Integrating ERP, CRM, and legacy systems lead to greater manufacturing innovation, setting the foundation to move beyond business models that don’t stay in step with customers’ fast-changing needs. Bringing contextual intelligence into manufacturing that centers on customers’ unique, fast-changing requirements is a must-have to keep growing sales profitably. By integrating ERP, CRM, SCM, pricing and legacy systems together, manufacturers can provide customers what they want most, and that’s accurate, fast responses to their questions and perfect orders delivered.
Integration Powers Manufacturing Innovation
Enabling a faster pace of innovation in manufacturing starts by using systems and process integration as a growth catalyst to profitably grow.There is a myriad of ways integration will transform manufacturing in 2017, and the top 10 ways are presented below:
- Real-time visibility across selling, pricing, product, manufacturing and service improves the speed of customer response and makes planning easier. By integrating legacy SAP ERP systems with CRM, pricing, product catalog, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and service, telling customers in real-time the status of their orders is possible. Having real-time data on manufacturing operations provides planners with the visibility they need to optimize production schedules, including fine-tuning Material Requirements Planning (MRP). By orchestrating these areas of manufacturing more efficiently, customer satisfaction increases, the potential of upselling and cross-sell improves and less order fulfillment errors turn into higher profits.
- Making analytics the fuel manufacturing needs to move faster, attaining time-to-market goals and exceeding customer expectations. One of the quickest ways manufacturers are going to use integration to fuel greater growth in 2017 is by using analytics to measure operations from the customer’s perspective first. From quality management to order fulfillment and meeting delivery dates, every manufacturer has the baseline data they need to begin a customer-driven analytics strategy today. Integration is the catalyst that is making this happen. Making quality a company-wide focus begins with real-time integration of quality management and broader IT systems. enosiX has taken a unique approach to real-time integration, streamlining quality inspections and inventory control for beverage equipment manufacturer Bunn.
- Improving new product success rates by integrating CRM, pricing, product catalog, service, and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems are enabling manufacturers to create new product lines that drive new business models. For consumer electronics and high-tech products manufacturers serving B2C (business to consumer) and Business to Business (B2B), speed and time-to-market are a core part of their business models. Capitalizing on the speed of customers’ changing requirements is more important to stay ins type with than competitors, however. To do this, manufacturers capturing feedback from service and PLM systems and then putting it into context using CRM systems can innovate faster than competitors who track each other instead of customers.
- Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) will continue to be one of the most effective strategies manufacturers can use for accelerating sales in 2017, made possible by the real-time integration between ERP, CRM, pricing and manufacturing systems. Winning new customers and closing deals often comes down to being faster than competitors at delivering accurate, complete quotes and proposals. By integrating CRM, ERP, and pricing systems manufacturers can trim days and in some cases weeks and months off of how long it takes to produce a quote or proposal. CPQ will continue to accelerate in 2017, gaining momentum as more manufacturers move beyond their manually-based methods of quoting and opt for more integrated approaches to excelling at this vital selling activity.
- Industry 4.0’s many advantages including creating smart factories are dependent on the real-time integration of traditional IT and manufacturing systems increasing production speed and quality. Engraining greater contextual intelligence into every phase of manufacturing increases shop-floor visibility. It also makes planning more efficient and customer-driven. The key to revitalizing existing production centers and getting them started on the journey to becoming smart factories depends on the real-time integration of IT and manufacturing systems.
- Personalizing pricing strategies by customer persona and segment using real-time integration between CRM, pricing, accounting and finance systems to optimize profitability. Manufacturers doing this today also have propensity models that define which customers are most and least likely to accept up-sell and cross-sell offers. For many manufacturers, this level of pricing precision is possible today with greater systems integration. By having pricing strategies defined by persona and segment, measuring just how much speed and time-to-market matters to each is possible by measuring sales rates of new products and services.
- IT system security companywide improves with tighter real-time integration as long-standing legacy systems are updated to enable greater connectivity with newer systems. When manufacturers choose to pursue a more focused, urgent strategy fo systems integration to improve manufacturing performance, system security often improves companywide. It’s because longstanding legacy systems, often the most vulnerable to unauthorized use, get re-evaluated at the operating system and integration levels. The result is company-wide IT security improves when real-time integration is attained. For manufacturers where 70% or more of their materials and costs are from outside their owned production centers, this is more important in 2017 than ever before.
- Sensor data generated from the Internet of Things (IoT) combined with advanced analytics is transforming manufacturing today and will accelerate in 2017. Manufacturers with globally-based operations are piloting and using IoT strategies in daily operations today. A few are working with semiconductor manufacturers to design in their specific requirements at the chip level. Having real-time integration in place between ERP, CRM, pricing and services systems provides the scalable, secure foundation to build advanced analytics and IoT platforms that can scale over the long-term.
