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Posts tagged ‘Cloud Computing’

CIO’s Guide To The New Economics Of Real-Time Integration

CEOs’ decisions today to pursue digital-first strategies for greater revenue growth are defining their company’s competitive strengths in the future. CIOs and their teams are being challenged to drive a larger percentage of revenue growth in 2017 than ever before by providing IT-based insights daily.

  • Enabling faster revenue growth, improving products and replacing obsolete technologies are the top three CEO priorities have for CIOs in 2017.
  • 42% of CIOs say “digital first” is their company’s go-forward strategy for IT investments in 2017 and beyond.
  • 33% of CIOs consider revenue growth as their primary metric for measuring success with their digital business strategies.

The New Economics Of Real-Time Integration

IT teams are taking on the challenge by concentrating on those areas that can scale the quickest and deliver measurable revenue results. They’re finding that the integration approaches taken in the past don’t match the speed that customers, sales, suppliers and senior management need today. A key takeaway from CIOs’ initial efforts includes the finding that making small improvements in data latency can increase sales win rates in 90 days or less while improving cost controls.  Improving data latency is one of the key factors driving the new economics of real-time integration, which is defined below.

  • Integrations’ Inflection Point Has Arrived – Digital-first initiatives for defining new channel, selling and product strategies require more speed than batch-oriented integration can deliver. Customers now expect real-time response across all sales and support channels on a 24/7 basis. The pressure to drive greater revenue through digital channels and deliver a consistently great customer experience are forcing an inflection point of integration technologies today.
  • Batch-oriented approaches to integration fit well in an era of transaction-centric IT. Asynchronous, tightly-coupled, and relying on ETL for moving data around an enterprise network, these approaches were better suited for more predictable revenue strategies.  In contrast, going after new digital channels is unpredictable and requires real-time integration to deliver excellent customer experiences. Service-oriented frameworks that support synchronous data consumption and have low latency are emerging as a better choice for digital-first revenue strategies. Based on loosely-coupled integration points, these frameworks are capable of quickly adapting to new business requirements. Companies including enosiX are revolutionizing services-oriented frameworks by removing the roadblocks legacy integration approaches created.  The following graphic illustrates integrations’ inflection point and how past approaches to integration are giving way to more synchronous, loosely- coupled service-oriented frameworks capable of scaling faster to drive greater revenue.

  • And it’s fueling faster development cycles, reducing time-to-market and improving app and web services quality. The apps, web services, and APIs needed to launch a digital-first strategy don’t exist off-the-shelf, ready to be deployed for the majority of companies. Every company needs to create customizations to existing apps and web services, or create entirely new ones to support digital revenue strategies. Availability of real-time data through service-oriented frameworks is revolutionizing how apps, web services, and customizations get built. With real-time data designed in, it’s possible to test new apps across more use cases and ensure higher quality too.
  • While also enabling IT teams to exceed stakeholder expectations and their goals for digital-first strategies. Integrations’ inflection point is the most visible in how CIOs are now considered more responsible for revenue than ever before. From the initial revenue strategy definition through project managing apps and web services to delivery and producing revenue, CIOs and their teams who see themselves as business strategists excel in their roles. IT teams and the CIOs who lead them are seeing signs of integration’s inflection point every day. They’re seeing just how urgent the inflection point is, and how it’s redefining the economics of how they orchestrate systems together to attain revenue growth.  The insights and expertise CEOs, VPs of Channel Strategy, Marketing, Cloud & IT Infrastructure, and other senior management team members have needed to get quickly translated into apps, web services and digital first strategies that capitalize fast on new opportunities. Only through the use of service-oriented frameworks that can scale to support new revenue processes can any company compete in 2017 and beyond.

 

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Business Intelligence And Analytics In The Cloud, 2017

  • 78% are planning to increase the use of cloud for BI and data management in the next twelve months.
  • 46% of organizations prefer public cloud platforms for cloud BI, analytics and data management deployments.
  • Cloud BI adoption increased in respondent companies from 29% to 43% from 2013 to 2016.
  • Almost half of organizations using cloud BI (46%) use a public cloud for BI and data management compared to less than a third (30%) for hybrid cloud and 24% for private cloud.

