Student internships – the smart way to get ahead!

Bright*Star Internship Opportunities – 2016

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Would you rather spend your holidays doing the same old sleeping in and going out with friends (which you can do any day) or get some experience that would fast-track the pathway to your first proper job? It would come across as a tricky question to some, but there is no better way to get started in your career than by participating in an internship.

Bright*Star Internships provide work experience opportunities to university students, recent graduates and people considering career changes. Bright*Star is willing to hire interns with little or no experience, helping students with on-the-job training.

Here are some benefits of combining study and work and doing an internship:

1. Professional skill development: Knowledge gained from books in far different from knowledge gained in a practical working environment. Internships help in your personal and professional development. You will likely improve your time management skills, learn to set goals, keep a positive attitude and work harder.

2. Gain work experience: Internships and reference letters may open doors to better job opportunities and give you an extra edge in the job market. It would also come handy as additional work experience when applying for advanced study programs such as an MBA (Master of Business Administration) and PHD.

3. Helps you choose the right career for you: If you’re not sure of what you are studying is the right career for you, then doing an internship is a great way to find out. Internships are generally short-term, so you can test your career without having to commit to it for a long time.

4. Networking, mentors and references: Internships is a great way to meet new people and create contacts within your industry. It helps receiving recommendation and reference letters from people that will add importance and credibility to your job applications. So make sure you ask for yours at the end of your working tenure.

5. Earn extra pocket money: This would probably sound as the best benefit to some. Extra pocket money when in college or university is always welcome. Internships can be both paid and unpaid. However don’t turn down an opportunity if it is unpaid as the experience and knowledge you will earn from it will certainly be priceless.

Currently Bright*Star is offering internship in following field: (Start Date : 15Mar 2016)

(a) Marketing & Sales               (b) Digital and Social Media            (c) Human Resource
(d) Corporate Training             (e) Brand Building

Do you want to be one of the Bright*Star Interns ? Send your application at jobs@bslion.in and come on-board. Min. internship duration is of 4/6 months.

If you’re an IT or Business student, please send your CV at info@bslion.in ( To know more about us, kindly visit our business page at http://www.bslion.in )

 

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Your Guide to Application Services Terminology and Acronyms

Don’t know your ALM from your APM from your ASM or ASP?
We’ll set you straight with a glossary of terms common to applications services.


ALM: Application lifecycle management –Managing an application through the different phases of its delivery, from development and testing to deployment and maintenance

API: Application programming interface— A library of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications that specify how software components should interact with each other.

APM: Application performance management—The monitoring and managing of software applications, including their availability and performance, to maintain certain levels of service

Application management: Managing the operation, maintenance and upgrades for a software application

ASM: Application service management –The management and monitoring of applications by a third party that delivers the software across a network, usually the Internet, from a data center

ASP: Application service provider—a third-party provider that offers access to standardized software applications and related services via a network, usually the Internet, with a payment model usually based on usage levels

BaaS: Backup as a Service—When a third party manages backup infrastructure, but the client owns the infrastructure.

Cloud computing: Computing services delivered via the Internet.  Cloud services are usually defined as being  sold on demand, typically in increments of minutes or hours; elastic, allowing the customer to use only as much as needed; and managed by the provider, being accessible to the customer’s web-connect device of choice.

CPE: Customer premise equipment

CSB: Cloud service broker—An intermediary between purchasers and sellers of cloud computing services. The role may include negotiating how those services are delivered, as well as managing the use, performance or delivery of the services

Data center: A facility that houses computer systems and related hardware, including telecommunications and data storage systems, backup power supplies, backup data communications connections, air conditioning and fire suppression systems, and security devices. Also known as a NOC, or network operations center.

DLM: Data lifecycle management—A policy-based approach to managing data from its creation and initial storage to the end of its useful life and deletion. Generally, data that must be accessed more frequently is stored for faster retrieval, which is more expensive, and data that is less critical is stored on cheaper media.

DRaaS: Disaster Recovery as a Service—Pre-determined processes provided by a third party to develop and implement a disaster recovery plan.

EAI: Enterprise application integration – Linking various enterprise systems, which typically use different operating systems or database software, so that all data and business processes across an enterprise can be shared between applications and databases

EAO: Enterprise application outsourcing—A contract relationship with a third party for ongoing service of a software application, including managing, updating and maintaining the software

EAS: Enterprise application software— An application (or software platform) too large and complex for use by a small business or individual, and which is usually designed to work with other enterprise applications. Common enterprise applications include automated billing systems, customer relationship management tools, call center support, payment processing systems and email marketing tools.

