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Team Computers: Solution Champ for Business Intelligence

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DQC Bureau
New Update

'Intelligent' Business

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The world is rapidly moving towards

convergence and new business and connection paradigms are fast

evolving, breaking the

traditional quantitative factors in corporate governance. With the

fast evolution of 'Collaborative Commerce' (c-comm) optimizing

the supply and pattern of distribution channels, a critical factor of

data

manageability has come into the forefront whereby effective data

administration has always given

companies a competitive edge over others. It is here that Business

Intelligence (BI) comes into play,

which provides the foundation of c-comm. BI can be defined as a broad

group of application and technology for gathering, storing,

analyzing, and providing access to data, to help enterprise users

make better business decisions. Data management is however, the

enhancing efficiency of the organization with the availability of

information and adequate resources at one's disposal. One often

tends to confuse between the variants in this sphere; namely

enterprise resource planning (ERP) and BI. An ERP system is an

integrated IT application used to manage internal and external

resources, including tangible assets, financial resources, materials,

and human resources. Its purpose is to ease the flow of information

between all business functions inside the boundaries of the

organization and

manage the connections to outside stakeholders. Both BI and ERP

solutions are important for an

organization to make effective business decisions. Hence for an

organization, gaining maximum benefit from an ERP solution requires a

robust BI platform. “The integration of business intelligence and

ERP solutions is essential for a business to make the most from their

information in the present

and foreseeable future. ERP allows companies to have a clear view of

the management infrastructure. When business intelligence and ERP

meet, they link managers, executives, and other employees in a

way that is productive and beneficial for the organization's

growth,” said Maneesh Sharma, Business Head-User and Platform,

SAP India, discussing about the polarity of ERP and BI. When an

organization goes in for an ERP solution, the challenge typically

lies in the availability of a stout tool, which the company can use

to automate business processes. Business intelligence comes in when

an organization has the IT maturity where it has generated data, but

is facing challenges in making sense out of the data and driving

business decisions. “To accomplish success, organizations should

identify their need and align the correct BI solutions to address

them. By matching the technical requirements to that of the business,

the overall BI environment is more likely to deliver the desired

results,”

he added.

Implementation of BI solutions across

verticals requires identification of key business functions and starts

from the bottom up, to determine

the reporting requirements of the various stakeholders in each of

these business

functions. Not only it is critical to thoroughly define architecture

for each function to bring

together in one platform, one should strive to develop a coherent

architecture with a consistent set of

tools and the right degree of integration. “Organizations need to

agree upon a collaborative process on

building and integrating BI and Performance Management (PM) strategy.

Enterprises need to build BI

and performance management architecture as a best practice. Working

with BI technology in silos or having

a tactical approach can potentially lead to inflexible applications,

inconsistency in delivery,” Sharma

concluded. In the current uncertain economic scenario, Indian

enterprises, like their global counterparts, are also identifying

opportunities to streamline operations in order to maintain the

bottomline, boost shareholder confidence and create competitive

differentiators. Indian enterprises are certainly seeking investment

in BI solutions, which enable instant access to the information

necessary to make better business decisions. In the Indian context,

sectors like IT, banking, telecom and manufacturing have been early

adopters of BI technology. It is important to note, that this

adoption is true not only for BI solutions, but applicable as a trend

for any new technology in general. While these verticals are expected

to continue to lead the implementation, there is an enormous line of

opportunity in other industries such as retail, financial services

and insurance, as
they are expected to become

aggressive users of business intelligence. “The overall BI market

in India is at a nascent stage, with a huge up-tapped opportunity for

vendors to capture. BI can deliver on this promise if deployed

successfully, because it can improve decision making and operational

efficiency, which in turn drives the topline and the bottomline.

Also, information generated from enterprise applications is at an

alltime high and will continue to increase. BI platforms can turn

that information into an asset on which better business decisions can

be made,” said Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MAIA Intelligence. According to

SAP, the BI industry saw a significant increase of deployment across

sectors. The wave of growth opportunities came primarily from

infrastructure, telecom, utilities, manufacturing and closely

followed by the public sector. The market saw rapid growth as more

organizations are turning to cloud-based computing and alternative

deployment options.



