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Posts from the ‘enosix’ Category

Why IT Projects Fail

There are many reasons why IT integration projects fail.  From the lack of senior management support to imprecise, inaccurate goals, IT integration projects fail more often than they have to. Based on consulting I’ve done with system integrators, distribution providers, financial services firms, logistics providers and manufacturers, five core lessons emerge.  One of the most innovative companies taking on these challenges is enosiX, whose customer wins at Yeti Coolers, Vera Bradley, BUNN and others provide a glimpse into the future of real-time integration.

  • Middleware forces IT integration projects to focus only on moving data instead of improving business processes.
  • Not having a clear idea of the goals the integration needs to attain in the first place.
  • Sacrificing application response times, data accuracy and user experience in never-ending middleware projects.

Five Lessons Learned From IT Integration Failures

The following lessons learned are based on my experiences and work with IT departments, Vice Presidents of Infrastructure, Enterprise Systems, Cloud Platforms, CIOs, and CFOs. The lessons learned from them are helping current and future IT integration projects increase the odds of success.

  1. Selecting middleware or an integration platform not capable of offline, mobile use with the ability to synchronize in real-time once connected. The fastest growing areas of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are being fueled by the real-time availability of data on mobile devices. In Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) and Quote-to-Cash (QTC) workflows, tethered and untethered use cases dominate. To be competitive, any company relying on these two strategies to sell must have an integration framework capable of delivering data in real-time that enables quick app response times, higher performance, and a better user experience. IT integration projects that don’t take this requirement into account nearly always fail.
  1. Selecting an integration solution that requires time-consuming, expensive training and has a steep learning curve. When a given middleware, integration technology or framework is too difficult for IT to learn and use, projects fail fast. The middleware landscape is littered with companies whose marketing is covering up products that have non-existent to mediocre documentation and learning materials. One of the primary factors behind Salesforce’s exceptional growth is their commitment to making the user experience on their platform immediately scalable to each application developed and launched on it. Within 30 minutes, sales teams are often up and running with new apps, successfully selling as a result. Integration frameworks that don’t force system users to change how they work are the new gold standard and are driving the market forward.
  1. Using middleware for business process logic integration when it is designed for data only. Attempting to use middleware for business process logic workflows can get complex and costly fast. It’s one of the main reasons IT integration projects don’t deliver results. In reality, the most valuable aspects of any integration project are the business processes and supporting logic that is automated, streamlined and tailored to a businesses’ unique needs, revolutionizing it in the process. This point of failure happens when IT architects push middleware beyond its limits and attempt to do what more streamlined integration frameworks are designed to accomplish. Business process logic is core to the future of any IT integration project. It is surprising that more organizations don’t look for integration frameworks that have this capability designed into the core architecture.
  1. Failing to consider how data transfers can be minimized or eliminated in the planning and deployment of an integration project. The more customer-centric a project, the more the variety and depth of data transfers required for the integration to be complete. Data transfers grow exponentially and can challenge the scale of a middleware platform quickly. The most successful IT integration projects aren’t data transfer-intensive, they are business strategy driven. One of the most effective best practices of integration is not having to move the data at all. Using an SOA-based framework as a means to enable data consumption without having to perform lengthy ETL processes is the future of integration. By definition, middleware relies on a series of tightly-coupled integration points designed to move data asynchronously. In contrast, SOA-based frameworks are designed to enable real-time synchronous communication through the use of loosely-coupled connections that can flex in response to business process requirements.
  1. Failure to plan and anticipate how a change in one cloud platform or enterprise application including those running on Salesforce’s Force.com, a SAP R/3 system and other platforms impact the entire company’s IT stability. The VP of Infrastructure for a globally-based gaming and hospitality chain told me he and his team often are given the challenging task of bringing up new casino and hotel operations offices globally in two weeks. He sends in an advance team to determine how best to integrate with any legacy on-premise systems. The team also works to integrate any unique Salesforce apps that need to be included into the main Salesforce instance at the tab level, and to determine how best to integrate into the SAP R/3 procurement system. System security is the highest priority during the integration pilot and go-live work.  The company has standardized on a series of network adapters and connectors that are designed to shield all traffic across the network. He told me that just one API change in the IT stack supporting their SAP R/3 integration would cause all adapters to quit working, report an error condition and force debugging to the line level.  They learned this during a go-live with a Reno property. Today all changes to middleware are run in a pilot mode in a sandbox first, and the company is looking to get away from middleware entirely as a result.

