CRM helped to achieve greater ROI

I have been involved in developing and consequently providing mission critical solutions to various clients across domains. Our organization was designing a web-based CRM solution for a renowned play music school for children. When I dwelled a little to know about the nature of the business this organization runs, I was quite fascinated. It is a play music school for children that also conducts child parent interactive programs. The subtle yet innocent and priceless nature of relationship between a child and a parent, and designing a solution for an organization that thinks 24X7 to come up with ideas to facilitate, reinforce and rejuvenate that relation had a humongous positive impact on my desire to work on this project.

I wanted to share an experience of working on this particular project from my perspective. Leveraging the cloud via to architect business solutions in itself was a challenge. Client had an immediate business need where forecasting sales data with a limited visibility of sales, marketing, vendor management and financial processes was a challenge. In addition to this there was a lack of transparency in product attendance, franchise performance, vendor management and incentive management processes. We architected a solution that addressed clients current business needs and helped them to adopt Cloud based CRM.

As a part of implementation we have had 50 plus business entities designed and had relationships maintained across all of them. While designing various reusable queries to extract, transform, load the data and vice versa, we had a subconscious intuition of ensuring a seamless system performance and also maintain the SF Code Coverage. Key business processes were customized using VF pages.  Scheme management is a great example that perfectly depicts the complexity of the process for which the solution has been engineered.  The dynamic nature of Terms and Conditions getting modified per the scheme that the customer chooses presented me a great challenge while working and huge satisfaction after achieving it.

A day came when the final version of the engineered software was pushed in to production ensuring that the Client’s business processes are aligned, systematized and configured seamlessly in CRM with a central repository of child and parent database. Many more features were architected pretty smartly abiding by the industry standards, which made the customer happy. Cloud based CRM helped them achieve greater ROI, by saving 40% of the cost over traditional on-premise software.

This is a classic example of how CRM provides a magnificent, resilient, reliable and a near error free solution to the client.

There was a huge sense of achievement after accomplishing this project and the fact that we had to call it a day for this particular client with the nature of business that has unprecedentedly made me emotional.

Balaji Reddy is heading SFDC Practice at Bodhtree with a skill set on Project Management, Client Engagement and Business Consulting. His key area of expertise in software development is & Siebel with focus on Sales, Marketing, and Service areas

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Big Data – How does it impact an Organization?

Business Intelligence

“Data will grow to several petabytes and zeta bytes in the next few years;” “Corporations will be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data;” “By 2015 databases will grow so large that companies will have to rent space on the moon to store them.” These are just a few common quotes we hear from renowned industry analysts, experts and CIOs surrounding the topic of Big Data.

But for many observers, there’s still a lot of gray area surrounding when to apply Big Data solutions.  How is Big Data different from traditional analysis tools?  How does it impact an organization? Just because there are several terabytes of data, does that make it Big Data? Does it really matter?

We can make a generic bold statement here: Data is everywhere! When you pause to think, you’ll see it’s true. The cars we drive, stores we shop at, the phone we use, the websites we read, the social media we so closely embrace, the TV programs we watch, the election polls that we follow – everything generates data and it is all stored somewhere.

When it comes to Big Data, people commonly mention the 4 Vs, but this only scratches the surface.  Traditionally, any large organization that implements ERP services has all these Vs associated with their everyday line of business.  Admittedly, this is primarily “structured” data, and it can be handled by a traditional RDBMS or an MPP database.  But in light of the other Vs, it technically has volume because everything is recorded in an ERP system; the incorrect and the correct entries alike form the millions and billions of rows.  It undoubtedly has value; otherwise corporations would not bother to collect it. It clearly is volatile because data does not come at regular intervals. It also has variety; data comes in from multiple sources, such as CRM systems, HR systems and modules that are implemented within the organization.

Even if you add unstructured data, can you really derive strategic value for your business? What is this unstructured data comprised of? What kind of metrics can we extract from this unstructured data?

More often than not, Big Data buzz induces a cool factor akin to what was once associated with owning an iPhone/iPad or, back in the day, having a free Facebook account. Sometimes a personal agenda is associated with Big Data implementations. Several managers and CIOs have vested interests in showing off a ‘cutting edge’ Big Data implementation.  We recommend organizations take a breather to make sure that the data problem they have qualifies as a Big Data problem.

…Stay tuned for a model CIOs can use to evaluate whether Big Data is the solution to their challenge…

Ajay Narayan is a presales solution architect for Bodhtree, a leader in data analytics and product engineering.  Bodhtree partners with SAP and Informatica to assist companies in leveraging enterprise data to gain a competitive edge in the market.  Bodhtree also offers the MIDAS product suite, which migrates, cleanses and integrates data between SalesForce, SAP and legacy platforms.

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Navigating the Big Data Tsumani

Business Intelligence

Having just returned from a Big Data conference about the state of our technology ecosystem with respect to the explosion of data, a thought came to mind that history repeats itself. You may wonder, since we’ve never faced data challenges of this magnitude or complexity, what insights can history offer?

When faced with previous tech tsunamis like www in the late 1990s or smartphones in the mid-2000s, many customers and vendors joined the bandwagon trying to establish themselves as key players in the space. With a lot of money spent, only a few emerged as true game changers while most remained spectators in the technology revolutions.

As a vendor if you recognize this time period as a tsunami of Big Data-enabled capabilities being unleashed on the market, it is important to decide early on what your role will be. Do you want to simply ride the wave and hope for a spot on a lucrative customer budget, or will you identify the core value that you and your products bring to the market and invest in it over the next 12-24 months?

The value that you bring could be in any form, e.g. build an army of Data Scientists for the market or provide a product to solve a Big Data problem. In this tsunami of capabilities there are certain areas where demand will constantly remain high, such as Data Cleansing. Whether data is structured or unstructured, the need for quality input to any Big Data solution is critical to generate valuable output. My recommendation to the vendors playing in the Big Data revolution is to quickly define your role, build your space and stick to it. Avoid saying “We are a Big Data vendor” – it will only sound superficial and lacking in real value. Be more specific about how you and your company will make your mark in this Big Data tsunami of capabilities.

Manju Devadas is VP of Solutions and Technology for Bodhtree, a leader in data analytics and product engineering.  Bodhtree partners with SAP and Informatica to assist companies in leveraging enterprise data to gain a competitive edge in the market.  Bodhtree also offers the MIDAS product suite, which migrates, cleanses and integrates data between SalesForce, SAP and legacy platforms.

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Blackberry Story – Lessons that we can learn

Black Berry Mobile Apps

To say that 2011 was a tough year for BlackBerry manufacturer and former tech darling RIM would be an understatement. While there’s no shortage of customers, investors, and writers happy to jump on the RIM-bashing bandwagon, not all that long ago, the company was a pioneer. Before “smartphone” entered the vernacular, I remember the average person referring to anything that wasn’t a “dumb” phone as a BlackBerry. One of my early smartphones was a Windows mobile device, and I’d often have people ask, “You don’t have BB?” (more…)

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