ERP: Enterprise resource planning—The delivery of integrated business applications to serve all departments within an enterprise, automating and supporting a range of business processes, such as finance, human resources, distribution, manufacturing and services

Hosted services: Outsourced IT systems and services provided over the Internet, where a remotely located computer provides its resources to the client. Hosted services include web site hosting; file hosting, with dedicated file storage to reduce the risk of data loss or theft or loss; and email hosting. Some people use the term “hosted services” interchangeably with “cloud services.”

IaaS: Infrastructure as a service—A component of cloud computing, where an organization outsources operations equipment to a service provider that owns that equipment, including, hardware, servers and networking components. The service is highly automated and offer on-demand, with the service provider housing, maintaining and operating the equipment and typically charging on a per-use basis.

Hypervisor (also known as a virtual machine monitor, or VMM): Software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines, allowing multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host. The hypervisor controls the host processor and resources, allocating those resources to each operating system and ensuring that the operating systems do not disrupt each other.

ISV: Independent software vendor

PaaS: Platform as a service— Access to computer hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity provided by a third-party provider over the Internet. Allows a client to rent virtual servers and services to run applications and to develop and test new applications.

Private cloud: When a cloud provider that sells hosted services to a limited number of people. A virtual private cloud is created when the service provider uses public cloud resources to create a private cloud. Some consider “private cloud” to be merely a marketing term designed to appeal to companies that wants more control over its data than may be offered by most third-party cloud service providers.

Public cloud: Cloud services, including applications and storage capacity, sold to the general public on the Internet.

SaaS: Software-as-a-Service – A cloud services term that refers to software owned, delivered and managed by the service provider from a remote location via the Internet. The fee for SaaS is typically monthly or annually, as opposed to traditional software sold with a one-time upfront licensing fee.

SLA: Service-level agreement—An agreement between a network service provider and customer that defines what services will be provided and remedies when certain levels of service are not reached.

Cloud ERP Delivers Merger Value Faster

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The below article was posted on http://www.CFO.com, which I found worth reading as its informative and educative for Sr. Management looking to implement ERP.

Increasingly, CFOs are choosing to leverage cloud technologies to create a more agile operational environment so they can accelerate a deal’s time-to-value – by Christopher Stancombe

The M&A scene may be hotter than ever, but the chilled champagne toasts are short-lived for the acquirer’s management team as pressure mounts to deliver speed-to-value. The ensuing integration process can be messy. In particular, complex, disconnected systems require integration to drive synergies and support a new operating model.

Given the urgency to accelerate speed-to-value in a merger, there’s never been a stronger business case for CFOs to embrace and utilize new technologies, such as the cloud, to simplify business complexity and devise a combined enterprise resource planning approach that eases the migration to shared processes and a common system of record. Increasingly, CFOs are choosing to leverage cloud technologies to create a more agile operational environment so they can accelerate the combination’s value. This agility starts by prioritizing what must first go to cloud — even beyond F&A applications — such as customer master data to support sales, or sourcing processes if new manufacturing plants are being acquired.

Gartner notes that the future ERP system “will result in a more federated, loosely coupled ERP environment with much of the functionality sourced as cloud services or via business process outsourcers.” Every CFO’s journey to cloud ERP will be different, but all will be better positioned to obtain the business results and value they desire so long as they do the following four things to lay the groundwork.


Engage the Business User

CFOs desire minimal business disruption during the integration period. The best way to ensure that is through close collaboration with their chief information officer. They both are acutely aware of the baseline reporting needs of the business user most critical to keeping key activities and business operations moving forward. Throughout this integration process, it’s important both C-suite members engage their business user to determine what is the most vital financial data tied to the customer to dictate which data types take priority. This also ensures baseline business value is created immediately.

On balance, this practice also allows both executives to identify within the acquiree the ERP best practices to potentially implement within the parent organization. Consider letting the tail wag the dog. This is where CFOs and CIOs filter their ERP decisions by focusing on where there is the most to gain. They may find that the acquiree is leveraging F&A applications in the cloud that link to an ERP, a practice that looks completely foreign to the parent company’s financial organization. Instead of discounting the difference, CFOs and CIOs should embrace it. They can gradually scale processes across the parent company’s financial operation where business users will have ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new while phasing out the old.