From the enosiX blog post, Why IT Integration Projects Fail.

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2017 Is Quickly Becoming The Year Of The API Economy

Shanghai is a high-rise buildings, the rapid development of the city.

This year more CIOs will have their bonuses tied to how many new business models they help create with existing and planned IT platforms than ever before. This trend will accelerate over the next three years. CIOs and IT staffs need to start thinking about how they can become business strategists first, technicians and enablers of IT second. CIOs must create and launch new business models faster to keep their companies competitive. APIs are the fuel helping to make this happen.

The Urgency To Create New Business Models Is Driving API Proliferation

APIs (Application Programmer Interfaces) are the components that enable diverse platforms, apps, and systems to connect and share data with each other.  Think of APIs as a set of software modules, tools, and protocols that enable two or more platforms, systems and most commonly, applications to communicate with each other and initiate tasks or processes. APIs are essential for defining and customizing Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) too. Cloud platform providers all have extensive APIs defined and work in close collaboration with development partners to fine-tune app performance using them. Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, Marketo, Salesforce, SAP Hybris, Twitter and thousands of other companies have APIs available. As of today, the Programmable Web lists 16,590 APIs in its database.

Removing The Hype By Benchmarking API Maturity

Senior management teams need to de-hype the entire issue of APIs as part of their broader business strategies before jumping in to create some of their own. In reality, many APIs are still nascent, emerging from a regular series of test and development cycles with developer partners. APIs also vary drastically regarding stability, reliability, and quality. The majority are aggregations of binary, relatively straightforward commands as they are the easiest to create.

Customer needs are driving the most efficient API development programs. Having a strong focus on the customer and being accountable for how the API’s quality turns out is essential. Customer-centric development is also forcing APIs to scale up faster, providing contextual intelligence and insight over completing simple tasks. These customer-centric APIs are driving greater maturity into development cycles, enabling quicker maturity of API code bases across the board. The following Cloud Platform API Maturity Model provides the context of how APIs must progress to provide greater contextual intelligence to enable prescriptive and cognitive workflows.

api-fuel

What’s Driving 2017’s Ascent To Year Of The API Economy 
The factors driving 2017 to be the year of the API economy are larger than any pending IPO, recent acquisition or merger. They’re the shifts occurring in how APIs are consumed, integrated into platforms and enriched with greater potential to provide contextual intelligence for customers.  The following factors are contributing to APIs rapidly maturing in 2017:

  • Organizations and their IT teams are starting to focus more on unique API consumption strategies first. Being able to orchestrate different APIs together and enable entirely new business processes and models fast is what matters most. Orchestrating APIs and create real-time integration is a challenging task, however, especially between on-premise, legacy systems and cloud platforms and apps. A noteworthy company to watch in this area is enosiX who has proven expertise in providing real-time integration between Salesforce and SAP enterprise systems.
  • APIs are becoming enablers of omnichannel selling and service business models quickly. The most complex APIs are being built within B2B companies who have the goal of providing a contextually intelligent real-time experience across all the channels they sell through. This is a daunting task and one that would be more efficient if each channel’s unique needs to the persona level were taken into account first.
  • The best APIs are starting to reflect requirements to the persona and customer journey level. Individual persona needs must drive API development, and this encompasses the device(s) they use, apps they regularly work with and the workflows across all apps on a platform. When an app or platform provider has anticipated the persona needs and charted customer journeys, it shows in the APIs created. The APIs reflect customer preferences much more clearly and are more efficient in delivering great apps as a result. Providing an API code base that has these features accelerates new app development and opens entirely new channels for selling.

Bottom Line: APIs are most valuable for creating new business models and streamlining selling strategies across all channels. The greatest revenue potential they provide is removing barriers to growing revenue by integrating platforms and apps so organizations can quickly launch new business models and scale fast.

Five Reasons Why Every CIO Needs An Integration Roadmap In 2017

The difference between CIOs who lead and those caught in never-ending reactionary cycles is often a strategic IT plan and integration roadmap. It’s the CIOs who take the time to create and pursue an integration roadmap that has the greatest chance of breaking out of always reacting to IT projects and leading them instead. That’s because the majority of inbound requests center on data, reports or analysis only deliverable by integrating two or more systems together.

