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

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October 22, 2018

Supply Chain Planning on Oracle Cloud for Industrial Manufacturers

 

Digitalization is changing our world in profound ways. Product development cycles are decreasing and delivery models are dramatically evolving. Software-enabled innovations are creating new service-based business models that are replacing existing products and re-ordering industry dynamics seemingly overnight. All kinds of industrial manufacturers have a common characteristic of globally distributed supply networks which is very complex. Process manufacturers these days are facing problems related to high fixed costs and a relatively inflexible manufacturing footprint. Discrete manufacturers also face challenges typically of high demand volatility and short product lifecycles. Therefore, all types of industrial manufacturers are feeling the heat and its imperative that they undergo a transformation to meet the requirements of the digital age.

Existing supply chain planning process of large industrial manufacturers is characterized by rudimentary applications that involve lot of manual data entry and number crunching is an even more tedious task. There is lack of transparency which leads to inconsistencies in data analysis and reporting. As a result, planners and users waste a lot of their time in trying to organize data in the format that's readable and actionable. This leads to increasing costs.

 

From the earlier disjointed planning systems which had Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Inventory Planning and Sales & Operation Planning operating separately, the need of the hour is to have all the planning systems on a single platform. The day in the life of a planner currently involves analyzing loads of data, modeling multiple scenarios and then acting on recommendations based on their analysis. This is a time consuming process and needs to be run on a single engine so as to assist the planner and make him more responsive. He should be able to simulate and run analytical models with a single click so that decisions can be made efficiently and faster.

 



Infosys over the years has worked with several Industrial manufacturers and currently many projects are still under way. Infosys consultants have years of experience across multiple client engagements. Infosys has the foundation in place and is ready to help clients navigate to their next. For industrial manufacturers the next step is to have an integrated suite of products with smart dashboards, Intuitive UI's so as to help the planner perform their day to day job efficiently and with minimum hassle of navigating across multiple ERP screens and applications.


 

                 Modern Best Practice

 



     Outsourced, In-House Manufacturing, Make-To-Order, Configure-To-Order and Make-To-Stock




The Infosys Industrial Manufacturing Solution is the first of its kind, fully integrated and configurable on Cloud which optimizes the day to day tasks and processes for a planner. It assists the planner to accurately do Demand forecasting and schedule the production plans effectively. The Demand & Supply Planning solution is fully configurable for Make-To-Stock, Configure-To-Order, Make-To-Order and OSP related workflows. This solution allows planners to quickly adapt and modify their production plans, sourcing details according to changing demand patterns. The In-built smart dashboards and analytical models help the planner to identify process-related bottlenecks, eliminate waste and optimize production. It operates on the lean principle of supply chain planning of minimizing waste. The Supply Chain planning on Cloud enables the planner to efficiently plan, simulate multiple scenarios with a single click and make decisions at a much much faster pace. Constraint based, capacity based planning can be easily modeled with the help of this solution thereby making other rudimentary applications redundant. For an Industrial manufacturer, the complex one to many bill of materials that is currently being configured across multiple warehouses can be easily modeled in Supply Chain Planning Cloud in the form of a Supply Network wherein multiple 'Make At', 'Buy From' and 'Transfer from' sourcing rules can be configured and assigned to the supply plan with the help of an Assignment set. Thus the configuration of the supply network and supply plan is also an easy task with the step-by-step task pane available. Demand Fulfillment dashboards, Demands-At-Risk and other custom exception messages can be easily configured in this Cloud solution, based on which planner will be able to make decisions faster and more efficiently. Supply Planning can help you simulate multiple business scenarios, be it capacity constraints or demand volatility or even shorter product lifecycles by making the plan flexible and agile..


The Kanban Planning, Min-Max based planning, Service parts planning are already planned to be rolled out in future releases of Oracle Cloud which will further enhance the flexibility of planning central cloud to other process and discrete manufacturers.




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 " »

December 29, 2017

Comparative Study Between Oracle Big Data Cloud Service and Compute Engine

 

Comparative study between Oracle BDCS and Oracle Big Data Cloud Compute Engine.

 

1.             Oracle Big Data Cloud Service: Gives us access to the resources of a preinstalled Oracle Big Data environment, this also comes with an entire installation of the Cloudera Distribution Including open source Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark. This can be used to analyze data generated from Social Media Feeds, E-mail, Smart Meters etc.

OBD CS contains:

·         3-60 Nodes cluster, 3 is the minimum number of cluster node(OCPU) available to start with; where we can increase the processing power and secondary memory of the cluster node can be extended by adding Cluster computer nodes("bursting").

·         Linux Operating System Provided by Oracle

·         Cloudera Distribution with Apache Hadoop (CDH):

-          File System: HDFS to store different types of files

-          MapReduce Engine (YARN is default for resource management)

-          Administrative Framework, cloud era manager is default

-          Apache Projects e.g. Zookeeper, Oozie, Pig, Hive, Ambari

-          Cloudera Application, Cloudera Enterprise Edition Data hub, Impala Search and Navigator

 

·         Built-in Utilities for managing data and resource

·         Big Data Spatial and Graph for Oracle

·         Big Data Connectors for Oracle:

-          Oracle SQL Connector for HDFS

-          Oracle Loader for Hadoop environment

-          Oracle XQuery for Big Data

-          ORE Advanced Analytics for Big Data

-          ODI Enterprise Edition

 

Typical Workflow of OBDCS: Purchase a subscription -> Create and manages users and their roles -> Create a service instance -> Create an SSH key pair -> Create a cluster -> Control network access to services -> Access and work with your cluster -> Add permanent nodes to a cluster -> Add temporary compute nodes to a cluster (bursting) -> Patch a cluster -> Manage storage providers and copy data

odiff (Oracle Distributed Diff) is a Oracle developed innovative tool to compare huge data sets stores sparsely using a Spark application and compatible with CDH 5.7.x. Maximum file/directory size limit is 2 G.B. to compare.

 

2.       

Continue reading " Comparative Study Between Oracle Big Data Cloud Service and Compute Engine " »

October 5, 2017

Understanding the "Pulse" of HR

 ICON_Evolution of HR_PNG.png

Evolution of Human Resources 

In the past, the role of the Human Resources (HR) function was to make people and organizations grow. It revolved around administrating employee life cycle from hire to retire process, primarily managing attendance, trainings and compensation.

