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Posts tagged ‘ERP’

CPQ Needs To Scale And Support Smarter, More Connected Products

  • For smart, connected product strategies to succeed they require a product lifecycle view of configurations, best attained by integrating PLM, CAD, CRM, and ERP systems.
  • Capgemini estimates that the size of the connected products market will be $519B to $685B by 2020.
  • In 2018, $985B will be spent on IoT-enabled smart consumer devices, soaring to $1.49B in 2020, attaining a 23.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) according to Statista.
  • Industrial manufacturers will spend on average $121M a year on smart, connected products according to Statista.

Succeeding with a smart, connected product strategy is requiring manufacturers to accelerate their IoT & software development expertise faster than they expected. By 2020, 50% of manufacturers will generate the majority of their revenues from smart, connected products according to Capgemini’s recent study. Manufacturers see 2019 as the breakout year for smart, connected products and the new revenue opportunities they provide.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms has the potential of providing a single, unified data model across an entire manufacturing operation, giving manufacturers a single unified view of product configurations across their lifecycles. Producing smart, connected products at scale also requires a system capable of presenting a unified view of configurations in the linguistics each department can understand. Engineering, production, marketing, sales, and service all need a unique view of product configurations to keep producing new products. Leaders in this field include Configit and their Configuration Lifecycle Management approach to CPQ and product configuration.

Please see McKinsey’s article IIoT platforms: The technology stack as a value driver in industrial equipment and machinery which explores how the Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) is redefining industrial equipment and machinery manufacturing. The following graphic from the McKinsey explains why smart, connected product strategies are accelerating across all industries. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.

CPQ Needs To Scale Further To Sell Smart, Connected Products

Smart, connected products are redefining the principles of product design, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and service. CPQ systems need to grow beyond their current limitations by capitalizing on these new principles while scaling to support new business models that are services and subscription-based.

The following are the key areas where CPQ systems are innovating today, making progress towards enabling the custom configuration of smart, connected products:

  • For smart, connected product strategies to succeed they require a product lifecycle view of configurations, best attained by integrating PLM, CAD, CRM, and ERP systems. Smart, connected product strategies require real-time integration between front-end and back-end systems to optimize production performance. And they also require advanced visualization that provides prospects with an accurate, 3D-rendered view that can be accurately translated to a Bill of Materials (BOM) and into production. The following graphic is based on conversations with Configit customers, illustrating how they are combining PLM, CAD, CRM and ERP systems to support smart, connected products related to automotive manufacturing. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.

  • CPQ and product configuration systems need to reflect the products they’re specifying are part of a broader ecosystem, not stand-alone. The essence of smart, connected products is their contributions to broader, more complex networks and ecosystems. CPQ systems need to flex and support much greater system interoperability of products than they do today. Additional design principles include designing in connected service options, evergreen or long-term focus on the product-as-a-platform and designed in support for entirely new pricing models.
  • Smart, connected products need CPQ systems to reduce physical complexity while scaling device intelligence through cross-sells, up-sells and upgrades. Minimizing the physical options to allow for greater scale and support for device intelligence-based ones are needed in CPQ systems today. For many CPQ providers, that’s going to require different data models and taxonomies of product definitions. Smart, connected products will be modified after purchase as well, evolving to customers’ unique requirements.
  • After-sales service for smart, connected products will redefine pricing and profit models for the better in 2019, and CPQ needs to keep up to make it happen. Giving products the ability to send back their usage rates and patterns, reliability and performance data along with their current condition opens up lucrative pricing and services models. CPQ applications need to be able to provide quotes for remote diagnostics, price breaks on subscriptions for sharing data, product-as-a-service and subscription-based options for additional services. Many CPQ systems will need to be updated to support entirely new services-driven business models manufacturers are quickly adopting today.
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How Blockchain Can Improve Manufacturing In 2019

  • The business value-add of blockchain will grow to slightly more than $176B by 2025, then exceed $3.1T by 2030 according to Gartner.
  • Typical product recalls cost $8M, and many could be averted with improved track-and-traceability enabled by blockchain.
  • Combining blockchain and IoT will revolutionize product safety, track-and-traceability, warranty management, Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO), and lead to new usage-based business models for smart, connected products.
  • By 2023, 30% of manufacturing companies with more than $5B in revenue will have implemented Industry 4.0 pilot projects using blockchain, up from less than 5% today according to Gartner.