Five Ways Integration Roadmaps Are Putting CIOs Back In Control

Based on conversations with CIOs across a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, aerospace, financial services, and retailing, five factors emerged that led to creating integration roadmaps and getting in control of IT spending and priorities. I’ve summarized these five factors below:

  1. Integration roadmaps are proving to be an effective catalyst for driving purpose-optimized integration strategies, reducing middleware costs in the process. CIOs who create and continually improve their integration roadmaps are prioritizing purpose-optimized integration strategies to more efficiently scale global operations. Creating real-time integration links between SAP and Salesforce is one example of how CIOs are using purpose-driven integration to reduce customer response times for information, improving customer satisfaction in the process.  Enabling real-time, bi-directional data updates without requiring complex middleware coding and mapping of data is a challenging task, and innovative startups including enosiX are excelling in this area today.
  1. Defining a path for reducing ETL spending and dependence on logs to troubleshoot errors and measure performance.Reducing their dependence on ETL is giving CIOs and their teams much more flexibility in how they manage IT It is also freeing up system analysts to work on new projects instead of troubleshooting integration issues. With no automated error handling or recovery mechanisms, many CIOs are gradually phasing ETL out for more modern integration technologies that eliminate error logs altogether.
  1. Investing in the latest technologies that enable business process and application logic is making IT more responsive, helping them break out of a bureaucratic reputation. When I asked CIOs about the best way to increase responsiveness to internal customers, they wanted integration technologies capable of scaling across the back office and selling systems to make them more responsive. By having integration technologies that enable business process and application logic, the time-consuming, and often error-filled, the task of enabling new business processes manually goes away. And, when IT can react faster, their bureaucratic reputation is also on the way out too.
  1. Choosing to reduce and eliminate hand-built adapters and connectors from their IT infrastructures to free up support funds and time on urgent IT project needs today. One large-scale industrial equipment manufacturer has a staff of software developers and engineers who do nothing but keep adapters and connectors written in ABAP running across their ERP, Manufacturing Execution Systems, quality management, and supply chain systems. With production centers in the Midwestern US, China, and Europe, the ABAP team is always busy but never innovating. They are just ‘keeping the lights on.’ Having an integration roadmap is going to get this manufacturer out of the situation they are in today, which is draining dollars and time from IT.
  1. Move closer to quantifying the value IT delivers by showing how an integration roadmap provides support for cutting maintenance costs, consolidating apps and introducing new platforms. The ROI of IT often hinges on how effective CIOs are at reducing costs and still delivering a median or average level of service. By having a plan in place to attack integration challenges and costs, CIOs can immediately prioritize steps to improve service, reduce costs, and attain department and corporate goals.

Originally published on the enosiX blog, Five Reasons Why Every CIO Needs An Integration Roadmap In 2017. 

5 Ways Integration Is Enabling The Factory Of The Future

  • factory-of-the-future-report93% of global product leaders say that predictive maintenance combined with real-time equipment monitoring enabled by integration is a must-have for factory planning today.
  • 75% of global product leaders plan to implement factory of the future initiatives and programs in the next five years or less, starting with Industry 4.0
  • 67% of automotive executives expect that new technologies enabled by real-time integration will enable their teams to reach and exceed lean management and continuous improvement goals starting this year and accelerating through 2030.

Boston Consulting Group’s recent article, The Factory of the Future provides insights into a recent global survey the consulting firm conducted of more than 750 manufacturing product leaders from leading companies in three industrial sectors: automotive (which includes suppliers and original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs), engineered products, and process industries. The survey’s objective is to define the vision for the factory of the future in 2030.  Determining long-term benefits and the roadmap to implementation are also goals of the study Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and its research partner, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, achieved. The Factory of the Future is a vision for how manufacturers should enhance production by making improvements in three dimensions: plant structure, plant digitization, and plant processes.

