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It’s time to regulate: The U.S. must make software companies liable for breaches

 It’s time to regulate: The U.S. must make software companies liable for breaches

The software industry has failed to sufficiently protect the public from data theft and misuse. It’s time for the U.S. government to get serious about regulation.

Last year, multiple U.S. government agencies established guidelines for improved cybersecurity hygiene. In May, the White House claimed “known but unmitigated vulnerabilities are among the highest cybersecurity risks faced by executive departments and agencies.” The same month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advised industry constituents to create a software bill of materials to better understand if they were shipping products with known security vulnerabilities.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also reported that “outdated software undermines security,” recommending organizations “prioritize patches by severity” and employ a reasonable process to update and patch open source and third-party software in order to reduce the risk of a compromise. Similar guidelines have been offered recently by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Underwriters Laboratory, and the Department of Homeland Security.

While each of these policies provide sound recommendations, breaches continue at a record pace, providing evidence that, left to its own devices, industry is guilty of poor cybersecurity hygiene. Just as poor hygiene spreads disease across vast populations, poor cybersecurity hygiene inflicts digital casualties across our finance, healthcare, defense, energy, and automotive industries.

In Europe, regulators have taken significant strides to improve cybersecurity and data privacy practices, passing laws to hold organizations liable for poor cyber hygiene practices. In May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. Article 32 of the GDPR states that organizations must “implement appropriate technical and organizational measures” to “ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability, and resilience of processing systems and services.” When combined with Article 25, which mandates that data protection measures be implemented “by design and by default,” it’s clear security must become ingrained in every element of IT and software development practices. Those failing to follow these rules and who subsequently experience a breach could be fined up to €20 million, or 4 percent of global annual turnover – the greater of the two.

Individual nations are also taking action. Just last month, both French legislators and the UK government announced tougher guidelines for IoT device manufacturers. The UK specifically demanded that security be built into smart devices from the very beginning and that software be automatically updated. The UK also released its National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021, declaring organizations “ultimately liable for the security of their data and systems” and subsequently issuing fines for gross negligence.

Similarly, in an effort to put more teeth into U.S. policies through regulation, Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced a bipartisan bill in August called the “Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017.”

A large percentage of breaches today take advantage of weaknesses in software applications, much of which are preventable through automated security practices. My firm put together a report on the software supply chain in 2017, and we found that 80-90 percent of modern applications are assembled from open source and third-party components and that development teams with suboptimal hygiene inevitably use open source components with critical vulnerabilities. Last year, 5.5 percent (1 in 18) components downloaded from internet-based open source repositories contained known security vulnerabilities. We also found that organizations with automated hygiene practices reduced the presence of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in their applications by 69 percent.

Today millions of Americans suffer from breach fatigue. They see breaches as an inevitable side effect of using software connected to the internet. Our policy makers cannot accept the status quo as inevitable. It’s time for them to act.

Derek Weeks is Vice President at Sonatype.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Very Soon We Won’t Trust Anything Unless It’s Backed By Blockchain

For nerds, the weeks right before finals are a Cinderella moment. Suddenly they’re stars. Pocket protectors are fashionable; people find their jokes a whole lot funnier; Dungeons & Dragons sounds cool.

Many CIOs are enjoying this kind of moment now, as companies everywhere face the business equivalent of a final exam for a vital class they have managed to mostly avoid so far: digital transformation.

But as always, there is a limit to nerdy magic. No matter how helpful CIOs try to be, their classmates still won’t pass if they don’t learn the material. With IT increasingly central to every business—from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself—we all need to start thinking like CIOs.

Pass the digital transformation exam, and you probably have a bright future ahead. A recent SAP-Oxford Economics study of 3,100 organizations in a variety of industries across 17 countries found that the companies that have taken the lead in digital transformation earn higher profits and revenues and have more competitive differentiation than their peers. They also expect 23% more revenue growth from their digital initiatives over the next two years—an estimate 2.5 to 4 times larger than the average company’s.

But the market is grading on a steep curve: this same SAP-Oxford study found that only 3% have completed some degree of digital transformation across their organization. Other surveys also suggest that most companies won’t be graduating anytime soon: in one recent survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany by technology company Couchbase, 90% agreed that most digital projects fail to meet expectations and deliver only incremental improvements. Worse: over half (54%) believe that organizations that don’t succeed with their transformation project will fail or be absorbed by a savvier competitor within four years.

Companies that are making the grade understand that unlike earlier technical advances, digital transformation doesn’t just support the business, it’s the future of the business. That’s why 60% of digital leading companies have entrusted the leadership of their transformation to their CIO, and that’s why experts say businesspeople must do more than have a vague understanding of the technology. They must also master a way of thinking and looking at business challenges that is unfamiliar to most people outside the IT department.

In other words, if you don’t think like a CIO yet, now is a very good time to learn.

However, given that you probably don’t have a spare 15 years to learn what your CIO knows, we asked the experts what makes CIO thinking distinctive. Here are the top eight mind hacks.

1. Think in Systems

Q118 Feature3 img1 Jump Very Soon We Won’t Trust Anything Unless It’s Backed By BlockchainA lot of businesspeople are used to seeing their organization as a series of loosely joined silos. But in the world of digital business, everything is part of a larger system.

CIOs have known for a long time that smart processes win. Whether they were installing enterprise resource planning systems or working with the business to imagine the customer’s journey, they always had to think in holistic ways that crossed traditional departmental, functional, and operational boundaries.

Unlike other business leaders, CIOs spend their careers looking across systems. Why did our supply chain go down? How can we support this new business initiative beyond a single department or function? Now supported by end-to-end process methodologies such as design thinking, good CIOs have developed a way of looking at the company that can lead to radical simplifications that can reduce cost and improve performance at the same time.

They are also used to thinking beyond temporal boundaries. “This idea that the power of technology doubles every two years means that as you’re planning ahead you can’t think in terms of a linear process, you have to think in terms of huge jumps,” says Jay Ferro, CIO of TransPerfect, a New York–based global translation firm.

No wonder the SAP-Oxford transformation study found that one of the values transformational leaders shared was a tendency to look beyond silos and view the digital transformation as a company-wide initiative.