- Market leaders in manufacturing are designing in real-time integration to their connected products, enabling new sources of revenue. General Electric’s approach to monitoring jet engines in flight and providing real-time data to aircraft manufacturers including Boeing and airlines globally is an example of how integration is enabling entirely new business models. A global aerospace manufacturer who requested anonymity is working with integrated circuit developers Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm to create chipsets that can provide sensor-based data on an entire jet’s health in real-time anywhere in the world, anytime.
- Greater visibility and speed are coming to supply chains, enabling manufacturers the ability to take an accepted quote and turn it into build instructions in real-time. Automating the steps of taking a quote and turning it into a bill of materials, scheduling the best possible work teams, and orchestrating parts and materials all is becoming automated from quote approval. From a customer’s perspective, all they see is the approved quote and activity starting immediately to provide the products they ordered. By having this level fo real-time supply chain integration, speed becomes the new normal and customer expectations are met and often exceeded.
- Enabling real-time integration across on-premise and cloud platforms often involves integrating SAP, Salesforce, third-party and legacy systems. 2017 will be a break-out year for real-time integration between SAP, Salesforce, and third party systems in support of Internet of Things and Industrial Analytics.
- McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate up to $11T in value to the global economy by 2025.
- Predictive and prescriptive maintenance of machines (79%), customer/marketing related analytics (77%) and analysis of product usage in the field (76%) are the top three applications of Industrial Analytics in the next 1 to 3 years.
Real-Time Integration Is the Cornerstone Of Industrial Analytics
Industrial Analytics (IA) describes the collection, analysis and usage of data generated in industrial operations and throughout the entire product lifecycle, applicable to any company that is manufacturing and selling physical products. It involves traditional methods of data capture and statistical modeling. Enabling legacy, third-party and Salesforce, SAP integration is one of the most foundational technologies that Industrial Analytics relies on today and will in the future. Real-time integration is essential for enabling connectivity between Internet of Things (IoT) devices, in addition to enabling improved methods for analyzing and interpreting data. One of the most innovative companies in this area is enosiX, a leading global provider of Salesforce and SAP integration applications and solutions. They’re an interesting startup to watch and have successfully deployed their integration solutions at Bunn, Techtronic Industries, YETI Coolers and other leading companies globally.
A study has recently been published that highlights just how foundational integration will be to Industrial Analytics and IoT. You can download the Industrial Analytics Report 2016/17 report here (58 pp., PDF, free, opt-in). This study was initiated and governed by the Digital Analytics Association e.V. Germany (DAAG), which runs a professional working group on the topic of Industrial Analytics. Research firm IoT Analytics GmbH was selected to conduct the study. Interviews with 151 analytics professionals and decision-makers in industrial companies were completed as part of the study. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, data science service companies Comma Soft and Kiana Systems sponsored the research. All research and analysis related steps required for the study including interviewing respondents, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation, were conducted by IoT Analytics GmbH. Please see page 52 of the study for the methodology.
- With real-time integration, organizations will be able to Increase revenue (33.1%), increase customer satisfaction (22.1%) and increase product quality (11%) using Industrial Analytics. The majority of industrial organizations see Industrial Analytics as a catalyst for future revenue growth, not primarily as a means of cost reduction. Upgrading existing products, changing the business model of existing products, and creating new business models are three typical approaches companies are taking to generate revenue from Industrial Analytics. Integration is the fuel that will drive Industrial Analytics in 2017 and beyond.
- For many manufacturers, the more pervasive their real-time SAP integration is, the more effective their IoT and Industrial Analytics strategies will be. Manufacturers adopting this approach to integration and enabling Industrial Analytics through their operations will be able to attain predictive and prescriptive maintenance of their product machines (79%). This area of preventative maintenance is the most important application of Industrial Analytics in the next 1 – 3 years. Customer/marketing-related analytics (77%) and analysis of product usage in the field (76%) are the second- and third-most important. The following graphic provides an overview of the 13 most important applications of Industrial Analytics.
- 68% of decision-makers have a company-wide data analytics strategy, 46% have a dedicated organizational unit and only 30% have completed actual projects, further underscoring the enabling role of integration in their analytics and IoT strategies. The study found that out of the remaining 70% of industrial organizations, the majority of firms have ongoing projects in the prototyping phase.
- Business Intelligence (BI) tools, Predictive Analytics tools and Advanced Analytics Platforms will be pivotal to enabling industrial data analysis in the next five years. Business Intelligence Tools such as SAP Business Objects will increase in importance to industrial manufacturing leaders from 39% to 77% in the next five years. Predictive Analytics tools such as HPE Haven Predictive Analytics will increase from 32% to 69%. The role of spreadsheets used for industrial data analytics is expected to decline (i.e., 27% think it is important in 5 years vs. 54% today).