5 Ways Integration Fuels The Factory Of The Future’s Growth

Real-time integration based on intelligent objects that connect diverse enterprise systems including SAP, Salesforce and others is the foundation that manufacturing companies must adopt to excel in their Factory of the Future efforts. These real-time objects illustrate the future of Application Programmer Interfaces (API).  APIs that will fuel and drive the Factory of the Future will enrich each real-time integration points across manufacturing networks. Intelligent Objects pervasively used today are the precursors to the most valuable APIs that will enable Factories of the Future tomorrow. With APIs continually improving and gaining the capability to provide insight and intelligence, the essential role of real-time integration in all factories of the future becomes clear.

The following are the five ways integration is enabling the Factory of the Future today:

  1. Real-time integration enables the value chains supporting the Factories of the Future to continually accelerate, excel and improve with additional insight that drives future growth strategies. Bringing greater intelligence into each integration point across the value chains supporting the Factories of the Future leads to new technologies delivering greater lean management benefits. Real-time integration will deliver strong benefits in the areas of lean management, predictive maintenance, modular line setups, and the orchestration and collaboration of smart robots.

factory-of-the-future-1

  1. The Implementation Roadmap for the Factory of the Future shows how critical real-time integration is to the Factory of the Future’s vision being attained. Multidirectional layouts, modular line setups, sustainable production, the orchestration of smart and collaborative robotics and attainment of big data and analytics plans all are dependent on real-time integration. The following graphic from the study illustrates just how central integration is to the optimizing of plant structure and plant digitization.

factory-of-the-future-2

  1. By integrating large-scale enterprise systems including those from SAP, Salesforce and others with legacy, 3rd party and homegrown systems, every area of production quality will improve. The most urgent need global manufacturers have is finding new ways to improve product, process and service quality without raising costs. Improving the quality of these three dimensions makes any manufacturer more trusted and successful in selling next-generation products.  By aggregating data using real-time integration so that Big Data and advanced analytics can be used to find new patterns, some of the world’s most well-known manufacturers are excelling on product quality. To produce cylinder heads at its plant in Untertürkheim, Germany, Mercedes-Benz uses predictive analytics to examine more than 600 parameters that influence quality. Mercedes-Benz is an early adopter of using Big Data and advanced analytics to improve quality management and bring high precision to engineering. Bosch has implemented software that analyzes data about its production of fuel injectors in real time. The software monitors process adherence and recognizes trends. It automatically transmits information about deviations to operators, allowing them to improve the process accordingly.
  1. Real-time integration across and within manufacturing systems enables multi-directional layouts of production workflows. The Audi R8 manufacturing facility in Heilbronn, Germany, does not have a fixed conveyor so the teams there has greater multidirectional flexibility in building customized vehicles.  Real-time integration across the Audi factory floor is essential to provide R8 production teams with the specifics of how they can best collaborate and deliver the highest quality vehicles in the shortest amount of time. Real-time integration is enabling driverless transport systems, guided by a laser scanner and radio frequency identification technology in the floor, which moves the car bodies through the assembly process. These systems enable assembly layout changes quickly with no impact on existing production. Enabling real-time integration often involves extensive field mapping between different systems, which is a lengthy and error-prone process. Integration technology provider enosiX has developed a unique, real-time integration technology that obsoletes the need for field mapping and supports bi-directional data updates.
  1. Enabling the Factory of the Future’s production operations to flex in response to rapidly changing customer requirements is entirely dependent on real-time, reliable integration of production and customer-facing systems. The implications of the study on the future of manufacturing underscore just how critical it is for manufacturers to be agile enough to create entirely new business models while gaining insight and intelligence into how they can continually improve lean manufacturing. When real-time integration unifies a value chain for any manufacturer, their speed, scale and ability to simplify the complex processes required to serve customers turns into a formidable competitive advantage.

 

2017 Is The Year Integration Enables Industry 4.0 Growth

  • industry-40-landscape35% of companies adopting Industry 4.0 predict revenue gains over 20% in the next five years.
  • Data analytics and digital trust are the foundations of Industry 4.0.
  • Cost-sensitive industries including semiconductors, electronics, and oil and gas are the most focused on adopting Industry 4.0, with 80% of companies in these industries saying it is one of their top priorities.