Map Out a Plan to Shareholders

CFOs have shareholders to please, which is always a delicate balancing act. CFOs need to constantly ask themselves during this process, “How am I enabling the business to grow?” A move to the cloud signals that the business is focused on simplifying integration phasing and embracing new ways to more swiftly move to a new operating model. The cloud is a reinforcing strategy as a CFO illustrates the business growth roadmap and reaffirms how the company will continue to make money in the near term while remaining profitable. ERP systems are one of the highest cost technology investments for companies, so there’s certain to be hesitation in pursuing any drastic new expenses during an integration.

Characteristically risk-averse, CFOs may inadvisably choose to keep their ERP systems and those of the acquiree on-premise for the foreseeable future. With the scale and function limitations that on-premise presents, cloud technologies should be a considered destination for ERP to avoid stifling long-term operational agility. Shareholders will be more accepting if there is a clear plan for future ERP investment that includes the cloud and also acknowledges the potential impact on near-term financials.


Compliance vs. Risk

Post-acquisition integration also sets off a multitude of regulatory and compliance evaluations that could greatly influence cloud ERP investment. It seems every year companies are faced with meeting new regulatory requirements that put more strain on both human and technical resources to stay compliant. CFOs will likely find that the cost to comply on-premise is more expensive than complying in the cloud due to the additional costs associated with keeping financial data compliant with the owned IT infrastructure. With cloud ERP, CFOs place all the risk on infrastructure and software service providers while freeing up personnel to tackle other aspects of the merger integration.


The Big Data Roadmap

Acquisition integration also presents an opportunity for CFOs to look at the company’s data management strategy. At the time of an acquisition, CFOs and their financial operations are faced with sifting through a “lake” of data. As ERP data is integrated, CFOs should prioritize the financial data that enables the company to better understand financial performance and leads to a single system of record. It is this data that should be among the first candidates to migrate to a cloud ERP system, thus enabling the CFO to perform analytics and start generating actionable insights. The other component of this data management strategy is putting in controls and security measures to ensure the integrated data remains secure and its integrity intact.

ERP integration post-acquisition is challenging on many fronts for CFOs who actively engage in the process. This is not a job for the faint of heart. Rather, it’s an opportunity to future-proof the business. A clear roadmap and bold decision-making are required in this era of digital transformation. So long as CFOs keep these four areas in mind, they will soon see that a commitment to cloud ERP as a top priority will deliver the business value they seek.

Christopher Stancombe is the chief operating officer for Capgemini Business Services. He has been responsible for the growth and development of the BPO organization and currently leads the delivery organization that drives innovation across the business services offerings and supports a broad range of services to clients around the globe.

( You can read the original article here: http://ww2.cfo.com/erp/2016/02/cloud-erp-delivers-merger-value-faster/ )

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Accelerating IT Planning for Revenue Recognition Changes

A very informative and educative series posted on http://www.cfo.com.
Sharing the same below:

ora fusion appsThe myriad of industry-specific guidance made the full automation of revenue accounting too unique and complex a problem for ERP vendors to solve. – by: John McGaw and Jeff Johnson, Contributors @ CFO.com / US

Enterprise resource planning systems are challenging to implement, and once implemented, there’s a constant need for updates and changes based on a company’s internal and external circumstances. Most often, business changes can be anticipated in advance, and with proper upfront preparation, the related system changes can be planned for and funded through multiyear IT portfolio planning.

However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to adequately plan for regulatory changes like those we are experiencing in the world of external financial reporting. For the many organizations that will experience a significant impact from the upcoming changes in revenue recognition and lease accounting, meaningful disruption to their IT portfolio and corresponding financial plans may be inevitable. So how can organizations get in front of these changes and minimize the disturbance to ongoing IT plans?

Historically, ERP systems were generally not designed to perform complex revenue accounting. Rather, their functionality focused on fulfilling orders and generating invoices in the order-to-cash process. During the last 15 years, many ERP vendors added functionality to ratably recognize revenue over a period of time and even defer revenue recognition until a specified event was recorded in the system.

However, most have not provided advanced functionality to accommodate changes introduced by SOP 97-2[1], EITF 08-1, or other revenue accounting changes. Who can blame them? The myriad of industry-specific guidance made the full automation of revenue accounting a problem too unique and complex for ERP vendors to universally solve. The result is that most organizations choose to let their ERP system do the best it can and supplement with spreadsheets or homegrown solutions to solve what the ERP system cannot – not the most efficient method. It is common to find organizations recording a significant portion of their revenue transactions using non-ERP source systems.