This will come in handy because in digital transformation, not only do business processes evolve but the company’s entire value proposition changes, says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It either already has or it’s going to, because digital technologies make things possible that weren’t possible before,” she explains.

2. Work in Diverse Teams

When it comes to large projects, CIOs have always needed input from a diverse collection of businesspeople to be successful. The best have developed ways to convince and cajole reluctant participants to come to the table. They seek out technology enthusiasts in the business and those who are respected by their peers to help build passion and commitment among the halfhearted.

Digital transformation amps up the urgency for building diverse teams even further. “A small, focused group simply won’t have the same breadth of perspective as a team that includes a salesperson and a service person and a development person, as well as an IT person,” says Ross.

At Lenovo, the global technology giant, many of these cross-functional teams become so used to working together that it’s hard to tell where each member originally belonged: “You can’t tell who is business or IT; you can’t tell who is product, IT, or design,” says the company’s CIO, Arthur Hu.

One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.

3. Become a Consultant

Good CIOs have long needed to be internal consultants to the business. Ever since technology moved out of the glasshouse and onto employees’ desks, CIOs have not only needed a deep understanding of the goals of a given project but also to make sure that the project didn’t stray from those goals, even after the businesspeople who had ordered the project went back to their day jobs. “Businesspeople didn’t really need to get into the details of what IT was really doing,” recalls Ferro. “They just had a set of demands and said, ‘Hey, IT, go do that.’”

But that was then. Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants. “If you’re building a house, you don’t just disappear for six months and come back and go, ‘Oh, it looks pretty good,’” says Ferro. “You’re on that work site constantly and all of a sudden you’re looking at something, going, ‘Well, that looked really good on the blueprint, not sure it makes sense in reality. Let’s move that over six feet.’ Or, ‘I don’t know if I like that anymore.’ It’s really not much different in application development or for IT or technical projects, where on paper it looked really good and three weeks in, in that second sprint, you’re going, ‘Oh, now that I look at it, that’s really stupid.’”

4. Learn Horizontal Leadership

CIOs have always needed the ability to educate and influence other leaders that they don’t directly control. For major IT projects to be successful, they need other leaders to contribute budget, time, and resources from multiple areas of the business.

It’s a kind of horizontal leadership that will become critical for businesspeople to acquire in digital transformation. “The leadership role becomes one much more of coaching others across the organization—encouraging people to be creative, making sure everybody knows how to use data well,” Ross says.

In this team-based environment, having all the answers becomes less important. “It used to be that the best business executives and leaders had the best answers. Today that is no longer the case,” observes Gary Cokins, a technology consultant who focuses on analytics-based performance management. “Increasingly, it’s the executives and leaders who ask the best questions. There is too much volatility and uncertainty for them to rely on their intuition or past experiences.”

Many experts expect this trend to continue as the confluence of automation and data keeps chipping away at the organizational pyramid. “Hierarchical, command-and-control leadership will become obsolete,” says Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “Flatter, distributive leadership via teams will become the dominant structure.”

Q118 Feature3 img3 rock Very Soon We Won’t Trust Anything Unless It’s Backed By Blockchain5. Understand Process Design

When business processes were simpler, IT could analyze the process and improve it without input from the business. But today many processes are triggered on the fly by the customer, making a seamless customer experience more difficult to build without the benefit of a larger, multifunctional team. In a highly digitalized organization like Amazon, which releases thousands of new software programs each year, IT can no longer do it all.

While businesspeople aren’t expected to start coding, their involvement in process design is crucial. One of the techniques that many organizations have adopted to help IT and businesspeople visualize business processes together is design thinking (for more on design thinking techniques, see “A Cult of Creation“).

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from better processes. Among the 100 companies the SAP-Oxford Economics researchers have identified as digital leaders, two-thirds say that they are making their employees’ lives easier by eliminating process roadblocks that interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Ninety percent of leaders surveyed expect to see value from these projects in the next two years alone.

6. Learn to Keep Learning

The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.

Now that’s starting to become part of other job descriptions too. Many companies are investing in teaching their employees new digital skills. One South American auto products company, for example, has created a custom-education institute that trained 20,000 employees and partner-employees in 2016. In addition to training current staff, many leading digital companies are also hiring new employees and creating new roles, such as a chief robotics officer, to support their digital transformation efforts.

Nicolas van Zeebroeck, professor of information systems and digital business innovation at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Brussels, says that he expects the ability to learn quickly will remain crucial. “If I had to think of one critical skill,” he explains, “I would have to say it’s the ability to learn and keep learning—the ability to challenge the status quo and question what you take for granted.”

7. Fail Smarter

Traditionally, CIOs tended to be good at thinking through tests that would allow the company to experiment with new technology without risking the entire network.

This is another unfamiliar skill that smart managers are trying to pick up. “There’s a lot of trial and error in the best companies right now,” notes MIT’s Ross. But there’s a catch, she adds. “Most companies aren’t designed for trial and error—they’re trying to avoid an error,” she says.

Q118 Feature3 img4 fail Very Soon We Won’t Trust Anything Unless It’s Backed By BlockchainTo learn how to do it better, take your lead from IT, where many people have already learned to work in small, innovative teams that use agile development principles, advises Ross.

For example, business managers must learn how to think in terms of a minimum viable product: build a simple version of what you have in mind, test it, and if it works start building. You don’t build the whole thing at once anymore.… It’s really important to build things incrementally,” Ross says.

Flexibility and the ability to capitalize on accidental discoveries during experimentation are more important than having a concrete project plan, says Ross. At Spotify, the music service, and CarMax, the used-car retailer, change is driven not from the center but from small teams that have developed something new. “The thing you have to get comfortable with is not having the formalized plan that we would have traditionally relied on, because as soon as you insist on that, you limit your ability to keep learning,” Ross warns.

8. Understand the True Cost—and Speed—of Data

Gut instincts have never had much to do with being a CIO; now they should have less to do with being an ordinary manager as well, as data becomes more important.