The HR team used to perform functions that added limited value to organization, like performing mundane tasks and operational reporting like % complete for   performance reviews completed, number of employees hired , number of managers trained etc.. In case of large or global organizations where the HR data resides in various disparate systems, at times HR faced issues due to inaccurate reporting of head count data as- one of the important decision data point for business & finance. All of this resulted in HR functions being merely treated as an administrative function.

Over a period of time, the job of HR evolved in managing employee aspirations, organizational behavior, employee motivation etc. Performance objectives & measurable assessments became part of the KPI. In the recent times, there is an expectation for HR to be a "Business Partner" and thereby, they must see themselves as business people who specialize in HR and as a partner that can significantly contribute towards the organization's business goals

icon_expectation from Modern HR_PNG.png


Expectation from Modern HR

It is time for HR to reassess their role and contribute to successful organizations of the future. In today's world, HR partners need to be agile, creative & innovative. An HR Business Partner is not only expected to be aware of the organization's vision and align its workforce to its goals but they are also expected to have an end to end understanding of organization's business. From having a background of the specifics of how the business works, they are expected to have an understanding of financials to be aware of the performance of peers and competition. This understanding is vital for HR to be able work closely with business leaders. 


icon_getting ready for next gen HR_PNG.png

Getting ready for Next Gen HR

In today's world, there is a change in outlook to recognize employees as Human "Capital" instead of Human "Resources". HR needs to be more digital than manual, more proactive than reactive and more strategic than operational.  The expectation is to be predictive & analytical and analyze the data behind the data. In order to be ready for the Next Gen HR business partner, it is critical to identify key performance indicators and effectively measure them and assess vis-à-vis industry standards. 


Today, HR partners need to ask  few strategic questions like:

- Are we looking at the data beyond  the HR reports and dashboard?
- How am I doing vis-à-vis my peers & competition?  
- How do I keep track of my performance compared with industry benchmark? 
- How do I quantify performance across various HR functions? 
- How do I identify problem areas and measure actual improvement?

icon_problem-what to measure and how to measure_PNG.png


The Problem - What to measure and How to measure?

As mentioned by HR Folks International - Human capital is largely intangible and difficult to measure as a component in a company's business success.  It is very important to measure and analyze the priorities so you can recognize the areas of improvement and identify opportunities.

In my opinion, effective measurements of HR KPIs are critical to the success of any organization. When it comes to measurement of outcomes or KPIs, my observation has been that HR has limited tools as compared to other divisions within the organization. There are well established frameworks to measure performance of departments in organization (e.g. Finance, or Sales or production unit etc.) and co-relate the impact to the business. However, when it comes to measuring the performance of HR, it becomes subjective and quite a challenge to quantify the outcome and its tangible impact to business.

As a result it becomes imperative to not just measure and quantify, but also identify those indicators for measurement which actually contribute towards the organization's vision and goals.

icon_treat the cause and not the symptom_PNG.png


Treat the cause and not the symptom

It is not only important to look at the scorecard and analyze the results but it also important to look at the underlying "data behind the data" to trace the root cause, identify areas of improvement and take corrective action.

For e.g., let's take the Business Function of Talent Acquisition and analyze Recruitment Metrics & Scorecard for KPI like Time to hire" to "Cost to Hire"

Key Questions -

Is my organization taking more time to hire employees thereby having a direct impact to employee productivity and top line revenue? 

Is there higher cost to onboard an employee thereby having an impact on the company's bottom line and losing edge over competition?

Conclusion - After the analysis of the scorecard in HR Pulse solution,  it looks like I may have to review the end to end hiring process and remediate the bottle necks  that are leading to higher turnaround times to onboard employees and there by losing competitive  advantage.

Impact - After implementing the re-engineered hiring business process, the HR Pulse provides ability to generate "Before" and "After" Scorecard for the same KPI and demonstrate continuous performance improvements and tangible impact to the business


icon_HR Pulse_PNG.png


Infosys HR Pulse -An Infosys HCM Scorecard Solution

Infosys HR Pulse is an analytics solution that provides quantitative and visual measures of performance indicators in the form of a SCORE CARD. The solution defines the Metrics & KPIs that are critical for an organization with the ability to track performance of the indicators against the organization's targets and industry benchmarks. The solution helps to measure and track progress, highlights improvements and deterioration trends and pinpoints to the HR leadership, an accurate idea of their performance. The purpose of the Infosys HR Pulse is to enable the HR Partners to monitor what matters most, so that they can focus on meeting strategic objectives. 

The key features of HR Pulse are

- Generation of metrics pertaining to relevant HR KPIs and empower HR partners to formulate strategy to take corrective action and improve measures

- Logical grouping of HR Metrics and Key Performance Indicators within business functions

- Provide ability to slice & dice the data and display trend analysis across entities (business units, locations, department etc.)

- Compare performance of various HR Metrics with organization's internal targets and service industry benchmarks.

- Introspect and align actions with strategy for continuous performance improvements.

- Primarily focus on improving the performance and contribution of Unit HR Manager all the way up to the macro-level decision making of Senior HR Management

- Enhanced decision making capability of leadership by highlighting areas which need attention

- Enable HR quantifying corporate objectives with the performance of every employee  and department in the workforce

 

icon_HR Analytics_PNG.png

HR Analytics as the foundation - Infosys HR Pulse

HCM analytics is the foundation of all HR strategic initiatives. The important trend analysis that will help in decision making can be enabled by HR analytics. In today's digital world, one would think that HR analytics would be a regular feature by now, but contrary to this belief there are many organizations that are still exploring the possibilities to use HR analytics.

Infosys HR Pulse offering can be a part of the HCM implementation on Cloud or On-Premise. This solution can be deployed along with the HCM implementation and lay foundation for HR Analytics as the foundation.

This solution can also be deployed for clients who have implemented HCM on Cloud or On premise and enhance their HR analytics capabilities that help identify functions that are performing better and areas that need improvement.  The build-in adapters that comes along with Infosys HR pulse solution provides seamless integration with leading HR On premise ERP or Cloud solutions.