The recent article by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Sprinting To Value In Industry 4.0, provides insights into how real-time integration between enterprise systems is an essential catalyst for Industry 4.0 growth. Industry 4.0 focuses on the end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and integration into digital ecosystems with value chain partners encompassing a broad spectrum of technologies. BCG surveyed 380 US-based manufacturing executives and managers at companies representing a wide range of sizes in various industries to complete the study.

Industry 4.0 Is  At An Inflection Point Today 

Having attained initial results from Industry 4.0 initiatives, many manufacturers are moving forward with the advanced analytics and Big Data-related projects that are based on real-time integration between CRM, ERP, 3rd party and legacy systems. A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) study of Industry 4.0 adoption, Industry 4.0: Building The Digital Enterprise (PDF, no opt-in, 36 pp.) found that 72% of manufacturing enterprises predict their use of data analytics will substantially improve customer relationships and customer intelligence along the product life cycle. Real-time integration enables manufacturers to more effectively serve their customers, communicate with suppliers, and manage distribution channels. Of the many innovative start-ups taking on the complex challenges of integrating cloud and on-premise systems to streamline revenue-generating business processes, enosiX shows potential to bridge legacy ERP and cloud-based CRM systems quickly and deliver results.

There are many more potential benefits to adopting Industry 4.0 for those enterprises who choose to create and continually strengthen real-time integration links across the global operations. Recent research completed by Boston Consulting Group and PwC highlight several of them below:

  • Manufacturers expect to gain the greatest value from Industry 4.0 by reducing manufacturing costs (47%), improving product quality (43%) and attaining operations agility (42%). 89% of all manufacturers see an opportunity to use Industry 4.0 to improve manufacturing productivity. Reducing supply chain costs (37%), enabling product innovation (33%) and attaining faster time-to-market (31%) are the next level of benefits manufacturers expect to attain. The following graphic provides an analysis of where manufacturers see Industry 4.0 having the greatest impact on their organizations.

 industry-40-image-1

  • Manufacturers are gaining the greatest value from Industry 4.0 by creating pilot projects that create flexible, agile real-time platforms supporting new business models with real-time integration. Industry 4.0’s focus on enabling end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and integration into digital ecosystems relies on real-time integration to succeed. For manufacturers in cost-sensitive industries, the urgency of translating the vision of digital transformation into results is key to their future growth. The more competitively intense an industry, the more essential real-time integration

industry-40-image-2

  • Investing in greater digitization and support for enterprise-wide integration is predicted to increase 118% by 2020 in support of Industry 4.0. 33% of manufacturers surveyed report they have a high level of digitization today, projected to increase to 72% by 2020. The leading areas of these investments include vertical value chain integration (72%), product development and engineering (71%), and customer access including sales channels and marketing (68%).
  • New product development and optimizing existing products and services are the greatest areas of growth potential for analytics and Big Data using Industry 4.0 technologies and integration strategies through 2020. Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the use of analytics and manufacturing intelligence, setting the foundation for greater optimization of overall business and control, better manufacturing, and operations planning, greater optimization of logistics and more efficient maintenance of production assets and machinery. By better orchestrating these strategic areas, manufacturers are going to be able to attain levels of accuracy and responsiveness to customers not achievable before.
  • Globally, manufacturing enterprises expect to gain an additional 2.9% in digital revenues per year through 2020, with digitizing their existing product portfolios (47%) leading all other strategies, further underscoring the need for real-time integration. Introducing an entirely new digital product portfolio is the second most common strategy (44%) followed by creating and offering new digital services to external customers (42%). Just over a third (38%) plan to create and sell big data analytics services to external customers.

 

3 Ways To Improve Selling Results With SAP Integration


sap-integration
The more integrated the systems are supporting any selling strategy, the greater the chances sales will increase. That’s because accuracy, speed, and quality of every quote matter more than ever. Being able to strengthen every customer interaction with insight and intelligence often means the difference between successful upsells, cross-sells and the chance to bid and win new projects. Defining a roadmap to enrich selling strategies using SAP integration is delivering results across a variety of manufacturing and service industries today.

Getting more value out of the customer data locked in legacy SAP systems can improve selling results starting with existing sales cycles. Knowing what each customer purchased, when, at what price, and for which project or location is invaluable in accelerating sales cycles today. There are many ways to improve selling results using SAP integration, and the following are the top three based on conversations with SAP Architects, CIOs and IT Directors working with Sales Operations to improve selling results. These five approaches are generating more leads, closing more deals, leading to better selling decisions and improving sales productivity.