As part of that calculation, businesspeople must have the ability to analyze the value of the data that they seek. “You’ll need to apply a pinch of knowledge salt to your data,” advises Solvay’s van Zeebroeck. “What really matters is the ability not just to tap into data but to see what is behind the data. Is it a fair representation? Is it impartial?”

Increasingly, businesspeople will need to do their analysis in real time, just as CIOs have always had to manage live systems and processes. Moving toward real-time reports and away from paper-based decisions increases accuracy and effectiveness—and leaves less time for long meetings and PowerPoint presentations (let us all rejoice).

Not Every CIO Is Ready

Of course, not all CIOs are ready for these changes. Just as high school has a lot of false positives—genius nerds who turn out to be merely nearsighted—so there are many CIOs who aren’t good role models for transformation.

Success as a CIO these days requires more than delivering near-perfect uptime, says Lenovo’s Hu. You need to be able to understand the business as well. Some CIOs simply don’t have all the business skills that are needed to succeed in the transformation. Others lack the internal clout: a 2016 KPMG study found that only 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO.

This lack of a strategic perspective is holding back digital transformation at many organizations. They approach digital transformation as a cool, one-off project: we’re going to put this new mobile app in place and we’re done. But that’s not a systematic approach; it’s an island of innovation that doesn’t join up with the other islands of innovation. In the longer term, this kind of development creates more problems than it fixes.

Such organizations are not building in the capacity for change; they’re trying to get away with just doing it once rather than thinking about how they’re going to use digitalization as a means to constantly experiment and become a better company over the long term.

Q118 Feature3 img6 CIOready Very Soon We Won’t Trust Anything Unless It’s Backed By BlockchainAs a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Thanks to cloud computing and easier development tools, many departments are developing on their own, without IT’s support. These days, anybody with a credit card can do it.

Traditionally, IT departments looked askance at these kinds of do-it-yourself shadow IT programs, but that’s changing. Ferro, for one, says that it’s better to look at those teams not as rogue groups but as people who are trying to help. “It’s less about ‘Hey, something’s escaped,’ and more about ‘No, we just actually grew our capacity and grew our ability to innovate,’” he explains.

“I don’t like the term ‘shadow IT,’” agrees Lenovo’s Hu. “I think it’s an artifact of a very traditional CIO team. If you think of it as shadow IT, you’re out of step with reality,” he says.

The reality today is that a company needs both a strong IT department and strong digital capacities outside its IT department. If the relationship is good, the CIO and IT become valuable allies in helping businesspeople add digital capabilities without disrupting or duplicating existing IT infrastructure.

If a company already has strong digital capacities, it should be able to move forward quickly, according to Ross. But many companies are still playing catch-up and aren’t even ready to begin transforming, as the SAP-Oxford Economics survey shows.

For enterprises where business and IT are unable to get their collective act together, Ross predicts that the next few years will be rough. “I think these companies ought to panic,” she says. D!


About the Authors

Thomas Saueressig is Chief Information Officer at SAP.

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist at SAP.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs.

Bennett Voyles is a Berlin-based business writer.

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Digitalist Magazine

It’s Lights Out and Away We Go on Another Formula One™ Season

M147631 20 e1520532939116 It’s Lights Out and Away We Go on Another Formula One™ Season

With the 2018 Formula One™ season about to be underway, we are thrilled to announce the renewal of our global partnership with four-time world champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas. During last year’s season, Mercedes won 12 of the 20 races, more than any other F1 team. Additionally, the team took home their fourth consecutive Constructors’ Championship and Lewis Hamilton took home his fourth Drivers’ Championship.

In the upcoming season, TIBCO technology will be used to improve communication between the team before and during races as well as, being used to collect and analyze data from their newly launched car for the 2018 season, the W09 EQ Power+.

In F1, cars can reach top speeds of 225 mph (360 kpm) and have over 300 sensors that collect 50,000 unique data components, amounting to 3.5 GB of data computed over the course of a race weekend. With the vast amount of data, it is crucial to understand and properly use it to enhance the team’s performance. TIBCO’s Connected Intelligence platform allows the team to augment data to rapidly identify and act on opportunities as they occur on race day.

With TIBCO, the team is able to make quick, data-driven decisions that give them the best chance on race day. TIBCO’s Systems of Insight is a Connected Intelligence platform — a set of data visualization and analytics tools that enable Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to anticipate the effects of each decision made. This includes how much time a driver will lose slowing down around a turn or at what point to accelerate compared to other drivers.

Already visible on the helmets of the drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the TIBCO logo will now also be featured on the left sleeve of the team’s uniform.

We are looking forward to supporting Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport on another successful season. It’s lights out and away we go!

Learn more about how TIBCO gives Mercedes-AMG Petronas a competitive advantage.

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The TIBCO Blog

Walmart’s problem isn’t Amazon — it’s a lack of interest in who its customers are

 Walmart’s problem isn’t Amazon — it’s a lack of interest in who its customers are

This week investors held a collective freakout over the fact that Walmart’s online sales grew at just 23 percent over the fourth quarter of 2017, down from 50 percent the previous quarter. They tanked Walmart’s stock by 10 percent, its biggest one-day decline in several decades.

While I also happen to be bearish on Walmart, I think its investors are missing the bigger picture here. E-commerce accounts for less than four percent of Walmart’s business. This is a company with much bigger problems.

Unlike the rest of Wall Street, I do not agree that Walmart’s problems begin and end with Amazon. The Walmart-versus-Amazon battle is typically framed as a clash between an ascendant e-commerce business and a dying retail industry, but that’s nonsense.

Selling products to strangers doesn’t cut it anymore. To succeed in retail today you need to start with the customer, not the product. You need to flip the script. Let me explain.

Nearly every American spent money at a Walmart last year. The vast majority of us live within 20 minutes of a Walmart store. The company has almost 5,000 retail locations, over two million employees, and over 140 million customers.

But let me ask you a simple question: What was the last thing you bought at Walmart? Walmart certainly can’t tell you. Got any receipts handy? Once you walk past the cash register at Walmart, you’re gone.