Blockchain’s greatest potential to deliver business value is in manufacturing. Increasing visibility across every area of manufacturing starting with suppliers, strategic sourcing, procurement, and supplier quality to shop floor operations including machine-level monitoring and service, blockchain can enable entirely new manufacturing business models. Supply chains are the foundation of every manufacturing business, capable of making use of blockchain’s distributed ledger structure and block-based approach to aggregating value-exchange transactions to improve supply chain efficiency first. By improving supplier order accuracy, product quality, and track-and-traceability, manufacturers will be able to meet delivery dates, improve product quality and sell more.

Capgemini Research Institute’s recent study, Does blockchain hold the key to a new age of supply chain transparency and trust? provide valuable insights into how blockchain can improve supply chains and manufacturing. A copy of the study is available here (PDF, 32 pp., no opt-in). Capgemini surveyed 731 organizations globally regarding their existing and planned blockchain initiatives. Initial interviews yielded 447 organizations who are currently experimenting with or implementing blockchain. Please see pages 25 & 26 of the study for additional details regarding the methodology.

Key takeaways of the study include the following:

  • Typical product recalls cost $8M, and many could be averted with improved track-and-traceability enabled by blockchain. Capgemini found that there was 456 food recalls alone in the U.S. last year, costing nearly $3.5B. Blockchain’s general ledger structure provides a real-time audit trail for all transactions secured against modifications making it ideal for audit and compliance-intensive industries.

  • Gaining greater cost savings (89%), enhancing traceability (81%) and enhancing transparency (79%) are the top three drivers behind manufacturer’s blockchain investments today. Additional drivers include increasing revenues (57%), reducing risks (50%), creating new business opportunities (44%) and being more customer-centric (38%). The following graphic from the study illustrates the manufacturer’s priorities for blockchain. Capgemini finds that improving track-and-traceability is a primary driver across all manufacturers, consistent with the broader trend of manufacturers adopting software applications that improve this function today. That’s also understandable given how additional regulatory compliance requirements are coming in 2019 and those manufacturers competing in highly regulated industries including aerospace & defense, medical devices, and pharma are exploring how blockchain can give them a competitive edge now

  • Digital marketplaces, tracking critical supply chain parameters, tracking components quality, preventing counterfeit products, and tracking asset maintenance are the five areas Capgemini predicts blockchain will see the greatest adoption. Based on interviews with industry experts and startups, Capgemini found 24 blockchain use cases which are compared by level of adoption and complexity in the graphic below. The use cases reflect how managing supplier contracts is already emerging as one of the most popular blockchain use cases for manufacturing organizations today and will accelerate as compliance becomes even more important in 2019.

  • Manufacturers have the most at-scale deployments of blockchain today, leading all industries included in the study. Blockchain adoption is still nascent across all industries included in the study, with 6% of manufacturers having at-scale implementations today. Customer products manufacturers lead in pilots, with 15% actively [purusing blockchain in limited scope today. And retailers trail all industries with 91% having only proofs of concept.

  • Combining IoT and blockchain at the shipping container level in supply chains increases authenticity, transparency, compliance to product and contractual requirements while reducing counterfeiting. In highly regulated industries including Aerospace & Defense (A&D), Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), medical devices, and pharma, combining IoT and blockchain provides real-time data on the shipping container conditions, tamper-proof storage, each shipment’s locational history and if there have been changes in temperature and product condition. Capgemini sees use cases where a change in a shipment’s temperature as measured by a sensor change sends alerts regarding contractual compliance of perishable meats and produce, averting the potential of bad product quality and rejected shipments once they reach their destination.

  • Capgemini found that 13% of manufacturers are Pacesetters and are either implementing blockchain at scale or have pilots in at least one site. Over 60% of Pacesetters believe that blockchain is already transforming the way they collaborate with their partners. Encouraged by these results, Pacesetters are set to increase their blockchain investment by 30% in the next three years. They lead early stage experimenters and all implementers on three core dimensions of organizational readiness. These include end-to-end visibility across functions, detailed and defined supportive processes, and availability of the right talent to succeed.

  • Lack of a clear ROI, immature technology and regulatory challenges are the top three hurdles Pacesetter-class manufacturers face in getting blockchain initiatives accepted and into production. All implementations face these three challenges in addition to having to overcome the lack of complementary IT systems at the partner organizations. The following graphic compares the hurdles all manufacturers face in getting blockchain projects implemented by the level of manufacturers adoption success (Pacesetter, early-stage experimenters, all implementers).

Source: Capgemini Research Institute, Does blockchain hold the key to a new age of supply chain transparency and trust? October, 2018

10 Ways To Improve Cloud ERP With AI And Machine Learning

Capitalizing on new digital business models and the growth opportunities they provide are forcing companies to re-evaluate ERP’s role. Made inflexible by years of customization, legacy ERP systems aren’t delivering what digital business models need today to scale and grow.