Looking forward, let’s consider the new revenue recognition standard that was issued in May 2014 which will impact some organizations more extensively than it will others. It has taken more than a year for leading organizations to develop their technical accounting point of view, and the vast majority of them has yet to evaluate the impact on their business processes and ERP systems. Moderately to highly impacted entities continue to work through the challenge of developing blueprints to “operationalize complex accounting” so that ERP systems can record revenue, as well as related costs and disclosures under the new guidance.

In addition to developing an efficient and well-controlled Day 2 environment, companies also face the need to determine an adoption strategy for the quarterly and annual transition periods requiring concurrent old and new methods of revenue accounting (for example, recasting prior-year results for full retrospective adoption or performing dual accounting in the year of adoption for modified retrospective adoption footnote disclosures).

Other difficulties may include implementing the changes for beginning-of-the-year transactions under the new standard in the year of adoption while still closing the books of the prior year under the old accounting guidance. Clearly, companies are realizing the challenge will not be solved by a couple of their bright accounting staff working a few long nights and weekends to devise a new spreadsheet. This problem is far more complex and affects downstream systems used for management reporting, financial planning and, potentially, other functions dependent upon revenue data.

Assuming new revenue recognition standard adoption in 2018, organizations should already be identifying their open contracts as of the beginning of this fiscal year if they are strongly considering using the full retrospective approach. If companies want to limit the extent to which they have to retrace their steps in 2018, plans and programs should be in place during the current year to perform and record revenue accounting for both current and future GAAP.

To avoid having to completely account for transactions retroactively, IT organizations should have researched new software solutions that entered the market in the past year to provide new revenue recognition functionality. Those teams should be readying to deploy projects to define and develop the system and business process changes necessary to automate the accounting for the new standard.

Unfortunately, most organizations are not yet this far along. And for some, significant changes to or reductions in their existing multiyear IT portfolio plan will be required to accommodate the budget and resource commitments required to support the changes.

In this environment of required accounting change, meaningful analysis, research, and planning needs to take place to allow the planning functions adequate time to assess and incorporate the impact into their multiyear IT plans. Ideally, organizations would have assessed and understood the probable outcomes of the new revenue recognition standard before or soon after it was issued.

For organizations anticipating a moderate to significant impact, including those already having a considerable volume of offline revenue accounting under today’s standard, plans and budgets should be in place and ERP solutions should have been evaluated for the automation of revenue accounting. The evolving and complex implementation landscape and competing priorities, however, have made this difficult. As a result, organizations that have not yet developed their plans may have to increase their offline solutions and require staff to operate them until an automated solution can be implemented. Perhaps more concerning, existing discretionary IT projects may need to be deferred or even canceled as IT resources are redirected to the regulatory mandate.

In addition to the challenge of new revenue recognition standards, organizations will ahve to deal with the soon-to-be-issued new leases standard. Many organizations use a spreadsheet-based approach for the financial reporting and disclosure of their operating leases. The new leases standard will likely require companies to do more than simply convert their existing spreadsheets to account for lease assets and liabilities. And like revenue recognition automation, the prepared are more likely to be rewarded with effective and efficient solutions that align to ongoing IT plans rather than disrupt them.

John McGaw is a partner and leader of EY’s Americas accounting change program. John’s primary responsibilities are advising global organizations on leading practices with respect to effectively and efficiently mitigating their organizations’ financial reporting, operational, and compliance risks associated with accounting standards evolution, M&A activity, and other business change events. Jeff Johnson is an executive director in EY’s performance Improvement advisory practice. He has provided technology enablement services to automate transaction processing and deliver resulting analytics to clients for more than twenty-five years.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.

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(See original article at – http://ww2.cfo.com/gaap-ifrs/2016/02/accelerating-planning-revenue-recognition-changes/  )

The Sooner Finance ERP Moves to the Cloud, the Better

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The potential obstacles are the very reasons why CFOs should make the move in the first place, says a KPMG executive. Mr. Patrick Fenton

It started with customer data a decade ago, followed by human capital management. Now the wave of cloud adoption is lapping at the door of finance as organizations begin to move their enterprise systems out of the company premises and into the cloud. KPMG estimates that 20% of organizations’ ERP systems are in the cloud now, and that number will grow significantly over the next five years.