I believe once HR is effectively able to measure and quantify the outcomes, it will certainly have a positive impression within an organization and contribute to make an impact on the organization goals and vision. I think this will go a long way to establish HR as a key business partner and strengthen its value in an organization that it truly deserves!!! 

  

September 11, 2017

Get IFRS15, ASC606 Ready - The Easy and Quick Way

 

The accounting standard for recognizing revenue is changing.  For the new comers let me briefly describe the change.

What's the Change?

For countries using the IFRS standards, it means they now need to account revenue as per "IFRS 15- Revenue from Contracts with Customers" instead of "IAS- 18 - Revenue" standard to recognize the revenue.

For the US based companies needing to report under US GAAP, they now have to account revenue as per new "ASC 606 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers" instead of the old "ASC605 - revenue Recognition".

The old IAS 18 standards (issued by "International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)") and the ASC 605 (issued by "Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)" for the US companies) where having substantial differences. The new standards issued by the IASB, ASC i.e. IFRS15, ASC606 are now synched up.

The new standard outlines the below five logical steps for revenue recognition -

What's the big deal?

So - what the big deal? The accountants will take care - should the rest of you be worried? Accounting changes always keep happening, so what new now?

This is a big because it impacts the most important numbers on your P&L - the top-lines and the bottom lines and many other critical aspects like the taxes to be paid, the annual plans, probably the commissions, bonuses to be paid as well.

This is also big because the change is complex especially if you have bundled deals (like the telecom and hi-tech industry). Not all accounting software can do accounting as per the new standards. Apart from the accounting systems, business processes and maybe business contracts also might need modifications.

So, it is not just the finance guys / accountants - the board, CXO's, auditors, the Information technology folks, the planners, the analysts, sales teams, HR compensation teams - needs to understand the change and plan for the impacts.

Getting this wrong, has a direct impact on all key stake holders - shareholder value, employees (bonuses, commissions), government (taxes).

By when do you need to ready?

That depends on whether you are applying IFRS or US GAAP. For most of the companies the standard has to be adopted from the financial year starting in 2018.

  • For "IFRS15" applying companies
    • The financial year starting "on or after January 1, 2018"

  • For "Public business entities" and "not-for-profit entities that are conduit bond obligators applying US GAAP" -
    • The financial year starting "on or after December 16, 2017"

  • For the other "US GAAP" companies
    • The financial year starting "on or after December 16, 2018"


Are you late in the game? Probably yes, but....

This is where Oracle - Infosys can help you.

The Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service (RMCS) is tailor made to meet the IFRS15 / ASC606 requirements including the transition requirements. The product has been successfully implemented across industries and is a proven solution for IFRS15 / ASC606 needs.

The "IFRS15 / ASC 606 solution" of Infosys is a complete solution to get IFRS15 / ASC 606 ready - quickly and perfectly. The Infosys solution encompasses program/project management, change management, implementation of RMCS, implementation of Financial Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud, building integration with various middleware. The Infosys solution  creates a robust process with tight integration ensuring automated reconciliation and no revenue leakage / discrepancies.

Considering the need to ready on time, the solution will prioritize requirements, so the MUST-HAVE requirements are developed, tested and ready on time.

Below is the overview of the Infosys Solution

How do we make a difference? How quickly can you be ready?

Infosys has been working on numerous IFRS15 / ASC 606 implementations using Oracle RMCS. While a typical IFRS implementation is done in 6-12 months implementation time depending on the number of integrations, use cases, we are able to cut the implementation time by at least 25% by levering the accelerators repository comprising of

  • Pre-built Use Cases

  • Key Decision Documents

  • Pre-Configured Instances

  • Data conversion templates

  • Configuration templates

  • Key learnings from other project

Apart from the normal implementation, we also offer a rapid implementation which can be completed in 3 month time-frame. A typically rapid implementation assumes not more than 2 integrations, conversions using FBDI templates, 30-40 use cases and 5 custom reports developments. The typical rapid implementation plan would be as below

Sample List of use cases for telecom:

S.No.

Description of the Use Case

1

Billing & Satisfaction: Single Handsets plus Plan

2

Billing & Satisfaction: Contract Termination

3

Billing & Satisfaction: Multiple Handsets Plus Plan

4

Billing & Satisfaction: Multiple Products and Plan

5

Billing & Satisfaction: Contract Modification

6

Billing & Satisfaction: Contract Add on

7

Downward Modification

8

Loyalty points - Termination

9

Family share - Multiple Lines

10

Loyalty points - Redemption

 

Sample List of Issues:

Below is the sample list of problem areas

  1. How to determine the SSP (standalone selling prices)

  2. Significant financing components on the contracts

  3. Managing impacts on cost - both direct and indirect

  4. Managing Discounts

  5. Managing Variable considerations


Get Started now, this is your last chance...

If you have still not started on the IFRS15 / ASC606 journey - you need to start now. With Oracle RMCS and Infosys experience in implementing the same, you now have the chance to be ready on time.

 

Meet our experts at @ Booth 1602, Oracle Open World 2017, to see a demo of the solution.

 

 


Continue reading " Get IFRS15, ASC606 Ready - The Easy and Quick Way " »

August 30, 2017

Instance Planning/deployment options for migrating Oracle E-Business Suite and other packaged applications on to Oracle Cloud (IaaS and PaaS)


Continue reading " Instance Planning/deployment options for migrating Oracle E-Business Suite and other packaged applications on to Oracle Cloud (IaaS and PaaS) " »

September 17, 2016

Decoding GST for Oracle Customers

 

As India gets ready to implement the new GST law, the question on top of most of the IT leaders, finance leaders is regarding the readiness of the IT systems to meet the new requirements.

Are the changes to the system simple or complex? How long will it take to solution and implement the change?  Has this been done before? Can you speed up the process? When do we start with work to be ready on time? These are absolute valid concerns and need immediate attention.

Infosys has been working on building the solution to help enterprises move to new GST law smoothly and quickly. The Infosys solution

-          Uses the Infosys 'Tax Assessment' framework to understand the likely impact areas.

-          Uses the Infosys pre-built solutions, templates to solution the requirements

-          Uses the Infosys Intrak implementation approach to implement the solutions

Note, the solution has not considered Localization patches which Oracle may come up with. As of now, Oracle is still working on the localization patches. 