Legacy ERP systems were purpose-built to excel at production consistency first at the expense of flexibility and responsiveness to customers’ changing requirements. By taking a business case-based approach to integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning into their platforms, Cloud ERP providers can fill the gap legacy ERP systems can’t.

Closing Legacy ERP Gaps With Greater Intelligence And Insight

Companies need to be able to respond quickly to unexpected, unfamiliar and unforeseen dilemmas with smart decisions fast for new digital business models to succeed. That’s not possible today with legacy ERP systems. Legacy IT technology stacks and the ERP systems they are built on aren’t designed to deliver the data needed most.

That’s all changing fast. A clear, compelling business model and successful execution of its related strategies are what all successful Cloud ERP implementations share. Cloud ERP platforms and apps provide organizations the flexibility they need to prioritize growth plans over IT constraints. And many have taken an Application Programming Interface (API) approach to integrate with legacy ERP systems to gain the incremental data these systems provide. In today’s era of Cloud ERP, rip-and-replace isn’t as commonplace as reorganizing entire IT architectures for greater speed, scale, and customer transparency using cloud-first platforms.

New business models thrive when an ERP system is constantly learning. That’s one of the greatest gaps between what Cloud ERP platforms’ potential and where their legacy counterparts are today. Cloud platforms provide greater integration options and more flexibility to customize applications and improve usability which is one of the biggest drawbacks of legacy ERP systems. Designed to deliver results by providing AI- and machine learning insights, Cloud ERP platforms, and apps can rejuvenate ERP systems and their contributions to business growth.

The following are the 10 ways to improve Cloud ERP with AI and machine learning, bridging the information gap with legacy ERP systems:

  1. Cloud ERP platforms need to create and strengthen a self-learning knowledge system that orchestrates AI and machine learning from the shop floor to the top floor and across supplier networks. Having a cloud-based infrastructure that integrates core ERP Web Services, apps, and real-time monitoring to deliver a steady stream of data to AI and machine learning algorithms accelerates how quickly the entire system learns. The Cloud ERP platform integration roadmap needs to include APIs and Web Services to connect with the many suppliers and buyer systems outside the walls of a manufacturer while integrating with legacy ERP systems to aggregate and analyze the decades of data they have generated.

  1. Virtual agents have the potential to redefine many areas of manufacturing operations, from pick-by-voice systems to advanced diagnostics. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Voice, and Microsoft Cortana have the potential to be modified to streamline operations tasks and processes, bringing contextual guidance and direction to complex tasks. An example of one task virtual agents are being used for today is guiding production workers to select from the correct product bin as required by the Bill of Materials. Machinery manufacturers are piloting voice agents that can provide detailed work instructions that streamline configure-to-order and engineer-to-order production. Amazon has successfully partnered with automotive manufacturers and has the most design wins as of today. They could easily replicate this success with machinery manufacturers.

  1. Design in the Internet of Things (IoT) support at the data structure level to realize quick wins as data collection pilots go live and scale. Cloud ERP platforms have the potential to capitalize on the massive data stream IoT devices are generating today by designing in support at the data structure level first. Providing IoT-based data to AI and machine learning apps continually will bridge the intelligence gap many companies face today as they pursue new business models. Capgemini has provided an analysis of IoT use cases shown below, highlighting how production asset maintenance and asset tracking are quick wins waiting to happen. Cloud ERP platforms can accelerate them by designing in IoT support.

  1. AI and machine learning can provide insights into how Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can be improved that aren’t apparent today. Manufacturers will welcome the opportunity to have greater insights into how they can stabilize then normalize OEE performance across their shop floors. When a Cloud ERP platform serves as an always-learning knowledge system, real-time monitoring data from machinery and production assets provide much-needed insights into areas for improvement and what’s going well on the shop floor.

