Who owns Competitive Advantage?

Most industry analysts today predict that the adoption of cloud has granted greater responsibilities and muscle to business leaders and the role of IT is narrowing down to technology evaluation and selection.

This is true to a large extent – cloud is breaking the status quo. But if you look at this with a broader lens, cloud empowers business users to be accountable for their processes and IT can actually focus on innovation and address the core technology needs of the firm.

Traditionally, most organizations who envisioned standardizing and improving business processes had made an obvious choice of deploying an ERP, CRM or similar enterprise applications. Operational efficiency was the need of the hour and that also provided a competitive advantage. But today, most organizations have deployed the same set of applications and best practices. Now, the question is “How do organizations differentiate themselves”? Operational efficiency is required for business but does not provide competitive advantage.

The current wave of competitive advantage is moving towards enhancing business agility and making better business decisions. This involves increasing the speed of business, providing greater visibility into hidden business data and empowering business users so they can make informed, data-driven decisions. Organizations desiring to achieve this are embracing Cloud, Analytics and Big Data.

Although a majority of use cases for cloud, analytics and big data are targeted towards business users, IT can be a beneficiary of this adoption as well. This is a fantastic opportunity for IT teams to stay abreast of latest technologies and recommend alternatives to business that help them accelerate processes and deliver greater value.

IT teams can evolve and provide significant value back to business in the following manner:

  1. 1. Identify current technologies that do not deliver capabilities to improve transparency, analyze and manage large volumes of data; Find the right technology
  2. 2. Evaluate and select the right vendor who can provide the most relevant solution
  3. 3. Create a talent pool with the right mix of skills that can address business needs
  4. 4. Focus investments in areas that help business gain competitive advantage

At the outset, these appear to be simple and tactical activities performed by an IT team, but in reality this is a great responsibility and can directly influence the growth of an organization.

As a trusted IT partner to several organizations, we have been fortunate to receive numerous opportunities for playing the role of an Advisor to large and small IT organizations. While Bodhtree’s Cloud, Analytics and Big Data solutions aim to empower business users, we also enable IT teams to become key contributors for business growth.

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Salesforce.com CRM simplified complex processes in large scale infrastructure enterprises, meeting process demands to augment centralized customer information and standardize key processes.

The large scale infra companies generates ample of sales and operational data, the process demands a centralized pool of sales data and an Intelligent lead management system that  requires consistent lead tracking and distribution across Sales and Marketing. Salesforce CRM precisely delivers and standardizes key processes. Both managers and reps can easily monitor inquiries from prospects and efficiently route qualified leads to the right salespeople within the organization. The result is optimal lead management system that fulfills sales process objectives. Sales reps always have quick access to the hot leads.

The beauty of Salesforce.com encourages me to write my recent experience in Salesforce CRM implementation for a leading infrastructure company in India.

Major business challenges the client was facing are growing sales and marketing data.

Data and information management became crucial for them to track and make decisions. With its distributed operations and lack of collaboration among Sales organizations across India it became difficult to validate opportunities and measure marketing effectiveness.

Accurate and timely pipeline view, 360-degree customer information, and customized lead management practices became essential for them.

They selected Salesforce.com CRM based on our recommendation, and have leveraged our best practices to centralize customer information and standardize key processes across India.

Our solution comprises of multi-phase rollout of Sales, Marketing  automation and realign internal processes like PIF (Project Information form), OMD, JAF (Job acceptance form) with Java middleware as an integration to showcase Quote’s with versions.

With our solution their main business functions and sub-units have been automated. And with the centralized visibility they will be now able to track expenses incurred for their various units like overseas travel, monthly conveyance, local conveyance, communication and fixed expenses across their distributed offices in India.

Using Apex code, we have built a custom object to manage all their leads, customer subscriptions, customized lead status to extend funnel stages and also implemented tailored lead qualification processes for their different segments.

With the robust “forecasting” feature they were able to see future sales projections and accomplishments, which also helps management to have the visibility into region wise expenses.

This implementation was a complete marketing automation right from leads captured via various channels like campaigns, events to budgeting and metrics.

Integrating with Java Middleware made easy to upload Quotes directly from Engineering department’s output and maintain versions. Also a centralized online projection brings greater transparency to the users as they can directly access their budget form, and this helps management to understand Budget VS Actual results.

The main objectives of saving time, money and sales automation has been met with minimal implementation efforts. If you are an Infrastructure company facing similar challenges, Salesforce team at Bodhtree can help you move in the right direction, please let us know your current challenges and we would like to provide you a robust solution.

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Do organizations need to adapt to latest technology trends in the data storage area?

The explosion of data, its criticality, and the increasing dependency of businesses on digital information is leading to larger and more complex information storage environments that are challenging to manage.

Organizations evolve over a period of time by creating value, and to create value quickly and cost-effectively they select technologies that can facilitate that growth.

That being said, let us look at the key challenges for data storage and how new trends can potentially impact a much larger market with the value proposition they are bringing in.

Key Challenges

IT/storage managers and storage professionals across companies of all sizes face the following mission-critical challenges:

• Managing storage growth

• Designing, deploying and managing backup, recovery, and archive solutions

• Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions

• Designing, deploying, and managing disaster recovery solutions

• Designing, deploying, and managing storage in a virtualized server environment

• Addressing the lack of skilled storage professionals

• Designing, deploying, and managing storage in cloud computing environments

• Addressing the lack of skilled cloud technology professionals

• Convincing higher management to adopt cloud

• Providing infrastructure for Big Data analytics

• Managing external cloud service providers

Trends in Data Storage

  • Cloud: Amazon EC2, Redshift, etc. Value: subscription based and on demand elasticity
  • Open source: HDFS, HIVE, Cassandra, MongoDB, Rocks DB, etc. Value: performance & relative cost

In memory: HANA, etc. Value: Performance

Now organizations need to decide if they are satisfied with the current storage mechanisms or they need to upgrade their data storage architecture with the one or combination of the latest technologies to get optimal benefit.

As depicted in the picture above data storage market is at the conjunction point of maturity and latest innovations in the same area. Organizations need to realize that it would be beneficial for them to increase the pace of growth with the adoption of latest technologies in the data storage area.

And the best way to do this would be to identify the use cases, which would bring in value to justify their investment in new technologies and then begin to evolve further.

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