These and many other insights are from the BARC Research and Eckerson Group Study, BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends published January 2017 (39 pp., PDF, no opt-in). Business Application Research Center (BARC) is a research and consulting firm that concentrates on enterprise software including business intelligence (BI), analytics and data management. Eckerson Group is a research and consulting firm focused on serving the needs of business intelligence (BI) and analytic leaders in Fortune 2000 organizations worldwide. The study is based on interviews completed in September and October 2016. 370 respondents participated in the survey globally. Given the size of the sample, the results aren’t representative of the global BI and analytics user base. The study’s results provide an interesting glimpse into analytics and BI adoption today, however. For a description of the methodology, please see page 31 of the study.

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Public cloud is the most preferred deployment platform for cloud BI and analytics, and the larger the organization toe more likely they are using private clouds. 46% of organizations selected public cloud platforms as their preferred infrastructure for supporting their BI, analytics, and data management initiatives in 2016. 30% are relying on a hybrid cloud platform and 24%, private clouds. With public cloud platforms becoming more commonplace in BI and analytics deployments, the need for greater PaaS- and IaaS-level orchestration becomes a priority. The larger the organization, the more likely they are using private clouds (33%). Companies with between 250 to 2,500 employees are the least likely to be using private clouds (16%).

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  • Dashboard-based reporting (76%), ad-hoc analysis and exploration (57%) and dashboard authoring (55%) are the top three Cloud BI use cases. Respondents are most interested in adding advanced and predictive analytics (53%), operational planning and forecasting (44%), strategic planning and simulation (44%) in the next year. The following graphic compares primary use cases and planned investments in the next twelve months. SelectHub has created a useful Business Intelligence Tools Comparison here that provides insights into this area.

cloud-bi-use-cases

  • Power users dominate the use of cloud BI and analytics solutions, driving more complex use cases that include ad-hoc analysis (57%) and advanced report and dashboard creation (55%). Casual users are 20% of all cloud BI and analytics, with their most common use being for reporting and dashboards (76%). Customers and suppliers are an emerging group of cloud BI and analytics users as more respondent companies create self-service web-based apps to streamline external reporting.

cloud-bi-power-users

  • Data integration between cloud applications/databases (51%) and providing data warehouses and data marts (50%) are the two most common data management strategies in use to support BI and analytics solutions today. Respondent organizations are using the cloud to integration cloud applications with each other and with on-premises applications (46%).  The study also found that as more organizations move to the cloud, there’s a corresponding need to support hybrid cloud architectures. Cloud-based data warehouses are primarily being built to support net new applications versus existing apps on-premise. Data integration is essential for the ongoing operations of cloud-based and on-premise ERP systems. A useful comparison of ERP systems can be found here.

cloud-data-integration

  • Data integration between on-premises and cloud applications dominates use cases across all company sizes, with 48% of enterprises leading in adoption. Enterprises are also prioritizing providing data warehouses and data marts (48%), the pre-processing of data (38%) and data integration between cloud applications and databases (38%). The smaller a company is the more critical data integration becomes. 63% of small companies with less than 250 employees are prioritizing data integration between cloud applications and databases (63%).

use-cases-of-cloud-management-by-company-size

  • Tools for data exploration (visual discovery) adopted grew the fastest in the last three years, increasing from 20% adoption in 2013 to 49% in 2016. BI tools increased slightly from 55% to 62% and BI servers dropped from 56% to 51%. Approximately one in five respondent organizations (22%) added analytical applications in 2016.

bi-tools-growth

  • The main reasons for adopting cloud BI and analytics differ by size of the company, with cost (57%) being the most important for mid-sized businesses between 250 to 2.5K employees. Consistent with previous studies, small companies’ main reason for adopting cloud BI and analytics include flexibility (46%), reduced maintenance of hardware and software (43%), and cost (38%). Enterprises with more than 2.5K employees are adopting cloud BI and analytics for greater scalability (48%), cost (40%) and reduced maintenance of hardware and software (38%). The following graphic compares the most important reason for adopting cloud BI, analytics and data management by the size of the company.