CFOs of companies that are making the move tell us they’re reaping the benefits of standardization, innovation, and efficiency. A cloud platform drives standardized finance processes throughout the business, so CFOs can avoid the headaches that often occur when customizing on-premise ERP technology.

The cloud also allows companies to capture ERP innovation and investments much sooner, because vendors upgrade the software every six months or so. Finally, cloud systems charge by the user, so organizations can scale up or down as the business grows or shrinks. Together these advantages reduce the total cost of ownership.

Most companies implementing cloud solutions operate a hybrid of cloud and on-premise technology. We expect this model will predominate among large companies over the next 5 to 10 years, especially where finance systems or processes are deeply integrated with operational systems like manufacturing. Companies with more plug-and-play finance systems can move to a cloud platform sooner.

Obstacle and Opportunity
Migrating to the cloud does raise several concerns, but in our experience, potential obstacles are the very reasons why CFOs should make the move in the first place.

Take the issue of security. The data security and protection that large cloud vendors can offer is many times superior to what companies are able to provide themselves, because vendors’ economy of scale allows them to spend much more. In addition, many vendors own the full stack, so they can manage security from the application layer down into the physical servers.

Cloud vendors also want to avoid a major data or security breach because of the damage to their reputation. It’s not unusual for CFOs to tell me they can’t wait to move to the cloud to take advantage of better security.

Another potential problem is the inability to customize software. While it’s true that a customer can’t customize the underlying code, it can take advantage of a great degree of flexibility. Software vendors have invested in making the code highly configurable.

Do some due diligence up front to establish that key processes can be supported in the organization’s platform of choice. If they can’t, the company could build bespoke processes in the cloud with a platform-as-a-service offering. This allows the organization to isolate customization from the platform, which stays on the same code and can continue to be upgraded.

CFOs also voice concern about integrating finance data in the cloud with data that stays on premise. It’s true that the IT function needs to get better at integration in a cloud world, but that’s an opportunity to redefine and reinvigorate the entire IT function.

The role of IT changes significantly when finance moves to the cloud. Typical activities like managing servers and infrastructure and patching and upgrading software drop away, taken over by cloud vendors. This gives IT the chance to develop enhanced capabilities in testing new cloud software and managing its integration in a hybrid environment. IT also gets to learn how to manage a per-user subscription model rather than a software license model requiring large capital outlays.

All these responsibilities give IT a new leadership role — and not a moment too soon. In recent years end-users have increasingly bypassed IT to buy better functionality on their own from the cloud. As finance ERP moves into the cloud, IT becomes the knowledgeable voice to advise on the proper balance between better functionality versus the importance of system integration and the ease of reporting across a number of different platforms.

Functioning Differently
In our experience the one mistake to avoid when moving finance systems to the cloud is simply to replace technology rather than transform the function. The cloud allows finance to deliver better insights and analytics and spend less time on transactions — in short, to be more of a value-adding partner.

But the cloud provides an even bigger benefit: the opportunity to rethink the finance operating model from the top down, to rethink shared services, decide which skills and capabilities should be retained or outsourced, and define how finance can work alongside business to drive strategy. This kind of holistic view looks at the organization, the people, the capabilities, the processes, and the data to determine how to optimize all these elements while taking advantage of the latest technology.

Some 70% of CEOs from top-performing companies say that leveraging cloud-based ERP systems and other emerging technologies will have the greatest effect on the future role of the CFO, according to recent KPMG research. Yet they also say that barely half of CFOs are doing a good job of exploring and implementing the best new technology.

As CEOs ask their finance chiefs to provide more transparency, visibility, and analytical insights, they are essentially asking for what cloud technologies do best.

The message to CFOs, then, is clear: the sooner they can move finance to the cloud, the sooner they can deliver business transformation that drives better strategy, more profits, and sustainable growth.

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Patrick Fenton is head of financial management, KPMG in the United Kingdom.
The original article is available here

Trend Spotting: ERP in 2016

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Source: February 4, 2016 | CFO.com | US | Author: Edward Teach – A prominent consultant discusses some of the top trends and issues in the ERP software arena. ( a very helpful article and insight for people working in enterprise application domain/arena)  Happy Reading…


An enterprise resource planning system can be one of the most transformative investments a company makes. By integrating accounting and finance with sales, manufacturing, human resources, and other functions, an ERP system can significantly improve a company’s efficiency and productivity, and help it take growth to the next level. Over the past 20 years, the software has become increasingly powerful and versatile, offered by an ever-changing landscape of providers. Panorama Consulting Solutions, an ERP consultancy, currently lists more than 120 ERP vendors on its website, from ABAS Software to xTuple.