 3 Ways SAP Integration Is Improving Selling Results

  1. Reducing and eliminating significant gaps in the Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) process by integrating Salesforce and SAP systems improves selling and revenue results quickly. The following two illustrations compare how much time and revenue escape from the selling process. It’s common to see companies lose at least 20% of their orders when they rely on manual approaches to handling quotes, pricing, and configurations. The greater the complexity of the deal is the more potential for lost revenue.  The second graphic shows how greater system integration leads to lower costs to complete an order, cycle time reductions, order rework reductions, and lead times for entire orders dropping from 69 to 22 days.

3 Ways To Improve Selling Results With SAP Integration

3 Ways To Improve Selling Results With SAP Integration

  1. Having customer order history, pricing, discounts and previously purchased bundles stored in SAP ERP systems integrated into Salesforce will drive better decisions on which customers are most likely to buy upsells, cross-sells and new products when. Instead of having just to rely on current activity with a given customer, sales teams can analyze sales history to find potential purchasing trends and indications of who can sign off on deals in progress. Having real-time access to SAP data within Salesforce gives sales teams the most valuable competitive advantage there is, which is more time to focus on customers and closing deals.  enosiX is taking a leadership role in the area of real-time SAP to Salesforce integration, enabling enterprises to sell and operate more effectively.
  1. Improving Sales Operations and Customer Service productivity by providing customer data in real-time via Salesforce to support teams on a 24/7 basis worldwide. The two departments who rely on customer data more than sales need to have real-time access to customer data on a 24/7 basis from any device at any time, on a global scale. By integrating customer data held today in SAP ERP and related systems to Salesforce, Sales Operations, and Customer Service will have the visibility they’ve never had before. And that will translate into faster response times, higher customer satisfaction and potentially more sales too.

Additional Reading:

Accenture, Empowering Your Sales Force

Aberdeen Group, Configure-Price-Quote: Best-In-Class Deployments that Speed The Sale

Aberdeen Group, Configure/Price/Quote: Better, Faster Sales Deals Enabled

Aberdeen Group, Sales Enablement Advances In Configure/Price/Quote Solutions

Forbes, What’s Hot In CRM Applications, 2015: Why CPQ Continues To Accelerate

Forbes,  Cloud-Based CPQ Continues To Be One Of The Hottest Enterprise Apps Of 2016

Forbes, Five Ways Cloud-Based CPQ Increases Sales Effectiveness And Drives Up CRM Adoption

The Sales Management Association,  The Impact of Quoting Automation: Enabling the Sales Force, Optimizing Profits, and Improving Customer Engagement

5 Ways Real-Time Mobile Apps Delight Customers And Streamline Manufacturing

  • 2017-mobile-apps-in-manufacturingProviding real-time responses 24/7 on any mobile device anywhere is the new normal in 2017.
  • 54% of B2B companies selling online report that their customers are using smartphones to research purchases, and 52% say that their customers are using smartphones to buy online
  • The majority of CEOs (86%) see mobility as essential to creating and sustaining a competitive advantage.
  • Industrial manufacturing CEOs prioritize mobility (73%), cybersecurity (72%) and data mining and analysis (70%) as their top three priorities for attaining competitive advantage.

PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) annually surveys global CEOs to learn about their current and future priorities, plans and technology adoption trends. PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey (free, no opt-in) is based on interviews with 1,322 CEOs located in 77 countries. The survey provides valuable insights into the strategic direction enterprises are taking with technology investments.

The following graphic from the report illustrates the strategic importance CEOs are placing on mobile technologies:

Competing On Accuracy, Speed And Responsiveness Is How You Win Today

CEOs at the world’s leading industrial manufacturing companies share a common focus on how to continually improve the accuracy, speed, and responsiveness of their companies using mobile technologies. A recent study by research firm Forrester shows that 54% of B2B companies selling online report that their customers are using smartphones to research purchases, and 52% say that their customers are using smartphones to buy online.