  1. Designing machine learning algorithms into track-and-traceability to predict which lots from which suppliers are most likely to be of the highest or lowest quality. Machine learning algorithms excel at finding patterns in diverse data sets by continually applying constraint-based algorithms. Suppliers vary widely in their quality and delivery schedule performance levels. Using machine learning, it’s possible to create a track-and-trace application that could indicate which lot from which supplier is the riskiest and those that are of exceptional quality as well.
  2. Cloud ERP providers need to pay attention to how they can help close the configuration gap that exists between PLM, CAD, ERP and CRM systems by using AI and machine learning. The most successful product configuration strategies rely on a single, lifecycle-based view of product configurations. They’re able to alleviate the conflicts between how engineering designs a product with CAD and PLM, how sales & marketing sell it with CRM, and how manufacturing builds it with an ERP system. AI and machine learning can enable configuration lifecycle management and avert lost time and sales, streamlining CPQ and product configuration strategies in the process.
  3. Improving demand forecasting accuracy and enabling better collaboration with suppliers based on insights from machine learning-based predictive models is attainable with higher quality data. By creating a self-learning knowledge system, Cloud ERP providers can vastly improve data latency rates that lead to higher forecast accuracy. Factoring in sales, marketing, and promotional programs further fine-tunes forecast accuracy.
  4. Reducing equipment breakdowns and increasing asset utilization by analyzing machine-level data to determine when a given part needs to be replaced. It’s possible to capture a steady stream of data on each machine’s health level using sensors equipped with an IP address. Cloud ERP providers have a great opportunity to capture machine-level data and use machine learning techniques to find patterns in production performance by using a production floor’s entire data set. This is especially important in process industries where machinery breakdowns lead to lost sales. Oil refineries are using machine learning models comprise more than 1,000 variables related to material input, output and process perimeters including weather conditions to estimate equipment failures.
  5. Implementing self-learning algorithms that use production incident reports to predict production problems on assembly lines needs to happen in Cloud ERP platforms. A local aircraft manufacturer is doing this today by using predictive modeling and machine learning to compare past incident reports. With legacy ERP systems these problems would have gone undetected and turned into production slowdowns or worse, the line having to stop.
  6. Improving product quality by having machine learning algorithms aggregate, analyze and continually learn from supplier inspection, quality control, Return Material Authorization (RMA) and product failure data. Cloud ERP platforms are in a unique position of being able to scale across the entire lifecycle of a product and capture quality data from the supplier to the customer. With legacy ERP systems manufacturers most often rely on an analysis of scrap materials by type or caused followed by RMAs. It’s time to get to the truth about why products fail, and machine learning can deliver the insights to get there.

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Manufacturing In 2018

  • Improving semiconductor manufacturing yields up to 30%, reducing scrap rates, and optimizing fab operations is achievable with machine learning.
  • Reducing supply chain forecasting errors by 50% and lost sales by 65% with better product availability is achievable with machine learning.
  • Automating quality testing using machine learning is increasing defect detection rates up to 90%.

Bottom line: Machine learning algorithms, applications, and platforms are helping manufacturers find new business models, fine-tune product quality, and optimize manufacturing operations to the shop floor level.

Manufacturers care most about finding new ways to grow, excel at product quality while still being able to take on short lead-time production runs from customers. New business models often bring the paradox of new product lines that strain existing ERP, CRM and PLM systems by the need always to improve time-to-customer performance. New products are proliferating in manufacturing today, and delivery windows are tightening. Manufacturers are turning to machine learning to improve the end-to-end performance of their operations and find a performance-based solution to this paradox.

The ten ways machine learning is revolutionizing manufacturing in 2018 include the following:

  • Improving semiconductor manufacturing yields up to 30%, reducing scrap rates, and optimizing fab operations are is achievable with machine learning. Attaining up to a 30% reduction in yield detraction in semiconductor manufacturing, reducing scrap rates based on machine learning-based root-cause analysis and reducing testing costs using AI optimization are the top three areas where machine learning will improve semiconductor manufacturing. McKinsey also found that AI-enhanced predictive maintenance of industrial equipment will generate a 10% reduction in annual maintenance costs, up to a 20% downtime reduction and 25% reduction in inspection costs. Source: Smartening up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – What’s in it for Germany and its Industrial Sector? (52 pp., PDF, no opt-in) McKinsey & Company.

  • Asset Management, Supply Chain Management, and Inventory Management are the hottest areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT adoption in manufacturing today. The World Economic Forum (WEF) and A.T. Kearney’s recent study of the future of production find that manufacturers are evaluating how combining emerging technologies including IoT, AI, and machine learning can improve asset tracking accuracy, supply chain visibility, and inventory optimization. Source: Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production: Accelerating Value Creation (38 pp., PDF, no opt-in) World Economic Forum with A.T. Kearney.

  • Manufacturer’s adoption of machine learning and analytics to improve predictive maintenance is predicted to increase 38% in the next five years according to PwC. Analytics and MI-driven process and quality optimization are predicted to grow 35% and process visualization and automation, 34%. PwC sees the integration of analytics, APIs and big data contributing to a 31% growth rate for connected factories in the next five years. Source: Digital Factories 2020: Shaping the future of manufacturing (48 pp., PDF, no opt-in) PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • McKinsey predicts machine learning will reduce supply chain forecasting errors by 50% and reduce lost sales by 65% with better product availability. Supply chains are the lifeblood of any manufacturing business. Machine learning is predicted to reduce costs related to transport and warehousing and supply chain administration by 5 to 10% and 25 to 40%, respectively. Due to machine learning, overall inventory reductions of 20 to 50% are possible. Source: Smartening up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – What’s in it for Germany and its Industrial Sector? (52 pp., PDF, no opt-in) McKinsey & Company.