If the software is better than ever, implementing it has remained an expensive, frustrating exercise for many companies. Panorama’s studies reveal a discouraging lack of improvement in completing ERP implementations on time and within budget, while many firms fall well short of realizing the software’s anticipated benefits (see charts below).

Today, the ERP industry seems to be reaching an inflection point, with cloud-based systems posing a growing threat to the established order of on-premise software. Recently, CFO asked Eric Kimberling, founder and managing partner of Denver-based Panorama Consulting, to put the cloud and other significant ERP trends in perspective for chief financial officers. An edited version of the interview follows.

At what point does a company start thinking about implementing an ERP system?
Usually it’s when you start to feel the stress cracks of, say, the QuickBooks system or Excel spreadsheets that you’re using to manage the business. And usually it’s companies in high-growth mode that feel the stress the fastest. You start to realize that you don’t have a handle on what’s actually going on within the organization in terms of inventory management and real-time visibility of the financials and things like that. There’s a tipping point when the management team feels like they can’t grow or scale the company under those circumstances, and they know they need some kind of system that can give them more accurate information, better visibility, more integrated information.

According to Panorama, more and more small and midsize businesses are adopting ERP software systems. What’s driving that trend?
For one thing, there is a plethora of options on the market that are cost-effective and relatively low risk compared to 10 or 20 years ago. A lot of upstarts are providing niche solutions or lower-cost systems that can be adopted relatively quickly. Also, you have companies like Salesforce that have gained a lot of traction by focusing on a narrow niche within ERP, like customer relationship management. Those two factors combined are leading a lot of SMBs to adopt ERP systems.

One of the biggest recent trends in ERP has been the rapid emergence of cloud-based systems. What should CFOs know about the cloud?
The first thing they should know about the cloud is that it isn’t the only option for organizations looking for ERP solutions. There has been a lot of hype around cloud solutions, and the adoption rate is certainly on the rise. But there are still a number of different ways that companies can deploy an ERP system.

There are two approaches to adopting a cloud-based ERP system, right?
Yes. One is the software-as-a-service or SaaS model. Essentially it’s a subscription model where you’re accessing a multi-tenant version of the software, meaning you’re sharing the same version of the software that everyone else is using. Your data is still isolated and protected from other organizations. The other approach is the private-cloud model, where you own the software. You can tailor it to fit your needs, but someone else is hosting the software for you. So it’s a hybrid model.

Cloud ERP is touted as a cheaper alternative to on-premise systems. Is it in fact cheaper?
The short-term costs are generally lower for cloud and SaaS solutions. But when you look at the longer-term costs, you usually find that the break-even point for an on-premise ERP system is somewhere around five and seven years. So you’re going to pay more money up front, but over time you’re probably going to pay less, because you’re not going to have those ongoing subscription costs. You’re only going to be paying for maintenance and the cost of managing your internal infrastructure — which isn’t insignificant, but generally is not as high as the ongoing cost of a SaaS or a cloud solution.

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It’s almost like the lease-versus-buy decision when you’re buying a car: It depends on what you want to do. If you’re a small startup, or if you know this is going to be a short-term solution, cloud ERP makes total sense. We’ve consulted with a lot of companies that are owned by private equity firms, and their goal is to implement an ERP system at a low cost because they know they’re going to be sold off to someone else that will probably force them to adopt their ERP system.

For a large multinational corporation that has a robust and sophisticated IT group, it may make more sense to get some of those economies of scale by investing in an on-premise solution. Now, my observations could change over time as the SaaS model and the cloud model continue to evolve. But today, there’s still a very healthy market for on-premise solutions.

Is security an issue with a cloud system?
A lot of people are afraid to pull the trigger on cloud applications because they worry that they’re not going to have control over the security and the actual data itself. But in reality, most cloud providers will provide more security than the average internal IT department does.

So cloud ERP is safer than on-premise software?
It is. You have to think about the business models of the cloud and SaaS providers: If they have even just one breach, their entire business goes away. Not to mention the fact that the cloud and SaaS providers generally have entire teams whose sole responsibility is providing and monitoring security, usually in a more sophisticated way than the average internal IT department provides.