Being ready to respond with complete quotes, pricing, order status, delivery dates, updated service information on a 24/7 basis on any device anywhere is the new normal. Amazon’s ability to take orders, process, ship and deliver them in some cases all within 24 hours is driving up expectations in B2B selling too.  And a key part of making sure you can compete in 2017 and beyond is by having an integrated mobile apps strategy that provides customers the information they need when they need it.

The following are five ways real-time mobile apps delight customers and streamline manufacturing:

  1. Enabling configure, price and quoting (CPQ) apps to provide real-time updates on any device, anywhere wins more deals and keeps customers sold on doing business with you. According to a recent Gartner study, the competitor in any deal who is the first to produce a quality quote will win the deal 70% of the time. Given the competitive intensity around delivering the first, highest quality quote possible, having mobile apps that are based on real-time Salesforce and SAP integration is a must-have. From the very first interaction with any new prospect to closing a sale, having mobile apps that deliver real-time information gained through CRM and ERP integration is key.
  1. Being able to answer “When will my order ship?” anytime, anywhere on any device, at any time is what it takes to win and keep customers today. It’s time to challenge the outdated assumption that customers only want to speak with you when your legacy systems are available. The best manufacturers are modeling Amazon today, providing real-time alerts on when orders are being prepared to ship, providing e-mail and text alerts and delivery times and shipping information. Mobile apps need to be used to extend past the boundaries of legacy systems that don’t meet the minimum expectations of customers today. The CEO of an electrical machine manufacturer told me that once he was able to launch mobile apps for his customers, there was a 76% reduction in order status calls to the enterprise sales teams and 13% increase in sales the first six months these apps were available.
  1. Getting in control of quality and being able to manage customer expectations and relationships to positive outcomes with accurate data. Quality, compliance, inbound inspection and quality assurance are applications that often are isolated from CRM, ERP and customer service systems. The lack of integration between these systems wastes valuable time in getting back to customers on how best to solve quality problems and address questions they may have. That’s why it’s so important to have compliance, product quality, and quality assurance data delivered on mobile apps in a context the customer can use. Having this data available over mobile apps, enabled for customers’ use via Salesforce integration, reduces problem escalations and provides greater accuracy. Enabling quality data on mobile apps also helps to unify operations and production, giving everyone on the shop floor visibility into quality levels of order and long-term, over product lines being produced. Making data and reporting available company-wide often requires integration to SAP ERP and legacy systems, with companies including enosiX emerging as market leaders.
  1. Reducing Field Service call cancellations and delays by accurately communicating parts and staffing requirements shows respect for your customers. There is nothing more frustrating from a customer’s perspective than waiting for a field service technician to show up, only to find they don’t have the necessary parts or are told the problem was completely different than the one that needs to be solved. By enabling Salesforce integration with field service apps and providing customers with real-time alerts to their mobile devices via an app, field service calls can lead to solved problems and higher customer satisfaction faster.
  1. Providing customers with real-time updates via mobile apps on delivery dates driven by supply chain conditions helps in managing expectations while giving production planners the information they need to meet demand. Manufacturers whose business models rely on rapid inventory turns, tight production schedules, and thin margins are the leading early adopters of mobile technologies for logistics and supply chain coordination. Enabling mobile apps to provide the latest updates on Available-To-Promise (ATP), Capable-To-Promise (CTP) requires SAP integration across the Salesforce platform. Being able to provide updates on how suppliers are potentially impacting their delivery dates on orders is invaluable in managing expectations over the long-term.

McKinsey’s 2016 Analytics Study Defines The Future Of Machine Learning

  • U.S. retailer supply chain operations who have adopted data and analytics have seen up to a 19% increase in operating margin over the last five years.
  • Design-to-value, supply chain management and after-sales support are three areas where analytics are making a financial contribution in manufacturing.
  • 40% of all the potential value associated with the Internet of Things requires interoperability between IoT systems.