  • Improving demand forecast accuracy to reduce energy costs and negative price variances using machine learning uncovers price elasticity and price sensitivity as well. Honeywell is integrating AI and machine-learning algorithms into procurement, strategic sourcing and cost management. Source: Honeywell Connected Plant: Analytics and Beyond. (23 pp., PDF, no opt-in) 2017 Honeywell User’s Group.

  • Automating inventory optimization using machine learning has improved service levels by 16% while simultaneously increasing inventory turns by 25%. AI and machine learning constraint-based algorithms and modeling are making it possible scale inventory optimization across all distribution locations, taking into account external, independent variables that affect demand and time-to-customer delivery performance. Source: Transform the manufacturing supply chain with Multi-Echelon inventory optimization, Microsoft, March 1, 2018.

  • Combining real-time monitoring and machine learning is optimizing shop floor operations, providing insights into machine-level loads and production schedule performance. Knowing in real-time how each machine’s load level impacts overall production schedule performance leads to better decisions managing each production run. Optimizing the best possible set of machines for a given production run is now possible using machine learning algorithms. Source: Factories of the Future: How Symbiotic Production Systems, Real-Time Production Monitoring, Edge Analytics and AI Are Making Factories Intelligent and Agile, (43 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Youichi Nonaka, Senior Chief Researcher, Hitachi R&D Group and Sudhanshu Gaur Director, Global Center for Social Innovation Hitachi America R&D

  • Improving the accuracy of detecting costs of performance degradation across multiple manufacturing scenarios reduces costs by 50% or more. Using real-time monitoring technologies to create accurate data sets that capture pricing, inventory velocity, and related variables gives machine learning apps what they need to determine cost behaviors across multiple manufacturing scenarios. Source: Leveraging AI for Industrial IoT (27 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Chetan Gupta, Ph.D. Chief Data Scientist, Big Data Lab, Hitachi America Ltd. Date: Sept. 19th, 2017

  • A manufacturer was able to achieve a 35% reduction in test and calibration time via accurate prediction of calibration and test results using machine learning. The project’s goal was to reduce test and calibration time in the production of mobile hydraulic pumps. The methodology focused on using a series of machine learning models that would predict test outcomes and learn over time. The process workflow below was able to isolate the bottlenecks, streamlining test and calibration time in the process. Source: The Value Of Data Science Standards In Manufacturing Analytics (13 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Soundar Srinivasan, Bosch Data Mining Solutions And Services

  • Improving yield rates, preventative maintenance accuracy and workloads by the asset is now possible by combining machine learning and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). OEE is a pervasively used metric in manufacturing as it combines availability, performance, and quality, defining production effectiveness. Combined with other metrics, it’s possible to find the factors that impact manufacturing performance the most and least. Integrating OEE and other datasets in machine learning models that learn quickly through iteration are one of the fastest growing areas of manufacturing intelligence and analytics today. Source: TIBCO Manufacturing Solutions, TIBCO Community, January 30, 2018

Additional reading:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Delivering Breakthroughs in Industrial IoT (26 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Hitachi

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Their Impact on the Workplace (120 pp., PDF, no opt-in) IBA Global Employment Institute

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Digital Frontier? (80 pp., PDF, no opt-in) McKinsey and Company

Big Data Analytics for Smart Manufacturing: Case Studies in Semiconductor Manufacturing (20 pp., PDF, no opt-in), Applied Materials, Applied Global Services

Connected Factory and Digital Manufacturing: A Competitive Advantage, Shantanu Rai, HCL Technologies (36 pp., PDF, no opt-in)

Demystifying AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning, DZone, AI Zone

Digital Factories 2020: Shaping the future of manufacturing (48 pp., PDF, no opt-in) PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Emerging trends in global advanced manufacturing: Challenges, Opportunities, And Policy Responses (76 pp., PDF, no opt-in) University of Cambridge

Factories of the Future: How Symbiotic Production Systems, Real-Time Production Monitoring, Edge Analytics and AI Are Making Factories Intelligent and Agile, (43 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Youichi Nonaka, Senior Chief Researcher, Hitachi R&D Group and Sudhanshu Gaur Director, Global Center for Social Innovation Hitachi America R&D

Get started with the Connected factory preconfigured solution, Microsoft Azure

Honeywell Connected Plant: Analytics and Beyond. (23 pp., PDF, no opt-in) 2017 Honeywell User’s Group.

Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Supply Chains (22 pp., PDF, no opt-in) World Economic Forum

Leveraging AI for Industrial IoT (27 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Chetan Gupta, Ph.D. Chief Data Scientist, Big Data Lab, Hitachi America Ltd. Date: Sept. 19th, 2017

Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Presentation (14 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Erik Hjerpe Volvo Car Group

Machine Learning Techniques in Manufacturing Applications & Caveats, (44 pp., PDF, no opt-in), Thomas Hill, Ph.D. | Exec. Director Analytics, Dell

Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example (128 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Royal Society UK

Predictive maintenance and the smart factory (8 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Deloitte

Priore, P., Gómez, A., Pino, R., & Rosillo, R. (2014). Dynamic scheduling of manufacturing systems using machine learning: An updated reviewAi Edam28(1), 83-97.

Smartening up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – What’s in it for Germany and its Industrial Sector? (52 pp., PDF, no opt-in) McKinsey & Company

Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production: Accelerating Value Creation (38 pp., PDF, no opt-in) World Economic Forum with A.T. Kearney

The Future of Manufacturing; Making things in a changing world (52 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Deloitte University Press

The transformative potential of AI in the manufacturing industry, Microsoft, by Sanjay Ravi, Managing Director, Worldwide Discrete Manufacturing, Microsoft, September 25, 2017

The Value Of Data Science Standards In Manufacturing Analytics (13 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Soundar Srinivasan, Bosch Data Mining Solutions And Services

TIBCO Manufacturing Solutions, TIBCO Community, January 30, 2018

Transform the manufacturing supply chain with Multi-Echelon inventory optimization, Microsoft, March 1, 2018.

Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit (28 pp., PDF, no opt-in) Capgemini Consulting

Wuest, T., Weimer, D., Irgens, C., & Thoben, K. D. (2016). Machine learning in manufacturing: advantages, challenges, and applicationsProduction & Manufacturing Research4(1), 23-45.

6 Ways Cloud ERP Is Revolutionizing How Services Deliver Results

  • Cloud ERP is the fastest growing sector of the global ERP market with services-based businesses driving the majority of new revenue growth.
  • Legacy Services ERP providers excel at meeting professional & consulting services information needs yet often lack the flexibility and speed to support entirely new services business models.
  • Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) is quickly emerging as a must-have feature in Services-based Cloud ERP suites.

From globally-based telecommunications providers to small & medium businesses (SMBs) launching new subscription-based services, the intensity to innovate has never been stronger. Legacy Services ERP and Cloud ERP vendors are responding differently to the urgent needs their prospects and customers have with new apps and suites that can help launch new business models and ventures.

Services-based Cloud ERP providers are reacting by accelerating improvements to Professional Services Automation (PSA), Financials, and questioning if their existing Human Capital Management (HCM) suite can scale now and in the future. Vertical industry specialization is a must-have in many services businesses as well.  Factoring all these customer expectations and requirements along with real-time responsiveness into a roadmap deliverable in 12 months or less is daunting.  Making good on the promises of ambitious roadmaps that includes biannual release cycles is how born-in-the-Cloud ERP providers will gain new customers including winning many away from legacy ERP providers who can’t react as fast.

The following key takeaways are based on ongoing discussions with global telecommunications providers, hosters and business & professional services providers actively evaluating Cloud ERP suites:

  • Roadmaps that reflect a biyearly release cadence complete with user experience upgrades are the new normal for Cloud ERP providers. Capitalizing on the strengths of the Salesforce platform makes this much easier to accomplish than attempting to create entirely new releases every six months based on unique code lines. FinancialForceKenandy and Sage have built their Cloud ERP suites on the Salesforce platform specifically for this reason. Of the three, only FinancialForce has provided detailed product roadmaps that specifically call out support for evolving services business models, multiple user interface (UI) refreshes and new features based on customer needs. FinancialForce is also one of the only Cloud ERP providers to publish their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) already to support their current and next generation user interfaces.
  • Cloud ERP leaders are collaborators in the creation of new APIs with their cloud platform provider with a focus on analytics, integration and real-time application response. Overcoming the challenges of continually improving platform-based applications and suites need to start with strong collaboration around API development. FinancialForce’s decision to hire Tod Nielsen, former Executive Vice President, Platform at Salesforce as their CEO in January of this year reflects how important platform integration and an API-first integration strategy is to compete in the Cloud ERP marketplace today. Look for FinancialForce to have a break-out year in the areas of platform and partner integration.
  • Analytics designed into the platform so customers can create real-time dashboards and support the services opportunity-to-revenue lifecycle. Real-time data is the fuel that gets new service business models off the ground. When a new release of a Cloud ERP app is designed, it has to include real-time Application Programming Interface (API) links to its cloud platform so customers can scale their analytics and reporting to succeed. What’s most important about this from a product standpoint is designing in the scale to flex and support an entire opportunity-to-revenue lifecycle.
  • Having customer & partner councils involved in key phases of development including roadmap reviews, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and API beta testing are becoming common.  There’s a noticeable difference in Cloud ERP apps and suites that have gone through UAT and API beta testing outside of engineering.  Customers find areas where speed and responsiveness can be improved and steps saved in getting workflows done. Beta testing APIs with partners and customers forces them to mature faster and scale further than if they had been tested in isolation, away from the market. FinancialForce in services and IQMS in manufacturing are two ERP providers who are excelling in this area today and their apps and suites show it.
  • New features added to the roadmap are prioritized by revenue potential for customers first with billing, subscriptions, and pricing being the most urgent. Building Cloud ERP apps and suites on a platform free up development time to solve challenging, complex customer problems. Billing, subscriptions, and pricing are the frameworks many services businesses are relying on to start new business models and fine-tune existing ones. Cloud ERP vendors who prioritize these have a clear view of what matters most to prospects and customers.
  • Live and build apps by the mantra “own the process, own the market”. Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) and Quote-to-Cash (QTC) are two selling processes services and manufacturing companies rely on for revenue daily and struggle with. Born-in-the-cloud CPQ and QTC competitors on the Salesforce platform have the fastest moving roadmaps and release cadences of any across the platform’s broad ecosystem. The most innovative Services-focused Cloud ERP providers look to own opportunity-to-revenue with the same depth and expertise as the CPQ and QTC competitors do.

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.

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%).

grouped-bi-cloud-platform-graphic

  • 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

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

Five Ways Cloud Service Providers Are Making Manufacturers More Competitive

  • manufacturing-execution-systemsEnterprises are only realizing 35% of the total potential value of their cloud deployments according to a recent Bain & Company study.
  • Companies that moved development to IaaS and PaaS clouds from Amazon Web Services (AWS) reduced downtime by 72% and improved application availability by 3.9 hours per user per year.

These and other key take-aways are from the recent Bain & Company study, Tapping Cloud’s Full Potential. The full report PDF is available for download here (free, no opt-in). The following graphic from the report illustrates the currently realized value of cloud deployments in enterprises today according to Bain & Company.

Capturing only one-third of the value of their workloads

The researchers found several critical drivers of cloud value with one of the most important being the strengthening and clarifying of a product and service focus. The following graphic illustrates the critical drivers of cloud value.

getting the most value

Cloud Service Providers Give Manufacturers The Ability To Stay Competitive

Cloud-first strategies designed to accelerate and strengthen shifts in emerging business models is paying off according to Bain’s research results.

Manufacturers choosing to pursue a cloud-first strategy are focusing on evolving their business models, processes, systems and performance quickly to stay in step with customers’ needs. For many manufacturers, their customers’ pace is faster than internal IT organizations can anticipate and react to.  CSPs are helping to close that gap.

Here are five ways CSPs are making manufacturers more competitive:

  • Bringing industry expertise to the shop floor level. The best CSPs serving manufacturers today have management teams that have decades of combined manufacturing experience in specific industries. The CEO of a specialty tools manufacturer remarked that his company’s cloud strategy was more focused on accelerating plant floor performance first.  Working with a CSP that had expertise in their industry, this manufacturer was able to gain greater supply chain visibility and improve forecast accuracy, all with cloud-based apps.
  • Solving legacy and 3rd party system integration problems so that cloud-based ERP, CRM, supply chain management (SCM) systems can scale quickly. When a rust-belt based manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems had the opportunity to grow their business by expanding into build-to-order customized products, their CSP partner made it possible to integrate an entirely new product configurator and cloud-based ERP system module to manage quote-to-cash. Today, 30% of corporate-wide profits are from build-to-order selling strategies.
  • Knowledge-sharing supplier networks are becoming more attainable for manufacturers thanks to cloud technologies and CSPs. All manufacturers have strategic plans that include greater integration of their supplier networks, with many seeking to create knowledge-sharing networks. One of the best studies of how to create a knowledge-sharing network is from Dr. Jeffrey Dyer and Dr. Kentaro Nobeoka based on their intensive work with Toyota. Their study, Creating And Managing A High Performance Knowledge-Sharing Network: The Toyota Case is a great read. The following graphic from the study illustrates the evolution of a knowledge-sharing network. Manufacturers are relying on cloud platforms and CSPs to enable shifts in network structures and nurture change management to create self-sustaining systems.

Evolution of network

  • Two-tier ERP adoption in manufacturing is growing as CSPs master cloud ERP systems. CSPs are moving beyond providing basic services, specializing in cloud ERP, CRM, SCM, pricing, services and legacy system integration to keep pace with manufacturers’ demands. In one high tech manufacturer, their CSP partner orchestrated the procuring and launch of their cloud-based two-tier ERP system integrated to an SAP instance in their headquarters. Today they operate production centers in Asia, North America and Australia, all coordinated through the main SAP instance in the U.S. headquarters.
  • Making Service Level Agreements (SLAs) more relevant to manufacturing business models. Instead of just getting SLAs for uptime, security and system stability, manufacturers are getting advanced manufacturing intelligence dashboards that provide visibility to the plant or production center level.

Bottom Line:  Manufacturers are increasingly relying on CSPs’ cloud, industry and integration expertise to support the transition many are making to new business models and get greater than 35% of the value from their cloud investments.

Additional resources on Cloud ERP systems:

45% of Global Enterprises Are Running Production-Level Cloud Apps Today

cover graphicMicrosoft’s latest study shows enterprises’ pace of cloud computing adoption continues to accelerate.  Nearly half of the respondents (45%) report they have cloud-based applications running in production environments.  58% report that they selectively target new applications and projects for cloud computing.

Microsoft commissioned 451 Research to complete one of the most comprehensive global surveys to date of hosting and cloud computing, titled Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream releasing the results earlier this month. The 74 page slide deck of results provides a wealth of insights into the current and future state of hosting and cloud computing.  451 Research constructed the methodology to include interviews with 2,000 companies and organizations of all sizes from 11 countries, with more than a third of respondents coming from the United States.  Microsoft and 451 Research provided the slides showing the result of screener questions, which provides a useful context for analyzing the survey results.

Here are the key take-aways from the study:

  • 45% of enterprises globally are running production-level cloud computing applications today.  North America and Asia have the greatest percentage of enterprises reporting broad implementation of production cloud-based applications (17% each).  North America has the greatest percentage of enterprises in the discovery and evaluation phase of cloud computing adoption at 29%.

cloud computing adoption by region

  •  58% of global enterprises are selectively target new applications for cloud computing, with 18% heavily relying on cloud computing for new projects.  The following graphic shows the distribution of organizations’’ approaches to using cloud computing for new applications or IT projects.

New Apps By Region

  • SaaS (71%) and Hosted Infrastructure Services (69%) are the two most common IT services currently purchased today, with 14% growth forecasted in each by 2016. The fastest growing category is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), with 37% purchasing these services today projected to grow another 26% in two years.

current future it services

  • SaaS is most prevalent in enterprises with over 500 employees, and Hosted Infrastructure Services, in government and education.  Please see the graphic below for the distribution of responses by IT service and organization type.

 

current it services by company size

  • Spending on hosted private clouds will increase from 28% of spending today to 32% in 2016, with traditional dedicated infrastructure services dropping from 48% to 42%.

Hosted Infrastuctrure Services

  •  The majority of SaaS users are employees (45%) followed by businesses (which could be interpreted as suppliers and the broader supply chain) (22%), consumers (18%) and business partners (including distribution channels (14%).

primary application users

 

  • Telephone conversations with customer support specialists is the most valuable form of communication (just over 60%) across all support channels.  It is also the most preferred channel for SaaS support.

valuable forms of communication

  •  Business applications (17%), databases (14%) and e-mail 12%) are the top three application spending categories today in hosted and cloud applications.  The following graphic breaks out spending by hosting and cloud configuration.

hosted and cloud applications

  • Having a well-defined architecture for security (7.7 out of 8.0), understanding who the end-users are (7.6) and train users to be cautious with access & security (7.5) in addition to having a well-defined architecture for performance (7.5) are the three top best practices for cloud computing projects.

best practices cloud computing projects

  • 44% of enterprises globally have “shadow IT”, meaning business units are spending their own budget on cloud computing projects outside of the IT approval processes.  The following graphic provides the breakdown by type of organization included in the survey.

shadow it

  •  87% of respondents globally would recommend cloud computing to a peer or colleague and 13% would not. When asked why or why not, respondents most often mentioned a good experience and better service/it works (approximately 17%), followed by improving costs/cost effective/cheaper (approximately 16%).  Security issues and concerns (25%) and uncertainty/it’s too new (approximately 16%) are the reasons for not recommending cloud computing.

recommend cloud computing

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