Walmart is still essentially a product company. It has decades of institutional experience with supply chains, transport logistics, and inventory management. It knows how to buy and sell products. That worked fine for a long time. It doesn’t anymore.

In the old product model. You built a product, put it into as many channels as possible, and hoped there were customers waiting at the end of those channels. In the new service-based model. You start with the customer, understand their wants and needs, and then wrap your service around that customer via relevant channels. No more pushing units to strangers.

Now let me ask you another question: What was the first thing you bought on Amazon? It’s sitting right there in your order history. Go ahead, open up a new browser tab and look it up. I bought “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Inside the Tornado: Marketing Strategies from Silicon Valley’s Cutting Edge” on January 11, 1997.

Amazon is beating Walmart because it knows its customers. That’s the reason. Plain and simple. So does this mean e-commerce is bound for glory, and retail is doomed to failure? Will it be all retail apocalypse and zombie malls from here on out? Of course not.

Right now, there are at least a dozen new companies in the midst of opening hundreds of new retail stores. And why are they doing this? Because the stores they currently have are making money hand over fist.

You’ve probably heard some of the names: Allbirds, Casper, Birchbox, Boll & Branch. According to real-estate data company CoStar Group, these online-first stores have increased their retail space tenfold over the last five years. Warby Parker is averaging $ 3,000 per square foot of retail space, which is almost as good as Tiffany’s (!).

Why is this happening? Well, one reason is that it’s really hard to operate as a standalone e-commerce vendor. Almost two thirds of all online sales are owned by just 15 giant e-commerce marketplaces. RetailNext CEO Alexei Agratchev recently told me:

“As an ecommerce vendor, you have really high variable costs around shipping and returns. On the other hand, Amazon is an amazing logistical machine, and they’re not even running at a profit most of the time. … And the other question is, how do you really differentiate yourself online? Anything you do on your website, a competitor can steal pretty easily. But you can actually create really cool experiences in stores.”

As a result, retail is changing in all sorts of interesting ways. Take a look at b8ta, a new personal technology chain. It has hip, minimalist stores that let you try out the latest gadgets. What’s even more interesting is that b8ta doesn’t make any money from product sales. Product manufacturers pay a subscription fee for access to its customer base.

And as for those malls? Well, the ones that are doing well are doing really well. As old retailers are replaced by new online-first stores that are doing two to three times more business, the malls benefit from the increased foot traffic and attract better brands. Everyone wins.

Again, it’s never been just about e-commerce versus retail. It’s always been about flipping the script — starting with the customer as opposed to the product sale, and wrapping both your e-commerce and your retail channels around that customer experience.

Walmart is a product company that still views its e-commerce efforts as a distinct channel, a separate line of business. That’s not too surprising, considering the vast majority of its e-commerce business has been bought, not built: Jet.Com, Bonobos, ShoeBuy.Com, Moosejaw.Com, etc.

Walmart tried to buy its way in. But it doesn’t seem to be working out. The leopard can’t change its spots.

Tien Tzuo is Founder and CEO of Zuora.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Are you ready for GDPR? It’s coming.

As you’ve probably heard, on May 25, 2018, a European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is due to take effect. The GDPR imposes new rules on companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union (EU), or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents. The GDPR applies no matter where you are located.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR COMPANY?

There are a few things that GDPR will change:

  • Personal privacy rights: Individuals will have the right to access their personal data, correct errors in their personal data, erase their personal data, object to the processing of their personal data, or export their personal data.
  • Added controls and notifications: Organizations will be required to protect personal data using appropriate security measures, notify authorities of personal data breaches, obtain appropriate consents for processing data, and keep records detailing data processing.
  • Transparent policies: Organizations must provide clear notice of data collection, outline processing purposes and use cases, and define data retention and deletion policies.
  • IT and training requirements: Organizations will need to train privacy personnel and employees, audit and update data policies, employ a Data Protection Officer (if required), and create and manage compliant vendor contracts.

In short, GDPR demands stricter controls on where personal data is stored and how it is used. The bring better data governance tools for improved transparency, recordkeeping, and reporting. Finally, it will improve data policies to give data subjects greater control and to ensure lawful processing.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE?

Preparing for the GDPR is a business-wide challenge that will take time, tools, processes, and expertise. Preparations may require significant changes to how you conduct your business and to customers’ privacy and data management practices. The requirements are complicated and each organization’s path to readiness will be unique, so don’t wait until May to begin preparing.

We’re here to help. Our team of data and technical experts can assess your readiness and help you determine the best path forward to ensure you can continue to serve your customers.

Contact BroadPoint today for more information and to assess your readiness.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

It’s Time to Schedule Your Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update

It has been a long time coming for existing Dynamics 365 customers, but at long last, you can schedule your update to Dynamics 365 July 2017 update (Yes JULY 2017 Update!). Scheduling your update is quick and easy and will give you some much requested new features including

  • Multi-Select Option Sets
  • A clean fresh user interface
  • Updated Outlook Client
  • Virtual Entities for integration with other data sources
  • Improved Activity Timeline
  • Business Process Flow enhancements

Scheduling your update can be initiated by any user with a Dynamics Administrator Role or greater.

Here is a short video we created to outline the process of scheduling your update.

Scheduling Your Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update

Simply go to the Office 365 Administrator Portal, select Dynamics 365 from the left-hand navigation. You will see a list of all of your Dynamics 365 Instances.. Switch to the UPDATES tab and select the instance that you wish to update.

365 update 1 It’s Time to Schedule Your Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update

The next screen allows you to choose the update date as well as an alternative date, at least 14 days later. This update must be in high demand as – as of this writing, you can only schedule updates for the last week in February.

365 update 3 1024x823 It’s Time to Schedule Your Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update

The final screen allows you to approve the dates that you have selected.

365 update 4 1024x748 It’s Time to Schedule Your Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update

You are finished once you have approved the update . You should receive an email from Microsoft confirming the update. As the date of your update approaches, you will continue to receive reminders. Finally the day of your update, access to Dynamics 365 will be restricted for about 15 – 30 minutes while the update is applied.