most-important-reason-for-adopting-cloud-bi-and-data-management

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

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

Analytics, Data Storage Will Lead Cloud Adoption In 2017

  • cioU.S.-based organizations are budgeting $1.77M for cloud spending in 2017 compared to $1.30M for non-U.S. based organizations.
  • 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.
  • 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.

use-of-cloud-technology-continuously-expanding

 

  • 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.

data-storage-and-analytics-moving-to-the-cloud

 

  • 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.

cloud-budget

 

  • 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.

cloud-investment

 

  • 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.

apis

 

  • 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.

it-shifts-to-the-cloud

 

  • 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.

challenges

Five Strategies For Improving Customer Relationships Using Salesforce Integration

Bottom line: Defining salesforce integration strategies from the customers’ perspective that streamline every aspect of their relationship with your company drives greater revenue, earns trust and creates upsell and cross-sell opportunities in the future.

In the most competitive selling situations the company that has exceptional insights into what matters most to prospects and customers win the most deals. It’s not enough to just have a CRM system that is hard-wired into the core customer-facing processes of a business. To win more sales cycles companies are getting the most from every system they have available. From SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to legacy pricing, operations, services, pricing, and CRM systems, companies winning more deals today can use Salesforce integration as a catalyst for driving more revenue.

Five Strategies For Improving Customer Relationships Using Salesforce Integration

  1. Making the Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) process more efficient for customers and prospects by integrating ERP data into every quote. Today speed is a feature every system must have to stay competitive. Being able to create quotes that include the date the proposed configuration will ship and coordinate with services and programs delivery while providing order status from ERP systems is winning deals today. The tighter the ERP system integration, the better the quote accuracy in a CPQ system and the higher the chance of winning a sale. The following table shows the many benefits of having a well-integrated CPQ process.

business-impact-of-an-integrated-cpq-process

  1. Creating an omni-channel experience for customers needs to start with ERP, legacy, 3rd party and Salesforce integration that sets the foundation to exceed customer experiences daily. Providing a unified experience across every channel is challenging yet attainable, with market leaders using a series of integration strategies to provide this level of insight so customers’ expectations are exceeded in every single interaction. Only by integrating CRM systems including Salesforce with SAP ERP systems can any company hope to deliver a consistent, excellent series of experiences across all channels, all the time.
  1. Set up sales teams for exceptional performance with tightly integrated mobile apps that accelerate sales cycles. By using mobile apps that integrate SAP ERP systems, Salesforce CRM, and legacy systems into simplified, highly efficient workflows, sales teams can close more deals without having to come back to their offices.  Senior management teams can get more done using mobile apps that are an extension of their SAP ERP systems as well. Mobile apps are revolutionizing productivity thanks to SAP and Salesforce integration.
  1. Attaining high product quality levels that exceed customer expectations by providing every manufacturing department real-time visibility into quality inspections and inventory control. By integrating inbound inspection, inventory control, and quality management data across manufacturing, Bunn can deliver products that exceed customer expectations. Bunn’s product quality inspectors can perform and record results right at the machines being tested. The warehouse management system can scan and record inventory counts in real time to SAP. Maintaining high levels of product quality are what make Bunn’s beverage equipment machines a market standard globally today.
  1. Making new product launches more successful by having a tightly integrated approach to selling, producing and servicing new products that are in step with customers’ changing needs. From apparel to high-tech and financial services, customers are rapidly redefining which channels they choose to purchase through, how they choose to customize products, and which services they prefer to bundle in.  Integrating Salesforce, e-commerce and ERP systems into a single, unified workflow that is designed to provide customers exactly what they need is essential for enabling new product launches to succeed. With an integrated system across Salesforce, ERP, distribution and pricing systems, new product launches can scale globally quicker and still allow for personalization to customers’ unique preferences.  Salesforce integration is essential for successful new product introductions as the entire launch process gains speed, scale, and simplicity as a result.

Originally published on the enosiX blog, Five Strategies For Improving Customer Relationships Using Salesforce Integration. 

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