- The Industrial Analytics technology stack is designed to scale based on the integration of legacy systems, industrial automation apps and systems, MES and SCADA systems integration combined with sensor-based data. IoT Analytics GmbH defines the technology stack based on four components inclouding data sources, necessary infrastructure, analytics tools, and applications. The following graphic illustrates the technology stack and underscores how essential integration is to the vision of Industrial Analytics being realized.
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 will rely on real-time integration to enable an era of shop-floor smart sensors that can make autonomous decisions and trade-offs regarding manufacturing execution. IoT Analytics GmbH predicts this will lead to smart processes and smart products that communicate within production environments and learn from their decisions, improving performance over time. The study suggests that Manufacturing Execution System (MES) agents will be vertically integrated into higher level enterprise planning and product change management processes so that these organizations can synchronously orchestrate the flow of data, rather than go through each layer individually.
- Gartner predicts CPQ will continue to be one of the hottest enterprise apps for the foreseeable future, predicting a 20% annual growth rate through 2020 with the majority being from cloud-based solutions. Legacy on-premise vendors including SAP’s Variant Configurator (VC) are going to face increasingly strong headwinds in the market as a result.
- The CPQ market continues to grow as companies replace legacy on-premise CPQ apps and outdated ERP quoting and ordering apps with cloud-based CPQ solutions.
These and many other insights are from the recently published Gartner Market Guide for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites (PDF, client access required) by Mark David Lewis and Guneet Bharaj on October 27th of this year. CPQ selling strategies are part of the broader Quote-To-Cash (QTC) business process that encompasses, quotes, contracts, order management and billing. CPQ market leaders also are offering solutions that support the creation of quotes and capturing of orders across multiple channels of customer interaction (such as direct sales, contact center, resellers and self-service). Cloud- and SaaS-based CPQ systems scale faster across multiple channels and often have higher adoption rates than their legacy on-premise counterparts due to more intuitive app designs and better integration with Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Force Automation (SFA) and incentives systems.
What makes the Market Guide so noteworthy is that it is the first research piece on CPQ published by a major analyst firm in several years.
Key takeaways from the study include the following:
- Microsoft Azure and the Salesforce platform are benefiting the most from the intense competition in the CPQ market today. Microsoft Azure is emerging as the enterprise leader from a platform perspective, evidenced by the points made in my previous post, Seven Ways Microsoft Redefined Azure For The Enterprise And Emerged A Leader. Being able to scale globally and provide greater control over security and openly address Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) concerns of enterprises are a few of the many factors driving Azure’s adoption. Salesforce has gone in a different direction in the CPQ market, choosing to acquire SteelBrick earlier this year. Salesforce in effect became a competitor with its partners in the CPQ market by doing this. According to Gartner, SteelBrick is a good solution for high-tech assemble to order (ATO) and software companies. Last month Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff was interviewed at the Intel Capital Global Summit, and the video is available here. At 11 min., 20 seconds, he says that “Steelbrick is not for all customers, so Apttus still has a tremendous opportunity.” Earlier this year Apttus announced their entire QTC suite is now available on Microsoft Dynamics, showing just how critical it is for CPQ engineering teams to move fast from a platform strategy perspective to keep their companies growing.
- Omnichannel and digital commerce is a high-growth area of CPQ as companies seek to improve buying experiences across all customer-facing channels. For many companies, their omnichannel selling strategies and initiatives are proliferating, driven by how quickly customers are changing the channels they buy through. Leading CPQ and QTC suites are now offering digital commerce and omnichannel apps integrated into their main app platforms. They are having initial success in B2B selling scenarios where self-service configuration is needed. Gartner mentions Apttus, Oracle CPQ Cloud, and SAP as having the most robust digital commerce offerings today.
- CPQ vendors are attempting to reinvent themselves by innovating faster and more broadly than before. Relying on machine learning to recommend the optimal incentives, pricing, and terms to close more deals and increase up-sell and cross-sell revenues through guided selling apps is a fascinating area of innovation today. Apttus’ Intelligent Quote-to-Cash Agent Max, Salesforce’s Einstein and others exemplify this area of development. Rapid advances and improvements in visualization, 3D modeling and Configuration Lifecycle Management (CLM) from Configit also illustrate how quickly innovation is changing the landscape. Gartner also mentions intelligent negotiation guidance, mobile configuration support, estimated compensation, verticalization, and deeper integration with back-end fulfillment systems as being additional areas where innovation is redefining the competitive landscape.
- Improving promotion, incentive and rebate performance across a multitier selling network based on machine learning algorithms is redefining the QTC competitive landscape. Eighteen CPQ vendors are profiled in the market guide, many of them selling into industries that rely on complex multitier distribution, selling and support networks for the majority of their revenue. It’s clear many are moving in the direction of using machine learning to improve the effectiveness of promotions, incentives, and rebates across all selling channels. Being able to provide the best possible incentive to a distributor, dealer or 3rd party sales person defines which manufacturer wins the deal. Look to see more emphasis in this area in 2017 as CPQ vendors work to provide companies with the chance to steer more deals their way in channels they don’t directly control.