If you have questions about scheduling your Dynamics 365 July 2017 update enCloud9 is available to help you out. Contact us at 1- 844- 264-0729 for a complimentary analysis of your Dynamics 365 system.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

It’s Time to Address the Obstacles to System Enhancements

CRM Blog It’s Time to Address the Obstacles to System Enhancements

What is the biggest obstacle when it comes to system enhancements?

Some say cost, others may say time. What about the commitment? Then there’s the whole fear of change in general. As end users ourselves, we understand these valid concerns. That’s why we’ve addressed all of these challenges when launching our latest product developments for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM).

Whether your business is in need of a time-saving fix to your monotonous billing process or you’re looking for an easier way to process taxes directly in D365, we’ve got the solution for you. These three apps: Recurring BillingSoftware Management, and Tax Processing, are designed to make your everyday business processes simpler and easier.

Let’s cut to the chase…We’re running out of reasons why you haven’t tried at least one of our time-saving apps and here’s why:

Cost: FREE. For a limited time only, we’re offering an extended six month FREE trial for each of these applications.

Time: The install and configuration of these apps is the epitome of quick and easy. Within a matter of minutes, the app will be installed into your system and you’ll be ready for setup.

Commitment: No contract, no fine print, no strings attached. After the six month free trial expires, you’ll be billed every month on a subscription basis.

Change: Yes, these applications will change your daily routine, but, we promise it will be for the better! We’re talking about saving over 15 hours a month spent on invoicing related tasks and increasing your receivables by over 25% by collecting on-time payments and/or in the form of penalties.

Have we piqued your interest?

We’ve made it quick and easy to take advantage of this six month free trial offer. Simply download the app from the Microsoft AppSource if you’re in an online environment, or request the installer package if you’re on-premise. After our sales team receives a few pieces of information, such as your organization name a reliable contact person, we’ll issue your company a 6-month registration key. There is no payment information required and no strings attached! All that’s left to do is configure your solution using our self-service implementation and hit the ground running!

Instant gratification is just a click away! Why wait? Start saving your team time and money and get started with one of our free six-month trials today!

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

It’s time to integrate Dynamics CRM and SharePoint

Since CRM Word Templates was introduced in CRM 2016, more CRM users are now generating documents with CRM than ever.

Documents generation in CRM is a one click function. Together with Dynamics PDF-Docs, the document is PDF, attached to the record’s Notes, and to Email as an attachment, a process that saves user’s time and makes documents generation in CRM, even more popular.

Documents are also delivered and uploaded to Dynamics CRM, stored in the record’s Notes, and as attachments to Emails sent to CRM users.

With so many documents stored in many CRM records, how one can find the document they need, stored in many records, some you don’t even have access to view the records. And how non-CRM user can access documents stored in CRM, if the person needs to action on document generated with CRM?

How user can manage different versions of same document, exchanged multiple times between the CRM user, customer and other stakeholders, before final version is agreed upon?

In the past, documents used to be stored in SharePoint. Now documents are stored in SharePoint, and also in CRM.  Finding and retrieving documents becomes a complex, and time consuming task. In addition, managing different versions of same document, duplication of documents stored in more than one record, and increase of CRM storage cost, due to the amount of space required to save documents in CRM, all point to one direction, It’s time to better integrate Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, and let SharePoint do what it does best, storing and managing documents.

Dynamics Objects offers number of tools to improve Dynamics CRM & SharePoint Integration. Our tools are using metadata, retrieved from CRM fields, saved with all uploaded documents to SharePoint. Metadata are the SharePoint columns that improve the way documents are organized, filtered, and viewed by SharePoint users. Metadata improves search results, by retrieving relevant documents using metadata content.

Dynamics PDF-Docs- In addition to PDF Word Template and attach it to outgoing Email, as explained before, the generated document is also uploaded to SharePoint, and SharePoint documents can be attached to the CRM Workflow. Read More …

Dynamics SharePoint Organizer (SPO) – an improved CRM and SharePoint integration, allowing automatic upload of documents to SharePoint, attached to CRM Emails and Notes, with metadata from the record. Read More …

Dynamics PDF-Docs and Dynamics SPO are two easy to implement solutions, to improve CRM and SharePoint integration, and can be downloaded and evaluated from our web-site. Integrating CRM and SharePoint is our business. Our experts are willing to advice you best practices to efficiently generate documents in CRM, and how to store and manage documents in SharePoint, with metadata from CRM records. Email as: Sales AT DynamicsObjects DOT com

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Mention the word fintech to veteran financial services executives and watch the hairs on the backs of their necks stand up.

Fintech is a broad term that applies to new digital financial technologies, from cryptocurrencies to mobile wallets, as well as the startups attempting to use those new technologies to blast centuries-old financial institutions out of the water.

Recognizing the existential threat, leaders of 233-year-old U.S. financial giant Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) became convinced that continuous IT-enabled innovation was essential. To do that right, the IT team reorganized around specific capabilities—190 so far. Each capability has an owner who serves as a kind of CEO of that service and who is free to make any changes deemed necessary for success.

Like any radical change, BNY Mellon’s effort has seen its share of growing pains. For example, some take to the ownership roles better than others. And employees have required significant coaching throughout.

Several years in, however, a fundamental shift has taken place at the bank established by U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton. “Change is no longer some big project,” says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, who has studied BNY Mellon’s efforts. “Change is what you do every morning when you get out of bed.”

Just about every industry is facing its own version of fintech these days, forcing organizations to disrupt their established ways of doing business or face disruption by an upstart unburdened by legacy processes and technology. It’s the age of digital transformation, which business consultancy Capgemini calls “the ultimate challenge in change management because it affects not only industry structures and strategic positioning, but also all levels of an organization (every task, activity, process) as well as the extended supply chain.” Dramatic increases in connectivity and improvements in technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and advanced analytics let companies optimize their processes continuously, but usually not without making enormous changes first.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image2 GDPR Compliant Data Protection: For Consumers, It’s PersonalTo make the most of frequent and successive waves of technology innovation, organizations must build adaptability into their structures, their functions, and their individual employees. That calls for new approaches designed to make transformation real and continuous. “The ability to develop a culture of change where people rely less on habits and more on imagining what’s possible every day is going to be part and parcel of being a great company,” says Ross.