Have there been any breaches at cloud ERP providers?
I’m not aware of any. I’m sure there have been plenty of attempts, and probably some minor breaches that we don’t hear about.

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Two more trends in ERP are consumerization — designing interfaces that resemble social media — and mobility, making the system accessible via smartphones and tablets.
Yes, vendors are spending a lot on user interfaces to make them look and feel more like Facebook or Twitter — not only the visual aspects, but also how you communicate in the system, using features like the Chatter application in Salesforce, for example. So the user-interface aspect is certainly becoming consumerized.

As for access to the ERP system anywhere through smartphones and tablets, that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s something that more and more people want, especially employees and executives who aren’t tethered to their PCs at the office but are working remotely a lot of the time.

ERP systems have incorporated more and more functionality over the years. What functions do they still lack?
Enterprise performance management is one. Another is point-of-sale, even though that’s not a sophisticated system per se — every retailer has some form of it. But the integration with ERP is inconsistent at best. Also, few vendors have cracked the code on demand planning and forecasting. Business intelligence is still an area that some vendors are struggling with. Those are just a few examples.

Customization is still seen as a dirty word by many CFOs and CIOs, but you recently predicted that customizing ERP will become mainstream practice.
Our research shows that roughly 9 out of 10 organizations customize their software to some degree. That’s not to say that customization is a good thing and you should just embrace it, but no ERP system is going to meet every need of an organization. So it’s a matter of cherry-picking areas that are the high-value core competencies of your organization where maybe it does make sense to customize — without going too far down that slippery slope.

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Let’s talk about ERP implementation. In 2014, according to Panorama, 55% of ERP projects exceeded their budgets, 75% ran over schedule, and 41% delivered half or less of the anticipated benefits. Many CFOs would find these numbers daunting.
Not only are those numbers daunting to many people, but the bad news is they haven’t improved much over the past five years. But the good news is that organizations can avoid being on the negative side of those statistics if they manage their projects effectively. And the first and foremost thing they need to do is just have realistic expectations from the start. Where companies go sideways in their implementations is when they have completely unrealistic expectations, either because they don’t have the experience of implementing ERP, or because they are relying too much on what a sales rep is telling them regarding the duration and the cost.

How do you achieve the right balance between finance and IT in an ERP implementation?
It’s a good question, because you don’t want to let the technology get away from you and become so complicated that it turns into an IT project rather than a business transformation. So it’s important to find that right balance between business and technology.

Before going down the path of trying to figure out whether you need a single ERP system or best-of-breed, an on-premise solution or a SaaS solution, it’s better to back up and look at the overall objectives of the company — to make sure that what you’re trying to accomplish with an ERP system is clearly defined. Then you can make the technical decisions through the lens of what you’re trying to do strategically, rather than, say, just adopting SaaS for SaaS’ sake, because you’ve heard all the hype and you decide that it’s the way to go.

Given that the ERP landscape is so complex and changing so quickly, companies should be more strategic and really think through their options. Too many companies just want to rush ahead and make a quick decision. The more time you invest up front in thinking things through, evaluating the software, and planning the implementation, the better off you will be downstream.

Bright*Star helps to Minimize the impact of your upgrade!

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Keeping your applications current helps you make the most of your Oracle business platforms. But performing updates can absorb hours of support staff time and introduce system errors.

Bright*Star has the technical and functional knowledge and track record to manage upgrades with minimal impact to your business operations.

Our Oracle upgrade services include:

  • Oracle assessments of upgrades that provide insights into potential impacts on operations, budget and long term roadmap
  • Multiple upgrade approaches, including technical upgrades, functional upgrades and re-implementations to better fit customer requirements
  • Business process workshops that address existing pain points and assess the latest software features
  • Customization reductions to reduce total cost of ownership
  • Multiple test cycles to ensure smooth transition in production
  • New features training on latest releases

Our proven step-by-step methodology includes:

  1. Detailed pre-upgrade Oracle assessment to ensure the release adds value to your business
  2. Prioritized recommendations on the best ways to take advantage of new options and features
  3. Upgrade plan and roadmap with timetables and work assessment
  4. Risk assessment and gap analysis identifying key areas of concern along with solution strategies
  5. Knowledge transfer and staff training

Learn more about the advantages of doing business with Bright*Star including our talented workforce, competitive costs, strategic location, world-class infrastructure, incentives and quality of life.

Contact Us at info@bslion.in or visit our business page at http://www.bslion.in to know more…