- The CPQ landscape will continue to consolidate as the race for new customers accelerates, driven by the need companies have for improving QTC performance. Gartner mentions how there have been major acquisitions over the last four years including Big Machines being acquired by Oracle, Salesforce acquiring SteelBrick, Configure One acquired by AutoDesk, and Cameleon Software was acquired by Pros. There are many other CPQ vendors privately for sale right now, with all of them looking to find an acquirer or company to merge with who can best complement their core technologies. Look to see the pace of acquisitions accelerate in the next year.
- I’m looking to see which CPQ vendors further distance themselves from competitors with modern and intuitive user experience design (UX). CPQ, while a necessary foundation piece for B2B use cases is evolving into the broader Quote-to-Cash umbrella. To attain its full market potential, I believe that CPQ vendors must excel at UX across all products and app experiences. I am looking forward to seeing which vendors will invest in modern and intuitive UX to drive this change in the market and deliver great experiences to customers as a result.
- From the enosiX blog, Key Takeaways From Gartner’s Market Guide For Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) Application Suites, 2016
- Organizations are using multiple cloud models to meet their business’s needs, including private (62%), public (60%), and hybrid (26%).
- By 2018 the typical IT department will have the minority of their apps and platforms (40%) residing in on-premise systems.
These and many other insights are from IDG’s Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey, 2016. You can find the 2016 Cloud Computing Executive Summary here and a presentation of the results here. The study’s methodology is based on interviews with respondents who are reporting they are involved with cloud planning and management across their organizations. The sampling frame includes audiences across six IDG Enterprise brands (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World) representing IT and security decision-makers across eight industries. The survey was fielded online with the objective of understanding organizational adoption, use-cases, and solution needs for cloud computing. A total of 925 respondents were interviewed to complete the study.
Key takeaways include the following:
- The cloud is the new normal for enterprise apps, with 70% of all organizations having at least one app in the cloud today. 75% of enterprises with greater than 1,000 employees have at least one app or platform running in the cloud today, leading all categories of adoption measured in the survey. 90% of all organizations today either have apps running in the cloud are planning to use cloud apps in the next 12 months, or within 1 to 3 years. The cloud has won the enterprise and will continue to see the variety and breadth of apps adopted accelerating in 2017 and beyond.
- Business/data analytics and data storage/data management (both 43%) are projected to lead cloud adoption in 2017 and beyond. 22% of organizations surveyed are predicting that business/data analytics will be the leading cloud application area they will migrate to in the next twelve months. 21% are predicting data storage/data management apps are a high priority area for their organizations’ cloud migration plans in 2017. Three of the market leaders in analytics are Tableau, QlikView and Microsoft Power BI. They are analyzed in this recent post from SelectHub, accessible here.
- 28% of organizations’ total IT budgets is dedicated to cloud computing next year. Of that, 45% is allocated to SaaS, 30% to IaaS and 19% to PaaS. The average investment organizations will make in cloud computing next year is $1.62M, with enterprises over 1,000 employees projected to spend $3.03M. The average investment in cloud computing remains constant in organizations with $1.62M invested in 2014, $1.56M in 2015 and $1.62M in 2016. 10% of enterprises with over 1,000 employees are projecting they will spend $10M or more on cloud computing apps and platforms throughout this year.
- CIOs, IT architects and IT networking/management control cloud spending in the enterprise. In contrast, CEOs, CIOs, and CFOs are driving small and medium business (SMB) cloud spending this year. The following graphic compares how influential the following groups and individuals are in the cloud computing purchase process.
- Just 46% of organizations are using Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) to integrate with databases, messaging systems, portals or storage components. 40% are using them for creating connections to the application layer of their cloud and the underlying IT infrastructures. The following graphic provides insights into how APIs are being used and which teams see the most value in them.
- In 18 months the majority of organizations’ IT infrastructures will be entirely cloud-based. IDG found that in 18 months nearly one-third (28%) of all organizations interviewed will be relying on private clouds as part of their IT infrastructure. Just over a fifth (22%) will have public cloud as part of their IT infrastructure, and 10% will be using hybrid By 2018 the typical IT department will have the minority of their apps and platforms (40%) residing in on-premise systems.
- Concerns about where data is stored (43%), cloud security (41%) and vendor lock-in (21%) are the top three challenges organizations face when adopting public cloud technologies. Private and hybrid cloud adoption in organizations is also facing the challenges of cloud security and vendor lock-in. Private and hybrid cloud adoption are being slowed by a lack of the right skill sets to manage and gain the maximum value from cloud investments.