Unfortunately, the traditional command-and-control architecture of most businesses was not built for continuous adaptation. “The speed with which we need to take a good idea and get it in place is so much faster than before, which is why we are having this moment of truth,” Ross says. “Traditional approaches that rely on a lot of hierarchy to make changes are too slow.”

For years, most change efforts have been top-down, episodic, all-encompassing “big bang” attempts to alter systems, processes, and cultures. Executives announced a restructuring or an acquisition or the implementation of new technology and brought in external change management consultants to try to get people to adapt to new ways of working. It rarely succeeded.

Despite significant investment in the change management discipline and a library of books on the subject, just a quarter of change management initiatives succeed long term, according to a 2013 survey by consultancy Willis Towers Watson.

Digital transformation isn’t going much better. Worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will grow to US$ 1.2 trillion in 2017, up 17.8% over 2016, according to IDC. But fewer than 2 in 10 respondents to a recent survey by the SAP Center for Business Insight and Oxford Economics have seen substantial or transformational value from their technology investments so far. And just 12% say that digitalization has affected their organizational structure in a meaningful way.

Furthermore, even though 84% of the C-level executives surveyed ranked digital transformation as “critically important” to the survival of their businesses, just 3% have completed transformation efforts that span the entire organization.

For digital transformation to deliver value, an entire organization needs to buy into new ways not just of working, but also of thinking. “It’s not about bringing consultants in. It’s about really designing systems that enable an organization to adapt innately,” says Pravir Malik, founder of organizational change development firm Deep Order Technologies and author of Connecting Inner Power with Global Change: The Fractal Ladder and The Fractal Organization: Creating Enterprises of Tomorrow.

Companies are experimenting with new approaches that encourage and support the flexibility required to embrace continuous transformation. Some are rethinking how they operate. Others are investing in helping employees become more adaptable. Still others are clarifying their mission in a way that makes room for individuals to drive change themselves.

Ultimately, gaining the ability to change constantly will help both organizations and employees over the long term. Change becomes less episodic, less massive, and less jarring; there is no end state, no go-live. Instead, the organization is always moving, but at a step-by-step pace that makes it easier for employees to adapt.

However, evolving into this state of constant, fluid change isn’t easy. It only works if you have the right approach and methodologies.

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Changing Mindsets

Indeed, as companies tackle digital transformation, traditional highly structured change management programs can actually do more harm than good, says Tom Weeks, senior consultant with The Arbinger Institute, a consultancy that works with organizations to encourage change from within. “The change program becomes the change rather than the results you’re trying to achieve,” he says.

Such change efforts can create a short-term view. As a result, says Weeks, “they drive short-term change, but they don’t change people’s minds. You can force the issues and try to make change happen for change’s sake. But eventually the effort loses energy.”

“Everyone is surprised by that,” adds Weeks. “But it’s just nature at play. We’re hardwired to resist change. If you’re not shifting fundamental mindsets, it doesn’t matter how much money or how many resources you put behind it.”

In her behavioral research, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has focused on two types of mindsets that she sees in most organizations: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with fixed mindsets believe that their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are static.

Those with a growth mindset think that talents and capabilities develop over time through effort—a way of thinking that Dweck says creates more individual resilience and adaptability. People in the latter group tend to be better at collaboration, problem solving, and, naturally, continuing change.

The good news, according to Dweck, is that the growth mindset can be a learned behavior. She points to Microsoft as a company attempting to do just that. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has publicly stated that the corporate mission “starts with a belief that everyone can grow and develop; that potential is nurtured, not predetermined; and that anyone can change their mindset.”

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image4 GDPR Compliant Data Protection: For Consumers, It’s PersonalMicrosoft’s leaders are emphasizing learning and creativity with programs like hackathons in which the best projects are funded and their originators rewarded. The company is more explicitly rewarding risk-taking and the pursuit of stretch goals. When Microsoft’s foray into artificial intelligence, the chatbot Tay, was hacked, the CEO sent the team an e-mail of encouragement rather than rebuke.

Rather than limiting leadership development programs to those easily identified as having innate management potential, Microsoft says it is moving a broader swath of employees up and across teams, augmenting their skills, and expanding their work experiences. The most valuable employees are not necessarily the smartest people in the room, as in the past, but those who are the most adaptable—and capable of bringing that out in others.

While Dweck’s mindset work focuses on peoples’ ability to learn and grow, at The Arbinger Institute, consultants focus on an individual’s ability to work productively and with others. Arbinger’s methodology differentiates between an inward mindset, which causes people to be self-centered—seeing other people as objects or tools to either help or hurt them—and an outward mindset, which engenders more connection with and understanding of others as human beings.

Those with an outward mindset can work more collaboratively and productively. That’s incredibly important in an environment of change, such as when Raytheon Missile Systems was trying to integrate a series of mergers that were rife with infighting.

The company overcame the battles by working with all 12,000 employees on shifting their mindsets. Employees worked to uncover their part in company problems and devised ways to work collaboratively with others to solve them and hold themselves accountable for results. When tasked by company leaders to cut $ 100 million in expenses in two months or face layoffs, employees worked together to uncover alternatives.

They began to look beyond their own individual roles and needs, and focused instead on the needs of their colleagues and of the organization as a whole, says Weeks. That resulted in some big, organization-wide changes that went far beyond cost savings and helped increase sales dramatically.

Typically, companies like Raytheon come to Arbinger for help changing mindsets after they’ve struggled with failed change for a while. But that’s beginning to change, says Weeks, and that’s the ideal.

One company is offering employees training on the outward mindset approach before the launch of its six-year transformation effort. “If employees don’t have the right mindset, you can push change as much as you want, but eventually there will be a snap back. What’s required is people who want to hold themselves accountable at a higher level.”

Flexibility by Design

Neuroscientists are not surprised by the shift toward employee-centric rather than top-down change. They have proven that a brain’s “plasticity”—its ability to restructure and learn new things—is enduring. An old dog can learn new tricks. But when change is forced upon people, they quickly become overwhelmed, which activates the fight-or-flight response in the primitive emotional center of the brain, the amygdala.

They bottle up that instinctive response and it reemerges as anxiety, depression, and poor health if not managed. And not only are those potentially toxic emotions harmful to the individual, they are contagious in the organization.

The secret is to create conditions in which people direct more of the change themselves. When individuals solve a problem on their own, for example, their brain releases a rush of neurotransmitters that can create good feelings associated with the change.

One way to create this kind of personal change ownership is by taking a design thinking approach. The iterative, human-centric design concept that was first developed in the early 1970s has become a popular approach to developing products and services for customers. But design thinking principles can also bring new systems and processes to an organization.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image5 GDPR Compliant Data Protection: For Consumers, It’s PersonalThat was the case when furniture maker Herman Miller began exploring the potential of an office chair connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) three years ago. Instead of designing a new chair, Herman Miller came away with the foundation for an organizational transformation from hard goods maker to service provider. This is the latest fundamental shift in a company that has evolved from traditional Queen Anne-style furniture maker in the 1930s to office designer in the 1970s to ergonomics innovator in the 1980s and 1990s, says Chris Hoyt, design exploration leader at Herman Miller.

Taking a design thinking approach meant interviewing a wide cross section of stakeholders. The interviews revealed that simply putting a sensor into a desk chair did not make business sense, but putting one into the company’s sit-to-stand desk—and creating a series of IoT-enabled services around it—did. The exercise turned out to be an entry point into an entirely new business model.

“Design thinking wasn’t new to Herman Miller, but there was a lot of skepticism about whether integrating technology into its furniture made business sense,” explains Kurt Dykema, co-founder and director of technology at product innovation and business strategy consultancy Twisthink, which worked with Herman Miller. “This process guided them through a transformation where they have to think about selling a digital experience and monetizing that instead of just selling a capital good and then being done with it.”

For example, none of Herman Miller’s back office operations was built to support the IoT subscription models it planned to offer with the desk. But the design thinking approach created consensus around IoT business value and helped to clarify the organizational changes required to capitalize on the new opportunity.

“It forced them through the process of retooling the business to sell and maintain digital experiences,” Dykema says. Herman Miller launched its Live OS furniture line in June, with the smart desk as the first product, and plans for more to follow.

Getting Agile

Like many companies that incorporate a design thinking approach to organizational change, the performance car division of Daimler AG, Mercedes-AMG, married its process with agile development methods.

Agile turns conventional change management on its head. Rather than making big changes all at once, agile uses an incremental approach to creating software that gives users a chance to use and react to new functionality as it is developed and to validate its value (as opposed to the more traditional waterfall approach where users don’t experience a solution until it is finished).

With agile, there is no predetermined end state. Instead, change is constant, but never so rapid that it becomes overwhelming.

At Mercedes-AMG, clickable prototypes were produced and tested with users weekly and their feedback was funneled back into development streams, continuously improving the resulting system. Based on early success at Mercedes-AMG, Daimler’s enterprise IT organization launched a similar program to develop new digital services for the enterprise.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image6 GDPR Compliant Data Protection: For Consumers, It’s PersonalAt BNY Mellon, the adoption of agile development methods has enabled the company to introduce an incredible amount of systems change—but two weeks at a time.

The product of years of mergers and acquisitions, BNY Mellon had operated in product silos, each with their own systems and processes. The company wanted to develop a digital platform from which it could orchestrate a more unified and innovative customer experience. The goal was to put one of America’s oldest financial institutions on equal footing with some of the newest and most nimble newcomers in fintech.

Agile was a new way of working for the IT organization, which was accustomed to introducing releases a couple of times a year rather than a couple of times a month. So IT leaders invested significant time and money helping employees adopt new skills and adapt to the changes.

Eventually, agile enabled the bank to introduce new systems to its 52,000 employees in phases for their ongoing input, fine-tuning the systems over time to best meet employees’ needs and better ensure their adoption. It’s led to the creation—and ongoing enhancement—of an open-source, cloud-based platform that serves as a portal for both internal employees and customers. This app store will provide access to all BNY Mellon’s products and services as well as capabilities from select fintech and established financial services partners.

Increasing Autonomy

Though making change constant relies heavily on individual employees, leaders still have an important role to play. They need to provide the alignment with organizational principles that, when combined with individual autonomy, can create the kind of fluid and adaptive organization required for digital transformation, according to Mark Bonchek, CEO of Shift Thinking, a consultancy that works with leaders and organizations to update their thinking for a digital age.

The U.S. military takes this kind of approach on the battlefield, putting in place a doctrine that authoritatively guides soldiers but gives them autonomy and requires judgment in action to respond to rapidly changing conditions.

In business, organizations are adapting this principle by giving employees guidance on how to take action without requiring them to first seek approval. For example, when Suresh Kumar took over as CIO of BNY Mellon, he reorganized IT around end-to-end IT and business services. IT leaders subdivided each service into smaller components, each with its own leader. These hundreds of services leaders maintain their own service strategy document that covers the current state as well as a one- to three-year improvement plan.

Each service leader is measured on user experience. And because the services are highly interdependent, leaders are also judged on the experience of other service leaders who depend on their service.

As a result, BNY Mellon’s top IT leadership no longer directs team members, but coaches them. Early on, only about a third of the service leaders were successful. The IT group ultimately developed a maturity model for the approach to foster leader development.

Leading a service is as much a mindset as it is a job, says Kumar. The goal of the new approaches—agile software development, physical reorganization, increased autonomy and responsibility—is to create a digital foundation of services linking the bank to its customers and external partners and fostering ongoing digital transformation. The shift began in the IT organization, but the plan is to expand it enterprise-wide and to bring partners and customers into the loop as well.

The Power of Language

In the digital transformation era, companies need a new strategic narrative to help drive a mindset of constant change. A strategic narrative describes the shared purpose that all stakeholders are working toward, says Bonchek. That creates a shared purpose that everyone can wrap their minds—and ultimately their behaviors—around.