Assessment - Infosys Tax Assessment framework:

The Infosys Tax Assessment framework, has been built based on our experience in implementing tax solutions across the world for VAT, Sales tax regimes in Americas, EMEA, and APAC.  The framework ensures the tax impacts - easily and in a structured way without any misses.

The Infosys Tax Assessment framework, discusses the impacts within the below five boundaries.

1.       Master Data

2.       Tax rules ( defaulting tax on business transactions)

3.       Cutover Impacts

4.       Business documents

5.       Reporting and Accounting

The provision of 'Credits and Refunds' have also created a lot of confusion and anxiety.  The Infosys framework has been tailored to assess the likely systemic requirements around credits and refunds.

1.       Master Data -

Master data like supplier master, customer master, legal entity setups, General Ledger accounts and Part master needs to be enriched with the new tax registration details and exemption details to meet the GST law requirements.

GST Requirements on Registration:

As per the Model bill, the existing dealers would be automatically migrated. The new GSTIN will be a 15-digit GSTIN based on IT PAN.

Liability to get registered: Every supplier should be registered if aggregate turnover in a Financial year exceeds 0.9 million / 9 Lakhs INR (0.4 million / 4 Lakhs INR if the business is registered in North Eastern States and Sikkim).

 

Liability to pay tax:  will be after crossing the threshold of 0. 5 Million / 5 Lakhs INR for NE states and Sikkim and 1 Million / 10 Lakhs INR for Rest of India. Small dealers having sales below 5 million INR can also adopt the Composition scheme and pay flat of about 1 to 4% tax on turnover.

The tax is also determined based on the type of item, hence the parts should also be categorized using HSN Code.

2.       Tax Rules (defaulting tax on business transactions)

The tax rules default the tax rates on different transactions - P2P transactions and O2C transactions.  The Infosys 'Tax Assessment' framework helps building a tax matrix capturing all the tax rules in a single matrix, considering all the tax determining factors like party, place, product and process. The tax matrix ensures all tax requirements are correctly captured and are easily understood. Based on the tax matrix, the tax rules will be configured.  The tax rules will cover branch transfers and job work (OSP) transactions.

GST Requirements impacting tax rules:

·         GST is based on supply of goods or services against the present concept of tax on the manufacture of goods or on sale of goods or on provision of services.

·         GST will be Destination based tax against the present concept of origin based tax.

·         Local Transactions - will attract Dual GST With the Centre and the States simultaneously levying it on a common base

·         Interstate Transactions - will attract Integrated GST (IGST) would be levied on inter-State supply (including stock transfers)

·         Import Transactions - will attract IGST would be treated as inter-State supplies.

There are also likely to be multiple rate based on the type of item

·         Merit Rate

·         Standard Rate

·         De-Merit Rate

·         Zero rate taxes for certain items

 

3.       Cutover

The cutover from an old solution to a new solution is likely to impact the transactions which are mid-way in the end to end process. For example a PO created under an old tax regime might have old tax related data. When an invoice is created by matching the invoice to the PO, it might result in multiple taxes - one with old tax rates, statuses and the other with new tax rates, statuses.

The Infosys solution is able to identify the potential areas of impacts and leverage pre-built solutions to quickly identify and resolve such issues.

  

4.       Business Document -

Tax related information for e.g. tax registration details are usually printed on business documents like shipping documents, bill of lading, AR Invoices, purchase orders. Considering the refund / credit balance, the GST TIN of the buyer and seller should be printed on the AR invoices. The Infosys 'tax assessment framework' specifically poses questions around the business documents and invoices numbering. This is critical and is often missed, leading to penalties and non-compliance issues.

 

5.       Reporting and Accounting

The Infosys 'Tax Assessment Framework' finally looks at the reporting and the accounting requirements.  The monthly, quarterly, yearly, ad-hoc reporting requirements are captured as part of this step. The reports used for reconciliation with the general ledger and the number of GL accounts needed for reconciliation and reporting.  Companies may want separate accounts for Input IGST, Input SGST, Input CGST, Output IGST, Output SGST and Output CGST for easy reconciliation and credit tracking.

GST Requirements on reporting:

The Model GST Law proposes following reports

Monthly

Quarterly

Annual

Others

GSTR 1- Outward supplies

GSTR 4 - Quarterly return for compounding Taxpayer

GSTR 8 - Annual Return

GSTR 5 - Periodic return by Non-Resident Foreign Taxpayer (Last day of registration)

 

GSTR 2-Inward supplies received

 

 

ITC Ledger of taxpayer(Continuous)

 

GSTR 3-Monthly return

 

 

Cash Ledger of taxpayer(Continuous)

GSTR 6 - Return for Input Service Distributor (ISD)

 

 

Tax ledger of taxpayer(Continuous)

GSTR 7 - Return for Tax Deducted at Source

 

 

 

 

GST Requirements - Credits and Refunds

This is probably the most controversial change suggested by the Model GST Law. The credit claim process has been a topics of hot discussions as it could have big impact on the cash flow and even margins of the enterprises.

Below are the details of the credit and refund process.

Tax Credits to be Utilized as below

Conditions to Claim Credit

Timelines

Input CGST to be utilized against output CGST and IGST

Possession of tax invoice

One year from the invoice date

Input SGST to be utilized against output SGST and IGST

Receipt of the goods/ service

Credit pertaining to a financial year cannot be claimed after filing the return (for September) of the next financial year or the filing of the annual return for the year to which the credit pertains - whichever is earlier

Input IGST to be utilized against output IGST, CGST and SGST in the order of IGST, CGST and SGST

Payment of tax charged on the  invoice by supplier

 

 

Filing of GST return

 

 

Match the claimed credits with the vendor tax liability. In case of a difference / discrepancy, excess credits will be disallowed to the recipient.

 

 The above requirements are likely to lead to the following systemic requirements

·         A systematic way to automatically calculate the credits

·         A systematic way to do a vendor account reconciliation

·         The need to do a vendor reconciliation will need an ability to upload the vendor data from GSTN into Oracle.

·         A form to view the GST balance and ability to write-off credits which cannot be claimed

 

Solutioning using Infosys Accelerators -

We have a pre-built repository of ready-to-deploy solutions, which will help enterprises shorten the time to solution and then to develop the solutions. The solutions cover all the areas mentioned below

S Num

Item

Infosys Accelerator

1

Master Data

Re-usable solution to enrich master data

2

Tax rules ( defaulting tax on business transactions)

GST Tax Matrix, Pre-Built GST Configuration Templates

3

Cutover Impacts

Pre-identified components and pre-built solutions to correct cutover impacts.

4

Business documents

Re-usable solution to fix business documents

5

Reporting and Accounting

Pre-built reports, solutions to meet the reporting and accounting needs.

 

Refunds and Credits:

The Infosys solution for claiming refunds and credits will require developing the following programs and solutions to track credits, perform vendor reconciliation, claim credits and write-off credits.

·         Tracking Credits - A custom form will be developed to track the GST credits.

·         Vendor Reconciliation - Two custom programs will be built

1.       A custom program will be built using API provided by GSTN, to upload supplier data.

2.       Custom program will be built to automatically list the unreconciled items with reason code e.g. Goods in transit.

·         Claim Credits - A custom program will be built to automatically claim credits as per the GST rules

·         Write-off credits - The custom form to track credits, will include the ability to write-off credits.

 

Timelines:

The Infosys solution will enable enterprises to freeze the GST solution in 5-8 weeks, leveraging the Infosys 'Tax assessment framework' and pre-built solution repository.The likely timeline for the solution will be as below.

 

 

 

 

India GST Plan.PNGIn Conclusion:

Considering time frame-work of 1-2 months for solution finalization plus implementation effort of 2-4 months, it is prudent for organizations to start the work on GST immediately, to be ready for the 01-Apr-2017 launch.

 

 

 

 

 

Roadmap to become a Digital CFO

Finance function has been constantly evolving. From being a bean counter, it has become the guardian of the shareholder value and a trusted advisor.


As the guardian of the shareholder value, it is important the function considers the impact of the happening Digital revolution on the finance function. The digital revolution is toppling leaders at a pace never seen in history.  Hence, it is critical the CFO understand the Digital revolution and what it mean for the finance function.


Digitalization is often understood in a very narrow sense as the automation of the business operation or moving away from using physical documents to digital documents. While this is correct, the Digital revolution is a much bigger exercise.


Gartner defines Digitalization as "the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business".

What does this mean for the finance function?

The change in business models will require the finance function to build, evaluate and guide enterprises in decision-making.  Failure to do so, will mean non-performance of the most critical function of the CFO i.e. safe guarding the shareholder value. Numerous surveys have also repeatedly called out the CFO as a major decision maker in IT investments and in big number of cases the CFO has direct responsibility of the IT function. This further strengthens the case for the CFO to understand and probably push the enterprises into the digital revolution. The digital leaders will not be able to able to increase increased revenue and margins, it will also lead to a significant reduction in cost. An Oracle-FERF survey put the cost saving as 20% of the cost base.

While the CFO office gets involved in pushing for the Digital revolution and advising on the new business models it is also necessary for the 'Finance' function to be flexible and innovative is using the digital age knowledge to reach the next level of maturity.

 What is digital finance?

 To assess the current level we should look at the four attributes of the a 'Digital Finance' function

Leverage of Cloud - Strategically leverage cloud to modernize finance

  1. Leverage of Mobility - Leverage mobility to automate, speed the processes and provide real time data

  2. Leverage of Data age Big and Analytics - to improve business decisions, be able to present diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive insights.

  3. Leverage of Internet of Things, Social Media - to deliver real-time information using mobile devices and social media.

How to reach the Aspired Digital Levels?

The Process:

The 'Infosys Digital Finance Capability- Maturity Model' -helps an enterprise to assess the current 'Digital level' of its finance function. The assessment is done for the various processes within the finance function like Payables, Receivables, General Ledger etc. Next, based on the enterprise business environment the target levels will be set by the business with recommendations from Infosys. Enterprises may take a step-by-step approach to move from one level to another to ease the change management, budget availability, criticality and other business realities. Infosys will also help the enterprise set the new KPI to track the progress and assess the performance of the digitized function.



The Solution:

The Oracle Cloud set of solutions along with Infosys Nia solution provides numerous options to build the Digital enterprise. These solutions can be deployed on cloud.  Infosys will also help the enterprises build other solution levering the 'Infosys Digital' expertise to build solutions not covered by Oracle Cloud or Infosys Nia solutions.

Oracle Cloud:

Modern cloud applications from Oracle help you speed your digitization journey. These applications are integrated with social, mobile and possess analytic capabilities to help you deliver enhanced customer experiences.

Below are some of the Out-of-the-Box solutions offered by Oracle cloud, to speed up the Digital journey

Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud - built to optimize the close. Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud is designed to help minimize risk, provide transparency to the process, and accuracy to the results. Provide real-time insight and access to data with interactive process and financial dashboards.

  • Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers business analytics for traditional data and big data across the entire enterprise.

  • Account Reconciliation Cloud - helps management and improvement of global account reconciliation.

  • Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud - improves reporting by providing multi-dimensional and analytical capabilities.

  • Use Financial Reporting Compliance Cloud Service to optimize controls within and outside your financial processes using an integrated solution as part of your Oracle ERP Cloud deployment.

Infosys Nia:

Nia is a knowledge-based AI platform. It brings machine learning together with the deep knowledge of an organization to drive automation and innovation.

Nia does Data Collection from different integrated sources by using the information platform (IIP) and relaying it for further analysis. Nia then utilizes the  'Knowledge platform' (IKP) of Nia to analyze the data and detect anomalies. Next, the Automation platform (IAP) of Nia is used for 'Automated strategy' update, Automating fixing of the upstream processes. Nia also provides numerous dashboard to view real time data showing views across regions in real time with predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Below is the how Nia solution works for business case , where the enterprise wants to improve the DSO by automatically updating the collection strategy based on statistical, text and econometric analysis of the data fed from the various application like - Cloud ERP, Credit agencies like D&B, financial information providers like Bloomberg and third party applications.



Nia provides similar solution for other finance pain-points. Below is the current set of Nia finance solutions.


S Num

Nia Solution

1

Improving DSO by reducing propensity to default

2

Eliminating disputes through dynamic systemic controls model

3

Increase First Pass Match % & Exception Invoice Management

4

Re-imagining T & E process for World-Class Performance

5

T & E - Fraudulent Claim Detection Management

6

General Ledger & FPnA -  Acceleration of Close process

7

General Ledger & FPnA- Improving  Effectiveness of Balance Sheet Account Reconciliations (BSAR)

8

General Ledger & FPnA- Reducing market risk by real time monitoring of foreign exchange


Conclusion:

Where do you see your organization in terms of Digital maturity of the finance function? In our discussions with the finance leaders, the finance related digital work does not seem a priority item. Moreover, many CFO's also feel with the automation of the operation tasks and creation of shared services, the finance functions are now fully matured with no scope for drastic improvement.  There is also a reluctance to move decision-making tasks to machine intelligence. The CFO needs to overcome these inhibitions is using the new technologies of machine learning, robotics process automation, artificial intelligence. Leveraging the new solutions will make the decisions better, faster and also free-up the bandwidth of some of the always-in-shortage finance staff for more critical analysis needed to explore new lines of business, expand the core business. Thus, helping the CFO in guarding and enhancing the share-holder value.


September 14, 2016

HR-bots and baby day-care centers: How today's Enterprises are balancing their HCM initiatives

 

At times, your organization's HR team may have to plan extreme human capital management (HCM) initiatives that can leave you perplexed about where it's all heading. Well! These initiatives are a result of the sky high expectations from chief human resources officer (CHRO) and HR teams in an organization.

Recently, an Indian IT services firm created around 22 bots to perform HR functions using artificial intelligence (AI). These bots are being integrated with the existing HR software platform that the company sells, thus bringing a high-end 'robotic experience' i.e. without the intervention of humans, to the otherwise mundane HR transactions.

On the other side, large tech companies are now providing on-campus, toddler daycare services, in an effort to improve their employee-friendliness and bring a 'human touch' to employee relations.

These two anecdotes best summarize the extreme HCM initiatives ('face-less' to 'humane') that typical HR functions have been undergoing in recent times.

Given their offbeat nature, it is interesting to analyze the various factors influencing the planning and execution of such human capital management (HCM) initiatives. To be more methodical about this analysis, we will categorize these factors as 'behavioral,' 'ecological,' and 'positional.'

Behavioral factors

As the name suggests, behavioral factors revolve around the 'perceived behavior' of your HR teams, and the associated HCM initiatives which determine how employees perceive the HR teams in an organization.

Recent HCM initiatives introduced by various enterprises across the globe point to the following patterns:

  • Big shift in the mind-set towards employee engagement / satisfaction

As mentioned above, the introduction of toddler daycare, on-campus, is an excellent example of this shift. Alongside, Tech companies like Microsoft, Infosys, etc. have already announced that they are 'removing the traditional bell curve for employee performance' appraisals. In fact, several companies today also take pride in announcing themselves to be 'flat' or 'no-hierarchy' organizations. Introduction of more work-from-home opportunities and informal dress codes are some other moves made by them, considering 'employee satisfaction' as a key parameter in designing HCM initiatives or policies.

  • Need for increased communication

Enterprises today have realized the undeniable need of employee communication. Therefore, each enterprise is creating layered HR teams to address employee concerns. This could encompass initiatives like location-specific HR teams, business group-specific HR teams, creating 'grievance cells' to handle employee issues, and introducing 'employee buddy' programs to handle the onboarding of new employees.

  • Ensuring cross-cultural diversity and a strong gender-mix

One of the largest shifts visible today is in an organization's efforts to introduce gender diversity in their enterprise. Similarly, global organizations carry a huge onus of ensuring improved cross-cultural diversity in their teams. Enterprises with high diversity are good examples to emulate, as they are seen to have more 'open' and 'fair' HR policies; which is, again, a positive behavior from the HR team that employees would look forward to.

  • Process simplification / standardization

While business complexity is increasing with every passing day, enterprises are hard at work, trying to simplify their processes as much as possible. HR is one good function within an enterprise, wherein process simplification or standardization, elimination of multiple approvals, and going paperless for almost all processes is fast becoming a standard practice.

Ecological factors

These factors are driven more by the outside environment or the 'ecosystem'. Although some considerations here are optional, most are crucial and mandatory, and to a large extent, define the HCM initiatives taken by various enterprises.

  • Technology trends

These include various tech-practices trending across the HCM ecosystem; such as, the rapid adoption of HCM cloud, increased use of HR analytics, and preparing for HR operations using machine learning.

  • Regulatory compliance

Strict adherence to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws, diversity rules, paid leaves of absence (LOA) standards, labor policies, minimum wages, etc. are governed by regulations or the law of the land. There is an increasing trend among global organizations to conduct HCM initiatives aimed at streamlining such regulatory compliance across various geographies of operations.

  • Data security / Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Enterprises today face enhanced scrutiny of their data management, data access, and PII data protection practices. This is forcing HCM teams to design and implement several governing, policing, and grievance redressal mechanisms around various data privacy or intellectual property laws.

Positional factors

These HCM initiatives are designed to provide a positional advantage to an enterprise. They act as external or internal branding for the enterprise and are closely monitored by the organization's high-level executives.

  • Articulate the business value of HR

Enterprises are mandating their HR teams to demonstrate the business value of HR to the organization. In other words, most HCM initiatives today are driven by business value / key performance indicators (KPI) and focus on aligning HR to the organization's strategies.

  • Create a 'brand image' - like 'Best Employer'

Most enterprise want their HR teams to bring in new, market-leading, and employee-focused practices that culminate in achieving the coveted 'Best Employer' award. Recently, a private bank in India created an employee journey based 'Employee Experience' HR initiative, which was kind of a radical approach to handling HR transactions.

  • HR as a partner in innovation across the company

Enterprises today want their HR teams to propel a culture of innovation across the organization and be true partners in their modernization journey. This is driving HR teams to create newer policies / frameworks to nurture and propagate innovation within the teams. Recent HCM initiatives include redefining jobs / positions / AORs (Areas of Responsibility) to allow employees to manage their career working on multiple items beyond the regular work. It is just like allowing them to manage their careers as a portfolio. HCM initiatives are being designed specially to identify and incentivize an employees' contributions of novel or innovative ideas, above and beyond their regular, expected tasks / activities.  

  • HR as a strong propellant for an enterprise's value system

Today, most enterprises use their HR teams as representatives to communicate the company's value system. HCM initiatives primarily designed in the form of workshops, emails, sessions, campaigns, etc., using various gamification techniques, are meant to improve the awareness of the organizational value system within the employee population.

  • Continuous competency building

This is an age-old expectation from HR teams but receives very high visibility in today's age of 'talent wars' - in which an enterprise has to participate. HCM initiatives are now designed to empower the organization's workforce in skill-areas that are crucial to giving an organization the much-required 'competitive edge'.

To summarize, the changing needs of organizations to engage better with the  millennial employees and digital workforce -- employees who use smart-devices and are active on social networks --are mandating them to change their HR processes and applications in line with the future's needs.

This has made chief human resources officers (CHROs) and HR teams of organizations take proactive actions in addressing the expectations from various corners. The factors discussed above - behavioral, ecological and positional - influence most of the HR initiatives being planned and executed by these teams.

Be it HR-bots or toddler daycare centers --it is all for a good cause!

September 8, 2016

Internet of Things (IoT) in field service management (FSM)

In today's competitive world, real-time data and innovative service methods are vital for field service enterprises to ensure customer delight, increase revenues, and expand profit margins.

The IoT explained

The Internet of Things (IoT) allows machines to communicate with each other (M2M communication). It is built using a combination of networks that comprise of data-gathering sensors, devices, big data, analytics, and cloud computing, which communicate via secured and encrypted channels. Connected devices enable efficient predictive maintenance by constantly providing information on a machine's performance, environmental conditions, and the possibility of failures. IoT can connect machines on the field in order to record incidents in real-time into a semi-intelligent 'Gen-X' FSM system.

Integrating IoT with FSM software applications

Field service organizations always strive to consistently provide the best service experience to their customers, by ensuring immediate repair and maintenance of their equipment and machinery. By collecting data about the machine's health and performance from IoT sensors, organizations can leverage predictive and preventive field service to minimize device downtime.


Three primary traditional FSM challenges

Here are three primary issues that challenge the current reactive scenarios:

    Field technicians execute the job and fix the equipment after the issue is reported. However, the delay can impact business continuity, which in turn affects the operating profit margins


    Adding more field technicians and service trucks to the field comes at a cost and sometimes the increased capacity remains under-used


    Assigning more work to existing field teams can have a negative impact on SLAs and first-time fix rates. Even worse, it can increase the cost of travel and overtime

Essentials of a new-age FSM solution

A field service management system that integrates device sensor data, technicians, customers, and technology is the key to address these issues. It should function in a predictive and preventive mode with the following features:

    The FSM process, which includes issue identification, communication, incident creation, scheduling, and assignment can be automated, thereby ensuring zero disruption in machinery operations and no or negligible downtime. This not only increases productivity, but also expands operating profit margins

 

    Most FSM products can also automate incident creation, scheduling, assignment, and invoicing processes. Using IoT, we can predict upcoming issues based on sensors data analysis and auto-creation of incidents based on preset threshold rules

The workflow of a FSM system with IoT integration

Here is an outline of the flow of incidents in a typical IoT-enabled FSM system:

1.   Data from the equipment's sensors is collected and transmitted, using secured and encrypted channels, to a big data storage


2.   Big data management and analytics is used to parse and analyze for refined sensors data


3.   The IoT command console is configured with predefined threshold rules to identify errors and monitor the device's health and performance


4.   Incidents are auto-created in the FSM system whenever errors are detected


5.   Auto-scheduling, routing, and dispatching of field service technicians against the incidents is done based on customer entitlements, location, product, skills required for the job, technician's availability, parts availability, etc. via the FSM system


6.   A field technician performs the job at the customer's site; records the effort, parts used, travel time, and any expenses incurred; and then bills the customer


Workflow of Field Service Management application using IoT.

Six Solution benefits



Wind turbines: A case in point of how IoT integrates with FS systems

Failures in wind turbines interrupt power generation leading to lower productivity and higher system downtime, which result in varying energy production and higher operating costs. To maintain profit margins, higher efficiency and uptime are required.

Near-real-time analytics provides data so that FS teams can react faster and address the issues before they become mission critical, thus reducing impact and avoiding downtime.

The wind turbine's sensors collect real-time data that is analyzed and through which, auto incidents are created, service scheduled, and an agent assigned to fix the issues. Wind turbine sensors are also used to continuously collect operating temperature, rotor acceleration, wind speed and direction, and blade vibrations - all of which can be used to optimize the turbine's performance, increase its productivity, and execute predictive maintenance to ensure reduced downtime.


*** Authors: Haresh Sreenivasa and R.N.Sarath Babu **


Continue reading " Internet of Things (IoT) in field service management (FSM) " »

January 24, 2016

SCM Cloud Demystified - Part II

 

Continuing from my previous blog, I am providing here my perspectives on some of the common questions asked by customers regarding Oracle SCM cloud.

 

What should be my co-existence strategy?

 

Co-existence strategies as I mentioned in my previous blog are unique for each customer and depends on the business and IT situations.  To provide some of the basic ideas, I am giving below some common examples which can be considered for most of the industries and organizations

 

  1. Procurement cloud

  2. Logistics cloud

  3. Order Management cloud

  4. MDM Cloud

     

    Procurement Cloud

     

    Oracle procurement cloud has multiple modules including Oracle Self Service procurement, Oracle Purchasing, Oracle Sourcing, Oracle Procurement contracts, Oracle Procurement and Spend Analytics, Oracle Supplier portal covering end to end business function of procure to pay cycle. 

    In co-existence model customer can get started with Oracle Sourcing, Contracting and Analytics functionality in a low cost, low- risk model without discarding their investment in the current purchasing system. Oracle Procurement, especially for indirect procurement also can be a good co-existence strategy and can work with E-Business suite, JD Edwards or Siebel purchasing systems.

      

    Logistics Cloud

     

    For some organizations, we do suggest looking at the Transportation Management cloud as a good starting point. Oracle transportation management Or Global Trade Management cloud. Implementing cloud solutions for these products makes perfect sense to start with as it is completely independent with respect to your core ERP solutions and get you started with your cloud journey. OTM cloud provides end to end support for order's transportation life cycle. It provides complete integration with Order Management, Shipping, Inventory Management, Purchasing, and Financial.

     

    Order Management Cloud

     

    Order Management cloud is a good choice if you have a complex order capture and orchestration environment. What I mean is you have multiple systems sending orders and you are applying different orchestration strategies for sourcing and fulfillment. The Order management cloud provides good Channel and Process integration options in order to streamline your order management process. It can very well integrate with SCM cloud and on premise ERP applications. This has also been very beneficial for some companies who have acquired new companies and are in the system merger and acquisition situation. Another choice for order management cloud is an extension to your quoting solution

    . 

    Product Information Hub

     

    Oracle Product information hub offers a good starting point for SCM cloud.  Customers having complex application requirements like ERP, CRM, PLM, Field service needs accurate product information to drive key business functions. Combined Enterprise Data Quality tool for Product and Product Information management helps you to consolidate product information, cleanse the data, and remove duplicates and enable governance structure for the organization.

     

      

Should I upgrade my Oracle applications or go for SCM Cloud applications?

 

As mentioned previously this depends on the customer situations. However the best-recommended practice, we suggest is to upgrade the latest APPS release, adopt standards based technology like Oracle SOA suite, AIA, Oracle OBIEE and start looking at extending the current applications with the use of co-existence strategy for cloud applications

 

What should I do with the customizations?

 

One of the first steps in assessing the cloud fitment for your organizations is to review CEMLI- (Configurations, Extensions, Modifications, Localizations, and Integrations). The number of CEMLI's and the complexity (High/Medium/Low) can affect the approach to cloud solutions. For customizations following steps are recommended while moving to the cloud 1.Reduce your customizations only to what  it is absolutely needed and cannot be handled by the seeded functionalities2.Make use of the extension/personalization framework to achieve the functionality3.Make use of PaaS for SaaS offering for extending your applications 


What should I do next? How can Infosys help?

 

Infosys Oracle SCM Cloud experts will work with you in a 2 day workshop on understanding the current business situation,   current system landscape, and future objectives

 

We work collaboratively with the customers and work out a detailed plan in next 2 to 3 weeks about upgrade strategy, co-existence options, integration options, conversion options, road map for future adoption, etc.

 

Infosys team also works on providing the short term and long term Return on Investment analysis, helping IT organizations receive a buy in from their CXO leadership about the cloud transformation.

 

Summary

 

Every organization is looking at some scale to move their applications to the cloud. Coming out of the Upgrade cycles is one of the major advantages business users see and are looking forward to either moving some of the SCM functionalities in cloud Or enhancing existing footprint with the co-existence model.  We have seen IT organizations are caught in a conundrum between drawing co-existence strategies, integration options, Returns on investment and a long term plan. If your organization is also going through similar challenges it is time to step back and decide your long term upgrade and SCM cloud strategy road map. We @ Infosys Oracle  Supply Chain Cloud practice have the required skills, tools and experience to work with you and help succeed your business on your Oracle SCM Cloud journey

Contact

 

In case you have additional questions or need more detailed discussions, please drop me a note @ vishwajitshankar_b@infosys.com.

 

Connect with Infosys

Infosys is a gold sponsor this year at Modern Supply Chain Event. You can listen to Infosys clients discuss industry leading best practices in the manufacturing track panel discussions. Discuss with our thought leaders on how Infosys can help you realize measureable business value from your supply chain management investments.

Join us at booth #410 to learn about our cutting-edge offerings and supply chain management solutions.

 

January 14, 2016

Importance of Accurate Customer Order Promising in Outsourced Manufacturing

Driven by strategic importance and strength of internal capability, industry leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) often outsource sourcing, manufacturing and logistics functions to partners but retain supply chain planning and scheduling/ATP largely in-house. While outsourcing confers sharper focus and reduced costs in general, outsourced Supply Chain Planning has many high-impact risks for OEMs like

•    Loss of competitive advantage
•    Reduced quality of planning output
•    Coordination and synchronization miss
•    Limited supply chain flexibility
•    Slower responsiveness to customers

With in-house planning, the Available to Promise (ATP) response cannot be made instant but at best with a lag due to the fact that there would always be a difference in supply statement in the system when compared to partner sites. Companies especially in High-Tech industries who have Build to Stock, Build to Order and Configure to Order products often promise their customer within the target lead time goal across different product families. With lighter configuration, shorter lead time, high volume and perishable demand, planners and backlog management functions are under tremendous pressure to promise customers within the goal to meet revenue targets. With companies scheduling orders too conservatively or incorrectly and later having to re-schedule to be able to ship within the goal would impact following performance metrics

1.    Scheduling against target lead time: Ability to provide a promise date to the customer with in the lead time goal from the order entry date
2.    Scheduling touches: Backlog management activities to pull-in or push-out dates from initial scheduling
3.    Customer satisfaction: Customer dissatisfaction due to inability to provide accurate initial promise date



Impact to performance metrics has a direct bearing on the business not limited to:

1.    Customer dissatisfaction : Multiple touches and repeated date changes develop nervousness and loss of trust in customer
2.    Unpredictable sales revenue: As promising dates extend beyond the goal, revenue targets get impacted and increases backlog management activities.  
3.    Excess inventory in channels: As supply planning is based on the revenue targets, excess inventory lies in the channels as the scheduling attainment rate is lower than anticipated
4.    Increased number of touches: As companies try to improve revenue targets by pulling in the orders, it increases the touches
5.    Increased support cost: OEMs have to pay additional charges to Manufacturing Partners, B2B partners for change in assembly and shipping completion date

There are many reasons why companies in outsourced manufacturing find it challenging to attain high promising accuracy and it can broadly be classified into three

1.    Supply Constraint: Inaccurate supply picture, B2B delays, incorrect allocations, supply lost between engineering transitions etc.
2.    Lead time Constraint: Conservative transit lead time across geographies, incorrect application of holidays, and extended lead time on components etc.
3.    Configurations: Incorrect lead time, calendar, sourcing rule and other item related attribute set-up's