supply Chain Network.  Logistics Optimization also goes hand in hand with this. It is true beyond doubt that a responsive supply chain is also a responsible supply chain, it is more environmentally and socially responsible. Not only is it plausible it is also more financially viable resulting in a higher sustainment quotient as well as higher benefit factor. Logistics Optimization and Supply Chain Network can lead to reductions in empty and circuitous miles, and also increased warehouse capacity utilization. Organizations need to look at the process and operational best practices to improve upon their sustainment quotient. The higher the quotient, the greener the supply chain and hence the greener the dividend pastures as mentioned earlier.

Continue reading " Reverse Logistics For A Forward Thrust To Sustainment Quotient " »

April 19, 2017

HCM War in Cloud-"Dynamic Automated solutions on mobility platforms (Part-II)

 

Welcome to last part of the series. In the first part we have discussed about availability of various HCM products under cloud technology and in this part we will discuss about a brief over customer expectation in terms of automation from HCM products.

HCM Products: - Automations & Mobility solutions

There are various HCM products available within cloud and each one has its pros & cons. Each product has its automation tool which makes them different from each other.

But, today's world has understood the importance of HR products and their solutions. Now, the organization's focus has shifted from budget to Automation. Their first and foremost priority is automated solutions which will reduce the future cost to the company.

Customer Expectations:-Automated HCM solutions

  • Integration with multiple applications:-While purchasing any HCM solutions among the various options available within cloud, clients now a days expect that it should support or that it can be integrated with the already existing software platforms, so as to create a bidirectional flow of necessary data from one application to another, without any additional cost of middleware or third party softwares. Automation/Integration tools should be available or can be developed within HCM application which can reduce further cost of integration.

For example -

  1. In the banking industry, there are multiple softwares used for various applications like Core banking solutions, Internet banking, lending solutions etc. There is always requirement for new user-id creation in each software where the employee's minimum basic information is required. HCM products once developed, contains all the user's personal as well as job information. So through automated batch solutions, these basic information can be shared with other applications so as to create bi-directional data flow which can automatically create user accounts in multiple applications as per the company policies.

  2. Similarly in many companies, there is a requirement that if the user is on pre-approved leave, the user account in highly confidential software's like CBS solution in banking should be blocked so that nobody can login with that person credentials who is on pre-approved leave. So as and when future dated leaves gets approved in HCM solutions, automated integration solutions with other software's can support accordingly.

     

  • Tools for Bulk upload & extracts: - These kind of tools are already available in various HCM solutions, but testing after upload takes times. Expectation is that- this time taken can be reduced with automated solutions other than query tools. These tools should verify at their end that the bulk data is uploaded and extracted as per the requirements.

     

  • Automatized solutions for various modules: - Here, automated tools can be used to identify issues before they arise.

  1.  Payroll & Other Modules:-Payroll is the most tedious and crucial domain of HCM applications. Automation can identify the issues which could come across once the payroll is run and processed, according to requirements and it can be sorted out without any manual intervention. Less time will be consumed for checking complete payroll. HCM automated solutions should itself authenticate the payroll results. Since all modules are, in some or another, connected to payroll, automation should be proactive in case of Core HR, absence, succession planning, talent management & all other modules. All kind of issues should be found out before any process is run and should be cleared by itself without any manual intervention.

  2. Automated solutions for Interfaces\reports:-Now a days, various BI tools and interfaces (inbound\outbound) are available with almost all HCM products which is really commendable, but these BI tools should be integrated with other existing applications within the organization .There should be two way flow which can create even financial figures\marketing charts\supply chain management etc. using HR tools. Admin can create reports without intervention of developers even at implementation stage & Automation should make it possible that these reports are flexible and can be created in any form such as presentations, RFPs etc. The dependency on vendors should reduce once implemented and front end solutions should make user's life easier & time effective which will reduce the cost for organizations as well.

  • App based HCM solution: - Since almost all applications are web based and they have the flexibility to be available on mobile, App based HCM solutions should be available at least for ESS & MSS. Notification & alerts should come once the application is downloaded on mobile/ iPad. Any reports which need to be delivered to top management can also be created at any location/time. Approvals based on mails & telephonic conversation (Concall decisions across global clients) can be stored. Any kind of rewards /re-cognition through telephone /mail can be uploaded by associate in his self-service options using the application.

  • Version upgrades & Application Migration: - Version upgrade is a tedious process. If we need to migrate from one HCM solution to another, automation should be such that it should support version upgrade in a few days instead of few months and therefore, the cost will be reduced on time & on resources. Migration between applications would not be tedious task using automation tools.

Conclusion:-HCM solutions have created a buzz for all organizations who believe that Human resources are human capital which can transform the company growth. Since, multiple applications are available within the cloud market, it will be really difficult to choose the best for all organization HR needs. Above all, organizations expect a lot more from HCM solutions which should be highly automated and compatible for all platforms including mobility solutions and there is far more to go to make any HCM application to be highly automated as per the client's needs.

Link to Part 1:- http://www.infosysblogs.com/oracle/2017/03/hcm_war_in_cloud-dynamic_autom.html

April 12, 2017

THE PROMISE OF EINSTEIN AI


Dreamforce event last year was almost all about Salesforce AI "Einstein" and its promise. The promise of AI solution that will:


• Will Reside inside the SFDC platform
• Will be able to analyze the huge quantities of data generated like, sales, emails, activity data, e-commerce, calendars, social strings, and connected devices (IoT) and
• Will Implement logics through machine learning and predictive analytics algorithms and
• Will offer crisp insights after analyzing huge data and provide recommendations and perform business functions across the SFDC platform.


For example Sales Cloud Einstein's feature of "Predictive Lead Scoring" will help sales folks to focus on the most promising leads. "Opportunity Insights" feature will suggest sales folks to set next priorities. This will also take into account the inputs of another Einstein feature "Automated Activity Capture".


Service Cloud Einstein will help optimize how calls are routed through the new feature called "Einstein Case Management". Machine Learning will enable cases  to be automatically assigned, escalated and classified once they are raised, and also automatically recommend the resolution based on historic data. It will also ensure that high priority cases are serviced quicker and assigned to the best equipped and available agent. The platform will automate much of the initial information gathering, mostly via chatbots, so that service agents are equipped with background information before the eventual customer interaction. Another value add feature of Service Cloud Einstein will be Case Closure Date Prediction. 


Similarly, Commerce Cloud Einstein promises Product Recommendations and Commerce Insights and Predicitive Sort for the best and next best product to be offered . Marketing Cloud Einstein will provide Predictive Scores and Audience Predictions to enable marketers for campaigns to be focussed and successful and deliver the best content available. Other Einstein features are summarily depicted below: