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

Main

September 21, 2016

Integrated profitability analytics - The need, struggles and future

 

Introduction:

Banks have enjoyed relatively high profit margins for long time. But the recent trends in Banks profit margins have not been very encouraging.  The recent business developments like changing technological landscape, higher capital requirement on regulatory front and entry of newer payments and banking platform have led to significant decrease in profit margins and highly vulnerable customers.

 

To sustain, grow and compete with new fintech (finance technology) start-ups, financial services enterprises need to continuously evolve and provide more value to their customers at a much lower cost. This requires multidimensional profitability view across the enterprise at the most granular level and timely availability of analytics for key business decision.

Key focus of financial services enterprise

Due to the changes in business environment the focus on enterprise-wide profitability measurement has increased. The focus is more on managing information rather than accounting information - information which can be used to support business decisions based on the granular customer level analytics. This level of information helps to answer key business parameters like which parameters can be changed to increase profitability, how do a product and geography compare with other, which are my highly profitable customers etc?

Challenges on the road to achieving integrated profitability analytics

The key challenge is the complex landscape due to multiple systems operating in silos. This makes it very complex and time consuming process to bring all the data at the granular level together in same format without data quality issues. Other challenges include custom built solution which is difficult to maintain and change, static allocation engine which is very inefficient and cannot take dynamically changing driver data from multiple systems.

Therefore it is imperative to adopt the right solution which can produce the required information accurately and timely to support decision making. The solution should be able to provide a holistic view of profitability across the enterprise at an account and customer level. Typically, enterprises find it difficult to allocate indirect cost. This requires the solution to have robust and dynamic allocation framework adaptable as per business needs.

Infosys Approach for integrated profitability analytics

 

Infosys profitability analytics solution leverages oracle financial services profitability management (OFSAA) to provide integrated profitability analytics. This can be integrated with OFSAA analytics solutions such as enterprise, retail and institutional performance analytics to gain an in-depth view and ready-to-use dashboards. The enables institutions to gain an integrated and multidimensional profitability view across dimensions such as product, channel and even individual customers.

Business benefits of the solution

  • Incorporate risk into business decision making

  • Prioritize customers based on profits generated

  • Achieve a consistent view of performance across the organization

  • Get timely profitability insights for go-to-market strategy

     

Conclusion

With the ever changing business environment, intensified competition and increasing need for personalized products and services, the financial services industry would look for more detailed analytics. This would enable them to offer a bespoke product to cater to the specific needs of a customer. Infosys approach for profitability analytics solution helps enterprise achieve multidimensional integrated profitability analytics at the most granular level. The solution helps the management not only to evaluate and retain the existing avenues but also explore newer opportunities.

September 20, 2016

Coalition loyalty: Loyalty's new definition

 

Coalition loyalty - the next-generation loyalty that increases customer satisfaction through easy earn and burn points across businesses is gaining traction quickly the world over. Coalition loyalty offers incentives / rewards to customers of two or more businesses. Although not a new concept, it is gaining traction quickly, the world over.

 

A coalition loyalty requires an anchor who brings partners from various services or product domains onto a single platform and allows the points issued by one vendor to be interchangeably used with another vendor on the same platform. It essentially works as a Loyalty Sharing group between the participating partners.

 

Next-generation loyalty offerings are fast moving in this direction with customers reopening some of their inactive loyalty accounts, with the prospect of being able to use points beyond just one brand.

 

The success of coalition loyalty lies in the usage of a settlement system that helps in reducing the settlement time between earn & burn partners in addition to helping in reducing operational costs and preventing revenue leakage, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.

 

Infosys has implemented a solution for such settlement needs using Oracle's stack of products such as Revenue Management and Billing (RMB), Oracle BI Publisher (OBIEE) and Oracle Documaker.



  • Oracle's Revenue Management & Billing (ORMB) - rules based system for billing, payment and collections


  • Oracle's Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)  - for management reporting needs


  • Oracle Documaker - for printing statements from ORMB


 

 

To read more about the need for Coalition Loyalty and understand the settlement solution from Infosys, please visit us at Oracle Open World 2016 to know more about this solution.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

September 16, 2016

Banks Regulatory Reporting Compliance - The Challenges and the Solution

 

Introduction

The economic stressed conditions which financial institutions have passed through, have led to increased scrutiny with stricter and more complex regulatory requirements. Regulators, besides shortening the time, have also doubled the information sought. With no compromise on data and reporting quality standards, these compliance requirements call for a cultural transformation with heavy implications for risk and finance data and technology.



Key Challenges in Regulatory Compliance


Currently most of the activities like data enrichment, lineage & reporting are handled manually and in silos, leading to an error prone and time consuming process. Other technical challenges are multiple jurisdiction regulatory requirements, huge complexity in data standardization in terms of managing the data granularity, data quality and consistency, completeness though reconciliations and adjustments and data validations. Siloes application results in inaccuracies of data aggregation and reporting and absence of integrated platform and advanced technologies worsens the situation.


Approaches to Remediation


For compliance, banks can either follow a focused approach or design an enterprise wide transformation strategy which would call for architecting data for all use cases. Some features that banks should look at when setting up an enterprise-wide framework include Integrated Platform to bring uniformity and consistency, scalable architecture, robust data quality framework to provide best in class quality checked data, strong controlled mechanism and automated flow to avoid errors of manual intervention


Continue reading " Banks Regulatory Reporting Compliance - The Challenges and the Solution " »

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

An Agile way of implementing ERP on Oracle Cloud

ERP Cloud Implementation is an ongoing trend in enterprise wide solutions. It is gaining traction amongst organizations that need a cost-effective, quick, and efficient computing platform. That is why leading analyst firms predict high adoption rates for applications deployed on private and public clouds. The Agile Cloud Implementation Framework (ACIF) enables enterprise-wide cloud implementation with an inspect-and-adapt approach to reduce development cost and time-to-market. It provides an implementation approach that is rapid, broadly adaptive, and business-focused. ACIF includes a comprehensive project framework to support the growing focus on enterprise-level IT strategy, architecture, and governance.

Why Agile?

        Agile implementation provides opportunities to monitor the work progress throughout an implementation life cycle, which is very critical in a cloud project. This is achieved through regular chunks of work bucket, known as sprints, at the end of which teams must present a potentially shippable product increment

        In an agile paradigm, every aspect of the implementation, requirements, design, etc., is continually re-visited. This means that when a team reevaluates the progress of a project every two / four weeks, there is an opportunity to steer it in another direction

        'Analysis paralysis' is less likely to impede a team from making progress because teams can implement software at the same time as they gather requirements

        Stakeholders have recurring opportunities to calibrate and recalibrate releases for success in the real world because a team's work cycle is limited to two / four weeks

ACIF comprises four key stages -- strategize, design, execute, and stabilize. 

CldBlg1_2.png

The first phase of the framework -- strategize --involves understanding the challenges and opportunities and determining a roadmap for the future. It also includes supporting an enterprise on its cloud journey, by helping teams make decisions like whether to adopt private or public cloud, and determining whether to choose coexistence or full suite adoption.

The second phase of the framework involves logically breaking down envisioned capabilities into a truly detailed agile model. Execute these broken down capabilities as design sprints to ensure built and test phases along with each maturing process on the cloud. At the end of each sprint, a configurable and testable function is available to be released which adds value to the final implemented product.

Execution is the penultimate phase of the framework where all design elements come together and are finally tested and integrated for release as a final product.

Stabilizing and fine-tuning new capabilities, while ensuring that the implemented product evolves becomes the prime objective for the last phase of the framework. Post go-live, enterprises need to support and plan for the next deployment or release, which is the essence of the last phase of implementation -- called Post Go-live Support & Improve.

The diagram below charts out all the activities and respective deliverables for each phase in the ACIF:

CldBlg2_1.png


Contact

In case you have additional questions or desire a detailed discussion, feel free to connect with me at sanjay_talati@infosys.com.

Do meet us at our booth at Oracle Open World (OOW) 2016 to discuss more on this. Click here to know more.

Continue reading " An Agile way of implementing ERP on Oracle Cloud " »

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) " »

August 31, 2016

Look before you leap supply chains from on-premises to cloud

 

Today, many businesses in the world are moving towards cloud applications and supply chain managers / chief operations officers (CIOs) are feeling the itch to go with the tide. However, the inability to measure the actual worth and effort involved puts them on the back foot. Here are some apprehensions that these leaders need addressed before taking the leap of faith towards cloud:

  1. Inability to measure the effort required to move applications from on-premises to cloud

  2. Concern that data security and sensitivity could be compromised

  3. Apps on the cloud mandate zero business downtime, which means internet connectivity should be made available at remote locations

  4. Existing cloud applications in the supply chain space still have a long way to evolve, and so cannot act as benchmarks

  5. Lack of comprehensive understanding of end-customer requirements, which is essential to customize applications

Having said that, I also believe that the cloud offers immense opportunities in scaling up the supply chain business to meet new digital demands. These include the following:

  1. Flexibility: Cloud apps help your organization gain flexibility while integrating with on-premises / other applications

  2. Faster time-to-market: They significantly reduce time-to-market, as these apps are mostly pre-configured for specific industry needs

  3. Scalability: If you are looking at quickly scaling up your business in a specific area, cloud is the best option. You don't need to size it accurately upfront.

  4. Accessibility: Cloud apps are accessible anywhere. So, if you have a global footprint, it helps you reach out to all time-zones effectively

There is immense potential in certain key areas to migrate to the cloud and realize early benefits. These areas include:

  1. Transportation management: This is an area that is gaining momentum, since it is not always part of the core enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution

  2. Communication with trading partners: This is again an area where there is huge potential to use best-of-breed cloud applications in order to communicate with your trading partners

  3. Trade compliance: Trade compliance checks are best carried out by third-party services that maintain the most current information with respect to restricted parties

  4. Business intelligence and analytics applications: There is a huge maintenance overhead to maintain a data warehouse as well as business intelligence (BI) reporting tools, especially for organizations that have limited IT staff

  5. Predictive analytics: This is an area where one could scale up much faster as well as gain competitive advantage in opting for cloud-based apps rather than build the whole platform in-house

There are many providers of cloud-based supply chain solutions today. However, the exclusiveness of Oracle's cloud offerings comes from the fact that it has solutions for every segment of supply chain management -- product lifecycle, supply chain, procurement, logistics, order, manufacturing and maintenance. Procurement Cloud and Logistics Cloud are Oracle's flagship products that have gained recognition, especially because these can be deployed as stand-alone applications and the offer immense value on cloud.

At the same time, there are some areas where cloud is making slight inroads, and has a long way to go:

  • Warehouse management applications: Due to the high speed required for carrying out handheld transactions, this is an area that will take some time to mature

  • Planning engine: This makes more sense when the whole ERP application is on cloud

As Oracle's strategic partner and with experience in handling over 500 large customer engagements, Infosys has partnered with Oracle across its product portfolio. One of the many engagements required us to deploy Global Trade Management (GTM) Cloud (which is a part of Oracle Logistics Cloud) through a fast-track mode for a global semi-conductor manufacturing major. This deployment helped the organization to achieve trade compliance and integration with its global Oracle ERP solution.

In summary, organizations should tailor a supply chain management (SCM) cloud strategy that fits their needs around scalability, time-to-market, flexibility, and accessibility. By analyzing these requirements correctly and implementing appropriate solutions, they can gain competitive advantage through valuable migration to cloud.

Do meet us at our booth at Oracle Open World (OOW) 2016 to discuss more on this. The event will be held between September 18-20 at San Francisco. Click here to know more.

                                                                          

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles

Infosys on Twitter