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THE SOLUTION PROVIDER VIEWPOINT

Organizations, whether big or small,

are facing lot of challenges in reporting and analysis of data. ERP is
capable enough for transactional

reporting, but they face challenge when it comes to complex analysis of

data available from

different sources. These challenges are creating a storm and a whole

new set of requirements is

emerging around MIS and BI. Organizations have already spent on ERP

and now it is time for them to invest in BI. Also, according to

Valuepoint, BI solutions in India is growing at a rate of 30 percent

in the range of $50 to 75 million. Right now the market is for those

organizations, who have had wide

experience in ERP implementation over several years and are trying to

find the niche tool, which can help them. Sharing his experience over

BI analytic, Chandan Joshi of Phoebus Solutions said, “We thought

of entering the BI market about a year back and ran a market survey;

however, it did not turn to be quite satisfactory and hence we

refrained from focusing majorly over it. However, now, I feel

that there is a lot of aggression in the market and the situation is

improving. We might consider entering

into this segment this year.” One of the most important steps in BI

implementation is to define the BI strategy and the road map. While

computer systems are able to show direct and visible benefit to the

organization, BI will not be able to do so in the similar manner, as

the results are dependent upon the quality and quantum of data, which

the organization has. As such, there is a need to educate the

customer about the need for BI, how advantageous it is to the

customer, what can be expected in terms of RoI, knowledge

independency, how it can provide the edge to the client when

addressing the competition and his customer, how it can improve the

productivity and other related factors. “Education is also needed

to show the difference between standard MIS reports, to what can be

generated in a BI, given the predictive algorithms and complex

patterns existing in ERP data. ERP can be a storehouse of

transactions, but cannot be a true management decision making tool,

as that can only be provided by a BI tool,” said Radha Krishna,

Senior VP-Technology and Services, Valuepoint. Although SPs across the

country unanimously agree to the fact of the growth of BI, yet the

trend is not quite visible compared

to mainstream solutions like cloud computing. With the sole purpose

of BI being data analytics and reporting, it is often coupled with

other solutions for deployment purpose. Even over the

business field, SPs are not in the mood to prefer BI as their primary

service offering. Reinstating the same,

Hemant Chabria of Chabria Infotech said, “Although there has been

about 20 percent YoY growth in BI, I am not keen to focus over it as

our primary focus area.” Explaining the same, he added, “Low

profitability in this field and a continuous process of technology

change are the primary deterring factors. Although BI solution is

there in our kitty, we do not have any plans to expand it further.”

Although BI has not forayed into the tier-2 solution provider

segment, owing primarily to its limitation of low margins and time

constraint, some of the tier-2 SPs have actually evolved their

business by either focusing over this solution or framing a

significant department dedicated to BI.



THE CHAMP

Although, there are complexities

involved in the BI structure and the time required for its deployment
is not feasible for most of the Sps, Team Computers is a company,

which has steadily built up its business with special focus over BI

with over 120 BI implementations in a three-years time line;

contributing to about 15 percent of the consolidated topline of the

company. The bottomline share is even higher. The key specialization,

for the company has been over large deployments catering primarily to

the enterprise segment across verticals. Key clients for Team Computers

have

been Birla SunLife, SBI Life, Reliance General Insurance, IFFCO

Tokio, Videocon Telecom, Crompton Greaves, L&T Finance and

several others. With special techniques developed like Four Stage

Data Management, Relationalization, Telescopic Summarization and

Q-Deployer Approaches, the company has surely evolved the best

practices with its patent Q-Deployer solution making headway into the

BI tier-2 SP space. “Our significant success in 2010 has been with

Videocon Telecom, doing a record delivery of phase I implementation

in less than four months, providing dashboards, analytics and reports

for all the business functions. 2010 also marks our concentrated

entry into the US market, with success in over 10 customers with key

wins like Bloomberg, Symantec and Cisco. We have successfully

implemented enterprise-wide reporting solution for a large 100 years

old insurance company,” said Avadaiappan Rajendran, CEO-Business

Solutions, Team Computers.

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