These and many other insights are from the McKinsey Global Institute’s study The Age of Analytics: Competing In A Data-Driven World published in collaboration with McKinsey Analytics this month. You can get a copy of the Executive Summary here (28 pp., free, no opt-in, PDF) and the full report (136 pp., free, no opt-in, PDF) here. Five years ago the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) released Big Data: The Next Frontier For Innovation, Competition, and Productivity (156 pp., free no opt-in, PDF), and in the years since McKinsey sees data science adoption and value accelerate, specifically in the areas of machine learning and deep learning. The study underscores how critical integration is for gaining greater value from data and analytics.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:McKinsey Analytics

  • Location-based services and U.S. retail are showing the greatest progress capturing value from data and analytics. Location-based services are capturing up to 60% of data and analytics value today predicted by McKinsey in their 2011 report. McKinsey predicts there are growing opportunities for businesses to use geospatial data to track assets, teams, and customers across dispersed locations to generate new insights and improve efficiency. U.S. Retail is capturing up to 40%, and Manufacturing, 30%.  The following graphic compares the potential impact as predicted in McKinsey’s 2011 study with the value captured by segment today, including a definition of major barriers to adoption.

uneven-progress

  • Machine learning’s greatest potential across industries includes improving forecasting and predictive analytics. McKinsey analyzed the 120 use cases their research found as most significant in machine learning and then weighted them based on respondents’ mention of each. The result is a heat map of machine learning’s greatest potential impact across industries and use case types.  Please see the report for detailed scorecards of each industry’s use case ranked by impact and data richness.

machine-learning-impact

  • Machine learning’s potential to deliver real-time optimization across industries is just starting to evolve and will quickly accelerate in the next three years. McKinsey analyzed the data richness associated with each of the 300 machine learning use cases, defining this attribute as a combination of data volume and variety. Please see page 105 of the study for a thorough explanation of McKinsey’s definition of data volume and variety used in the context of this study The result of evaluating machine learning’s data richness by industry is shown in the following heat map:

rich-data-is-an-enabler

  • Enabling autonomous vehicles and personalizing advertising are two of the highest opportunity use cases for machine learning today. Additional use cases with high potential include optimizing pricing, routing, and scheduling based on real-time data in travel and logistics; predicting personalized health outcomes, and optimizing merchandising strategy in retail. McKinsey identified 120 potential use cases of machine learning in 12 industries and surveyed more than 600 industry experts on their potential impact. They found an extraordinary breadth of potential applications for machine learning.  Each of the use cases was identified as being one of the top three in an industry by at least one expert in that industry. McKinsey plotted the top 120 use cases below, with the y-axis shows the volume of available data (encompassing its breadth and frequency), while the x-axis shows the potential impact, based on surveys of more than 600 industry experts. The size of the bubble reflects the diversity of the available data sources.

machine-learning

  • Designing an appropriate organizational structure to support data and analytics activities (45%), Ensuring senior management involvement (42%), and designing effective data architecture and technology infrastructure (36%) are the three most significant challenges to attaining data and analytics objectives. McKinsey found that the barriers break into the three categories: strategy, leadership, and talent; organizational structure and processes; and technology infrastructure. Approximately half of executives across geographies and industries reported greater difficulty recruiting analytical talent than any other kind of talent. 40% say retention is also an issue.

barriers-to-analytics-and-machine-learning-adoption

  • U.S. retailer supply chain operations who have adopted data and analytics have seen up to a 19% increase in operating margin over the last five years. Using data and analytics to improve merchandising including pricing, assortment, and placement optimization is leading to an additional 16% in operating margin improvement. The following table illustrates data and analytics’ contribution to U.S. retail operations by area.

us-retail-data-sheet

  • Design-to-value, supply chain management and after-sales support are three areas where analytics are making a financial contribution in manufacturing. McKinsey estimates that analytics have increased manufacturer’s gross margins by as much as 40% when used in design-to-value workflows and projects. Up to 15% of after-sales costs have been reduced through the use of analytics that includes product sensor data analysis for after-sales service. There are several interesting companies to watch in this area, with two of the most innovative being Sight Machine and enosiX, with the latter enabling real-time integration between SAP and Salesforce systems. The following graphic illustrates the estimated impact of analytics on manufacturing financial performance by area.

manufacturing

Top 10 Ways Integration Will Transform Manufacturing In 2017

SAP and CRM Integration critical to manfuacturing innovation

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Integration Will Accelerate Internet Of Things, Industrial Analytics Growth In 2017 

  • internet of thingsEnabling 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.

Key Takeaways:

  • 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.

Internet of Things

  • 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.

Internet of Things

  • 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.

Internet of things

  • 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).

Internet of Things

  • 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.

Internet of Things

  • 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.

Internet of Things

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