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For example, BNY Mellon’s working narrative is that “we believe each of us has the power to improve lives through investing.” And that applies not only to the investment of capital, but investing in people, in ideas, and in the future. At a high level, the theme helps reorient employees’ thinking and behaviors as they consider new ways the bank might differentiate itself.

The Importance of Being Resilient

If an organization is going to adapt itself to constant change, employees need tools to manage the psychological stress that comes with it.

Luckily, personal adaptability is something that you can teach. That’s just what Wendy Quan, a former in-house change management professional, does. As the founder of The Calm Monkey, she’s working with organizations from Google to the government of Dubai, helping them implement self-sustaining mindfulness meditation programs.

Quan used mindfulness and meditation practices to increase her own resilience during cancer treatment. “It alters your experience of a change,” she explains, “even when things around you aren’t changing the way you want them to.”

In 2011, she began conducting mindfulness training for a handful of executives working on a seven-year business and technology transformation project at Pacific Blue Cross. The leaders found the training so valuable that they made it available to the entire workforce.

Quan used the sessions to help employees experience the change on their own terms rather than feeling victimized. She focused change-specific meditations on becoming aware of one’s own perceptions about change, recognizing emotions and their impact on behaviors, learning how to mindfully choose reactions, and cultivating calm and clarity.

Quan surveyed employees after the training. The percentage of employees who rated their personal resiliency as low at the beginning decreased from 40% to just 2% while those who characterized themselves as highly resilient increased by a factor of 600% to 72%. And 83% said that meditation has moderately to significantly helped them through a significant transition.

“Change management methodologies favor the corporate perspective,” says Quan. “But it’s really important to focus on helping people be more self-aware of how they’re journeying through the change.”

Deep Order Technologies’ Malik also focuses his approach to resiliency training on self-awareness. He built a mobile app that enables employees to register what they’re feeling throughout the day. Recording emotional states gives employees a better understanding of what drives their own behaviors and how to cope with their feelings.

Leaders can then look at the aggregated, anonymized readings to identify patterns across the organization. Those patterns give leaders a good idea of the overall orientation of employees going through a change at a given point in time and whether they are poised to go along with it or resist.

Change the Ways of Changing

There is no simple solution to making change easier. A combination of new approaches at the organizational and individual level will be required to adapt to the constant change demanded by the digital future.

These approaches are all in the early adoption phases in most companies. Ironically, they are, in and of themselves, significant changes that must be absorbed. But the speed of digital change is relentless. “It’s just getting faster and faster,” says Quan. “And what companies are seeing is that stress and the inability to adapt to change cause reduced performance and increased absenteeism and disability rates. Leaders who see these trends know they need to pay attention,” says Quan.

Those that don’t? “They’ll go away. They’ll be history,” says Ross. “I don’t think this is an issue they can ignore.” D!


About the Authors

Andreas Hauser is Senior Vice President, Strategic Design Services and AppHaus Network, at SAP.

Paul Kurchina is a community builder with the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) who focuses on digital transformation and change.

Stephanie Overby is a Boston-based business and technology journalist.


Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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Whether it’s a Garage Start up or 100-year manufacturer, NetSuite Fuels Business Growth

Posted by David Turner, Senior Marketing Director, EMEA, Oracle NetSuite

There are exciting opportunities for organisations today to grow and innovate. That could mean going into new markets, launching new products and services, or coming up with new business models. There are always ways to expand your business.

NRBT024 Whether it’s a Garage Start up or 100 year manufacturer, NetSuite Fuels Business Growth

There are also challenges to that growth, however. Data is locked away in siloes in the organisation. It’s not real-time, it’s not accessible, you can’t always analyse it. Compliance and regulation is growing ever more complex, country by country. Systems don’t talk to each other. Attracting and retaining talent is tough and on top of all that there are always new competitors entering the market.

This ‘hairball’ of disconnected systems hinders visibility across the organisation. As operations become ever more complex many companies are forced to resort to spreadsheets and manual processes to paper over the cracks between disparate systems, making it hard to see what’s really going on. With half of start-ups failing within five years, it’s more vital than ever to monitor the health of the business and identify the drivers of growth.

Having a unified cloud business system is absolutely key to tackling these challenges. At our NetSuite Next Ready Business Tour in London this week, NetSuite customers detailed the real-world challenges they’re facing and how NetSuite is helping to overcome them.

NRBT023 Whether it’s a Garage Start up or 100 year manufacturer, NetSuite Fuels Business Growth

London-based home fashion label Buster + Punch has grown rapidly over the four years. Founded in a London garage, the company has since grown to include an ecommerce website, showroom in London and retail store in Stockholm. It now has more than 71 stockists selling products across 27 countries.

Buster + Punch CEO Martin Preen explained to the audience at the event: “We were growing very fast in lots of different markets, different languages, an omnichannel business and lots of different siloes everywhere – and quite frankly getting one picture of the organisation was impossible.”

That drove Buster + Punch to standardize, streamline and scale its operations on NetSuite OneWorld. With one unified cloud solution, Buster + Punch can extend its global growth, including a move to build a presence in the US.

At the other end of the scale is Sheffield-based OSL Cutting Technologies, a manufacturing business that has been around since 1865. OSL Cutting Technologies manufactures and imports magnetic drilling machines and cutting tools. Matthew Grey, managing director at OSL Cutting Technologies, told the Next Ready Business Tour attendees that his business has seen a lot of change and transition in the last few years.

“We have a distribution hub in the US and China and supply chain all over the world. That offers some interesting challenges in terms of building systems to support it. We acquired a business in 2015 and that left us with four systems in one business,” he said.

The company implemented NetSuite OneWorld in May 2017 to manage financials, multi-currency accounting and financial consolidation, CRM, email marketing and advanced manufacturing processes and it has already improved its on-time delivery, reporting and streamlined its financial operations.

These organisations are using NetSuite to regain control of their data and systems and extract clear actionable insights. Since our acquisition by Oracle, and the increased resources that gives us, that’s something we are going to be better placed than ever to help businesses do, as we expand our cloud platform capabilities to cater for any industry, country, language and currency. Ultimately our mission remains same as ever – to help you grow your business.

Posted on Fri, October 20, 2017
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